For centuries people have been using Argan oil on their hair for hair growth and health. Applying oil to your hair has loads of benefits but if not done correctly, can do more harm than good.
We looked into several research papers and connected with the industry experts on haircare and dermatologists to find the scientifically proven process of oiling hair.
In the below segments we have documented the step-by-step instructions of the process and the science behind it.
What Science says of Argan Oil’s Benefits on Hair?
Antioxidants such as vitamin E found in argan oil have been proved to improve the health of the follicles and hair shafts.
As per a study, you can soothe your scalp using argan oil because of its anti-inflammatory and moisturizing characteristics. Hair loss may be reduced by using argan oil’s moisturizing, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects on your scalp.
For dull, lifeless hair, argan oil has been regularly shown to restore shine. Its high levels of antioxidants, vitamin E, and vital fatty acids are to thank for this, according to studies. Argan oil contains vitamin E, which may help repair damage and prevent it from happening again. Hair that has been subjected to daily pollutants, chemical treatments, and the use of styling products has suffered damage similar to this and can be benefited by the use of argan oil.
Protecting the skin from sun-induced free radical damage was reported to be a benefit of argan oil in a 2013 study. For the hair, this might be an advantage, since UV radiation can dry and cause other several hair damages.
There are medium-chain fatty acids in argan oil that act as a protective barrier against the effects of excessive washing and styling.
In another study, it has also been shown that oils high in linoleic acid and oleic acid, as well as those rich in palmitic acid, may boost combing power and prevent hair from damage when heated. It has also been shown that oil therapy helps minimize the occurrence of split ends, resulting in thicker, healthier hair.
In another small study conducted in 2010, argan oil was found extremely beneficial in preventing hair loss and hair breakage. As per the researchers, this was due to argan oil’s extremely high availability of vitamin E.
How to Apply Argan Oil to Hair in 6 Steps: As per Science
Argan oil applied on a surface level does nothing for your hair and will leave you with a greasy scalp. To get the most out of oiling your hair, you need to know how to do it correctly.
In the below segments we have documented the step-by-step instructions of the process and the science behind it.
Step 1: Prepare your Hair
First, we will prepare the hair by removing the tangles and knots with a wide-toothed comb. This will help in lesser hair breakage while oil application. This also helps in the easier application and even distribution of oil.
Start by dividing your hair into 2 parts (4 parts if you have curly or thick hair) and straighten the hair from top to bottom.
Step 2: Prepare the Argan Oil
Due to the nutrition-dense nature of argan oil, its individual molecules are quite large compared to the scalp’s hair follicles. Due to this, room temperature argan oil won’t be able to penetrate the hair follicle and provide the necessary benefits.
This can be overcome by warming the argan oil as heating will break down the individual oil molecules and will be able to penetrate the scalp and hair more efficiently. Warming argan oil also increases its nourishing abilities and is especially beneficial for damaged and color-treated hair. Another little know benefit of hot argan oil treatments is that it locks the moisture in by sealing the hair’s cuticle.
Hot oil treatments may not suit everyone and it is recommended to consult your doctor or dermatologist before applying.
Warm 3 to 4 spoons of argan oil in a microwave-safe bowl (glass bowl is recommended). Once the oil is ready let’s do a patch test on your palm to ensure it’s not too warm and you are not getting any allergic reaction.
Step 3: Apply the Argan Oil
We will start the application of argan oil from the scalp and gradually cover the crown area and hair. Gently massage the argan oil in a circular motion with your fingertips onto your scalp. Massage thoroughly and cover the entire scalp before you start oiling your hair.
Apply only the necessary amount of argan oil and stop once done. Excess oil leads to excessive shampooing and negates all the benefits of oiling. Excessive shampooing depletes the nutrition and natural oils of your hair and makes it damaged, lifeless, and dry.
Step 4: Get Rid of Knots
In this step, we will again use the wide-toothed comb to gently remove the knots that might have occurred during the application of oil. This will help in lesser hair breakage while shampooing and also help distribute the oil to parts of the hair that were missed.
Keep in mind that you need to be very patient while combing, as post-oil application, your hair cortex and roots are relaxed due to the massage and are more susceptible to damage.
Step 5: Cover your Head
We now need to cover the head with a shower cap or cotton t-shirt for 15 to 20 mins. This will create a steam-like an effect and make the pores on your scalp and cuticles open. This will ensure the argan oil’s deeper penetration in your scalp and hair follicles.
Don’t use towels for covering your head as they are quite rough in nature and the friction can cause damage to your hair.
Step 6: Wash Off the Argan Oil
We will now complete the oiling process by washing it off with a mild shampoo and lukewarm water. The lukewarm water will open the pores and will help in removing the excess oil and accumulated dirt.
