Argan oil: What you need to know about this essential ingredient

Amra | 22 April 2016

Everything you need to know about the so-called liquid gold of hair care, this way.

Argan oil, AKA liquid gold, has become the beauty elixir du jour, which is why you’ve probably heard the industry gossip about how useful it is for your tresses. The idea behind the theory is that because this rare oil is enriched with ingredients like vitamin E, antioxidants and essential fatty acids, it can help to promote healthier-looking locks, inside and out. But is it all too good to be true?

Well, did you know that for centuries, Moroccan women have used this oil to not only repair and smooth their tresses, but to restore shine and soften them, too? Plus, with so celebrities and beauty bloggers unanimously claiming Argan oil is their go-to product, it comes as no surprise this elusive elixir has quickly risen the ranks in the hair care hall of fame.

So, if you’re considering jumping on the Argan oil bandwagon, and want to know how to make this nutrient-rich oil work wonders for your hair, read on and let your tresses reap the benefits.

argan oil for hair
Argan oil: the benefits. Credit:

So, what exactly is Argan oil?

Extracted from the nuts of Argania spinosa (a tree native to the remote parts of Morocco), Argan oil is a rare oil that’s full of wondrous properties. Enriched with omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamins A and E, it’s been said that topical application of this oil can help to improve the condition of damaged tresses.

Why does hair need these ingredients?

Hair that lacks an adequate amount of omega-3 fatty acids and Vitamins A and E is usually dull, dry, brittle and prone to breakage. Omega-3 helps keep your scalp and locks hydrated. Vitamin A is needed for sebum production (a natural oil in hair and skin that acts like a conditioner), while Vitamin E helps protect against environmental damage.

Consuming foods that contain these essential ingredients, as well as consistently applying nutrient-rich oils can help counteract the unsightly appearance of your locks and improve its texture. Argan oil, in particular, trumps because it does so many things at once – from nourishing and moisturising the hair shaft and follicles, to smoothing open, damaged cuticles and restoring shine.

Its healing abilities also make it a great solution for anyone with problematic tresses, but effective it is really depends on how you choose to use and apply it.

hair uses for argan oil
Argan oil for hair. Credit:

Usage of Argan oil for hair

Because it’s so rare, buying Argan oil in its pure form can be expensive, but don’t worry: picking products that contain this essential ingredient can be equally effective. Tip: be sure to read product labels carefully. If the ingredients list mentions the words Argan oil or Argania spinosa kernel oil, then you’re good to go!

As an ingredient in a shampoo, conditioner or styling agent: Argan oil does wonders. The greatest advantage is that works well on all hair types and can be used on your hair directly for the following:


Like any trusty oil, Argan oil makes an excellent styling product because of its ability to tame frizzy hair into sleek submission, while also protecting against heat damage. So make sure to apply a few drops of it before blow-drying or straightening.

Try: Alberto Balsam Smooth & Sleek Nourishing Oil (£3.99*).


Argan oil has become a popular ingredient in many shampoos and conditioners because of its ability to restore softness, strength and shine. This makes it an ideal conditioning agent because of its moisturising and nourishing properties. So technically, regular use of shampoo and conditioner containing Argan oil should help build your hair’s strength.

Try: Dove Nourishing Oil Care Shampoo (250ml, £2.69*) and Conditioner (350ml, £3.69*), which are infused with Argania spinosa kernel oil.

Mask and pre-shampoo treatments

With a whole host of fortifying, nourishing and protective ingredients, a hair mask or a pre-shampoo treatment that contains Argan oil should also become your mane’s best friend. If your locks are in dire need of TLC, an impromptu session with Argan oil really can go a long way.

*RRPs are Unilever suggested retail prices only, it is at the discretion of the individual retailers to set the actual price.

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