Your hair plays an important role in your style and sense of self. A single strand of hair is made up of two different structures: the follicle and the shaft. The follicle is the root that resides in your skin while the hair shaft is the actual hair that you see. Your hair generally grows about 0.3 to 0.4 millimeters per day in a three-stage cycle of active growth (anagen), transition (catagen), and rest (telogen).1
The average person can shed up to 100 hairs a day during the telogen phase, but that’s normal and a natural part of the hair growth cycle. For most people, those hairs will grow back. However, many men and women lose hair as they age due to a wide range of factors.2 The most common form of hair loss is androgenetic alopecia (male or female pattern baldness), which affects an estimated 30 million women and 50 million men in the United States.3
Essential Oils for Hair Growth
Hair loss is aggravated by irritation of the scalp. Having the right amount of moisture and oil in your hair is an important part of hair care and maximizing hair growth. When someone doesn’t shower oils secreted by your skin called sebum builds and builds which feeds microorganisms on scalp. These microorganisms can irritate the scalp, causing you to scratch the scalp which increases hair loss. Shampoos help to take away these oils and to cleanse the scalp. Cheap shampoos you find at most supermarkets use detergents called sulfates which are very harsh and drying.
A dry scalp cracks and gets inflamed, again causing you to scratch and increases hair loss. Therefore, each time you use shampoo you must be sure to use a conditioner to restore the oils that shampoo takes away. Making sure your conditioner has the right essential oils is important. Jojoba and argan oil tend to be two of the most common oils for hair growth. Let’s take a closer look at them and how they compare.
What is Jojoba Oil?
Jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis) is a shrub native to the dry regions of the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. Jojoba oil is produced from the seeds of this shrub.4 Jojoba oil has a waxy texture and may look clear or yellow with a slightly nutty smell.5
Jojoba Oil for Hair Growth
Jojoba oil is thought to have a consistency that mimics sebum, the natural oils in human skin. Sebum plays an important role in locking in moisture and protecting your skin from infection, both of which can contribute to a healthy scalp.
More directly, jojoba oil’s composition makes it an ideal hair moisturizer that can be incorporated into conditioners or used on its own to help protect against split ends, hair breakage, and dryness. Jojoba’s moisturizing properties may also help to combat dandruff caused by excess dryness.6
Jojoba has also been found to be rich in several vitamins and minerals that may promote healthy hair, including:
- B vitamins
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
As it can help to strengthen and nourish hair and directly provide moisture to hair follicles, jojoba oil is thought to promote hair growth and support thicker hair.
What is Argan Oil?
Argan oil comes from the argan tree (Argania spinosa) indigenous to Morocco. The oil is extracted from kernels of the tree and incorporated into a wide range of products, from moisturizers to hair conditioners.7
Argan Oil for Hair Growth
Argan oil acts as an effective moisturizer without leaving your skin or hair feeling greasy. However, much of argan oil’s potential benefits come from its high vitamin A and vitamin E content. Vitamin A actually describes of group of fat-soluble compounds known as retinoids. This group includes retinol, retinal, and retinyl esters. Vitamin A plays a role in vision, reproduction, immune function, and communication between cells.8 In your hair and skin, vitamin A can help the production and management of sebum in your oil glands, which can keep your scalp properly moisturized while managing any excess oiliness.9
Vitamin E describes a group of fat-soluble compounds that are best known for their powerful antioxidant properties, helping to neutralize free radicals and prevent oxidation and cellular damage.10 However, vitamin E has been used for decades to help support healthy skin by combating inflammation, sun damage, and signs of aging. These benefits have been found to extend to your hair.11 A study from 2010 found that vitamin E can improve hair growth through its antioxidant properties by reducing oxidative stress, which has been linked to hair loss.12 Other studies also suggest that vitamin E may also help to increase circulation.13 When applied to the scalp, improved blood flow may encourage hair growth and hair follicle health.14
The Best Hair Oil : Jojoba Oil vs. Argan Oil
Both jojoba and argan oil can be effective in moisturizing your scalp, though in potentially different ways. Argan is a more conventional oil, nourishing the scalp without making it greasy. Jojoba oil is much closer to your natural sebum and can help clear up any congested follicles, regulate your oil production, and absorb deeper into your skin. Jojoba oil also has natural anti-fungal properties, meaning it can potentially help those suffering from psoriasis, scalp dermatitis, or other fungal disorders. Argan oil is higher in antioxidants and promotes scalp health by combatting oxidative stress while taming frizz and leaving your hair feeling softer.15
Ultimately, both jojoba oil and argan oil can be beneficial to supporting hair growth. Whether you’re suffering hair loss or feeling like your locks have suffered some damage, argan and jojoba oils can help to nourish your scalp and hair.