Argan oil has become a popular hair care ingredient in recent years. Derived from the kernels of the argan tree, which is native to Morocco, argan oil is valued for its nourishing properties and potential hair benefits. One common question is whether argan oil can cause hair color to fade more quickly. Read on to learn more about how argan oil interacts with hair dye.
What Is Argan Oil?
Argan oil is pressed from the seeds of the argan tree, which only grows in southwest Morocco. It has been used for centuries by Moroccan women for skin, hair and nail care. Argan oil is rich in fatty acids and vitamin E. Some of its main components include:
- Oleic acid – a omega-9 fatty acid that has moisturizing properties
- Linoleic acid – an omega-6 fatty acid that helps strengthen the skin barrier
- Vitamin E – a powerful antioxidant that can help protect the skin and hair from damage
Today, argan oil is commonly found in hair care products like shampoos, conditioners and hair masks. It’s valued for its ability to moisturize, tame frizz and add shine.
Does Argan Oil Cause Hair Color to Fade?
When it comes to argan oil and hair color, there are a few things to consider:
1. Argan Oil is Non-Stripping
Many moisturizing oils are considered “non-stripping,” meaning they do not remove hair color pigment. This is good news for anyone looking to use argan oil without causing their hair dye to fade more quickly. Unlike clarifying shampoos or harsh sulfates, argan oil does not aggressively cleanse the hair or scalp in a way that would cause color to be stripped.
2. Contains Vitamin E
Argan oil is naturally rich in vitamin E, a nutrient known to have hair benefits. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps protect hair strands from free radical damage and oxidative stress. This type of damage can cause hair color to fade more quickly. By using argan oil and its vitamin E content, you may be able to preserve hair color for longer.
3. Penetrates Hair Shaft
One of the properties that makes argan oil so popular is its ability to penetrate the hair shaft deeply. This allows argan oil to condition hair and repair damage from within the strands. At the same time, argan oil’s deep penetration may also help “seal” hair color into the hair shaft for longer lasting color.
4. Creates a Protective Layer
In addition to penetrating the hair shaft, argan oil can also coat the outer surface of each strand. This film-forming effect creates a protective barrier. Having extra protection around the hair cuticles may prevent hair color from fading as quickly when exposed to UV rays, chlorine, hard water and other damaging elements.
Expert Opinions on Argan Oil and Hair Color
While argan oil is generally considered color-safe, not all hair experts agree on whether it can truly extend hair color or not. Some perspectives include:
- Celebrity hairstylist Andrew Fitzsimons says argan oil “will help retain color and keep it looking glossy.” He recommends using a few drops to enhance shine and preserve hair color.
- The haircare brand OLAPLEX cautions that no oil can prevent hair color fading altogether. However, argan oil is less likely than other oils to penetrate and affect hair dye molecules.
- Aveda brand experts say most plant oils, including argan oil, have little effect on hair color. However, they can temporarily make color appear richer and more vibrant by coating the outside of hair strands.
Overall, most hair professionals agree that argan oil is unlikely to cause hair color to fade faster compared to not using any oil. And many believe it may help protect and retain hair color better than other oil options.
Tips for Using Argan Oil on Dyed Hair
If you want to use argan oil to nourish your hair without causing your dye job to fade quickly, keep these tips in mind:
- Do a patch test first – Apply a few drops of argan oil to a small section of hair to confirm it does not cause unexpected fading or reactions.
- Use sparingly – Only use a few drops at a time, focused mostly on the mid-lengths and ends of hair.
- Avoid roots – Limit oil use at the root area since this is where fading is often most noticeable.
- Don’t wash immediately – Allow argan oil to penetrate for at least 30 minutes to an hour before shampooing.
- Shampoo thoroughly – Make sure all oil residue is rinsed out to prevent it from disrupting hair color over time.
- Time with other products carefully – Use argan oil with extra caution around the time of coloring or other chemical treatments.
How Does Argan Oil Compare to Other Oils?
Argan oil is often compared to other hair oils like coconut, almond, olive and jojoba oil. Here’s an overview of how these common oils may impact hair dye:
|Oil||Effect on Hair Color|
|Argan oil||Minimal fading effect due to being non-stripping. May help seal in hair color.|
|Coconut oil||Can penetrate hair shaft and lift cuticles, leading to faster fading.|
|Olive oil||Heavy oil that can coat strands and attract dirt, indirectly causing dye to fade.|
|Almond oil||Very light oil considered gentle enough for color-treated hair.|
|Jojoba oil||Similar chemical structure to natural sebum so less likely to affect hair dye.|
As the table shows, argan oil is on the more color-friendly end of the spectrum. Oils like coconut and olive are more likely to cause issues with hair color fading or discoloration over time.
Other Tips to Make Hair Color Last
While argan oil can help maintain your hair color, there are a few other things you can do to keep dye looking vibrant for longer:
- Use a sulfate-free shampoo – Sulfate shampoos can strip color faster.
- Wash hair less frequently – Too much washing causes fading. Limit to 2-3 times per week.
- Rinse with cool water – Hot water opens cuticles and allows dye to escape.
- Protect from sun – Cover hair or use protective products to limit UV damage.
- Avoid chlorine – Use a cap when swimming or rinse hair immediately after.
- Deep condition regularly – Hydrated hair better retains color.
- Get touch up treatments – Refresher gloss or toner treatments help revitalize fading color.
Does argan oil fade hair color? Overall, argan oil is not very likely to cause accelerated fading of hair dye. Its nourishing fatty acids and vitamin E content allow argan oil to penetrate and condition strands without stripping color. Some hair experts even believe argan oil may help seal in hair color. However, take care not to overuse argan oil at the roots or right before coloring sessions. Target the mid-lengths and ends of hair instead. Combine argan oil with other pro-color habits like limiting washing, using cool water and getting occasional gloss treatments.
With some thoughtful use, argan oil can be an effective part of your hair care routine even if you color treat your locks. Be sure to do an initial patch test and adjust your usage based on your hair’s specific needs.