Tried and Tested Skincare Products

Born Argan Believer: Hair care

Argan oils

 

She’s argan-ified her body, and her face, and now it’s the turn of her hair. Kelly Rose Bradford concludes her three-part review of argan-based natural skincare by looking at a small selection of haircare products.

 

It was through haircare that I first discovered argan and, having now not got an inch of my body that has not been slathered in the Moroccan super oil, I return, literally to my roots, by putting five hair products to the test.

My hair is very long and chemically treated – coloured back to its natural dark brown every few months to hide the pesky greys. I would describe it as being 'combination' hair, with my roots prone to getting oily, while my ends dry out, particularly in the summer, when I am always left with two-tone locks, thanks to the sun lightening the more frazzled bits.

I started off my argan hair challenge with the most obvious products – Dr Organic Shampoo (£5.99, 265ml) and Conditioner (£5.99, 265ml). I am a big fan of their ranges anyway, and have always been impressed with the other toiletries in their line up.

The shampoo however left me a bit 'hmmmm' in terms of bottle appeal. It was clear, and to me, a clear shampoo – as opposed to an opaque, creamy one – means stripped, squeaky hair. Wrong. It may well have been the consistency of a fancy washing up liquid, but the argan oil, aloe vera leaf juice, orange fruit extract, and a smorgasbord of other oils meant hydration central – my hair was silky smooth even without the conditioner (as I discovered when I took the shampoo to the gym but forgot the conditioner). 

So, the conditioner – much more to my liking aesthetically with its free-flowing, rich, milky constituency (free-flowing being important as some mega-creamy conditioners can get congealed round the rim of the bottle, which is both frustrating and messy in the shower) and, hurrah, reassuringly emollient when rubbed in. I like to really work it into my ends, and give only scant attention to the top of the shaft, thus avoiding greasy roots. This did the job beautifully, resulting in shiny, swishy hair, which was not weighed down or full of sticky residue. It contains much the same ingredients as the shampoo, with the added benefit of Vitamin E, which will apparently 'add body to thin, dry and lifeless hair'. Will definitely be re-purchasing both shampoo and conditioner – excellent value day-to-day staples for an argan based haircare routine.

Using straight argan oil as a serum and as a heat-defence against blow drying and straightening was probably my first intro to it as a beautifier – and originally 'Moroccan' oil was a cult, expensive product, changing hands for the cost of high-street frock in posh hair salons, so something of a luxury. Now it is everywhere (I saw bottles of it in Primark recently) but as with anything, you do get what you pay for. I tried out the Essence of Morocco Nourishing Hair Argan Oil (£22.85, 50ml) which is as natural as you are going to get with 100% pure product in each bottle. It is so pure that its accompanying blurb says you can use it anywhere on the body, not just your hair. It was excellent and left my crowning glory feeling and looking healthy even after being attacked with straighteners and sprayed into place with ultra-hold hairspray. It also worked well as a de-frizzer on a humid day, getting rid of those crispy, flyaway hairs without leaving the hair lank. A winner.

I wanted to love the Wildwood Groves Argan Hair Repair (£12.50/£22.50/£49.50, 15ml/30ml/100ml) because I love argan and I love intensive oil treatments. My usual method is to either slap it on and cover with a shower cap for twenty mins or so while I am in the bath, or for a really intense condition, leave on overnight (also avec cap). I tried both with this product. I don't know if it was because it was not 100% argan but a mix of natural herbs, nigella, avocado and jojoba oils too, but it did not suit my hair and left it greasy. I think for someone with a very over-processed mop it would be a life saver, but it was just a bit too hard core for my locks.

The Tiana Argan Fresh Coconut TLC (£12.99, 100ml) was a curious beast. Solid, in a plastic tub, you need to melt it down to use (so let the tub float in the bath, or work a glob of it in to your hands). It promises on the pot that it does not smell of coconut. LIES! It smelt SO strongly of coconut that I walked around giving off Bounty Bar style fumes for the entire day after using it as a deep-conditioner. It did make my hair wonderfully soft and glossy though, and washed out easily – and you only need a teeny amount to make a huge difference. Fab for your hair, but not so great if you don't like the smell of coconuts ...

So that ends my top-to-toe tour of argan oil. I have loved and less-than-loved some of the products I've tried, and think overall, for me, argan is the bees knees as a hair restorer above and beyond everything else. However, given skin care wants and needs change with the seasons and hormone and lifestyle shifts, I won't rule out returning to some of the items in my now argan-heavy bathroom cabinet in the future. As Arnie never said, oil be back!

To read Kelly’s previous argan facecare review, click here, and to read her argan bodycare review, click here.

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