Benefits of Argan Oil for Hair
Both Hughes and Fitzsimons agree that much of argan oil’s magic stems from its composition: It’s rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.1 If you’re looking to make hair softer and more manageable (aren’t we all?), this can be your go-to oil as it has a slew of benefits, according to experts.
- Hydrates and softens: “Argan oil is an age-old beauty secret that has many uses, namely helping to hydrate and soften the hair,” says Hughes.
- Increases hair elasticity: “With its high content of antioxidants, essential fatty acids, and vitamin E, the benefits of argan oil naturally help to increase hair’s elasticity and consistently restore shine to dull, lifeless hair,” explains Hughes.
- Prevents breakage: Fitzsimons agrees with the power of argan oil, adding that the vitamin E it contains is crucial to the health of our hair, as he says its rich antioxidant properties help neutralize hair damage from free radicals and other elements. “Whether we realize it or not, we put our hair through a lot of damage with everyday pollution, chemical treatments, and hot tools,” he says. “Vitamin E—which argan oil is high in—helps keep your follicles free from damage all while helping to prevent splitting and breakage.”
- Protects hair from mechanical stress: Blake says that argan oil “helps protect hair from mechanical stress” which means it stays looking healthy. The composition of argan oil may help to keep your hair healthy, even with hair styling and using the hair dryer and curling iron.
- Increases shine: “Argan oil promotes shine, smoothness and definition,” says Blake. It also helps protect hair from mechanical stress (hair styling) and coloring.2
Hair Type Considerations
Argan oil can generally be used on most hair types, however you may need to apply it differently or use a different type of argan oil depending on your needs. “Full strength argan oil is ideal on thick, curly or heavily colored hair,” says Blake. If you have fine hair or hair that tends to get oily, full strength argan oil can weigh your hair down if you don’t apply it sparingly. You can also look for products with argan oil instead of the pure oil. “A blended or light weight version is ideal on most types of hair,” he says. Use a light touch when applying argan oil and focus it on the ends of your hair and away from your scalp.
How to Use Argan Oil for Hair
Depending on what your needs are, there are a number of ways to experience the goodness argan oil provides. “I would recommend it as a conditioner or as a styling product on the mid lengths and ends of your hair,” says Blake. “Some argan oils are a bit heavy, so look for ones that have been blended to make a perfect combination.”
- Use as a nourishing conditioner: “Argan oil is rich in nutrients and vitamins such as vitamins A, C, and E; antioxidants; linoleic acid; and omega-6 fatty acids. Because of this, it’s a great ingredient for conditioning. The combination of all these super-nourishing ingredients leaves the hair strands softer, shinier, more manageable, and , “frizz-free” says Fitzsimons.
- Use as a protective spray: “When working on clients, I have to really make sure that their hair is in peak condition, so I look for ingredients like silk proteins to make sure the hair is as protected as possible while I’m using hot tools,” he adds. “I like argan oil as an ingredient in heat protection products because it’s very nourishing and conditioning for the hair, and it provides great slip that makes styling easier.”
- Use as a hydrating hair mask: “An argan oil hair mask is amazing particularly if you have damaged hair. The vitamin E in the oil helps smooth frayed hair shafts and seal split ends while the omega fatty acids work to strengthen your hair. Leave it on for 15 to 30 minutes to reap the oil’s full benefits,” says Fitzsimons.
- Use as a shine-inducing hair oil: “High-quality oil-infused products are essential to maintaining shiny, healthy hair because hair oils are made to penetrate into your strands (as opposed to serums, which usually sit on the surface of the strands),” notes Hughes. Use this if your strands are seriously parched.
- Use as an effective styling product: “Argan oil provides excellent shine to the strands and has major anti-frizz benefits,” says Fitzsimons. “For those with textured hair, it can be used to help define the curls.”
- Use as a relieving scalp treatment: “Because argan oil is rich in antioxidants, it’s an effective scalp treatment,” advises Fitzsimons. “It can help reduce the scalp inflammation that leads to dandruff, itchiness, and other scalp issues.” To note though, it’s important not to leave any kind of oil on the scalp for a prolonged period of time, as the potency might lead to scalp sensitivity and inflammation over time. 20-30 minutes should be plenty of time to absorb the benefits.