Now we need to wash our hair with cold water so that the opened pores are closed and the moisture gets sealed.
How to Choose the Best Argan Oil?
All the aforementioned studies and all this research does prove that argan oil can be extremely beneficial for your hair health. But you won’t get any of these benefits unless the argan oil that you choose is not of good quality. Always check for the below points while choosing the best oil for your hair:
- Make sure the argan oil is intended for cosmetic use. It is usually labelled in the backside of the container.
- Always make sure the container of the argan oil is made of glass and of dark color. The dark color of the bottle will resist environmental light and will help the argan oil to maintain its potent properties.
- Always opt for organic 100% pure argan oil. You can verify the purity by smelling as pure argan oils should not have any smell.
- If possible, go for a reputed brand.
How to Apply Argan Oil for Hair Growth, Increase Thickness and Prevent Hair Loss?
As per the researchers, argan oil has been found to prevent hair loss and may result in more hair growth and fuller hair.
If your primary focus is to use argan oil for hair growth and thickness, you should apply the oil to your scalp. Applying the oil to your hair is optional in this case since the growth factor is determined by the individual hair shaft located under the scalp.
- Warm 2 to 3 teaspoons of argan oil in the microwave.
- Apply the argan oil gently on the scalp with your fingertips in a circular motion.
- Cover it with a shower cap or t-shirt and leave it for 15 to 20 mins.
- Gently rinse it off with lukewarm water and a mild shampoo.
- Seal the pores by rewashing with cold water.
What to mix with argan oil for hair growth?
As per the studies, castor oil is the best to mix with argan oil for hair growth. This is due to castor oil’s high availability of ricinoleic acid. The average person’s hair usually grows somewhere between 0.5 to 1.7 centimeters each month.
Castor oil has been found to accelerate the hair growth rate. As always, it is recommended to warm the mixture of argan and castor oil for deeper penetration inside the hair shaft.
How to use argan oil as conditioner?
Argan oil has is quite versatile and can be used as a conditioner as well. As a hair conditioner, argan oil will make your hair smooth, soft, and tangle-free. According to some research, argan oil has been found to have sun-protecting properties and can prevent sun damage.
- Warm up the argan oil and apply it thoroughly on your scalp and hair.
- Continue to massage with your finger tips until all of your scalp and hair is covered.
- Wrap the hair with a shower cap or t-shirt and leave it for 15 to 20 mins.
- Wash it with normal water so a little bit of argan oil residue can stay back.
When should we apply argan oil to hair? Wet or dry hair?
You should always apply argan oil to dry hair. Before you begin the process, make sure that you have at least an hour. This is because argan oil’s molecules are larger than your scalp’s pores and need at least an hour to penetrate.
You should avoid applying argan oil on wet hair as the dampness of the hair shaft and scalp pores will resist the argan oil molecules to penetrate.
Can I apply argan oil directly?
Yes, you can directly apply argan oil to your scalp and hair. It is completely natural and safe for topical application. However, you can further boost the effectiveness of argan oil by mixing it with other potent hair oils.
How long should I leave argan oil in my hair?
As per the hair care professionals and research, you should leave argan oil for an hour to 2 before you wash it off. However, the ultimate duration will depend on your unique requirement and your hair type.
Argan oil is very potent so restrict the application to below 10 hours. Leaving argan oil for a long time can result in scalp irritation, dryness and can also block the pores.
To know more, check the detailed article on How Long Should I Leave Argan Oil in My Hair
Can you put argan oil in your hair every day? How often should you apply argan oil to your hair?
You can put argan oil on your hair every day only if you have dry hair. For anyone with oily hair, you should not apply argan oil any more than once a week. Normal-haired individuals can apply up to twice a week.
Is too much argan oil bad for hair?
Yes, too much argan oil could be bad for your hair as too much oil requires too much shampooing. And as you know, too much shampooing will strip your hair of its natural oil and makes your scalp and hair dry. This will negate all the benefits of hair oiling and can further cause damage.
Too much argan oil on your scalp can also cause your pores to block and may result in hair loss.
Can you sleep with argan oil in your hair? Can I leave argan oil overnight?
Yes, you can sleep with argan oil in your hair but you should not leave it for more than 8 hours and wash it off as soon as you are up. If you leave argan oil for more than 8 hours, it can clog your hair follicles and may result in scalp irritation and inflammation. Leaving argan oil for too long can also result in your hair collecting dust and acts as a barrier to hair growth.
Creative, versatile, and passionate about her craft, Rupa Das is a well-recognized name in the world of fashion and makeup! This is a woman who has been in the fashion and makeup industry for 24 years and is still one of the leading international makeup artist in the circuit! She has worked in big brands like Lakme, Green Trends, Colors and transitioned to become a Beauty (Hair & Skin) Trainer.