If you’ve been on the beauty train then you most likely have heard of argan oil or “liquid gold” as many say. You may be someone that colours their hair frequently or just have naturally brittle strands. The word “crunchy” is something you would typically want to describe your favourite bag of chips, not how your hair sounds.
If you’ve ever experienced this and are looking to treat your stressed tresses then you most likely have come across products labeled with argan oil for hair, argania oil, or oil of argan advertised on product packaging.
But what exactly is argan oil? You wonder if it’s just hype or a trendy “it” ingredient used for marketing products since oils have been the latest rage. Don’t worry – we got you. We’ll get into the details of everything argan oil related and see if this truly is a miracle oil.
What is Argan Oil?
Argan oil is a naturally occurring oil that is extracted from seeds of an argan tree that are native semi-arid southwestern region of Morocco. The fruit of an argan tree resembles a shrivelled yellow apple and is edible. The kernels are taken from the fruit, then ground and pressed to extract unfiltered, pure argan oil. This process is followed by decanting and filtering to produce an even clearer oil.
Pure argan oil is known to be rich in antioxidants, vitamin E and fatty acids (oelic acid, linoleic acid, palmitic acid and stearic acid) and is often used as a remedy for skin, body and hair because it packs a major hydration punch. Since pure argan oil is light, the molecules can penetrate the skin barrier and hair deeply and is suitable for most skin and hair types.
Is Argan Oil Good For Hair?
The nourishing benefits of argan oil is especially great for dry hair types. Dry and brittle hair can be attributed to a number of causes such as excessive heat style, like from a flat iron or blow dryer, constant colouring, poor nutrition, or using the wrong shampoo. The high concentration of vitamin E and fatty acids help coat the hair, lock in hydration, and create shine.
People also like to use argan oil to strengthen hair. It can help improve elasticity, combat frizz, and prevent breakage causing split ends, making your hair look healthy, smooth, soft, and more manageable. Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin antioxidant found in argan oil that helps reduce the amount of damage from free radicals and oxidative stress that cause hair follicle cells in a person’s scalp to break down. Other benefits of argan oil are its anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce inflammation that causes things like dandruff, dryness, and irritation in the scalp and hair.
A popular belief is that by using argan oil for hair, it will stimulate new hair growth for a thicker mane. Contrary to this claim, there is not enough adequate research conducted to prove this to be true. The vitamin E content does make your hair stronger by helping prevent split ends and breakage which in turn, may result in fuller, thicker hair over time. However, research has been conducted to prove that vitamin E can help stimulate hair growth and reduce hair loss when ingested – but please, do not drink your argan oil!
How Do I Use Argan Oil On My Hair?
Scalp health: For people that suffer from dry scalp, dandruff and flakes, argan oil hair oils are an effective anti-inflammatory that will not clog pores or damage hair follicles. It can also be used to help treat scalp conditions like psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis. You can use a few drops of pure argan oil and gently massage into the scalp to add moisture and stimulate blood circulation. You can do this nightly and leave it on overnight, then rinse in the AM.
Condition your hair: This is a great remedy for particularly damaged hair. You can use argan oil as a hair mask or leave-in conditioner to hydrate your hair. Argan oil is super effective in a hair mask or leave-in conditioner because it is made up of tiny molecules that are smaller than other oils, making it penetrate deeply into the hair to lock in moisture. The fatty acids found in argan oil, mainly oleic acid and linoleic acid help to add moisture back into the hair shaft. A 2013 study found that argan oil reduced that amount of damage caused to hair that was dyed after the colouring process.
Heat protectant: Before you start to blow dry your hair or style with heated tools, you can use argan oil as a heat protectant to protect your hair from heat damage. The high content of vitamin E and fatty acids found in argan oil help protect the scalp and hair and can tame frizz after hair styling. Rub a few drops of pure argan oil in your palms before patting into wet or dry hair starting at the roots.
Increase shine: Argan oil can help boost shine back into the hair without causing buildup and weighing it down. Unlike other hair oils, argan oil penetrates deeper into the hair because of the smaller size of its molecules, meaning it won’t leave hair with a greasy residue. Apply a few drops of pure argan oil to wet hair before styling concentrating on the ends.
Sunscreen for your hair: We all know to protect our skin from the sun’s harsh UV rays but what about our hair? You can actually use argan oil like sunscreen for your hair because it can prevent damage to the skin of your head from the natural environment and sun. A 2013 study found that the antioxidant properties in argan oil protect skin by neutralizing free radical damage caused by the sun.
Argan Oil For Hair: Concluding Thoughts
Argan oil has long been a staple in treating hair ailments and maintaining healthy looking hair. When looking for argan oil products, it’s important to look for “pure argan oil” or “100% argan oil” on the ingredients list. Products that list argan oil as the first couple ingredients on the label means that the argan oil content is high and that’s what you’re paying for.
Argan oil is light by nature and can be used regularly in a hair maintenance routine. It can be used as an effective heat protectant, conditioner, hair sunscreen, and treat scalp conditions. It may not promote hair growth but it does help prevent breakage for a stronger mane which means fuller, thicker hair in the long term. Liquid gold? Sounds about right.