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Argan Oil for Hair Growth: On Your Way to Thicker Hair
Beauty

Argan Oil for Hair Growth: On Your Way to Thicker Hair

HR_author_photo_Edibel
Written by Edibel Quintero, RD | Fact checked by Fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD check
Last update: May 24, 2023
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7 min

Argan oil is one of the most popular ingredients in haircare products. Science backs it up, but just how effective is it?

argan oil for hair growth
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Many things can contribute to hair loss and thinning hair, from aging and nutritional deficiencies to poor haircare practices.

Argan oil has a number of important nutrients, such as vitamin E and essential fatty acids, that your hair needs daily. No wonder that today it makes its way into just about every premium haircare product.

But does argan oil stimulate hair growth, or are its properties overrated? Is this really a miracle oil for hair growth? Read on to find out what science has to say about it.

Can Argan Oil Promote Hair Growth?

Argan oil doesn’t create new hair follicles or new hair strands overnight.

But it does contain vitamin E, antioxidants, nutrients, and essential fatty acids that work together to moisturize, strengthen and support hair shafts growing from existing follicles.

Used regularly, it can help you grow longer, shinier, and stronger hair that can better withstand heat styling and UV damage.

Argan Oil for Hair Growth: A True Moroccan Haircare Miracle?

Before you start using argan oil for hair growth, it’s good to understand what exactly argan oil is and what natural properties it has. Let’s take a closer look at this natural oil produced in North Africa.

What is argan oil?

Argan oil is extracted from the kernels of the sun-dried argan tree fruit. The argan tree (Argania spinosa) used to grow throughout North Africa but is now endemic to Morocco.

Also known as Moroccan argan oil or liquid gold, it’s rich in nutrients, including antioxidants, vitamins, and fatty acids. Culinary argan oil has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. It can also be used as a carrier for essential oils.

Several compounds within this oil support healthy hair and a healthy scalp, including:

Argan oil has long been used as a natural way to improve the health of hair, skin, and nails. This includes as a remedy for dry, damaged, or falling hair. It can easily penetrate the hair cuticle and nourish the hair.

It’s sold in both pure and impure forms. Pure argan oil is 100% Argania spinosa oil and provides the most benefits. Impure argan oil may be adulterated with lesser oils, diluted with water, or contain perfume or other chemicals.

Benefits of argan oil

The antioxidants and fatty acids in this oil may support hair growth. At the same time, they may provide other hair health benefits. Let’s take a closer look at these.

  • Improves hair elasticity. It’s rich in essential acids and antioxidants. Together, they nourish your hair and can increase its elasticity.
  • May improve hair growth. Research indicates that the vitamin E in argan oil may improve hair growth and reduce hair loss.
  • May prevent hair dryness. The oleic and linoleic acids it contains work together with vitamin E to lubricate the hair. Argan oil also helps the hair retain moisture.
  • May treat dandruff and boost scalp health. Its anti-inflammatory properties may help prevent dandruff caused by fungus. 
  • May reduce hair loss. It strengthens strands and can prevent or improve conditions like seborrheic dermatitis that cause hair loss.
  • Protects against sun damage. It contains antioxidants that protect the skin from harmful UV rays. These same antioxidants may also protect the hair from sun damage.
  • Reduces damage caused by hair dyes. When applied after color processing, argan oil may reduce damage resulting from hair dyeing.
  • Protects your hair during heat styling. Oils rich in palmitic, linoleic, and oleic acids make hair less prone to breakage.

Side effects of argan oil

Argan oil is safe for most people. However, in rare cases, the use of argan oil for hair may cause contact dermatitis, a type of eczema.

Contact dermatitis may trigger a rash, itchiness, and redness on the scalp. In sensitive people, other parts of the body that come into direct contact with argan oil may also be affected.

Before applying an argan oil hair mask, you may want to test the reaction of your skin to it. Place a bit of this oil on your skin and wait 24–48 hours to see if an allergic reaction follows.

If you develop contact dermatitis, see a dermatologist.

How to Use Argan Oil on Hair: A Full Guide

An effective way to take advantage of the benefits of argan oil for hair is to apply an argan oil hair mask at home. For this, you will need high-quality, pure argan oil. It’s best to do it in the evening so you can leave the mask on overnight.

