This Week I Love …

moroccan_oil

Moroccan Oil.

Here’s the lastest installment of the “My Hair is Weird” saga: For the past year or so, I have had flaking. Lots of it. My stylist and I have discussed countless possible causes: Dandruff, dry scalp, product buildup, product getting clumpy because of flat-ironing. I have changed products, tried clarifying treatments, changed styling tools, changed just about everything and kept on flaking.

Then I got fantastically sick and didn’t wash my hair for a week. I also didn’t put any product in it. And I still flaked, so I finally realized it wasn’t a reaction to product or product buildup. Then when I did my little redhead experiment, the flakes vanished. For two full weeks. Then, as suddenly as they were gone, they were back in full force. But this time they were kinda … tan. Brown. A little red. I mean, it wasn’t like I had red pepper flakes falling off my head, but they weren’t white anymore. So I knew it was scalp-related.

My stylist pointed out that it was winter and the air was dry and now was an ideal time to try some serious moisturizing. I’d been using Moroccan Oil a bit in my styling routine, but my stylist suggested I load it on and work it into my scalp the night before I was planning to wash my hair. I also work in some Kevin Murphy Easy Rider, which is super moisturizing, and do a deep conditioning treatment a couple of times each week. But the Moroccan Oil is the bulk of it. And now? Flakes GONE. Like maybe six little specks per week. I am still ecstatic with this discovery.

Many folks have pointed out that this branded product nabbed the name Moroccan Oil first, but that plenty of other brands offer similar blends of argan oil and other moisturizing oils. I must admit that I am weary of tinkering and am yet to swap out this relatively expensive but reliable brand for something cheaper and potentially just as effective. But I’m curious about YOUR experiences: Anyone else use Moroccan Oil or another argan oil blend? How and why does it work for you?

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43 Responses to “This Week I Love …”

  1. K-Line

    Oooh, fascinating. As you know, we could not have more different hair but I also use this product (and my hair is fine, prone to greasiness and flatness). It works fantastically on me too. And on my mother, whose hair is different than both of ours. In addition to finding it miraculous (I’ve considered writing about it on my blog a few times…) it also smells amazing – the brand you’ve shown above, I’m not speaking for other argan oil brands.

    I go through VERY little of it given my volume of hair so I find it entirely worth the outlay of money (it’s 45 bucks a bottle here). If I were using a bottle a month, I’d probably have to try other options. But, if they didn’t work, I’d probably return to the original and just use it less consistently i.e. 2x per week.

  2. T.

    I started using Moroccan Oil (the exact version you have pictured here) two years ago. Even though it was pricey, I tried it because my hair was getting frizzy and difficult to style. I love it! Since I’ve been using it, my hair has been smooth and shiny, but not greasy, like the hair I had when I was a teen (and I am 45 now). I apply it to wet, combed hair before blow drying. I use it for two days in a row, then take one day off. I use it sparingly, so I am still on the original bottle I bought two years ago, but it’s almost time to buy a new one.

  3. Eliza

    I’ve been using it and loving it for about 2 1/2 years. In terms of cost, my mother’s hairdresser charges $50 a bottle (!), while the beauty supply store in the mall charges $30, and I’ve found it online for $25.
    Recently, I’ve had a similar flaking problem. I finally switched to a milder shampoo, and upped my use of the oil, which seems to have done the trick.

  4. LK

    I tried it and I didn’t like it. A tiny bit made my hair too greasy but I have greasy hair in general. I used the brand in your picture above and only used it on the ends of my short hair. I have heard for someone like me who doesn’t need a lot of it that a shampoo or conditioner with Moroccan oil may be more appropriate.

  5. Stephanie

    I use straight argan oil which you can get at your local co-op for about $13. You get all the great affects of argan oil without all the extra chemicals. You can also use olive oil or coconut oil in your hair overnight and wash it out in the AM. or you can eat coconut oil to help as well. You can stir it in your coffee if you don’t want to eat it or buy coconut oil capsules.

  6. ParisGrrl

    I’ve been using their Hydrating Styling Creme for years, and it works well for me. I’ve also used their shampoos and conditioners, but have recently switched to the L’Oreal Inoacolor Care shampoo and conditioning masque, as they work as well and lather/rinse a bit easier. Good products are worth the investment.

  7. unmitigated me

    I use the Morrocan oil you show, but my daughter conditions5ions her hair with coconut oil from the bulk food store. She loves it.

