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What Is Argan Oil & Does It Help Hair Growth?

Kristin Hall, FNP

Reviewed by Kristin Hall, FNP

Written by Rachel Sacks

Published 01/04/2021

Updated 07/31/2023

Oil for hair might seem contradictory — unless you’re going for a slicked-back look (for which there are specific styling products to use). So why would you want greasy hair?

While it seems backwards, there are several benefits to using natural oils on your hair. You may have even heard of a few popular hair oil products containing castor oil or coconut oil.

One oil in particular that’s recommended for hair health is Moroccan argan oil. An essential oil produced from kernels of the argan tree in Morocco, argan oil (sometimes referred to as “liquid gold”) is used for everything from anti-aging to moisturizing and treating skin injuries.

There are many benefits of argan oil for hair. It’s commonly promoted as a natural hair-growth treatment and an alternative to hair loss medications like minoxidil and finasteride.

However, argan oil’s purported benefits for hair are a mix of fact and fiction. So, is argan oil good for hair? We’ve covered all the possible argan oil benefits for hair below.

We know hair loss plagues lots of men. If you’re one of them, you might wonder, Does argan oil help hair growth?

We’ll get straight to the point: While there are argan oil hair benefits, there’s no scientific research on its purported abilities to promote hair growth or prevent hair loss.

Despite argan oil’s popularity in hair products, no scientific studies have looked at its possible effects as a treatment for hair loss. 

There’s also little to no reliable information available on the effectiveness of argan oil for hair growth, thickness, strength and hydration. However, there are plenty of other benefits of argan oil for hair and skin.

A small 2014 study found that postmenopausal women who consumed argan oil by mouth and applied an argan oil solution to their skin had a higher skin-water content level than those who consumed olive oil by mouth and applied the same argan oil to their skin.

Other research has found that argan oil may offer benefits for skin barrier repair, reducing inflammation and improving wound healing.

But what does argan oil do for hair? Keep reading to find out.

The research on argan oil for hair benefits may be limited, which poses the question: How is argan oil good for hair?

If you use argan oil for your hair, you may notice some of these benefits: 

  • Possible natural hair growth treatments. Research on nutrients related to hair growth may have implications for the effectiveness of argan oil as a natural hair growth treatment. Though argan oil is primarily made up of triglycerides, it also contains measurable amounts of vitamin E. Tocotrienols (antioxidants that are part of the vitamin E family) are closely linked to hair health.

  • Improves scalp health. Argan oil benefits for hair could start at the scalp. Argan oil’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties may be helpful for people with inflammatory skin conditions, such as dandruff (seborrheic dermatitis) or psoriasis.

  • Provides hydration for hair. Argan oil not only contains antioxidants like vitamin E but also fatty acids beneficial for dry hair, such as oleic acid and linoleic acid, to provide hydration, prevent frizz and combat dryness.

  • Helps protect hair from damage. If you dye your hair, using a conditioner with argan oil may help protect your hair from the harsh chemicals of dye, reducing breakage and adding shine. Research has also found that other oils rich in fatty acids provide a protective layer to hair that prevents breakage during heat styling. Oil treatment has also shown to reduce the formation of split ends for healthier-looking hair.

While the benefits of argan oil for hair may not extend to reversing hair loss, there are other possible benefits. Keep scrolling to learn how to use argan oil for hair.

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You can find argan oil online and in most health food stores, as it’s a commonly used ingredient in shampoos, conditioners and skincare products. Oil treatments are even a popular service at hair salons.

Curious about how to apply argan oil to hair? To treat dryness or split ends, add a few drops of argan oil to the ends of the hair only, adjusting for the length.

If you deal with dandruff, you may have searched “argan oil on scalp” to see if you can apply this particular oil directly to your scalp.

A homemade argan oil hair mask or leave-in conditioner can work as a scalp treatment. Massage eight to 10 drops of oil into your hair and scalp, then leave it on overnight and wash it out the next morning.

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While the science behind argan oil’s purported effects on hair growth largely isn’t there, several treatments for hair loss are available — and they’re backed by real scientific evidence.

Some have even been approved by the FDA specifically for treating male pattern baldness.

Science-based treatments for hair loss include:

  • Minoxidil. A topical medication, minoxidil is applied directly to the areas of your scalp with hair loss. It’s thought to work by improving blood flow and stimulating your hair follicles to enter the growth stage of the hair cycle. We offer a minoxidil foam and a minoxidil liquid solution

  • Finasteride. An oral medication, finasteride stops testosterone from converting into DHT, the hormone that causes male pattern baldness. It’s highly effective and may even help you grow back the hair you’ve lost. You can also use a combination of topical finasteride and minoxidil spray for an effective hair loss treatment.

