I’m sure you’ve heard about this before.
All these products that promise to make your (facial) hair healthier, softer, stronger. The options are literally overwhelming and instead of making your decision process easier, it takes more time to get a product than ever before.
From this vast product selection, natural ingredients are highly underrated and we tend to choose something branded or a product that contains any kind of chemicals without prior looking at the ingredients list.
Here at TMK, we talked a lot about natural products that can upgrade the health of your hair and beard.
Continuing the tradition, today, we’re going to talk about one of these ingredients. More specifically, argan oil. One of the greatest all natural oils that is perfect for both haircare and skincare.
My first experience with argan oil took place a few years ago, back in 2007, when a friend of mine brought few bottles from his four month trip to Morocco.
Of course, I had no clue what this argan oil was all about. But luckily, my friend explained to me how popular this is, the benefits of argan oil for hair and skin and how people use it.
I’m a big fan of all natural products and it didn’t take me long to start applying some of the oil to my hair. In the beginning as a blend of three oils (together with jojoba and coconut oil) for my shampoo and later on I included it in my beard oil recipes.
Fast forward to today, I still use argan oil for my hair care routine and apart from that, I also use it for beard care products such as homemade beard oils and as pre-shaving product. That being said, argan oil makes the perfect ingredient for an all natural beard softener or even as aftershave balm.
Together with a few other natural oils such as coconut, olive oil and jojoba, I believe that argan oil is the best natural oil that a man can use for literally everything that has to do with haircare, skincare and facial hair grooming and health.
There are so many uses and benefits of argan oil that it’s literally suitable for any product. You can have:
- Face moisturizers
- Hand creams
- Hair shampoos
- Beard oils and balms
The list of uses of argan oil is literally non-exhaustive.
And there’s a good reason for this.
- You can use argan oil for beard care to make a beard softer.
- Makes an excellent hair conditioner to add shine to your hair and become more manageable.
- Can be used as a natural anti-aging product due to its antioxidant effect making it the perfect moisturizer.
- Great for dry skin conditions
- Anti-acne properties by balancing the skin’s moisture and promotes healing.
And these are just a few examples on how to use argan oil for beard, hair and skin care.
Without any delays, let’s see what we’re going to talk about in today’s post.
- Background information on argan oil
- What is it
- How is it produced
- Benefits and uses of argan oil for beard and hair
- Concluding remarks
Some background information on argan oil
In the Sous Valley of Southwestern Morocco grows a very special sort of tree. It grows to nearly 8 meters and lives more than 200 years.
The trunks are gnarled and thorny and the oval leaves are barely more than a few centimetres long.
Women in the area have been using the fruits of these trees to feed livestock and extract the only oil available in the region – Argan Oil.
For centuries unroasted Argan oil was used by local Moroccan women’s co-ops to treat acne and flaky skin. But it wasn’t until the oil was used as a conditioner for hair that people understood the true value of this oil.
Argan oil is now one of Morocco’s biggest exports. Since early 2007, the government has been expanding production of the oil and the 8,000+ square kilometers where it grows is now registered as a UNESCO biosphere reserve.
From celebrities to cosmetic giants, the demand for Argan oil has gone through the roof and beyond.
It is sold in almost every country on the planet. Hairdressers have been recommending the oil for people with ‘tricky’ hair. It seems to nourish the hair like no other oil on the market today.
Here’s what you need to know about this extremely popular and somewhat mismarketed ‘liquid gold’ from an exotic land.
What is argan oil?
This is an important question when it comes to Argan Oil.
When the benefits of argan oil gained mainstream attention, the demand for it suddenly spiked.
Most people were unaware of how rare the oil actually was and local businesses in Morocco took advantage of this by selling ordinary hair oil as ‘Argan Oil’.
However, the inorganic compounds in these oils threatened to ruin the reputation of this excellent conditioner.
Traditional and authentic Argan oil is extracted from the Argan Tree which only grows in two parts of the world – The Sous valley of southwestern Morocco and to the Algerian region of Tindouf in the western Mediterranean region.
The locals in this region call the tree Argan in Shilha, a local Berber language.
The Shilha dialect has a number of words for each part of the tree, which goes to show how closely the culture here is linked to the plant. Medieval Arabic medical texts also mention the benefits of harjan (the Arabic term derived from argan).