  8. Jennifer

    I’ve always been intrigued by the hype but have never tried it because the first two ingredients listed on the label are silicones, which do a number on my wavy/curly hair after some use. Silicones tend to really build up in my hair, necessitating clarifying shampoos, which I try to avoid. The one product I found to really take care of my itchy/flaky scalp (I, too, had a bad case a few years back) was Neutrogena T-Gel shampoo. The stuff smells awful, like I imagine Corpus Christi to smell like, but it worked miraculously for the flakes.

  9. Olivia

    I’ve been using the Avon brand of Argon/Moroccon ($12 for 4 oz regular priced) oil on my daughter’s hair. She is biracial with very dry, curly hair and her hair just soaks it up and feel so soft. It also smells yummy. I’ve had a bit of flaking lately, too, so maybe I need to try it on mine.

  10. Karen Bowers

    I have not used your oil, but I have used olive oil, which is comparatively cheap.

  11. Erin

    I use Orofluido Elixir (argan, linseed, and cyperus oil) in my ultra-thick wavy hair and it’s fantastic. It’s the sole product I use, so I do use a large amount (mostly because of the thickness of my hair), but the bottle lasts forever! Months and months. It’s around $30, depending on where you get it.

  12. queenrandom

    I use Saadia Organics argan oil. It’s pure, raw argan oil and that’s the only ingredient (plus it’s my friend’s small business so I love helping her out!). I use it for my cuticles, which tend to get dry and crack, and it’s worked wonders. It costs a little more than other oils, but because there’s no additives, you need a lot less of it for the same results. I literally use one tiny drop per hand before bed every night.

  13. Ignorant Awareness

    Olive oil! My culture have been using it for years- not only is it cheap, but it’s multi purpose too (hello, exotic cooking!) Some people use baby oil to the same effect as well- I find coconut oil too heavy sometimes.

    So yes, try olive oil- I have similar hair to you Sal (thick, wavy/ curly, dark), & I find olive oil works wonderfully on me! Try it- you won’t be disappointed 🙂

  14. Laura

    I haven’t tried the argan oil yet, but in my case, once I started eating differently and taking a probiotic my dandruff and other yeast issues went away.

    I eat a primal/paleo (ish!) diet, but I swear the probiotics made the biggest difference.

    I just started reading your blog (and love it)…thank you for all your hard work!

    • LG

      I have noticed that stress and excessive carb intake cause me to flake too. When that happens, I tone down the carbs and use Nizoral once or twice per week; it really helps.

  15. Ignorant Awareness

    The other thing I forgot to mention about the olive oil treatment- it doesn’t stink at all! Trust me, you may be reluctant to douse your hair in olive oil, but by the time you wash it out you can’t smell a thing!

    You only need to pour a little bit into a bowl- if you want to stimulate your scalp better, then warm the bowl up a little so you can massage the olive oil into your scalp. You can then rub it into your roots & ends (with a comb, maybe?) & leave it to soak in your hair for a few hours (overnight would give the best results though). Once you wash it out in the morning, you’ll see the difference straight away- promise! =D

  16. Anonymous

    I use a mix of castor oil and sweet almond oil. I mix a few drops with my shampoo. Very cheap and it works for my fine, dry hair.

  17. AB

    If I use argan oil I use pure oil, without the added stuff like silicone (first two ingredients in the one you linked to) and fragrance.

  18. Cassandra Altmann

    I love Moroccanoil. I’m going to risk trying a cheaper version of the shampoo and conditioner but having what sounds like very similar flaky problems I’m really tempted to try the Dry Scalp Treatment despite the price. Do you just use the oil treatment or have you tried the Dry Scalp Treatment specifically?

  19. akb

    I use coconut oil in my hair when I run out of this. It seems to work really well, I put it on and work it into my scalp, and leave it for an episode or two of whatever, then shower and wash it out once. then bed. If greasy in the AM, wash again and proceed. I do this a couple of days until my hair is behaving, then once a week, until i forget and get busy. When it all goes awry again, i do my full reset again, usually on a weekend, with a mask for the face, and a nice body brushing/exfoliating/moisturizing for the rest of the body.

  20. Elle

    Thanks for the tip. I have the same problem and recently purchased Moroccan oil, but I wasn’t sure how to use it. I’m going to try to load up before I wash my hair instead of after (it tends to make my hair look super greasy after a wash).

    I’m really tired of flakes whether or not my hair is clean. Crossing my fingers that this works!

  21. 1000Oysters

    I tried pure argan oil but did not like it for my hair, which is very straight and prone to greasiness. However, I use it on my cuticles and face. For some reason, it has been very good for healing blemishes. I also put it on cat scratches and other cuts I get on my hands. My friend with very curly hair uses moroccan oil and I used some once on my hair. I liked it better than the argan oil on my hair.

