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Will argan oil strip hair color?

Argan oil has become a popular ingredient in hair care products in recent years. Derived from the kernels of the argan tree, argan oil is valued for its ability to nourish, moisturize, and protect hair. But some people wonder if using argan oil could cause hair color to fade or “strip” color from artificially colored hair. Here’s a look at the effect of argan oil on hair dye.

What is argan oil?

Argan oil is pressed from the nuts of the argan tree, which is native to Morocco. It has been used for centuries by Moroccan women as a beauty oil. Argan oil is valued for its fatty acids and antioxidants, which help hydrate and protect hair and skin. Some key components of argan oil include:

  • Vitamin E – A potent antioxidant that can help repair damage and protect hair.
  • Essential fatty acids – Nourish hair and impart shine.
  • Phenols – Provide additional antioxidant protection.

These nourishing properties make argan oil a popular ingredient in hair care products like shampoos, conditioners, hair masks and serums.

Does argan oil strip hair color?

When used properly, argan oil is generally safe for use on color-treated hair and will not cause hair color to fade significantly faster. Here’s why:

  • Argan oil does not contain harsh solvents or stripping agents that can fade hair dye.
  • The fatty acids in argan oil help smooth and seal the cuticle, locking in hair color.
  • Argan oil’s antioxidants help protect hair from damage from styling, UV rays, and other factors that cause fading.

However, there are a few caveats to keep in mind:

  • Overusing argan oil or any oil could potentially soften the hair cuticle over time, allowing some gradual color loss.
  • Argan oil is best avoided right before or after coloring hair, as oils can block color absorption if present.
  • On very fine or thin hair, even a small amount of oil could make hair appear limp or greasy, attracting dirt that could dull color.

Overall, when used in moderation as part of your regular hair care routine, argan oil is generally color-safe. But it’s a good idea to focus argan oil application on the mid-lengths and ends of hair, avoiding overuse on the roots near the scalp.

How to properly use argan oil on colored hair

To enjoy the benefits of argan oil without stripping or fading your hair color, follow these tips:

  • Avoid applying argan oil right before or after coloring hair. Wait 48-72 hours after coloring before using argan oil.
  • Focus application on the mid-lengths and ends, avoiding too much oil on the roots.
  • Use sparingly on fine hair, 1-2 drops is likely sufficient.
  • Apply argan oil as the last step in your routine, after other styling products.
  • Shampoo once or twice per week to prevent buildup.
  • Use a clarifying shampoo once every 2-3 weeks if hair starts to look dull.

You can apply a few drops of argan oil to your hands and smooth through damp or dry hair, avoiding the roots. Or look for hair products that contain argan oil as an ingredient, like shampoos, masks, serums or styling products. Using an argan oil-infused product ensures you get the benefits while using a measured amount.

Argan oil benefits for colored hair

While argan oil won’t directly strip or remove hair dye, it does offer several benefits that can help keep colored hair looking vibrant for longer between salon visits:

  • Seals cuticles – Argan oil can smooth down the cuticle layer and temporarily seal it to reflect more light and lock in hair color.
  • Protects from UV – The antioxidants in argan oil help neutralize some of the damaging effects of UV rays, including oxidative damage that fades hair.
  • Adds shine – Argan oil’s fatty acids impart shine and radiance to hair, making color appear more vibrant.
  • Prevents breakage – The vitamins and antioxidants in argan oil strengthen hair strands and prevent dryness and breakage that can wear away color over time.
  • Boosts moisture – Argan oil is an intensive moisturizer that can condition and revitalize dry, damaged hair, helping color last longer between treatments.

By keeping hair strong, hydrated, and protected from damage, argan oil helps retain vivid, shiny hair color for longer.

Other oils and hair coloring

Like argan oil, most plant-based oils can generally be used safely on color-treated hair when used properly. Some other nourishing oils for colored hair include:

Oil Key Benefits
Coconut oil Penetrates hair; contains fatty acids and vitamin E
Jojoba oil Mimics natural sebum; antioxidant protection
Castor oil Thick oil that coats and seals cuticle
Olive oil Softens and conditions hair
Almond oil Lightweight oil high in vitamin E

However, some mineral oil or petroleum-based products may be more prone to stripping hair color, as they can extract dye molecules. Always check the ingredient list and perform a patch test when in doubt.

As a general guideline, incorporate oils into your regular hair care routine in moderation, focusing on mid-lengths and ends. Avoid over-oiling roots or using oils right before/after coloring for best results.

Other ways to protect hair color

In addition to oils like argan oil, there are a few other things you can do to keep hair color vivid for as long as possible:

  • Use a sulfate-free, color-safe shampoo. Limit washing to 2-3 times per week.
  • Rinse with cool water and avoid very hot showers that can open cuticles and cause fading.
  • Use an intensive conditioner or mask weekly to hydrate strands.
  • Allow hair to air dry when possible to prevent damage from heat styling.
  • Always use heat protectant spray when blow drying or using hot tools.
  • Wear a hat in sunny weather to shield hair from UV rays.
  • Get a glossing treatment in between full color appointments.
  • Use at-home color-depositing products if you see some fading.


Argan oil is generally safe to use on artificially colored hair when used properly. While no oil can prevent hair color from fading entirely, argan oil offers several benefits to help maintain shinier, more vibrant locks longer when used as part of your hair care routine. Focus on applying argan oil only from mid-lengths to ends and avoid over-oiling the roots near your scalp. Argan oil helps keep hair moisturized and protected from damage that can cause color to fade prematurely. Along with argan oil, protect your hair hues with a color-safe routine using sulfate-free products, limited heat styling, and glossing treatments. With some TLC, you can keep your hair color looking freshly done for weeks longer!