For centuries, women in the semiarid region of Sous Valley have been hand picking the fruits from which this oil is extracted.
Argan tree fruits come in a variety of shapes including conical, oval and round. The pulp is covered with a thick peel The fleshy pulp covers a dense and hard nut that makes up a fourth of the fruits weight.
The kernels inside that thick nut is where the oil is hidden. There could be more than one kernel in every nut, and the method of extraction determines how much the nut eventually yields. Generally, yields range from 30% to 50%.
The most traditional extraction process involves the workers drying the fruits in the open air.
As you can imagine, drying a fruit in the middle of the desert is remarkably easy, but the pulp must be torn off by hand when it has dried out completely.
Sometimes workers may be able to invest in a machine that helps them take the nut out of the pulp. Regardless of how it is extracted, the pulp eventually ends up as animal feed in the local farms.
Berber women then have to extract the kernels from the nuts. This may seem like a process ripe for some mechanical intervention, but so far attempts to mechanize this long, arduous process have failed. The kernels are more than sixteen times harder than hazelnuts and unfortunately, the women have to crack the nut and extract the kernels with their bare hands.
Once the kernels have been extracted, they can be roasted if the oil is to be used for cooking.
Argan oil that is applied for cosmetic purposes is not usually roasted, so that the oil doesn’t have a nutty scent at the end. The kernels are ground up and pressed to extract the unfiltered argan oil which is decanted into vessels.
The argan oil is left in the vessel for a few weeks till the solids in it float down to the bottom, At this point the oil is filtered once more and shipped out to different parts of the world. This is how the clear and pure argan oil in your local store is produced.
Something important to keep in mind when you select argan oil.
Since 2009, only the oil produced in this UNESCO region can be labeled argan oil, but some personal care companies get around this by labelling their cheaper oil ‘Moroccan’.
This oil is bought in bulk by middlemen who sell it onto factories where the oil is extracted using solvents and sold around the world.
What are the benefits of argan oil for beard and hair?
One of the reasons argan oil is so sought after is the effect this liquid has on average hair.
The oil is proven to make hair thicker, softer and shinier. Argan tends to repair split ends and manages frizzy hair well, which makes it a perfect hair conditioner.
The key to all the benefits this oil offers is Vitamin E, which is present in argan oil in very substantial quantities.
The antioxidants in Vitamin E help the hair grow healthier by boosting cell production. Many regrowth clinics use this oil to help with hair loss. Vitamin E helps the oil repair the damage caused by overuse of chemicals and dyes.
It also has a moisturizing effect on the scalp which helps to prevent dandruff.
How to use argan oil for beard care and hair maintenance?
There are three ways argan oil is used for hair care:
- as a shampoo
- as a styling agent and
- as a hair mask.
Let’s have a look at how you can use this oil in all these different ways.
Argan is the perfect ingredient in a shampoo since it helps your hair shine and feel soft. You can apply argan oil as any other shampoo, which means you can use it to wash hair a few times a week without the need to heat it up first.
There’s no real ‘correct’ way to use the oil if you simply apply it while having a shower, so don’t worry about the quantity and temperature.
However, keep in mind that moderation is everything.
Start with little -meaning a few drops, and judge accordingly if you want to use more argan oil on your beard or hair. After all, there’s no point adding a lot of oil on your (facial) hair.
To prolong the effects of the oil on your hair, just leave it in after your shower for the rest of the day. Argan can set into the hair follicles and act as a conditioner that can be left in.
Rub the oil between your palms and use your fingers to work it onto your towel-dried hair. Leave it there for as long as you need.
The glossy shine you get with argan oil is unlike any other, so it makes sense to use it as a styling agent ever so often. This works especially well if you want to tame extra frizzy hair.
Not only is argan oil a great styling agent that will let you set your hair the way you like, it also works to protect your hair from the elements while you are out.
A hair mask may be something most guys have never tried before, but it is a really simple concept.
You see, the longer this oil has contact with your hair the better it works.
The oil seeps into the hair follicles and makes it a lot healthier from the inside out. This means you can apply the hair oil like any other after-shower conditioner at night and then wrap it up with a towel as you sleep.
This helps preserve the oil on your hair and lets it work its magic overnight.
