Argan oil is a very ‘rare’ and precious hair commodity. It is extracted from the kernel of the Argan tree that is scientifically known as Argania spinose. The oil is often referred to as the ‘Moroccan oil’ because it is mainly found in Sous Valley in south-western Morocco. The oil is extremely rare because of its limited, specific growing areas and extremely low yield per tree. To produce 1L of Argan oil, the total yield from 8 trees is needed! [Source]. The Argan Tree is extremely well adjusted to drought and environmentally harsh conditions and bears a fruit that contains the oil rich nuts. These nuts are the ones gathered by locals to extract the Argan Oil from the kernels.
Is Argan Oil good for natural 4C hair? Argan oil is one the best oils for 4C hair because of its intense moisturizing properties. The oil forms a non-evaporating layer around the hair thus sealing in moisture. The protective layer will lock in the moisture until it is washed out, this makes the oil one of the most powerful and long-lasting moisturizers.
Argan oil has small molecules that easily penetrate deep into the cortex of the hair and thus effectively moisturizes from the inside of the hair shaft. The oil is packed with antioxidants and vitamins that the hair easily absorbs.
Keep reading to learn more about Argan oil. In this article I will cover: the benefits of Argan oil on hair, nutritional composition, how to use the oil and what to consider when purchasing the oil.
The popular use of Argan oil has been for its health properties but its use in cosmetics and hair products is also becoming common. The oil is an ancient beauty secret that has numerous uses, helping to hydrate and soften the hair.
Nutritional Composition of Argan Oil
Argan oil contains vitamin E, ferulic acid, carotenoids, phytosterols, polyphenols and 80% unsaturated fatty acids (Oleic acid, Alpah-linolenic acid, palmitic acid, Stearidonic acid, Linoleic acid and Myristic acid). Depending on how the oil is extracted, the oil has been found to me more resistant to oxidation compared to Olive oil. Both vitamin E and linoleic acid makes the oil rich in antioxidants, therefore important for protecting cell from damage early signs of aging, via its action as an anti-free radical agent. [Source]
How is Argan oil extracted?
The seeds are processed by mechanical dry-pressing as this allows for faster, and direct extraction. This extraction method also gives it a long shelf life. After pressing, the oil can be stored for 12 to 18 months. Traditionally in Morocco, the oil was produced on a need basis from kernel that could be store for close to 20 years unopened.
Benefits of Argan Oil on Natural 4C Hair
1- Hair growth
Argan oil is rich in natural phenols and vitamin E that improves the health of hair follicles and promotes hair growth. To achieve thick, strong hair which has a natural shine, massage pure Argan oil into your scalp and coat the strands as well. Use this as an overnight mask.
2- Moisturizes and conditions the hair
Argan oil is an extremely effective moisturizer as it forms a non-evaporating layer around the hair thus sealing in moisture. The protective layer will lock in the moisture until it is washed out, this makes the oil one of the most powerful and long-lasting moisturizers.The high oleic acid content in the oil lubricates the hair and locks further locks in moisture.
3- For dry and frizzy hair
Argan oil is well known to tame even the frizziest hair. It strengthens the hair shaft and provides elasticity thus prevents the hair from becoming brittle. The oil improves the overall look and feel of hair, as it is easily absorbed into the strands delivering its rich supply of nutrients.
4- May prevent hair loss
Argan oil strengthens the hair effectively by naturally strengthening the follicles and prolonging their lives. The oil stimulates hair growth by increasing the production of keratin, an essential hair protein. The oil is packed with antioxidants and vitamins E which are easily absorbed by hair and thus nourish and strengthen the hair, preventing it from breaking Losing your hair can be very worrying for anyone. Most of us desire to have the maximum volume our hair can achieve. It is packed
5- Scalp health
The health of your hair is dependent on the health of the scalp. Argan oil’s high concentration of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory ingredients protects the hair against many scalp conditions.
6- Heat styling protection
This is for those who regularly use a heat styling tools, hence increasing the risk of hair damage. When applied before heat styling, Argan oil can provide some protection against heat damage.Regular application of Argan oil can easily repair heat damaged hair as the various vitamins and minerals are highly effective in revitalizing hair.
The liquid sebum produced in the scalp, makes it an effective chemical-free remedy to fight off dandruff. The natural bioactive compounds in Argan oil help soothe the inflamed scalp, reducing itchiness and redness, and keeps it clean. Apply a few drops of pure oil warmed betweenyour palms into freshly shampooed, damp hair for best results.
8- Curls and shape
Argan oil holds hair in place. If you are struggling to control or shape their hair, Argan oil works as a natural styling assistant making it look really great. It achieves this even when you apply other products or try out new hairstyles.
9- Damaged hair
Pure Argan oil is a non-irritating oil and has moisturizing abilities that help in reversing the damage caused by chemicals and excessive treatments on hair. It helps normalize the hair texture and makes it soft and healthy. The molecules in Moroccan Argan oil are small enough to infiltrate the cortex of the hair. So while the oil gives hair the appearance of shine, it is also restoring, rejuvenating and moisturizing from inside the hair shaft.
10- Cleaning the scalp
Moroccan Argan oil has become a common ingredient in many shampoo formulations. The polyphenols present in Argan oil has antiviral and antimicrobial properties which help in keeping the scalp clean.
