July 18, 2011

Moroccan Oil - is it no longer cool?

Lately I've been noticing a trend - let's call it Moroccan Oil bashing.

Long time readers of my blog will know how much I love my Moroccan Oil, but it seems like lately every time I mention how much I love this oil to anyone all I hear is how it's full of silicones and bad for the hair, it dries it out, masks any damage, etc. etc. basically think back to Pantene bashing, but replace Pantene with Moroccan Oil.

The thing is, I have been using Moroccan Oil since my husband bought it for me in January for my birthday and my hair is in the best condition it's been in ages.

So I decided to do a little bit of research at my favourite website, The Beauty Brains to find out whether the silicones contained in Moroccan Oil are bad or good for hair. For those of you that aren't familiar with The Beauty Brains, it's written by a group of cosmetic scientists who use their insider knowledge to bust any beauty myths that we mere mortals might have. 

The common reasons I get told why Moroccan Oil is bad
(Anything written in italics below is from The Beauty Brains.)

  • It will dry out hair because it will stop moisture from getting in: This can happen, but it can also lock moisture IN. That’s a good thing because you want to lock in hair’s natural moisture but you also want hair to have some resistance against humidity which is one of the major causes of frizz. So, the “myth” you asked about is true, but it’s not necessarily a bad thing!
  • It will coat the hair in silicone which can’t be washed out: Under most circumstances silicones will wash out of your hair without much problem. But if you’ve applied multiple products containing high levels of water insoluble silicones, your might have to lather, rinse, repeat before you get it all out. In most cases, the protection you get from using silicones out-weighs the damaging effects of washing them out.
  • It will make it difficult to use styling products or hair dye over it because of the silicone coatingI dye my hair at home once a month (I use L'Oreal Preference Darkest Brown for those playing at home) and I've never had problems with the dye not taking. Besides hairspray to tame my fringe, I don't really use many other styling products and again I haven't had any problems with the hairspray not working because of the Moroccan Oil coating.
  • It will mask any hair damage: Ummm… I would have thought that’s the whole point of it? What’s wrong with masking the damage? Personally I actually like that. I know that my hair is damaged from heat styling, but my other alternative besides masking the damage is to cut it all off... and really, lets be honest here, I'm not about to do that.
  • It’s not pure Argan oil: Moroccan Oil doesn’t claim to be pure Argan oil, but it contains Argan oil. I’ve bought 100% pure Argan oil and never used it in my hair because it’s too thick and heavy, and has an awful smell that lingers in my hair.
Anyway, here's the list of ingredients in Moroccan Oil, and the first 3 are actually silicones.

This is what The Beauty Brains website says about these silicones.

The properties vary depending on which particular silicone is in the formula. Some silicones do leave a heavy coating on the hair that can be hard to wash off. Others are very water soluble and don’t buildup at all. Dimethicone, for example, is the heaviest of all silicones used for hair care. It provides the most smoothing effect but it is also the hardest to wash out. Cyclomethicone on the other hand, gives great slippery feeling while you’re rinsing your hair but it quickly evaporates leaving nothing behind.

Cyclopentasiloxane (CPS) (&) Dimethicone- The basis for hair serums. Conditioning without build up.
Cyclomethicone (&) PEG/PPG-20/15 Dimethicone- For formulating water-in-oil emulsions, particularly water-in-silicone emulsions. Excellent aesthetics.

The Bottom Line
As I mentioned, I’ve never had any problems using this oil for the past 6 months. The bottle that I got in January is still 3/4 full because you only need to use a tiny bit. The picture below is of what the bottle looks like after 6 months of use... perhaps because of the small amount that I use it I've never experienced problems with it before. And HERE is the original post where I first got my Moroccan Oil.

So in conclusion, yes Moroccan Oil does contain silicones, but as the Beauty Brains says “If you use a silicone containing product and you like the way it makes your hair look and feel, DONT WORRY ABOUT IT! Don’t feel guilty because some people tell you that it’s bad for your hair”. 

