Over the past few years, argan oil has become one of the most talked about and popular beauty and health secrets in the history of the industry. It has proven to have well-documented benefits for hair, skin, and nails. Says Marla Malcolm Beck, a cosmetics expert and founder/CEO of beauty products company Blue Mercury, “It's great for dry skin, does not clog pores, helps minimize fine lines, and can treat split ends. Argan oil can help people with mild acne as the oleic acid found in the oil helps promote healthy levels of sebum production, and its linoleic acid helps prevent excess dead skin cells by promoting healthy skin turnover”.
But it can be argued that the most dramatic results from argan oil come from using it on your hair in the form of argan oil shampoo and argan oil conditioner. Argan is not a greasy type of oil, so it’s perfect for daily leave-in and overnight conditioning, and it does wonders for repairing split ends. It also tames frizzy and unruly hair, and promotes healthy full-bodied and shiny hair.
There have been some studies conducted that indicate that argan oil can even stimulate hair growth if rubbed directly into the scalp, which is good news for those concerned with thinning hair. Argan oil hair products are understandably in high demand these days.
Argan oil is produced from the fruit of the argan tree, which grows wild in the African nation of Morocco, especially in the arid southwestern region of the country. Tradition has it that the tree originated in the small village of Argana, hence the name.
The kernel of this fruit is where the oil lies. The natives rely on huge herds of goats as part of their food supply, and the goats love to eat the argan fruit, so either the harvesters wait for the goats to dispose of the kernels in the natural way, or they dry the fruits and go through the arduous process of removing the fleshy part of the fruit by hand. Then the kernels are ground and pressed to produce the oil.
Argan oil is widely used for culinary purposes among the indigenous Berber people. They use the oil for dipping bread, on salads, and in couscous. They also mix it with honey to make a paste something like peanut butter. Argan oil is a healthy and nutritious foodstuff, and has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and chemo-preventive properties.
But for thousands of years argan oil has also been known for its health and beauty benefits.The ancient Phoenician travelers noted the use of argan oil in Morocco as early as 1,500 BC, and other explorers through the ages have commented on it. Besides being used as argan oil conditioner and argan oil shampoo to give hair a soft, full body and a glossy appearance, it was used as a skin moisturizer and to treat acne and dry, flaky skin and wrinkles, and also as an arthritis cure and as a treatment for burns.
Argan oil has always been an important part of the Moroccan economy, a huge trading resource. But since the secret of argan oil spread around the world in recent years, demand for the product has boomed. In 2007 there only two beauty products containing argan oil on the market; today there are hundreds, with new products appearing all the time, argan oil shampoo and argan oil conditioner being among the most popular. It’s been estimated that by the year 2020, argan oil will be a $2 billion industry.
Millions of people depend on argan oil production for their livelihood. Much of the work is done on women’s co-operative farms, which are sponsored and supported by many organizations including the European Union.
Argan trees play a major role in preventing desertification, or the steady encroachment of the neighboring Sahara desert. Their deep root systems also help to fight soil erosion and to replenish local aquifer systems. And with the high demand for argan oil, coupled with the environmental benefits, the Moroccan government has initiated a major argan tree planting project. UNESCO and the European Commission have provided support, funding, and guidance to ensure that argan trees flourish and are protected.
Argan oil sales help to support these efforts too, so whenever someone buys a product such as argan oil shampoo and argan oil conditioner, they are helping to preserve this valuable natural resource.
Although to date there haven’t been many formal scientific studies of the benefits of argan oil, and what has been done has mostly been focused on health, there are some fundamental elements of the substance that the effects of have long been known. According to Gary Goldenberg, associate professor of dermatology at the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine "Tocopherols, or vitamin E, is likely the most beneficial ingredient in argan oil." Vitamin E has strong antioxidant properties, and that helps to reduce what are called ‘free radicals’, compounds that can damage hair at the cellular level. It also helps to improve the circulation of blood to the scalp, which keeps your hair well nourished.
Argan oil is an excellent source of the essential fatty acids, specifically palmitic, stearic, linoleic, and oleic acids, and amino acids that your scalp and hair need for good health. It also contains an agent called squalene which gives argan oil conditioner its unique properties.
When argan oil shampoo and argan oil conditioner is used, it shields your hair against ultraviolet radiation from the sun and against the corrosive effects of pollution in the atmosphere. Argan oil has a general and long-lasting moisturizing action that keeps hair looking healthy and full bodied.
You probably already know how harsh chemical hair care products can be. They can dry out your hair and scalp, leading to frizzy, unmanageable hair and possibly dandruff. Chemicals remove the oils and other substances your hair needs to look beautiful and glossy.
Argan oil being all natural and consisting of the essential substances your hair and scalp need for good health will never cause these things. It’s perfectly safe to use argan oil shampoo and argan oil conditioner as often as you’d like.
The best way to find out what argan oil can do for your hair is to try it for yourself. Make sure to purchase argan oil products from a reputable and knowledgeable source that you know you can trust. You’ll be surprised what a difference it can make.