How to use Argan oil on 4C Hair
Argan oil can be found in several haircare products and be used in different ways.
- Argan oil for conditioning: It is rich in Vitamin E, essential fatty acids, and antioxidants, which helps to nourish and detangle hair. Argan oil is quite rich in nutrients and vitamins such as vitamins A, C, and E which as you already know contain antioxidant properties to top it up the oil also contains linoleic acid and omega-6 fatty acids, which are essential for a good conditioner. This combination will super-nourish your hair leaving the hair strands softer, shinier and easy to manage.
- As a heat protector: The health of your hair is really important always make sure your hair is in the best condition. Always look for Argan oil as an ingredient in heat protection products because it nourishes and conditions the hair, providing great slip that makes styling easier when using hot tools.
- Hair mask: Argan oil is amazing in hair masks, especially if you have damaged hair. The vitamin E in the oil smoothens frayed hair shafts and seals split ends and the omega fatty acids work to your hair strong, so leaving on for about thirty minutes as a mask and you will see the changes it will bring to your hair and the benefits.
- Sun protection: Argan oil has been used by Moroccan women for centuries to protect hair and skin. The antioxidant activity in Argan oil protected hair and skin against free radical damage from the sun helping to prevent drying and other damage from ultraviolet rays.
- 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.
- As a styling product: Argan oil provides excellent shine to your hair strands and has major anti-frizz benefits, it can also be used to help really define the curls.
- For scalp treatment: Because Argan oil is rich in antioxidants, it can be an effective scalp treatment. It reduces the scalp inflammation that leads to dandruff, itchiness, and other scalp issues.
- As a shampoo: You can buy Argan oil shampoo, but making your own is also very easy, simply add Argan oil into your regular shampoo and give it a good mix.
How to determine the best Argan oil for hair growth
The Argan tree is rare making Argan oil a luxury item. Manufacturers yield this expensive and luxurious oil from the trees which are in danger of extinction [Source]. Extracting the oil also requires intensive labor and energy. Despite the fact that it is worth it to spend the extra on genuine Argan oil, it is becoming more and more difficult to know which one are from fraudulent companies. Many scammers now claim to offer authentic Argan oil be careful when you are shopping for Argan oil products.
There are products that have a mixture of different oils, in order to fill the bottle to save on production costs. Consequently, these mixtures are not as helpful as pure Argan oil. These products may also contain harmful chemicals.
To ensure that you are purchasing quality and effective Argan oil, here are some tips:
1- Less is more
Check the label on the Argan oil keenly. If possible, there should be one major constituent, Argania spinosa, or Argan oil, listed. If the constituents include paraffin, water, or fragrances leave the bottle as these products only destroy the properties of natural, pure Argan oil. Bottles of Argan oil should also be relatively small. Bottles that seem large will most likely have unwanted oils and fillers. You only need a small amount to use on both skin and hair. Buying a hundred percent pure Argan oil might appear to be quite expensive, but it is worth it. With pure Argan oil, you will need to use it sparingly in order to obtain the similar results as the fake Argan oils that exist.
2- The price might not be right
Argan oil is very tasking to produce. The labor involved is quiet intensive, hence making it a very costly process. I’m not saying you need to purchase the most expensive Argan oil in order to experience the best results but in order to guarantee that you do not fall prey to a marketing campaign, check on the concentration of Argan oil present within the product. Check the ingredient labels carefully. Never buy a product, specifically an expensive one if it boasts a low concentration of Argan oil. Some companies always want to trick consumers into thinking the product contains a high concentration on the labeling, but if you look at the ingredients list proves that Argan oil is the last ingredient. Keep in mind that original pure Argan oil is expensive.
3- Looks do matter
Argan oil interacts with light, therefore, it should always be stored in dark packaging. The bottle should always be in a dark glass or material. Try your very best to buy products that follow this description in order to acquire a hundred percent pure Argan oil. The amber-colored UV-protected glass bottle prolongs the shelf life of the oil and its beneficial properties.
4- Give it a good whiff
As ridiculous as it may sound, you should pay attention to the smell of the Argan oil to purchase high quality one. Quality, cold-pressed cosmetic Argan will have a natural, nutty scent. Argan is found in the kernel or seed of Argan nuts. The smell will likely be light and nutty, but it might be too potent for some. This potent aroma tends to ease the skeptics who know their Argan well. Some mixed products are deodorized, which causes the product to lose its potent smell. This deodorizing might be appealing for cosmetic companies, but it tends to cover the quality of the product. Processed or industrialized Argan oil occurs through the extraction of chemical solvents, including hexane. These processes radically reduce the quality of the oil. Deodorizing and extracting reduce the effectiveness of the product.
5- Give it a good feel
You have already smelled your Argan oil and taken the time to see what it looks like, now you should give it a good feel. Quality pure Argan oil absorbs quickly after application, it should feel lightweight and not too watery or sticky. Another important thing to note is that Argan oil does not leave a greasy look.
There you have it now that you know the benefits of Argan oil to your hair, look for shampoos or conditioners that have it if you cannot access the oil itself. If it’s your first time using it, begin with using just a small amount to see how your hair responds. If you If you have naturally oily roots, apply Argan only to the ends of your hair to avoid greasy-looking hair.
Want to learn more about natural oils for hair growth? You will find the articles below helpful.