  • Saw palmetto. An herbal treatment, saw palmetto may lower levels of DHT on the scalp, preventing you from losing hair. The herbal solution is an active ingredient in our thickening shampoo with saw palmetto.

  • Biotin. Biotin is a vitamin linked to the growth of your hair, nails and skin. Although it doesn’t treat hair loss, supplementing with biotin may help you maintain healthy hair growth. We offer a convenient form of the B vitamin in our biotin gummies.

Argan oil is also an ingredient in our volumizing shampoo and conditioner if you’re looking for an extra boost.

Check out this article for more science-backed tips for hair growth, and see our male pattern baldness blog for more information about genetic hair loss.

Hair loss treatments, delivered

You may have seen argan oil products around when browsing hair care, from shampoos and conditioners to oil treatments. But are there argan oil hair benefits for men?

Here’s what to keep in mind:

  • Potential argan oil benefits for hair have limited research behind them. But purported benefits include improved scalp health, hair hydration, damage protection and a possible natural remedy to promote hair growth.

  • If you’re wondering how to use argan oil on hair, you can either massage a few drops onto your scalp or concentrate on just the ends. Or add some to your regular shampoo or conditioner for a hydration boost.

  • Although it’s a popular haircare ingredient, there isn’t much research supporting the use of argan oil for hair loss or hair growth. But science-backed treatments are available, such as medication like minoxidil or biotin supplements.

While the science behind argan oil for hair growth is limited, there are other ways to make your hair grow faster. If you’re dealing with bald spots or hair falling out, your best bet is to explore hair loss treatments that are proven effective.

8 Sources

  1. Lin, T. K., Zhong, L., & Santiago, J. L. (2017). Anti-Inflammatory and Skin Barrier Repair Effects of Topical Application of Some Plant Oils. International journal of molecular sciences, 19(1), 70. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5796020/
  2. Boucetta, K. Q., Charrouf, Z., Derouiche, A., Rahali, Y., & Bensouda, Y. (2014). Skin hydration in postmenopausal women: argan oil benefit with oral and/or topical use. Przeglad menopauzalny = Menopause review, 13(5), 280–288. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4520377/
  3. Lizard, G., Filali-Zegzouti, Y., & Midaoui, A. E. (2017). Benefits of Argan Oil on Human Health-May 4-6 2017, Errachidia, Morocco. International journal of molecular sciences, 18(7), 1383. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5535876/
  4. Gavazzoni Dias M. F. (2015). Hair cosmetics: an overview. International journal of trichology, 7(1), 2–15. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4387693/
  5. Faria, P. M., Camargo, L. N., Carvalho, R. S. H., Paludetti, L. A., Velasco, M. V. R., & da Gama, R. M. (2013). Hair Protective Effect of Argan Oil (Argania spinosa Kernel Oil) and Cupuassu Butter (Theobroma grandiflorum Seed Butter) Post Treatment with Hair Dye. Journal of Cosmetics, Dermatological Sciences and Applications, (3), 40-44. Retrieved from https://www.scirp.org/html/36776.html
  6. Miklavčič, M. B., Taous, F., Valenčič, V., Elghali, T., Podgornik, M., Strojnik, L., & Ogrinc, N. (2020). Fatty Acid Composition of Cosmetic Argan Oil: Provenience and Authenticity Criteria. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 25(18), 4080. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7570657/
  7. Messenger, A. G., & Rundegren, J. (2004). Minoxidil: mechanisms of action on hair growth. The British journal of dermatology, 150(2), 186–194. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/14996087/
  8. Badri T, Nessel TA, Kumar D D. (2023). Minoxidil. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK482378/
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Hims & Hers has strict sourcing guidelines to ensure our content is accurate and current. We rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We strive to use primary sources and refrain from using tertiary references. See a mistake? Let us know at [email protected]!

This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment. Learn more about our editorial standards here.

Kristin Hall, FNP

Kristin Hall is a board-certified Family Nurse Practitioner with decades of experience in clinical practice and leadership. 

She has an extensive background in Family Medicine as both a front-line healthcare provider and clinical leader through her work as a primary care provider, retail health clinician and as Principal Investigator with the NIH

Certified through the American Nurses Credentialing Center, she brings her expertise in Family Medicine into your home by helping people improve their health and actively participate in their own healthcare. 

Kristin is a St. Louis native and earned her master’s degree in Nursing from St. Louis University, and is also a member of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. You can find Kristin on LinkedIn for more information.

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