With so many ‘hero ingredients’ in the beauty industry, it can be difficult to figure out what really works. Touted as a multi-tasker by the experts, argan oil is a vitamin-rich ingredient that boasts a slew of hair and skincare benefits.
Available in many of the best hair oils, argan oil – like rosemary oil – is said to condition hair and boost shine for softer, glossier strands. For proof, just turn your head to TikTok where the hashtag #arganoil has amassed 380 million views (and counting), showcasing its impressive results.
Haircare aside, this nourishing oil can also do wonders for our skin. Here, we ask the experts to break down everything you need to know about this multi-tasking ingredient, including where to find it.
What is argan oil?
“Argan oil is a plant oil extracted from the kernels of the Argan tree which is native to Morocco,” says Rachael Sey, trichologist and founder of Cherub London Clinic. Extracting the oil is quite a process. “People pick the nuts, remove their thick outer peel before cracking them open to get the kernels,” explains David Connor, co-founder of Kanzen Skincare. “The kernels are then pressed to express the oil.”
The result? A pure oil, “that’s rich in fatty acids and antioxidants,” says Sey. So, while extraction is laborious, this cold-press method ensures that all the good stuff stays intact, perfect for the use of hair and skincare purposes.
What are the benefits of argan oil for hair?
Protects hair from heat
As we know, many of our favourite hair tools use heat to style strands – which can lead to damage. Thankfully, there are several smart ingredients (like argan oil), that can help prevent said heat damage. Because of its high vitamin E content, “argan oil can work as a heat protector,” confirms Sey. Apply a few drops to damp hair before styling.
“Argan oil will also give your hair shine and body,” says Sey. Unlike coconut oil, argan oil is incredibly lightweight and thanks to its hydrating properties, it will boost shine without weighing hair down. “This is why it’s a great treatment for all hair types – from curly and coarse to straight and fine.”
A moisturising ingredient, argan oil plays a vital role in many of our favourite conditioners. “Rich in essential fatty acids, it helps softens strands and detangles with ease,” notes Sey. And because of its small molecular size, it can also deeply penetrate the hair cuticles.
Encourages hair growth
Argan oil is often used for hair oiling, where warm oil is applied to the scalp before being massaged in to stimulate blood circulation. This ritual, that has roots in India, is said to soothe the scalp and encourage healthy hair growth. “By boosting blood circulation, the hair follicles get the nutrients they need to grow hair,” explains Sey.
What are the benefits of argan oil for skin?