For years argan oil for hair has had the nickname 'liquid gold', and once you take a look at the benefits, it's easy to see why. Not only does argan oil leave hair looking next-level shiny, but it also feeds hair the nourishing nutrients to keep it growing at its healthiest.
And I'll admit, with the amount of hair oils out there, I'd sort of forgotten about argan oil. While it was all anyone in the hair world could talk about a few years ago, the rise of rosemary oil and other TikTok trends means argan oil fell off my radar for a while. That was until I spoke to the experts, anyway. Now, I make sure argan oil is in as many of my hair products as possible.
Extracted from the kernels of the argan tree, which is native to Morocco, argan oil is extremely rich in beneficial nutrients, including fatty acids and vitamin E, making it the ideal hair conditioner. It can even help to treat split ends, tame flyaways and even act as an oil for hair growth by preventing breakage.
Want to reap all the benefits of argan oil? Keep scrolling to discover all its different uses for hair and our edit of the best products.
What are the benefits of argan oil for hair?
"Argan oil, like most oils, holds a lot of benefits for hair. It can increase shine, moisturise the hair, helps prevent breakage, and can even promote hair growth," says Tyler Moore, expert stylist at Live True London.
Leading Hair Transplant Surgeon Dr Furqan Raja of The Private Clinic says argan oil is often treated as a miracle cure but should not be used as a remedy for hair loss. "It's really important to visit your doctor if you are experiencing hair loss. It could be a sign of an underlying condition. However, argan oil will not harm your hair and can help make it look healthy, shiny and more voluminous," Dr Raja explains.
But Dr Raja explains that argan oil can help strengthen hair and a healthy scalp. "It won't stop hair loss but can make hair healthier. The antioxidants can help reduce damage. If hair is moisturised and full of vitamins, it is less likely to break." The best part? The vitamin E in argan oil can make hair softer. "Vitamin E can help keep hair free from damage, preventing split ends and breakage," says Dr Raja.
How to use argan oil for hair
"Argan oil can be used in many different ways. You can use a product with argan oil as an active ingredient, but be sure to make sure there is enough in the product for it to be effective," explains Moore.
"You can also use it directly on the hair as a mask, styling oil, or scalp treatment. I especially love recommending applying argan oil along the scalp to be massaged in and then worked down to the ends of the hair, to make the most out of the benefits. This can be done before washing and then washed out with shampoo," explains Moore.
How often should you use argan oil for hair?
"Depending on how often you wash your hair or your hair type, I generally recommend oil treatments like this once or twice a week. If your hair is thick and/or dry, you might benefit from more frequent treatments. I recommend [using a] super-nourishing mask such as FUL Intense Moisture Mask, followed by an oil, such as the Dr Organic Pure Moroccan Argan Oil," suggests Moore.
How to use argan oil as a scalp treatment
"I especially love recommending applying argan oil along the scalp to be massaged in and then worked down to the ends of the hair, to make the most out of the benefits. This can be done before washing and then washed out with shampoo," explains Moore.
"I also recommend using it as a scalp treatment to reduce inflammation. Do not leave it on for more than 20 minutes, as leaving any oil on the scalp or a long time can lead to sensitivity itself," says Dr Raja.
How to use argan oil as a pre-shampoo treatment
Apply a thick layer of argan oil over your hair. Then, apply to the ends and comb it through your hair, gradually taking it up towards the roots. By doing this before you wash your hair, you won't have to compromise on volume because your shampoo will take out the weight of the oil. Follow up by using a shampoo with argan oil for maximum benefits.
"I suggest using it on the hair and scalp for about 20 minutes before washing it out. It’s ideal to warm the oil before applying it on the hair to allow the molecules to penetrate the hair," Dr Raja explains.
How to use argan oil for split ends
Thanks to the vitamin E content in argan oil, frayed hair shafts and split ends are repaired. Meanwhile, omega-3 and omega-9 fatty acids strengthen and fortify your hair.
How to use argan oil as a styling product
Want to know how to get a glossy up 'do? Argan oil. Rub a small amount through your hands and then run through the ends of your hair. With the remaining oil left on your hands, gently smooth over any fly-aways.
How to use argan oil as a hair mask
“Try using it as a conditioner on the mid to end lengths of hair. You can use it as a hydrating hair mask to help damaged hair as the vitamin E in argan oil can help strengthen hair," says Dr Raja.
Shop the best argan oil for hair products
Best for: A bit of everything
Use this pre-styling as a scalp or hair mask and post-styling for super-silky and hydrated strands.
Best for: Hair styling and protection
The original and one of the best, this luxurious oil is one of the most recognisable argan oil treatments, used backstage at fashion week every season.
Best for: Fine hair
Probably one of the most famous oils on the beauty market, this lightweight oil absorbs quickly, leaving your hair feeling nourished without weighing it down.
Best for: Argan oil shampoo
The easiest way to incorporate argan oil into your hair routine is with a shampoo, this Faith in Nature Shea & Argan shampoo has no parabens and is made from 100% natural fragrance. Argan oils help to hydrate and nourish hair while gently cleansing strands.
Best for: Face, hair and body
This luxurious multi-purpose oil is full of antioxidants and argan to deeply nourish your locks. Its dreamy scent will last and last in your hair.
Best for: Face and hair
Made from the finest argan oil, this multi-purpose formula is light enough to use on skin and the ends of hair for the ultimate dry-lengths-and-ends fixer.
Best for: Hydrating hair mask
This is the hair mask that converted me back to argan oil for hair. A little goes a long way and my hair has never felt more hydrated or shiny. It still feels nourished a week later (although I shouldn't admit I leave hair wash days that long). Seriously, it's one of the best hair masks out there. And it's definitely the argan oil to thank...
Marie Claire Newsletter
Celebrity news, beauty, fashion advice, and fascinating features, delivered straight to your inbox!
Dionne Brighton is a writer at Marie Claire UK, specialising in all things shopping, beauty and fashion. Born and raised in North London, she studied Literature at the University of East Anglia before taking the leap into journalism. These days, you can find her testing out the latest TikTok beauty trends or finding out what the next full Moon means.
- Lucy AbbersteenBeauty Contributor
My honest Fluid Form Pilates review? There's a reason it's been my go-to workout for the past two years
I've been doing it exclusively for two years.
By Penny Goldstone
I think the Dyson Airstrait is a genius product with one rather large flaw - but I'd still recommend it
Wet-to-dry styling made easy
By Katie Thomas
I've been using blood glucose trackers on and off for the last year - and what they've taught me about my body has been game-changing
Seen the arm stickers doing the rounds?
By Ally Head