Known for its nourishing qualities, argan oil is the hair care ingredient of the moment.
It’s the go-to stuff for damaged hair and the key ingredient in the super popular hair oil.
But what’s the story behind the wonder product?
The oil is traditionally collected from the rare argan tree seeds by Berber women, extracting it in a time-consuming process.
However, an increase in demand in the early 1990s made entrepreneurs from France, Switzerland and Morocco use mechanical expeller presses, sourcing the argan seeds from open market, with little quality control or knowledge about the argan seeds.
The Berbers were denigrated to mere suppliers of argan seeds and only a small portion of the proceeds of argan oil sales benefited them.
The companies using the argan oil still often try to give the impression that their argan oil is produced by Berber women.
Eventually, Berber women – encouraged by Moroccan authorities - started to set up cooperatives and invest in mechanical equipment to be able to compete with the private oil presses.
But some groups went a different route and opted to keep the tradition of producing argan oil by hand alive.
The hand crafted oil is believed to be more potent than the mechanical crafted oil, as only the best seeds are used and since the seeds are processed immediately after removing the shell thus minimising oxidation of the exposed seeds.
If you’re interested in using this premium argan oil, look for the Argand’Or mark.
However not always necessary for hair care, gourmet chefs and health food aficionados should go for the original, hand crafted argan oil because of nutritional benefits.
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