How a rare nut is taming women's hair around the world
The iconic Moroccanoil brand of hair products has surprising 'roots.'
Here's a clue: It’s a nut that’s been rumored to be so hard to crack that it needs to pass through a goat’s digestive system. When eaten, this nut, which grows only in Morocco and some parts of Israel, is known to work miracles on the human body – but also in your hair.
It was a discovery that Chilean Carman Tal experienced when she first stumbled onto the answer: the argan nut. She was in Tel Aviv visiting a local hairstylist hoping he could help after her hair was left damaged from a previous color process. He used a formulation based on argan nuts to repair her hair. For her, it was a life-defining moment.
Loving the product so much, she and her Israeli husband bought the small company that manufactured it, changed the formulation adding about 25 ingredients, and has since turned Moroccanoil into an international brand sensation, adored by women everywhere. The vanilla-like, spicy, exotic smell of the product is part of the appeal. The majority of the manufacturing and production today happens in Israel.
On the tips of tongues and summer’s dried hair ends, Moroccanoil is used by celebrities like Katy Perry, Angelina Jolie, Scarlet Johansson, Marion Cotillard and Madonna. Actress Bryce Dallas Howard showed off a Moroccanoil-infused hairdo at this summer's Hollywood premiere of "Jurassic World."
One stylist started giving models on New York runways samples, and the rest is history. Today, about one in every two salons in New York City prominently features the products: shampoos, hair treatment oils and leave-in conditioners.
“I love the extra volume shampoo and conditioner! It makes my hair silky smooth,” Sasha Levine, a commercial coordinator in New York, told From The Grapevine. “I learned about the Moroccanoil product from a salon in Philadelphia years ago and have been hooked every since. And the dry shampoo has been a life-saver this summer!”
This "life-saver" started back in the mountain communities of Morocco, where the argan nut was first discovered. In the High Atlas Mountains, the argan trees are lovingly tended to by villagers who have used the nut for centuries as a strong and nutritious flavoring in Moroccan food, but also oil for body and hair.
Moroccanoil has a "pay it forward" social outreach campaign. As part of that, the company has developed "Inspired By Women," a series of videos hosted by British Victoria's Secret model Rosie Huntington-Whitely. The series features six prominent women, from a female boxer to a food activist, highlighting their personal journeys and global impact. The series has led to a successful Twitter campaign where women around the world take photos with themselves describing the woman in their lives who have inspired them.
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