Today we’re creating a beautiful Dry Argan Oil Hair Mist! This formulation was inspired by some of the argan oil hair oils/serums on the market like ones from Moroccanoil and OGX, and will leave your hair shiny and moisturized. It’s super simple to make (just five ingredients!) and I’ve included instructions to alter the formulation to perfectly suit your hair. Let’s get started!
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Our star ingredient is beautiful, silky argan oil. Argan oil was my first carrier oil love, dating back to pre-Humblebee & Me days, and it is still one of my all-time favourite oils. Vitamin-rich argan oil has been used in skincare and hair care in Morocco for centuries and has recently become quite popular in the West (well… “recently” = 10+ years ago now, I suppose… that decade passed quickly!). You can purchase pure argan oil for a small fortune from Sephora ($64/50mL), or you can order it from somewhere like New Directions Aromatics for a fraction of the cost ($12.70/100mL). That was a very exciting discovery for me back in 2010!
One of the first things I did with argan oil was apply it directly to my hair, where I quickly learned that applying undiluted oil to my hair isn’t something my hair loves all that much. My hair isn’t very tolerant of oils; it’s about a 1B using the extended Andre Walker system, so when I apply oils to my hair I need to do something to prevent over-application so I can get the benefits of the oil without my hair becoming greasy and limp. Hair balms do that by hardening the product so only a small amount can be applied at a time, while leave-in conditioners dilute the oils with water. This formulation takes a slightly different approach.
The bulk of this formulation is an ultralight, volatile silicone—cyclomethicone. This ultra-slippy and expensive feeling ingredient serves to really lighten up the entire formulation, doing a job very similar to the one water does in lotion. In an emulsion, water dilutes the oil so the overall product feels lighter. With a lotion, you can easily spread a small amount of oil over a large amount of skin so you get all the lovely benefits of the oil, but without your skin feeling greasy or oily. It’s much the same here—the cyclomethicone dilutes and lightens the oil, allowing it to be easily spread through lots of hair, reducing the chances of over-application in a specific area. And because cyclomethicone is oil soluble, we don’t need to fuss with creating an emulsion as you would with a lotion—you can simply stir everything together!
I’ve used argan oil at 20% for my doesn’t-super-love-oils hair, but if your hair loves oil you could very easily shift the balance of this formulation to feature more oil! Simply increase the argan oil percentage and decrease the cyclomethicone percentage accordingly to create something that is perfectly tailored to your hair (you could also do the opposite to reduce the oil concentration if desired) 😊 Something to keep in mind; if you use enough oil that this product starts to be more viscous than water, you may not be able to mist it and might want to switch to a dropper-top bottle. Thicker liquids in a mister bottle will come out in a jet rather than a mist, which can be uncomfortable (depending on where the jet is pointed!) and will deposit a lot of product in one place.
I’ve also included a small amount of lightweight, slippy C12-15 alkyl benzoate for a bit of added richness and even more fabulous slip. If you don’t have it I think Neossance® Hemisqualane or isopropyl myristate (IPM) would be easy, lovely alternatives. A small amount of vitamin E, an antioxidant, helps delay the onset of rancidity.
For fragrance, I decided to break out the bottle of Sunset Heat I ordered from the Scentsational Soaping Supply when I was getting my Bum Bum dupe fragrance last year. It’s a lovely, juicy, summery scent that apparently smells like Escada’s Sunset Heat perfume, which isn’t something I’ve had the chance to smell. You certainly don’t have to use this fragrance, or any fragrance for that matter! An essential oil would also be lovely, or you could leave the product unscented and replace the fragrance oil with more cyclomethicone.
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Relevant links & further reading
- Cyclomethicone + other cyclo-siloxanes in the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia
- C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate in the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia
- Argan Oil in the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia
- Tocopherol (Vitamin E) in the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia
- 10 Recipes to Make with Argan Oil
- More hair oil + hair balm formulations:
- How long will ______ last? What is its shelf life?
- Do I need to add a preservative to this recipe? How long will it last?
Dry Argan Oil Hair Mist
17.3g | 69.2% cyclomethicone (USA / Canada)
2.5g | 10% C12-15 alkyl benzoate (USA / Canada)
5g | 20% argan oil (USA / Canada)
0.125g | 0.5% Vitamin E MT-50 (USA / Canada)
0.075g | 0.3% fragrance or essential oil of choice
Weigh all the ingredients into a small beaker, or directly into the bottle you’ll be storing the hair mist in.
If it’s a beaker, stir to combine. If you went straight for the bottle, cap and shake. I used a 30mL (1fl oz) slim mister bottle from YellowBee for my bottle.
To use, mist the product over your hair as needed. This can be used on wet or dry hair. You can also mist it onto your hands for more controlled application.
Shelf Life & Storage
Because this hair mist is 100% oil-based, it does not require a broad-spectrum preservative (broad spectrum preservatives ward off microbial growth, and microbes require water to live—no water, no microbes!). Kept reasonably cool and dry, it should last at least a year before any of the oils go rancid. If you notice it starts to smell like old nuts or crayons, that’s a sign that the oils have begun to oxidize; chuck it out and make a fresh batch if that happens.
As always, be aware that making substitutions will change the final product. While these swaps won’t break the recipe, you will get a different final product than I did.
- As I’ve provided this recipe in percentages as well as grams you can easily calculate it to any size using a simple spreadsheet as I’ve explained in this post. As written in grams this recipe will make 25g, which is just shy of 30mL (1fl oz).
- To learn more about the ingredients used in this formulation, including why they’re included and what you can substitute them with, please visit the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia. It doesn’t have everything in it yet, but there’s lots of good information there! If I have not given a specific substitution suggestion in this list please look up the ingredient in the encyclopedia before asking.
- The lightweight, volatile, oil-free base is integral to this formulation. Some possible variations:
- Using isododecane instead of cloclomethicone.
- Using cyclopentasiloxane instead of cyclomethicone.
- Using dimethicone 1.5 (the 1.5 is important—other weights of dimethicone are heavier and will not work) instead of either or both
- You could also try a natural cyclomethicone alternative like LuxGlide N5 (USA / Canada).
- You could try isopropyl myristate (IPM), coco caprylate, or Neossance® Hemisqualane instead of C12-15 alkyl benzoate.
- You can substitute another liquid oil (or blend of liquid oils!) that your hair loves instead of argan oil. I think broccoli seed oil, jojoba oil, and camellia seed oil could all be lovely choices.
- If you’d like to incorporate an essential oil, please read this.