Have you used Moroccan Oil? What have been your experiences with it?

Disclaimer: I'm not affiliated with this brand or with any of its resellers. My research was from The Beauty Brains website, most specifically from the following links. 


  1. I picked up Moroccan Oil for the first time at the Hair Expo, and honestly, I love it. I have had no issues with build up in my hair and it has never been softer or more manageable.
    I've heard all the Moroccan Oil bashing as well, and I put no stock in it. Anytime a product becomes overly popular I think there is going to be a backlash, but at the end of the day, its how it works for you!

  2. I'm using the Moroccan Oil Light as I have very fine hair. No problems here! I just use it on the ends and it tames the dry frizzlies. Fantastic stuff and never had any of the problems people complain about when dying it, etc. :)

  3. I have had a bottle of morrocan oil for a couple of months and i still havent opened it! i am scared of the 'oil' factor i think- my hair gets greasy pretty quickly! but all this silicone freak outs is just plain silly!

  4. I'm a fan of pure jojoba oil for my face and hair, it's awesome...

    I love this product and was getting really upset when people starting bashing it :( I'm really glad you;re still going to use it!
    Oh and LOVE the new blog design!!

  6. So it`s bad for the hair right? lol kidding. Thanks for this very informative post. I say if it works for you, ignore the bashings.

  7. Great post and good for you fighting for something you love!! I like it too- I wonder if its overpriced and am trialling a mini babyliss one to compare but you're right it works as you've described and its good to know the facts behind it

  8. Great post, I love Moroccan Oil. It's my HG hair product and the only one I use regularly. It just makes my hair look and feel so much better.

    It is quite pricey though, however it does last a long time. I wonder if the cheaper versions would give the same results.

    Hannah xo

  9. I've been using mine for a few months. I have no issues with it, for me, it's no miracle product but it smells nice and it makes my hair look like parched and dry. ;)

  10. I didn't know Moroccan Oil has been getting bashed lately. I have only started using it last month, ever since I got it from the Hair Expo and I absolutely love it!

    Either way, my hair is already damaged ( i chemically straightened it yearly for the past 8 years). But if I can have soft and shiny hair and less frizzy, for sure!

    Definitely a fan of Moroccan Oil!

  11. Hi all, thanks so much for your comments. I'm glad oyu found this informative! And if you love Moroccan Oil then use it, doesn't matter what others say.

    @paintedinblack - if you only use a tiny tiny amount you should be ok... i don't even pour the oil into my hands, i just rub the underside of the lid and use whatever's there that's how little you need of the stuff.

    @Julie - even though it's quite pricey, the fact that you only need very little of it makes it worth it for me. Mine will probably last another year, so that's not bad for a $50 product.


  12. Wow aren't people weird - except us ;-)

    I have Moroccan Oil shampoo, conditioner and Oil and LOVE IT! I hadn't heard about Moroccan Oil bashing but I couldn't give a toss about what other people think - my hairdresser says my hair is in great condition. I have very thick hair so I've used a bit more of the oil than you on average but it still lasts ages. So great performance and long lasting bottle make it a very worthwhile purchase for the price.
    People who knock it are probably the same sort of people who are vegetarian but have leather shoes, belts and handbags :)

    Thanks for much for this post Lilit - at least I'm up to date now with the good oil (pun intended).

  13. I've never tried moroccan oil, but I REALLY want to! Lately I'd been hearing all about why I shouldn't try it, but your post has convinced me that it's alright to use (AND I still use Pantene. heehee!)

  14. I honestly have no problem using silicon based stuff. That's what most primers started off as. What most smoothing hair products started off as. I try not to nit-pick the ingredient lists of my products because at the end of the day it just has to work. >w>; Shamefully, I don't even avoid parabens. EVERYTHING can give you cancer nowadays and I don't have the time!

