Can Argan Oil help with hair loss? To find out more, then take a quick look this post which will explain our review and results which we hope will benefit you in some small way. Argan oil is natural oil extracted from Argan fruit kernel. It is a unique blend of fatty acids, polyphenols and vitamin E offering great health benefits and it is native to southwestern Morocco where it has been used for centuries by locals as an edible oil and remedy to skin & hair problems. Recent research over the last two decades highlighted its tremendous potential because of its skin healing and rejuvenating effect.
Hair loss or “Alopecia” is a major dermatological problem among the mass population, particular males.1 Since ancient times, natural remedies have been sought for this problem. Various oils, butters and herbal extracts have been explored for this purpose and are available in the market. It is highly important to study the science of these natural remedies and their claim substantiation backed by comprehensive scientific study.
Here, we analyze Argan oil and its potential application in preventing hair loss or regrow new hair. We shall analyze its chemical composition and review scientific studies with regard to its performance and efficacy against hair loss.
Read also: Our recommended prescribed product list here
Chemical Composition of Argan Oil
Dried Argan seed kernel contains large amount of oil which can make almost 50% of total mass. The oil is made up of triglycerides (95%) which are mainly unsaturated fatty acids. Mono-unsaturated oleic acid comprises major portion of fatty acid profile while linoleic acid which is di-unsaturated is also present in large quantity.2 This places argan oil close to olive oil as the later also contains large quantities of unsaturated fatty acid.
The remaining 5% fraction consists of polyphenols, vitamin E, triterpenic alcohols and sterols. Among them sterols and vitamin E are the key ingredients playing a vital role in the health and dermocosmetologic performance of Argan oil. Published data show that the total tocopherol content in virgin Argan oil is higher than the content reported for extra virgin olive oil. This again highlights the significant importance of this oil.
Table 1: Fatty acid composition of Argan oil
- Component - Average range of % age
- Palmitic acid 11.0 – 14.0
- Stearic acid 4.00 – 7.00
- Oleic acid 43.0 – 49.0
- Linoleic acid 29.0 – 37.0
Table 2: Composition fraction of Argan oil
- Unsaponifiable components
- Sterols 15.0 – 20.0
- Tocopherols (Vit E) 8.00 – 10.0
- Phenolic compounds 18.0 – 20.0
- Pigmented carotenes 40.0 – 45.0
How does Argan oil Prevent Hair Loss?
The distribution of human hair, their density and growth rate is mediated by hormones. Testosterone and its metabolic derivative, dihydrotestosterone are found to play a key role in these biochemical reactions inside hair follicles. Testosterone is converted to dihydrotestosterone in hair follicle and this reaction is catalyzed by a special enzyme called 5-alpha reductase (5α-R). It is known that high levels of dihydrotestosterone may shrink hair follicle and lead hair thinning which may eventually fall off quickly. As a result, we lose our hair.
Here, the key is to control the catalytic conversion of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone using the 5α-R enzyme. We need to inhibit the chemical activity of 5α-R enzyme to avoid or at least minimize hair loss.
Best Argan Oil Product Recommendations:
VoilaVe USDA Pure Organic Moroccan Argan Oil
Main Points to Note:
Rich in Vitamin E & Carotenes Moisturizer
No fillers or additives unrefined – cold pressed
Anti-aging properties. Helps with hair, skin & nails
Stimulates hair growth and improves hair quality
Can also be used for lips, dry skin or burns
Guaranteed results or your money back
Can Argan oil inhibit the Activity of 5α-R Enzyme?
Various published studies have reported the anti-inflammatory activity of essential plant oils. A group of scientists in 2015 first time reported a comprehensive study about the effect of dietary and/or cosmetic Argan oil on postmenopausal skin elasticity.4 The break study demonstrated that the daily consumption and/or topical application of Argan oil have an anti-aging effect on the skin and improve skin elasticity. This was attributed to the high antioxidant content (Vitamin E) in Argan oil. The study scientifically proves Argan oil having a positive impact on the quality of skin and scalp surface.
Argan oil contains some significant amounts of sterols. They are hydroxy steroids and resemble to cholesterol. In another recent report, sterols are reported to inhibit activity of 5α-R enzyme. The study particularly studied sterols present in plant sourced oils and the results confirmed that natural oil containing large amounts of sterols (such as Argan & pumpkin seed oils) can inhibit this enzyme.5 This means we can inhibit the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone using Argan oil. The report highlighted the impact of this on hair loss and activation of hair follicles to regrow new hair.
We find these two studies scientifically proving something that we know for ages. Argan oil has been in use for centuries and now modern science is backing all that story of magical results of skin healing and hair regrowth about it.
How Should we use Argan oil?
- Better to use the recommended products outlined above or a virgin Argan oil type
- Massage Argan oil on all of scalp surface, particularly on area where you have lost hairs.
- Leave oil for 30-60 minutes or even for overnight. Next morning, wash you head with a mild cleansing product to remove excess of oil residues.
- We need a repeated application of these natural oils for an extended time (3-6 months) to observe & gain positive results.
Argan oil is a unique natural product known for promised results. It is scientifically proven to improve skin condition, elasticity and keeps it young and good looking. High vitamin E content is responsible for its special results. It can inhibit hormonal activity of dihydrotestosterone and thus prevent hair loss and can regrow new hair.
Read also – Our Recommended list for Treating Hair Loss
Bibliography & Further reading:
- Zviak, C., The Science of Hair Care. Taylor & Francis: 2005.
- Burlando, B.; Verotta, L.; Cornara, L.; Bottini-Massa, E., Herbal Principles in Cosmetics: Properties and Mechanisms of Action. CRC Press: 2010.
- El Abbassi, A.; Khalid, N.; Zbakh, H.; Ahmad, A., Physicochemical characteristics, nutritional properties, and health benefits of argan oil: A review. Critical reviews in food science and nutrition 2014, 54 (11), 1401-1414.
- Boucetta, K. Q.; Charrouf, Z.; Aguenaou, H.; Derouiche, A.; Bensouda, Y., The effect of dietary and/or cosmetic argan oil on postmenopausal skin elasticity. Clinical interventions in aging 2015, 10, 339.
- Heim, S.; Seibt, S.; Stier, H.; Moré, M. I., Uromedic® pumpkin seed derived Δ7-sterols, extract and oil inhibit 5α-reductases and bind to androgen receptor in vitro. Pharmacology & Pharmacy 2018, 9 (06), 193.