Of course, it is easy to assume what is good for your head hair may be just as good for your facial hair. But in this case you would be wrong, argan oil is good for head hair and excellent for beard hair.
The fact that it locks up the moisture in your hair is a great way to make your beard shine and the fast acting oil also tends to seep into your skin making it look a lot brighter.
Coarse, thick hair on your beard neither looks, nor feels good.
Not only does dry hair get unwieldy, it starts to make your skin irritable and prone to itchiness.
The perfect doctor for this issue is a well balanced oil and nothing comes close to argan oil for beards.
The oil is rich with antioxidants, vitamin E, vitamin A, Omega-6 fatty acids, and linoleic acid.
Here, I should probably mention the hair regrowth effects of argan oil can make your beard a lot thicker, if a thin beard is something you’ve struggled with in the past.
Add to this the fact that your new, thick beard will smell nice, look shiny and cover skin that doesn’t itch and you can see why men across the globe swear by natural argan oil.
Few examples of great beard balms and oils that contain argan oils are as follows:
Apart from the commercial beard care products that contain beard oil, you can use argan oil for beard oil and awesome balms that you could produce at the comfort of your home.
Especially for beard oil, you can literally make a beard oil just with a blend of argan and coconut oil and you have the best smelling beard oil at a heartbeat.
For beard balms is similarly simple and all you have to do is add some beeswax, shea butter and cocoa butter, together with the blend of the two oils and you’re good to go.
If you want some help with diy projects you can have a look at my diy beard oil as well as the homemade beard balm recipe guide to start making your own beard care products with argan oil and not only.
Another trick you can use argan for is shaving. There are two ways to use it.
- As a shaving cream alternative.
- Or as a great pre-shave oil, before you apply lather on face.
Shaving with oil takes some getting used to, but when it comes to natural argan oils, the effort is surely worth it.
If you want to try wet shaving with this excellent oil, apply cosmetic grade argan directly onto your beard and wait for it to seep into the hair.
- Soak a small towel with hot water and lay it onto your face for it to heat the beard up for a minute. Similar to what most barbers do, to prepare your face for wet shaving.
- You may have to tilt your head back and have the towel wrapped around the face or at least the area that you’re planning to shave.
- After a few minutes your skin pores will have opened up. This is the perfect time to apply the argan oil on your beard and let the oil work its magic.
- Now you can start shaving without the need for any shaving cream.
Bear in mind that you can shave with argan oil alone, only if your beard isn’t long and thick. Otherwise, you won’t have the most enjoyable shave.
If this is the case, you can follow the same procedure and use the argan oil as pre-shave oil, right before you build lather on your face with shaving cream or shaving soap.
As pre-shave oil, argan will soften your beard and add the necessary lubricity so that the razor you’re going to shave with, glide nicely over your skin and give you a comfortable and close shave.
Make sure you have enough of oil on your skin throughout.
Recipes for hair products with argan oil
Usually the best option is pure, authentic argan oil. But this sort of oil is extremely rare and that is what makes it so expensive.
Couple of argan oil products you can consider can be found on Amazon and these are the following:
- Aria Starr Beauty ORGANIC Argan Oil For Hair 1 OZ
- Majestic Pure Moroccan Argan Oil Organic, Cold Pressed – 4 Oz
So if you want to cut the cost down a bit, you can use the oil along with shampoos, conditioners and moisturizers.
Note that this isn’t the best option and you will get much better results using the oil alone, but this may not be the most cost-effective solution for everyone.
Why not kill two birds with one stone if you use a hair product infused with argan oil anyway.
So, how do we like argan oil?
This extremely rare oil is so popular because of all the benefits it offers.
The hype in this case is well justified.
Argan has the ability to dig deep into your hair and make it healthier from the inside-out. Together with other oils such as coconut, jojoba or sweet almond, have the ability to make your beard and hair look shinier and healthier.
So, instead of using some chemical products that you don’t even know what kind of weird ingredients are using, it’s better to go out and look for a supplier of some traditional authentic argan oil and use it the way you like.
Be curious with natural ingredients and at the same time, trust products that have already proved to be great for hair and skin health.
Natural ingredients might be a bit more expensive than branded chemical products but they’re well worth the few extra bucks. And when it comes to argan oil, there’s no doubt that you’ll be satisfied.