Argan Oil has been the subject of a lot of study over the last decade. It has a great deal in common with olive oil and has been credited with containing similar antioxidant properties that can protect the heart. It's high price has seen it take its place at the gourmet end of the food industry but it is also now finding a market in high end personal care products. Where And How Is It Sourced? In it's native Morocco it has been popular for a very long time and today the industry around it employs over 2 million people, almost entirely women. Once the fruit is peeled the nut, around 25% of the total fruit, is smashed with a rock to extract the kernels. The kernels are then, if destined for consumption, roasted prior to pressing - when a light gold coloured oil is produced. The production process has been resistant to mechanisation due to the difficulty in extracting the kernels from the nut... which means it is still massively labour intensive, mostly produced by women's co-operatives using those rocks to smash the nuts and taking the kernels out by hand. It is estimated that it takes one worker 45 minutes to produce enough kernels to make a single 4oz bottle of the oil, consequently that bottle commands a price of around $85. The price has not deterred a huge and growing fanbase in love with it's ability to do everything from hydrating skin to producing healthy shiny hair. Tastes quite good poured over cous cous too. What Is It Used For? It is consumed in much the same way as olive oil, bread is dipped in it and it is used for cooking. But it has become extremely sought after because of its cosmetic and nutritional properties for hair and scalp - a fine light oil that mixes well with cosmetics it can be applied directly to the face and scalp. This is best evidenced by the surge in its use by the American cosmetic industry where it has gone from being used in two products back in 2007 to 111 last year. Can It Really Help With Hair Loss While oil does not typically penetrate the skin cosmetic companies claim that by producing formulas which contain chemical carriers the oil can be delivered. Once delivered to the follicle its rich blend of Vitamin E, Omega 6 fatty acids and antioxidants go to work to improve the overall health and vigour of the follicle.