  1. Pour 10 drops of argan oil into your palm. If your hair is very long, you can use more oil. If you have fine hair or oily hair, apply less of it.
  2. Gently massage the oil into your hair and scalp using both hands for 10–15 minutes. Make sure that the oil covers the entire length of your hair.
  3. Wrap your hair in a clean, dry towel. You will be leaving the mask in overnight, so enjoy the rest of the time until bedtime.
  4. Remove the towel carefully in the morning and wash your hair.
  5. Repeat this process regularly, once or twice a week, until you see results.

Don’t want to sleep with your hair bound up in a towel? Apply argan oil to your hair and leave it on for at least an hour and then wash your hair.

Tip: You can also mix argan oil with most other hair oils, such as coconut oil, avocado oil, castor oil, or jojoba oil. This can provide a more diverse range of antioxidants and other nutrients good for the hair. When adding in another oil, reduce the quantity of argan.

You can use argan oil for hair by applying a natural shampoo or conditioner that contains this oil.

Don’t have shampoo with argan oil? Add two drops of pure argan oil to your shampoo.

It’s also possible to use argan oil for hair as a leave-in conditioner. For this, wash your hair with your shampoo of choice and towel dry your hair. Next, apply two drops of the oil to your hair by massaging this gently with your hands. Do this twice every week.

Tip: You can use the oil as described above before styling or coloring your hair for added protection.

How to choose the best argan oil hair products?

Your choice of argan oil depends on your type of hair and the condition it is in. The pure, full-strength oil is best for thick and curly hair. For fine or oily hair, consider using a lighter oil.

You can choose from a variety of hair products with argan oil:

  • Argan oil shampoo. Choose a shampoo with argan oil as the main ingredient. Look for one that is free of parabens, perfume, artificial colors, and other chemicals that can interfere with the oil’s effectiveness.
  • Hair gel. Hair gels with argan oil should be easy to apply and promote shine.
  • Conditioner. Look for a conditioner with pure argan oil or one that combines argan with coconut oil or castor oil.
  • Pure argan oil. Look for a product that is golden in color, has a slightly nutty scent, and a smooth texture.
  • Hair mask. You can use argan oil as a stand-alone ingredient for a hair mask. When buying an argan oil mask for your hair, watch out for unnecessary additives like perfume or parabens.

FAQs

Is argan oil shampoo good for your hair?

Yes, argan oil shampoo nourishes and protects your hair and can reduce hair loss while boosting scalp health.

When should you apply argan oil to your hair?

Apply the oil at least half an hour before washing your hair. Ideally, apply it at night and wash after waking.

How long should you leave argan oil in your hair?

Leave an argan oil hair mask on overnight. Wrap your head in a towel before going to bed and wash it in the morning.

How often should you put argan oil in your hair?

Use argan oil for hair whenever your hair looks dry, fragile, and lacks shine. Do it at least once a week.

Is argan oil good for oily hair?

Yes. It can help remove some of the oil that the sebaceous glands produce. But use it in moderation.

A Word From a Trichologist

Your hair is exposed to a daily assault of free radicals, UV rays, pollution, and chemicals.

Add to that nutritional deficiencies, the natural effects of aging, and unintended mechanical damage from styling, and your hair has to endure a lot of strain.

Argan oil’s potent mix of fatty acids, antioxidants, and vitamins nourishes your hair. More than helping to fight hair loss, it can strengthen your hair, helping hair follicles to produce stronger strands.

This oil has a rich nutritional profile. With that in mind, remember that hair follicles naturally deactivate with time. Argan oil can make existing hair stronger, but there is no evidence that it can reactivate inactive hair follicles.

Conclusion

Pure Moroccan argan oil won’t help you miraculously grow hair overnight. But if you have more realistic expectations, you can count on argan oil for hair growth.

It can moisturize, lubricate, and strengthen your hair. It also has beneficial effects on your scalp health.

Taken together, these benefits prove it to be one of the best remedies for damaged hair. It can reduce breakage, improve elasticity, and protect the hair and scalp.

To reap these benefits, use high-quality argan oil. Poor quality argan oil, although cheaper, may lack valuable antioxidants and nutrients. Don’t forget the basic rules of hair care: use a gentle shampoo, get regular trims, and use a microfiber towel for hair drying.

HR_author_photo_Edibel
Written by
Edibel Quintero is a medical doctor who graduated in 2013 from the University of Zulia and has been working in her profession since then. She specializes in obesity and nutrition, physical rehabilitation, sports massage and post-operative rehabilitation. Edibel’s goal is to help people live healthier lives by educating them about food, exercise, mental wellness and other lifestyle choices that can improve their quality of life.
The article was checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
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