  22. heather

    I don’t use much oil in my hair unless I need a detangling (then grapesseed is great for that.) Argan is lovely on the skin, though.

  23. Rudyinparis

    Ohhhhh, my stylist gave me a sample of the same brand you show above and I loved it! Then I ran out. Co-op versions sound great (and are better for my budget) so I’m so glad you posted!

  24. Ginger

    If I get flaking I have a dandruff/yeast problem. I recently read that shampoos formulated to address this work better if you put the shampoo on your scalp prior to wetting your hair. I’ve been doing that and think that it does help the shampoos to work better. I switch around between a t-gel, head & shoulders and a tea-tree shampoo. I feel like the more concentrated application of the shampoo may make more difference than the shampoo itself.

  25. Slimming Style Secrets

    This stuff is fantastic! I will say though that when I wear my hair blonde I tend to use a clear oil to reduce the risk of accidentally altering the color of the super porous blond highlights.

  26. Shanda

    I tried MoroccanOil and it didn’t work for me. It seemed to turn my hair greasy. I turned to pure argan oil, which works wonders for my skin and hair. I’m especially surprised at its effects on my skin. I just turned 40 and have suffered from acne and its scars since my teen years, and it amazes me that all of the medicated washes, gels and creams can’t hold a candle to natural oils. Since I was young, I’ve been starving my skin of oil in an attempt to stop the madness. Maybe it needed some balance.
    I buy my argan oil on Amazon. The prices are reasonable (about $9/1 to 1.5 ounces) and a little goes a long way. It comes in dropper bottles so I can control the amount dispensed.

  27. Wendy

    I live in Minneapolis and I have the same problem in the winter. In November I was given a free sample of Carol’s Daughter Monoi Oil Repairing Shampoo at Sephora. I noticed a difference in my scalp right away. I went back and bought a bottle. After using it for a week the flaking stopped. I have super straight fine hair so I usually shy away from anything with “oil” or “moisture” in the title. But this does not make my hair greasy.

  28. mariah

    Stick with the Moroccan Oil. I thought I’d save some money by going with some less expensive argan oil products (Garnier coming to mind) and they were less effective and didn’t smell as good. I usually wash my hair every other day since it’s thick and I have to flatiron it-but without Moroccan oil I had to wash daily since the cheaper stuff made my hair gunky.

    I will gladly shell out the extra bucks for Moroccan!

    PS If you have flakes, Nizoral is AMAZING. It’s not a cheap shampoo, but you only use it once a week or so and it lasts forever.

  29. Heather

    Moroccan Oil makes my not-frequently-washed hair too greasy (though I don’t have a flake issue). I use Oribe Supershine Moisturizing Cream, a leave in conditioner that can also be reapplied (sparingly) to dry hair if it gets frizzy. It’s equally spendy, but nothing has ever made my hair look as healthy. When I go to see my sylist at a salon that uses all the products in that line, my hair shinier and healthier than I ever imagined it could. I also use Kevin Murphy’s Easy Rider, on my cowlicky bangs.

  30. Lady Di

    I’m a big fan of skinny serum by Paul Mitchell for everyday styling but the occasional (every week or two) mask of coconut milk, honey and olive oil does wonders for my hair. The combination is so moisturizing and smells like summer time. I bet swapping the olive oil for argan oil would probably work well too.

  31. Karabooiloveyou

    I use the Moroccan Oil cream for curly hair in combination with gel when styling and it really helps keep the frizzies down whether I style my hair curly or straight. As for flakes, I used to have an issue with them, but I used Biolage Scalp Conditioner and it cleared up the provlem. There’s a conditioner and also a spray. I used them both for a while and no more flakes. I now use them once every couple of weeks, they feel great, tingly and cooling. And no more issues. I usually use all natural shampools and conditioners from Lush or Arbonne. In the past I had pretty good luck with Arbonne dry scalp shampoo, but I don’t think they carry it anymore.

  32. Julie

    I have hair similar to yours, Sal (though mine was an inherited Jewish hair thing… but whatever) and I do a similar before-washing oil application.
    I use the “African Oil” that’s super-cheap at Walmart. It’s meant for ethnic hair, but since I don’t actually use it to STYLE my hair, it works just fine. It’s a blend of different natural oils that smells a little like baby oil but that doesn’t bother me. I scrub it into my scalp the night before I’m going to wash my hair, then sleep with it in there.

    This even works to combat my psoriasis, which of all annoying places usually shows up in my scalp first.
    The exact same oil is great as a moisturizer!

