Argan Oil vs. Moroccan Oil: Which One Is Better For The Hair?

Argan-oil-vs-Moroccan-oil

Argan Oil vs. Moroccan Oil: Which One Is Better For The Hair?

If you’re not sure whether you should go with argan oil or Moroccan oil, you’re not alone. A lot of people use these oils without knowing the difference between them. Some even think it’s one and the same oil.

I grew up in Morocco using argan oil for my hair and skin very regularly, and I still do! I also started occasionally using Moroccanoil products a couple of years ago. What you should know is that there is a BIG BIG difference between these products, and it’s best to understand the properties of each one to adapt to your beauty routine.

Since today’s market is full of products claiming to be derived from Moroccan argan oil, it’s important to know the difference between pure argan oil and beauty products using this oil as an ingredient among other ingredients.

Argan Oil

Argan oil is extracted from the kernels of the Argan tree that grows in southwestern Morocco. This oil – also called gold oil in the cosmetic industry – is loaded with vitamin E, fatty acids, carotenes, and squalene which make it highly beneficial for any hair and skin type, for both women and men.

argan oil moroccan atlas

 

Authentic Argan oil is extracted from the nuts of the Argan tree in the Atlas mountains of Morocco – funny story, goats love to climb the Argan tree to snack on those delicious nuts!

The content of Argan oil includes specialized elastomers which allow it to penetrate the hair once applied and get the excess product fully absorbed, thus replenishing dry and brittle hair and leaving a non-greasy after-feel.

The amazing content of argan oil makes it great for repairing damaged hair, treating split ends, boosting hair growth, and making your hair shiny, thick, and beautiful. In 2013, participants in one Brazilian study reported improvement in hair quality and dye retention after using argan oil. According to the study, the oil protects the hair from the damaging effects of hair coloring better than commercial hair conditioners.

argan oil hair repair

Also, the oil helps prevent aging, hydrate the skin, regulate the production of sebum, and treat acne.

Moroccan Oil

Unlike Argan oil, Moroccan oil is not pure oil. It’s a mixture of argan oil, additives, and other oils.

moroccan oil

The combination of these ingredients makes Moroccan oil great for hairstyling by making it more likely to hold its shape, but not for repairing damaged hair as it lacks the specialized elastomers argan oil has.

Since Moroccan oil is a blend of multiple ingredients, it’s more watery than Argan oil and other products where Argan oil is the main ingredient.

Which Oil Is Better?

You’ll often hear or read that argan oil and Moroccan oil are one and the same as they both come from Morocco, but the truth is that they are different products. While argan oil is pure oil, Moroccan oil is a mixture of argan oil and other ingredients. And while Moroccan oil makes hair more manageable, argan oil helps repair damaged hair. So, if you had to choose one product only, argan oil is definitely the better option for your hair.

If your hair tends to frizz after a blow-dry, Moroccan oil can help tame your frizz and reduce static electricity thanks to its silicones. I personally still use Moroccan oil and it works very well. But I avoid using it more than once a week to prevent silicone build-up.

moroccan oil styling

If you are looking for long-term results, then argan oil will be the better choice, and this has been confirmed by more and more scientific studies. This oil was used by generations of Berber women to nourish their hair – and even skin! – in the hot climate desert and dry Atlas mountains. When you see pictures of these women, you wouldn’t believe they spent all their life in extreme conditions, without a hair spray or sunscreen, yet they look gorgeous! 

argan oil hair berber woman - reuters
Stunning Fatma Haddad, 80, a Berber woman from the Chaouia region with beautiful natural hair and skin (Reuters)

This being said, argan oils are not all equal. In fact, the quality will depend on many factors like the quality of argan nuts used, the quality of water used, the type of extraction, etc. 

I always recommend choosing premium argan oil. A few drops on your hair strands and scalp will do wonders! Premium argan oil is obtained through cold or stone pressure. It’s the best investment that you can make for your hair. It is also very cost-effective compared to other beauty products as a little bottle will last for months.

Once you add premium argan oil to your hair routine, there will be no coming back!

Conclusion

Argan oil and Moroccan oil are not the same product. While Moroccan oil is a chemically formulated hair oil used to style hair, argan oil is a pure oil extracted from the argan trees in Morocco,  used for centuries to nourish hair and protect it from damage.

5/5

How should I store my argan oil?

Rated 5 out of 5
November 21, 2022

Very clear article, thank you! Do you know what’s the perfect way to store argan oil? Should I store it in the fridge? In a dark place? Thank you in advance

Tania

Response from Moroccanzest

Hi Tania, You don’t need to store your argan oil in the fridge, Any space at room temperature and far from heat sources will be great.

If you have a high quantity of argan oil and think you won’t be using it in the next 12 months, then storing it in the fridge is a good idea. In this case, the texture will very likely thicken after a few days. It will get back to the oily texture once you bring the oil to room temperature or heat it in your palms.

I recommend purchasing small quantities of argan oil to avoid this and always be sure of having fresh oil.

For storing your argan oil, if the bottle holding your oil is totally transparent, it’s better to store it in a dark place.

That’s why amber bottles are the best for oils.

I hope this helps -xx

Little Moroccan Things argan oil is out of stock

Rated 5 out of 5
November 19, 2022

Hi Safa, thank you for this amazing guide. I wanted to purchase Little Moroccan Things argan oil but it was out of stock. Do you know when it will be back? many thanks

Farah

Response from Moroccanzest

Hi Farah, the argan oil is now back in stock! -xx

Very helpful

Rated 5 out of 5
November 18, 2022

This article was very helpful! Now I can see the difference. Argan oil is what my hair needs right now …

Kaitlyn

Safaa, founder of moroccanzest

From design and decor to food and travel, moroccanzest is the space where I share what I loved growing up in Morocco, and more. It’s your destination for everything beautiful, artistic, and made the Moroccan way with love. Learn more about me here.