One of the most overlooked causes of hair loss is clogged hair follicles caused by an itchy, burning, flaky scalp. Argan oil, pressed from kernels of a Moroccan fruit tree, contains loads of scalp-friendly compounds that promote healthier, thicker-looking hair. Here’s how pure, 100 percent argan oil works.
It keeps your scalp debris free.
Argan oil is a centuries-old remedy for psoriasis and dermatitis on the body — and it’s just as effective for similar problems on the scalp. “Some scalp conditions create an excess of skin cells that come up faster than your body’s ability to shed them,” explains nutritionist and pharmacist Barbara Mendez, RPh, MS. “This leads to clogged pores and follicles, which make it difficult for hair to grow.” Argan oil’s powerhouse components (including phenols, vitamin E, and fatty acids) keep follicles clear, she says.
It improves circulation.
Not only does massaging your scalp with argan oil feel great — compounds in the oil, coupled with the circulatory enhancing benefits of a scalp massage, boost blood flow, says Mendez. “Increasing circulation to the scalp helps bring more oxygen and nutrients to the scalp, which enhances hair growth.” It also helps tame inflammation, “an immune response that, left unchecked on the scalp, can lead to more hair loss.”
To do: Massage a few drops of the oil into your scalp for two to three minutes nightly, moving in circular from the hairline back toward your nape. Avoid scratching and irritating your scalp with your nails.
It balances oil production.
Argan oil helps balance flora (microorganisms) on the skin and the scalp, as well as their oil production, which is one reason it’s often used to treat acne. The hero component that does this: “The squalene in argan oil has antibacterial properties that can stabilize flora by killing off bacteria,” Mendez reveals.
It adds volume, bounce, and luster.
The super-moisturizing qualities of argan oil help hydrate hair without weighing it down. “When hair is better hydrated and moisturized, it appears to have more volume, bounce, and vitality,” says Mendez. Using an argan-infused shampoo and conditioner, or the the oil itself, also prevents damage down the road.
The reason: “If hair gets more nutrients and is better moisturized, then it grows stronger and stronger. If the scalp stays clear of debris and circulation is strong, then the hair follicles are properly nourished, and your hair continues to improve!”
Where to get it:
A 2-oz. bottle of pure argan oil such as Shea Terra Organics Moroccan Cold-Pressed Argan Oil ($19, Amazon) typically lasts several months, even with frequent use. Or use an infused shampoo and conditioner like OGX Organix Argan Oil of Morocco shampoo and conditioner ($19.20, Amazon).
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This article originally appeared in our print magazine, Reverse Aging.