This essential oil is derived from the fruit of Argania spinosa, a tree native to Morocco, explains Garshick.
Argan oil is traditionally used to improve the appearance of skin and hair, and to heal wounds, Garshick says. “Using the oil on your mids to ends can actually help with frizziness and breakage. Using it on your scalp can help with dandruff, and yes, hair growth,” said the TikToker @skalliessentials in a video.
Argan oil is probably an ingredient you’re familiar with, as it’s a common one in popular hair products.
There’s some truth to the claim that argan oil is good for your hair. For one thing, it contains linoleic and oleic acid, two fatty acids associated with a slew of benefits from strengthening the skin barrier to moisturizing the scalp and fighting inflammation, as research suggests. Argan oil also contains squalene, which may help hydrate and protect hair, Garshick adds. The result? “Shinier and smoother hair,” she says.
Argan oil could also protect your hair against heat-related damage, such as from use of a hair dryer, curling iron, or straightener. In one lab study published in the October 2022 Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, researchers found that pretreating hair exposed to heat with argan oil helped prevent protein loss. Similar to the way protein builds muscles, argan oil appears to promote hair strength, minimizing hair thinning and shedding.
“Because [argan oil] is a smaller molecule, it absorbs more easily into the scalp and hair follicles,” adds Ornstein.
What’s more, oleic acid and linoleic acid help improve the penetration of other ingredients into the hair and can reduce inflammation, Ornstein explains. Meanwhile, linoleic acid can help moisturize dry hair, thanks to its skin-barrier-strengthening effects.
“Additionally, argan oil contains antioxidants such as polyphenols and vitamin E, to help with free radical damage,” she says, and research supports that. Free radical damage is the result of oxidative stress upon the body, explains Ornstein. “When there is an imbalance of unstable oxygen atoms within the body, cellular disruption occurs and is followed by inflammation, premature aging, and illness.”
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