Question: I have seen various argan oil products advertised as hair loss treatments and saying that they will help to regrow hair – is this true? How do you use it? My hair is starting to recede at the front and go a bit thin on top so I want to find something to stop my hair falling out now before it gets too bad.
Answer: Hi Amit, thanks for your question. There is no medical evidence to support any claims that argan oil can treat hair loss. It cannot block the hormone (DHT) in your body which causes male pattern baldness and, therefore, argan oil is not a hair loss treatment.
Argan oil is a natural, plant-derived cosmetic product that is used as an acne treatment as well as being a moisturiser for the hair and skin. Rich in vitamin E, which is known to be nourishing to the skin and can help heal scar tissue, the oil has become increasingly popular over the past few years. The current beauty industry craze for argan oil products has led to the government of Morocco – where the argan tree is most commonly found – planning to increase annual production from approximately 2,500 to 4,000 tonnes by 2020, to keep up with demand.
The marketing claims made by some argan oil hair care brands can be misleading. Whilst it will not cure or prevent balding, what the oil can do is improve the condition of your existing hair in the same way any good, deep conditioning treatment would. Having healthy, nourished hair may make it appear fuller and it is likely that this is where some of the ‘thickening’ and ‘hair loss cure’ claims stem from. What it will not do is prevent or block the cause of male hair loss, which means that – left untreated – the hair around the top of the head will continue to thin in those who are susceptible to this form of genetic hair loss.
As for how you use argan oil, as a conditioning treatment you would generally apply it in the same way you would any other hair conditioner. Once you have washed your hair, towel it dry so that it is damp rather than wet, then rub a few drops of the argan oil between your hands and run them through your hair to coat it with the oil. Leave this on for the recommended time stated on the product’s label – it is believed it can be beneficial to wrap the head in a towel (ideally a warm one) to help the oil penetrate the hair properly – before rinsing it out.
Some brands advise you massage your scalp with argan oil to stimulate it in order to promote hair growth. The logic behind this is, again, more cosmetic and to do with improving the condition of the skin and hair – it is nothing to do with treating hair loss and is highly unlikely to make your hair grow any quicker. It is, however, therapeutic in terms of being relaxing and helping to combat stress, which is good as stress can play a role in triggering or worsening hair loss.
Whilst massaging your scalp will help to improve the circulation of blood flow to the area – an essential factor for healthy hair – this has not been proven to boost hair growth or prevent hair loss. In fact, if you are not treating the root of the problem – the hereditary sensitivity to DHT – then increasing blood flow to the hair follicles will also help the DHT to circulate, which may make your hair loss worse!
There are only two medically-proven hair loss treatments for male pattern hair loss, both of which are licensed by the MHRA in the UK and the FDA in the USA. These are Propecia and minoxidil. Whilst using argan oil may improve the look of your existing hair, if you are concerned about signs of thinning you should speak to a hair loss expert who will be able to devise a personalised hair loss treatment plan tailored to your specific situation and stage of balding. You can find hundreds of examples showing the type of regrowth Belgravia clients have achieved through following specialised treatment programmes, in our Hair Loss Success Stories.
The Belgravia Centre
The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the UK or the rest of the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.