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Argan Oil for Hair: 5 Potential Benefits of This Popular Ingredient

BY Felicia Ler

Disclaimer: The information provided is not intended as medical advice. For any medical concerns, always contact your doctor.

There was a time when argan oil was one of those in-the-know products that tourists would snap up when visiting Morocco. Today, this “liquid gold” has shot into global stardom as one of the most popular and expensive oils in the world. Originally appearing in skincare products targeted at mature and dry skin types, argan oil has now secured holy grail-like status in the realm of haircare.

Whether it’s used as a mane moisturizer, scalp soother, or shine booster, argan oil seems to be a must-have for just about everyone’s haircare routine. Ahead, we divulge the backstory of argan oil for hair and the five reasons why it has earned its much-deserved moniker of liquid gold.

Argan Oil for Hair: The Backstory

If argan oil has piqued your interest when it comes to hair care, count yourself among the masses of people who’ve fallen in love with it. To be honest, we don’t blame you.

Argan oil comes from the argan tree, scientifically known as Argania spinosa. Thanks to the oil’s light, golden hue and amazing beauty benefits, it’s reverently called liquid gold. As one of the most expensive oils in the world (reportedly at $300 per liter), pure argan oil boasts an impressive nutritional profile of:

  • Oleic acid
  • Linoleic acid
  • Palmitic acid
  • Stearic acid
  • Vitamin E
  • Squalene

Cosmetic-grade argan oil for hair is extracted from the unroasted fruit kernels of the argan tree, a plant native to Morocco. That’s why the rest of the world refers to it as Moroccan argan oil to pay tribute to its heritage. 

The extraction process consists of painstaking, time-consuming work in which the nuts are sun-dried, peeled, de-pulped, and then cracked to extract the kernels for grinding into argan oil. Traditionally, small-batch argan oil extraction is done by hand. Nowadays, industrial machinery has made large-scale production an effortless reality.

Argan Oil for Hair: 5 Benefits You Don’t Want to Miss Out On

argan oil for hair

If you’re still wondering whether argan oil for hair is worth the hype, keep scrolling. Here are just some of the scientifically backed benefits of argan oil for hair.

1. Moisturizes and Conditions Dry Hair and Scalp

Hair products, like shampoos and conditioners, often contain sulfates (and other nasty ingredients) that strip away your hair’s natural oils and can cause skin and scalp irritation. When you combine that with heat styling, chemical treatments, and environmental factors — such as ultraviolet (UV) light exposure — it’s no wonder that your hair and scalp sebum (oil) can reach the point of dehydration.

Indeed, your hair follicles secrete lipids (organic compounds such as fatty acids and ceramides), and your scalp produces sebum to hydrate your hair shafts. Unfortunately, these natural mechanisms may not be enough to keep up with frequent hair washing and the above-mentioned external stressors. You don’t need a Magic 8-Ball to predict the consequences — your locks become duller and more parched, accompanied by a dry scalp.

You may want to look toward argan oil for hair as a potent source of hydration, courtesy of the oleic acid, linoleic acid, and squalene in it. Applying argan oil to your tresses or using argan oil-infused hair products may help replenish your strands’ hydration levels. Frizz, flyaways, and dryness no longer stand a chance.

2. Boosts Shine and Elasticity

Aside from being a hardworking moisturizer, argan oil helps boost the luster and elasticity of your mane, bringing you closer to your healthy hair goals.

Scientific literature points out that essential fatty acids, like oleic acid and linoleic acid, only make up “2-6% of the hair’s overall weight.” Despite their small concentration, they majorly influence the “shine, feel, manageability, and strength” of your locks to maintain optimum hair health. It’s no wonder that argan oil is fast becoming the nourishing hair oil in everyone’s haircare routine.

3. May Soothe Scalp Issues

Many of us struggle with itchiness and flakes. But much-anticipated relief may be just around the corner with high-quality argan oil as your go-to scalp treatment. If you really want hard proof, one study found that a mix of mustard, coconut oil, oleic acid, and palmitic acid (the latter two are present in argan oil) significantly reduced scaling and itching.

4. Tackles Hair Damage

Damaged hair is often the physical manifestation of oxidative stress due to excessive free radicals. Hot styling tools, hair dyes, and bleach all contribute to oxidative stress. But these aren’t the only culprits — environmental foes such as UV light and air pollutants contribute to oxidative damage, too.

That said, a few drops of argan oil may be all you need to protect your tresses:

  • Research confirms plant-based hair oils are effective oil treatments for downplaying split ends, with the added bonus of fewer snarls and tangles when combing through wet hair. Guess what fits the bill? That’s right, Moroccan argan oil may convey similar benefits for your locks.
  • The Journal of Cosmetics, Dermatological Sciences, and Applications reported that when argan oil is used as a conditioner agent, it reduces hair damage caused by hair dyes, plus it prevents flyaways and elevates shine.

5. Doubles as a Styling Product

You’ve likely heard talk of pure argan oil for hair doubling as a styling product. As we’ve mentioned, this hair oil does a superb job of moisturizing hair cuticles, setting the stage for more effortless styling.

In fact, we love argan oil so much, we’ve added it to Function of Beauty’s custom hair serum to give you the gorgeous glass hair look! Here’s what the serum can do for your tresses:

  • Reduce the appearance of frizzy hair
  • Boost shine and luster
  • Lower the likelihood of tangles
  • Thermally protect hair as a heat protectant

To reap all of these benefits, apply the hair serum to damp hair, then carefully work it in while avoiding the roots. Voila! You’re all set to show off your soft, silky, sleek strands.

Argan Oil Can Give You More Good Hair Days

No matter your hair type — straight, wavy, or curly hair — there’s a good chance that argan oil for hair will become your ride-or-die ingredient. From boosting hydration to protecting precious strands, it really is a must-have. And the best part is, many hair products contain argan oil so you can easily make it part of your haircare routine.

If you’d like to try an argan oil hair mask, consider our custom hair mask. It features a nourishing concoction of Japanese sake extract, argan oil, jojoba ester oil, and a custom blend of naturally derived and synthetic ingredients. 

Meanwhile, if you’re looking for everyday products, take our hair quiz and add the “anti-frizz” hair goal to your custom shampoo and conditioner — this hair goal has Moroccan argan oil as its star player to enhance moisture content, fight frizz, and protect against hair damage.

Before you know it, good hair days are just a hair oil away.