  15. I really want to try it! Though my hair isn't very damaged, but I've heard great things. I'm surprised people were saying it was bad for your hair. :)

  16. I seen little testers of these in my hairdressers the other day, I meant to pick one up but it totally slipped my mind.

    Think i'll try it out though, looks really good :)

  17. Silicone is great for coarse, hard to manage hair. I suppose it's bad for those with hair like mine (fine, thin) because they tend to weigh the hair down. I use One 'n Only's version of this and I've had no problems with it. It washes out very easily and makes my hair look great. I wouldn't even think it was a silicone-based product because it's so light and my hair is left with plenty of body. I think it's important to remember that moderation is key.

  18. i have it and i love it!! not every product works for everyone, so maybe the bashers are just unhappy with the results, and have found something better that works for them personally ...

  19. I love Moroccan oil :D It does wonders for damaged hair!

  20. i love both Moroccan Oil and Pantene.
    My hair loves the products too. If we like these products- no one can tell us any better!
    We know our bodies/hair/skin the best

  21. Great post Lilit! I have always wanted to try Moroccan Oil, but it's kind of out of my price range. I may just have to give in one of these days and just purchase it. I am sure it is worth the splurge :)

  22. Great post! I agree, silicones are in most hair products, and if you like the finish in your hair, go with it!

  23. Hello,

    Thanks for providing these useful tips over here. Moroccan oil is a very popular beauty product used by very many people all over the world, it is usually used to enhance both the hair and skin appearance...

    Moroccan Oil Products

  24. I found a product while shopping today with nearly all the same ingredients and only cost me €2.50!

  25. Hmm. Get back to me in a couple of years when the side-effects start to kick in. Silicone doesn't cause the damage over a year or so: it's long term as the new hair starts to grow in.

    I have seriously curly hair & found using silicone de-frizzers sheer genius when I started using them quite a few years ago. It's only now that the dye washes out within a couple of weeks & my hair is like straw... And, no, it isn't dying my hair or any other factors. I've been dying my hair for over 30 years without needing a re-dye for 4 or 5 weeks, nor having the curls turn into sickly lengths of formless frizz.

    I put it down to the ageing process; to being post-menopausal; excuse, excuse, excuse. The logical thing seemed to me to be to actually try putting aside my hair serums (even though I was addicted to them)! I've stopped using silica based hair oils as of the end of last year & - surprise, surprise - my hair is coming back to life & the last dying job held its colour longer than it has for a couple of years.

  26. I've been using Moroccan Oil for about 3 years now. The same - I love it because it actually does make my hair looks so much better. I tried different products but kept coming back to Moroccan oil.

    PS. Speaking of smelly Argan Oil. Many years ago I did some DIY-hair masks with onion!!! I was doing it for a few months in order to get my hair to grow back after I lost a lot of hair after my dad's death. Thanks to that super-mega-stinky mask my hair stopped falling out eventually but... imagine the smell?! I feel sorry for my friends at that time :)

  27. I've been using it for about 3-4 years, and when I first started, I loved it. It made my hair feel like hair again! I didn't realize back then--thought it was just me getting older--but I had developed a thyroid problem and dry hair is one of the symptoms. I've used it faithfully ever since, but in the last 6 months or so, I've noticed it doesn't seem to work as well as before. Specifically, I've been needing more and better conditioners to keep my hair from being totally frizzy and yuk. Using Moroccanoil the way I always did, I found that the surface of my hair would get oily too soon, but it didn't feel conditioned, it just seemed oily and dry at the same time. That's what made me look for a better/stronger conditioner (Nexxus Humectress helped). I stopped using Moroccanoil for a while, just trying different things, and I'm not sure how I feel about it now. I mostly just use a little bit on dry hair after washing, to tame the flyaways. I wouldn't necessarily blame the product; I'm really not sure what's going on!

  28. Transforms my blonde, highlighted hair from straw to silk. I need it!



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