Most of us are familiar with argan oil and, at the very least, know that it’s a key ingredient in many moisturizing products from skin care to hair care. It’s been used for centuries as an essential oil in beauty regimens around the world, hailed for its vibrant and hydrating properties. What many of us don’t know is that this rare oil comes from a nut that grows only in Morocco—specifically in the Argan Woodlands.
“The argan tree is unique because its deep roots and little leaves make it able to resist strong wings and retain lots of moisture,” explains Jenna Flory, spa manager at Beach House Day Spa in Birmingham, Michigan. The oil itself is high in nourishing nutrients including vitamin E, antioxidants as well as fatty acids, which work to hydrate, soften, and increase hair elasticity, Flory explains.
7 Argan Oil Hair Benefits
When it comes to use on hair, there is more than one way to make argan oil work hard for your strands. Here are some expert-approved ways your hair can benefit from argan oil.
1. UV protection
They don’t make many sunscreens for your hair, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t protect your strands from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Lauren Paglionico, hair colorist and owner of LRN BEAUTY in New York City, recommends applying argan oil to your hair before heading you to the beach—or really any time you plan to be outside for longer than a few minutes. “This will not only help your hair to stay healthy, but it will also prevent your color from fading.”
Apply directly to your strands or use a hair conditioning spray with hair strengthening ingredients like argan oil, coconut milk and coconut oil.
2. Hair mask
If you have a big event coming up, you can actually use argan oil as a hair mask for a boost of shine and hydration.
“Using a generous amount of argan oil, massage it well into your scalp, tips and hair, wrap your hair in a towel to prevent staining and let the argan oil work its magic for a few hours, or overnight if you prefer,” says Marina Perkovic, hairstylist at Eliut Salon in New York City. “Best of all, you didn’t expose your hair to any harsh chemical or products for this great look and feel to your hair.”
3. Heat protectant
Before taking a blow dryer, straightener or curling iron to your hair, lather your strands with argan oil. It’s best applied to hair that’s damp so that you’re scoring the most benefits, according to Paglionico. This helps prevent it from breakage when it’s exposed to high heat.
4. Split end treatment
Paglionico also suggests using argan oil on the very ends of your hair to strengthen the cuticle from within and prevent breakage in the form of split ends.
“Just remember, a little goes a long way,” she says. “Luckily this oil is not heavy so your hair will not look greasy.”
5. Tame frizz
Those annoying flyaways that are terrible in the summer heat and just as pesky during the freezing cold winter? Get rid of them with a few drops of argan oil. “Doing this before you blow dry will help fill the cuticle,” says Paglionico. Or keep this homemade conditioning anti-frizz spray for a quick spritz to fight frizz.
6. Pre-shampoo conditioning treatment
You can also use argan oil as a conditioning treatment. “Simply apply a small amount from roots to ends, comb your hair and ring out excess water and let sit for 10 minutes or even overnight,” says Paglionico. “Shampoo, condition and style as usual.” You can also try this deep conditioning treatment using coconut oil!
7. Hydrate your scalp
Itchy scalp? No problem. Just applying some argan oil to amp up the hydration. “Before showering to dry hair, you can apply a few drops to dry scalp to help with an itchy scalp, and dandruff,” suggests Miko Branch, Co-Founder and CEO of Miss Jessie’s Haircare. Try this simple hair serum recipe with lavender and rosemary essential oils.