When I was 19 and starting to feel the fallout of chemically straightening my hair, the one thing that kept my strands from completely breaking off was argan oil. Of all the oils we put in our hair, the most beneficial—the first oil most of us were ever introduced to, even—was probably argan. Made from the kernel of the Argan tree, which is native to Morocco, this essential oil is a common addition to our hair regimens.
But what about argan oil makes it beneficial for hair especially? We asked celebrity hairstylist Andrew Fitzsimons and Moroccanoil Artistic Director Kevin Hughes to break down this miracle oil for us and list all of its amazing benefits.
Scroll down to learn everything you need to know about argan oil.
The Benefits of Argan Oil
Both Hughes and Fitzsimons agree that much of argan oil's magic stems from its composition: It's rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. If you're looking to make hair softer and more manageable, this is your go-to oil.
"Argan oil is an age-old beauty secret that has many uses, helping to hydrate and soften your hair. With its high content of antioxidants, essential fatty acids, and vitamin E, the benefits of argan oil naturally help increase hair's elasticity and consistently restore shine to dull, lifeless hair," says Hughes. "It is also a powerful antioxidant, UV-protector, and free radical neutralizer."
Meet the Expert
Kevin Hughes is a freelance celebrity hairstylist and the Artistic Director for Moroccan Oil. His work has been seen everywhere from the catwalks at New York Fashion Week to spreads in Harper's BAZAAR. He counts Emily Blunt and Rosie Huntington-Whitley among his clientele.
Fitzsimons says that vitamin E is also known for its rich antioxidant properties that help neutralize hair damage from free radicals. "Whether we realize it or not, we put our hair through a lot of damage with everyday pollution, chemical treatments, and hot tools," says Fitzsimons. "Vitamin E helps keep your follicles free from damage while helping to prevent splitting and breakage."
Meet the Expert
Andrew Fitzsimons is a celebrity hairstylist and founder of the Trans Cosmetic Donation Program in Los Angeles, CA. His work has been seen on Adriana Lima, Joan Smalls, Kim Kardashian-West, and countless red carpets.
Watch Now: How to Apply Argan Oil to your Hair
How to Use Argan Oil
You don't have to stick to one type of product to experience the goodness that argan oil provides. Luckily, it can found in several haircare products and be used in different ways.
As a conditioner:
"Argan oil is rich in nutrients and vitamins such as vitamins A, C, and E; antioxidants; linoleic acid; and omega-6 fatty acids, so it's a great ingredient for a conditioner. The combination of all these super-nourishing ingredients leaves the hair strands softer, shinier, more manageable, and helps tame frizz," says Fitzsimons.
As a heat protectant spray:
"The health of my clients' hair is everything; I have to really make sure 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," says Fitzsimons. "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."
As a hair mask:
"Argan oil is amazing in hair masks, 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, so leaving on for 15 to 30 minutes as a mask is a fantastic way to reap the benefits of argan oil," he says.
As a 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," says Hughes.
As a styling product:
"Argan oil provides excellent shine to the strands and has major anti-frizz benefits," says Fitzsimons. "For curly girls, it can be used to help really define the curls."
As a scalp treatment:
"Because argan oil is rich in antioxidants, it can be an effective scalp treatment," he says. "It can help reduce the scalp inflammation that leads to dandruff, itchiness, and other scalp issues."
You can use argan oil to moisturize your face and body, too. It's great for dry cuticles or your face when your complexion could use a little extra glow.
Our Favorite Argan Oil Products
Now that we've shown you six easy ways to incorporate it into your hair routine, we pulled some of our favorite argan oil hair products for your next haircare shopping spree. Check them out below.
"I love Moroccanoil Dry Texture Spray because there are so many ways to use it," says Hughes. "It is a dry argan oil-infused texture spray for effortless, undone styles with long-lasting hold. I can use it as a finishing spray for styles with carefree, textured volume, and it
can also be used as a prep spray to provide foundational grip needed for no-slip braids and updos."
"I'm obsessed with this edge cream," says Fitzsimons, "It has an amazing hold for even the most stubborn edges, is totally flake-free, and the argan oil provides so many nourishing benefits to the hair, so I feel good about using it on my clients."
This lush and creamy shampoo mixes argan, rose-hip, and coconut oil to not only repair any damage but also keep it hydrated and strengthen strands to promote healthy hair growth.
Rosehip Oil is full of vitamins, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids, which help fight dandruff and add shine.
"I have a couple of clients who prefer when I use cruelty-free products, so I've been testing this new hair oil infused with argan stem cells (in addition to argan oil), which sounds so futuristic and cool. This is a really great oil and totally smoothes out frizz and adds amazing shine," says Fitzsimons.
This 100% pure natural and organic argan oil is amazing. It's nourishing and healing, but the best part is that you can also use it for your skin and nails.
Deriving its argan oil from the Mediterranean argan tree, this conditioner is packed with vitamin E and antioxidants to smooth out hair while also giving it a protective barrier from future damage.
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble antioxidant that boosts hair's elasticity and shine.
We do a number on our hair when we regularly rely on hot styling tools. To protect it from the hot temperature, use something like this heat protectant spray on damp hair. If you want extra shine, spritz some after you're done styling.
If you haven't already, start using argan oil on your hair for the TLC it needs (and deserves). You'll be really glad that you did.