    My great aunt was a hairdresser back in the 40s and 50s, and she swears by olive oil for anyone with flakes. I’d try that, but my African Oil is cheaper by the ounce than what I cook with.. =)

  33. skye

    Do you think this would work on skin, too? My skin has been ridiculously flaky this winter, especially on my arms, legs and midsection. Sally, if you happen to have dry skin, I would love seeing a post devoted to this – it’s getting embarrassing for me at this point ,and no lotion, oil or scrub seems to work.

    • Sally

      Skye, for what it’s worth, my hair stylist uses both Moroccan Oil and the Kevin Murphy paste on her hands, which get so dry from being frequently washed that they crack and bleed. My understanding is they’re both cosmetic grade. But I’m not totally sure how they’d do on arms, legs, and torso.

      I’m so sorry to hear you’ve had such dry skin this season! My own is fairly oily, so I don’t have tons of tips to share, but I will ask around.

  34. Kris10E

    I use pure argan mixed with a bit of Redken straightening lotion to heat style my thick, wavy hair. I’m growing it out and didn’t want to damage it, and I think it’s been working great! My hairstylist keeps trying to convert me to some artificial concoction that her salon sells…it’s vaguely annoying and she really can’t argue with the condition of my hair.

    I also use the argan on my face and hands every evening, and they’ve never been lovelier!

  35. Elizabeth

    I’ve never tried oil, but I started washing my curly frizzy hair with conditioner, a la the Lorainne Massey Curly Girl system, and I’ve haven’t had an issue with flakes, oiliness, or frizz ever since. It doesn’t seem to work for me with every conditioner because my scalp gets very oily, but Jason conditioners have been fabulous. I wash both my daughters’ hair this way – one has incredibly thick straight hair and the other has fine curly hair. Both have gorgeous (clean!) hair this way!

  36. Tara

    I don’t have flaking, but I color my hair and it can verge on the dry side, so I usually use some form of leave-in conditioner on top of my regular conditioner. I have used the Moroccon Oil brand of oil before and love it, but recently I’ve been using the Gioviani brand of Moroccon oil (can be found at Whole Foods or Coops for much cheaper than the MO brand). I really love it. It seems exactly the same as the MO brand and it’s super easy to find.

  37. Heidi/The Closet Coach

    I’ve always seen praises sung of Josie Maran’s argan oil, so I finally picked some up at Sephora. I use it instead of serum on my face at night, and as a dry skin repair for cracked lips and fingertips, and it works great for both uses. I also put it on my hair occasionally, but only at the ends so I can’t speak to its use as an overnight hair mask.

    When it runs out, I plan to try a cheaper non-branded version to see how it compares.

  38. Elizabeth

    @Skye – So sorry you feel like a flakey mess! For extreme cases, my first question is about diet. Are you getting enough healthy fats like olive oil, coconut oil, etc? Extreme winter athletes often up their fish oil or flax oil supplements this time of year to keep skin and hair healthy from the inside. I find that it makes a big difference for me as well.

    Topically, look for plant-oil based products—the simpler the better. Straight shea butter and coconut oil are amazing, inexpensive and available at Whole Foods or the co-op. Vegetable glycerin is sticky but incredibly good and banishing flakes – a little goes a long way. I just wouldn’t use it on your face. Olive oil works on hair and skin. Products that contain mineral oil or petroleum act as a barrier to the elements but don’t actually moisturize AND they trick your body into thinking it doesn’t need to produce oil. Finally, limit the use of super hot showers and drying cleansers. You can cleanse your face with any of the oils mentioned above, or looks for cleansing oils or balms on the market. Hope this helps!

  39. Norma Pennycuff

    Thank you thank you thank you for this post. Holy cow. Almost exactly a year ago I started having the same issue, only add in that my scalp itches. We moved to Northern WI from TN and I thought it was the change in weather, or the well water in the house we were renting (two mortgages weren’t really something we wanted to get into) or a million other things. I finally cut my hair super short in an effort to get in there and be able to deal with it. Strangely it helped for a few weeks. I had stylist suggest all kinds of things including a well water designed shampoo but they only made it worse.

    I’m using moisturizing shampoo but it only makes the itching/flakes stop the day I shampoo, not the next. And I’ve always been the girl with incredible thick healthy hair/healthy scalp so the whole thing has been baffling.

    I’m totally going to slick up my head tonight with coconut oil and watch for the mentioned oil. THANK YOU!!!!

  40. Monique

    thank you for the recommendation, sounds good, but I prefer argan oil, I use the one from pro naturals which does the same and keeps my hair healthy and resilient. 😀