Is Argan Oil Good For Your Hair? A Hairstylist Explains
There has been a lot of buzz around argan oil lately, and for good reason. Celebrated in the natural-hair community for years, this amber-tinged oil effectively nixes frizz and leaves hair feeling incredibly silky and smooth. But if you aren't using your hair oil the correct way, it may actually dry out your strands. Allow us to explain.
"The molecules in argan oil are too large to penetrate your hair cuticle," says celebrity hairstylist Mark Townsend, who has worked with stars like Elizabeth Olsen, Natalie Portman, and Aubrey Plaza. "Since it can't penetrate, it actually just sits on top of your hair." This can be a problem if you're using it when your hair is wet, or if you're using it too much.
Ahead, Townsend explains more about what argan oil is, explains the best way to use argan oil for hair, and answers what many have been asking: is argan oil good for hair? Keep reading to find out.
What Is Argan Oil?
Argan oil is an oil extracted from the argan tree, which is native to Morocco. It can be used in the kitchen or for cosmetic purposes. In its most natural form, the popular elixir contains fatty acids and antioxidants, including vitamin E. It's a light oil that's suitable for all hair types, and it's actually very similar in structure to the sebum that our bodies naturally produce, making it especially beneficial for those with dry hair.
Is Argan Oil Good For Your Hair?
Referred to as "liquid gold" by many, Healthline confirms that argan oil is indeed healthy for your hair. It helps lock in moisture, reduce breakage, and eliminate frizz. It's great for everyone, but it's recommended that full-strength argan oil be applied to thick and curly hair, while lighter versions are best for all other hair textures. While argan oil is a powerhouse on its own, the hair tonic also works well when combined with other hair oils like jojoba, castor, and coconut.
How to Use Argan Oil For Hair
You know how we mentioned that argan oil can't penetrate the hair cuticle? That affects how you should use it. For example, applying the oil to damp hair before it's completely dry will leave your hair feeling smooth at first, but over time, it can actually dry it out. "The argan oil winds up creating a barrier on top of your hair, which blocks out any moisturizer trying to get in," Townsend says.
If you know how to use argan oil for hair correctly, it can be effective at reducing frizz. Only use one to two pumps for your entire head and apply it to dry hair to seal in the moisture that you've already put into it, like with a leave-in conditioner. This ensures your hydrating hair products stay put while still flattening frizz, and your hair won't become bone dry over time.
— Additional reporting by Naomi Parris