15, November 2023
The Benefits of Argan Oil for Hair
Argan oil only grows in one very specific part of Morocco, but it's loved the world over as a hair elixir. What's all the fuss about? Read on for our deep dive into one of Nature's cult haircare ingredients.
What is Argan Oil?
Argan oil comes from the nut of the argan tree, which grows in a specific ecosystem in Morocco: the UNESCO Arganeraie Biosphere Reserve. Also known as ’the tree of life’, this thorny plant is incredibly well-adapted to living in the arid landscape it inhabits – and even protects soil from erosion. Cultivation of argan not only helps support sustainable development, but reduces the effects of climate change in the region.
Argan trees bear small, oval fruits that are not much bigger than olives. The fruits have a tough skin and bitter flesh, and take over a year to ripen on the tree. In the centre of each fruit is a nut, which contains up to three hard kernels or seeds. These kernels are ground or pressed, often by hand, to extract argan oil.
Argan oil has been used in Moroccan cooking and cosmetics for centuries, but in the early 2000s, it began to gain international attention from the beauty industry. Today, it is highly sought after for use in skincare and especially haircare products – and often referred to as ‘liquid gold’.
What Does Argan Oil Do for Hair?
Argan oil is packed with fatty acids, which make it a great hair hydrator. Used regularly, it may seal damaged cuticles, which can help dry, damaged hair look a whole lot healthier. And this cuticle-sealing action can also help protect hair from heat damage; this and the fact that argan oil burns at a much higher temperature than other oils are why it is often included in leave-in styling products.
As well as fatty acids, argan oil is brimming with antioxidants and vitamin E, which may help to protect your hair from free radicals. These components are also known to help improve hair’s elasticity, reduce breakage and make dull hair shine again.
Just like rosemary oil and other popular haircare oils, argan oil is thought to be all the ‘antis’: antifungal, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory, which can help a flaky scalp. And a healthy, happy scalp is the strongest foundation for healthy, happy hair.
How to Use Argan Oil on Your Hair
To smooth the appearance of split ends and give your locks lustre, run 2-4 drops of argan oil through the ends of freshly-washed, towel-dried tresses, concentrating on the tips. You can also use argan oil on dry hair to calm frizz and seal split ends. A little goes a very long way, so use sparingly.
Argan oil can also be applied to your whole hair and scalp for a deep treatment. Treat frazzled strands by saturating them in 6-10 drops of argan oil (depending on the length and thickness of your hair) while they’re dry. Pop on a shower cap and leave for at least 30 minutes and at most 8 hours. For intense hydration while you sleep, leave on overnight. When you’re done, shampoo and condition as usual.
Oil can be messy, and it’s easy to go a couple of drops overboard and end up with greasy-looking locks. A convenient way to avoid this is to look for hair products made with argan oil. There are plenty of leave-in conditioners, heat protection sprays and serums that include this ‘liquid gold’ in their ingredients. When it comes to washing your hair, our Shea & Argan Shampoo, Shea & Argan Conditioner and Shea & Argan Nourishing Hair Mask are all easy ways to incorporate the power of argan oil into your haircare routine. And if you’re on a mission to send plastic packing, our Shea & Argan Shampoo Bar and Shea & Argan Conditioner Bar are for you. Whether in bottles or bars, the combination of argan oil and ethically-traded shea butter is a deeply moisturising mix loved by those with very dry and / or curly hair.
Who Should Use Argan Oil on Their Hair?
Anyone can use argan oil, but it’s especially good for very dry, thick, curly and afro hair types.