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“Miracle oil.” “Liquid Gold.” Argan oil goes by many names, and it’s an MVP in the beauty world. If you’re wondering why—and, also, what is argan oil—here’s the back-story: Argan oil is derived from argan nuts, which (surprise) grow on argan trees, which are usually found in the southwestern region of Morocco. It can take several days to get just a liter of argan oil, since the argan nut kernels have to be removed from the shell and then ground up into oil by hand.

But the work—and the wait—is worth it. Argan oil’s skin and hair benefits come from its long list of beneficial ingredients and antioxidants, like vitamin E, ferulic acid, and fatty acids. This gives it a one-two punch of being a deeply nourishing ingredient (and therefore a potent hair moisturizer) and a protective one, since antioxidants are your first line of defense against aggressors like UV rays and pollution. It’ll not only provide hair hydration, but also a healthy, luminous sheen wherever you choose to put it.

Argan oil’s ability to nourish and moisturize hair means that it’s especially beneficial for damaged hair or frizzy hair. Here’s exactly how to use argan oil in your hair care routine:

If you have damaged hair, try it as a pre-shampoo conditioner:

15 to 30 minutes before you hop in the shower, prep your hair by distributing a few drops of argan oil throughout it. Massage it into your scalp in a circular motion to stimulate your hair follicles, and then comb it through to coat the mid-lengths to ends of your hair. Not only does it soften and moisturize, but the oil also protects delicate or damaged hair from harsh shampoo formulas. Rinse out with a shampoo and conditioner for damaged hair.

If you have frizzy hair, try it as a hair smoothing serum:

Argan oil is the perfect way to tame flyaway, frizzy hair. You can use the hair moisturizer before you blow-dry your hair to minimize hair damage and to make it look smoother. Just apply a few drops and run through your wet hair before you blow-dry. Argan oil can also tame frizzy hair when it’s dry. Apply a few drops and smooth all over for smooth, shiny hair.

If you have dry hair, try it as a conditioner booster:

Conditioner does exactly what the name implies: It conditions. But if you have straw-like or dry hair, you can turn your conditioner into a deep conditioner with the addition of argan oil. Simply dispense conditioner into your hand as you usually would, add a few drops of argan oil and mix it together. Slather the combination on your hair and let it sink in for three to five minutes. When you rinse, your hair will feel softer and smoother.

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