Does argan oil darken or lighten hair? Neither of these things

red hair woman doubts

  • Argan oil doesn’t lighten or darken hair.
  • It doesn’t matter how much you use it or whether your hair is colored or uncolored. Because argan oil doesn’t change hair color. And I’ll tell you why later.
  • The only time you may notice a slight change in color is on white or very blonde hair, where the oil can give it a slight golden hue. But this tone disappears after you wash your hair.


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Now you shouldn’t have any doubts whatsoever.

 Because argan oil won’t either lighten or darken hair. 


Therefore, if you want to moisturize or repair your hair, you can use it without fear on both normal and colored hair. You can even use it on bleached hair because it won’t change the color.

Why am I so sure argan oil doesn’t change hair color?


Because it’s a natural product, and therefore  doesn’t contain chemicals that modify hair color. 

So what rumor made you think that if you used argan oil on your hair, it could darken or lighten the color?


Well, here’s the story.

It’s a story that goes back many years, back to the time when essential oils were mixed with mother dye to give them color.

Sure, a product with a little color will always be more eye-catching than a clear product that looks like tap water.

But although the mother dye in the argan oil could darken hair, this effect was only temporary. Because after two washes the hair would return to its normal color.


You may even have thought argan oil could change the color of your hair. Because, for example, olive oil can be used to remove permanent hair dye.


But that was many years ago.

In argan oil that’s sold today, mother dye is no longer added.

Therefore, argan oil doesn’t lighten or darken hair. Because it doesn’t contain any color-corrosive agents such as developer, ammonia, sulfates, or metallic salts.

Neither does it contain natural lightening agents such as lemon juice or baking soda.


But  argan oil does contain fatty acids, minerals, and vitamins A, B, C, and E, which will give your hair color more shine and intensity. 


However, if you have white or very light blonde hair, there is one small thing you should keep in mind. And that’s what I’ll talk about next.


On white or very light blond hair, argan oil can give a momentary golden hue

golden color of argan oil



Because although argan oil doesn’t include any dye, it’s yellow in color.

If you apply it to white or very light blonde hair, it will leave a very pale golden hue. But  that shade will disappear the next time you wash your hair. 


If you still have some doubts about whether argan oil can darken or lighten your hair, what I suggest you do is perform the strand test.

And don’t panic. It’s an easy and simple test that you can do in the comfort of your own home. We professionals use it in the hair salon to evaluate how our clients’ hair reacts to a new color or a chemical process such as bleaching.

drops of oil to make a strand test

  • Untangle your hair and tie it into a ponytail, leaving a small section free at the back about two centimeters wide.
  • Place two to three drops of argan oil on your fingers and apply it to the lock of hair.
  • Gently massage the oil in and leave it on  for 20 minutes. 
  • Wash the strand with shampoo, dry it and observe.

What’s the color of the hair after you put argan oil on it?


At most, the hair may have a very slight yellow tone, almost imperceptible. This yellow tinge will disappear with the next wash.



Argan oil doesn’t modify the color of either natural or colored hair. Therefore it won’t darken or lighten it.

So you can use it without fear to moisturize and repair your hair.

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