Liquid Gold

I am vain about my hair. I admit it. It borders on obsession but just a smidge. I have been known to schedule exercise classes and excursions around when I do my hair. Put it this way, one of the biggest draw backs for me in Dubai is that my shower has the lowest water pressure on the planet. Yes, I have checked it out and mine is the weakest.

I am bringing this up because in Morocco there is a tree called the Argan tree from which argan oil is produced. From my understanding, this tree is native to Morocco and although they have tried to grow this tree in other places, they haven’t had much success. That got me thinking about this amazing Ted Talk I watched awhile back about how trees talk to each other… I digress. (But seriously if you have 20 minutes, it’s REALLY interesting). You can read more about the Argan tree here; explains it all quite thoroughly.

img_9242So this tree (I have no picture of this tree… I know, right?) produces a fruit and from this fruit comes the oil. However, getting the oil is no easy task. And on our way to Essaouira we drove through the Argan forest of trees; the biggest and oldest one in the world. We stopped at an all woman’s cooperative that produces this oil; the women who work here are either divorced or widowed. According to Issam, my knowledgeable and friendly guide from Moroccan Gates, this cooperative has the purest Argan oil on the planet. So of course I bought some for a song and a couple of other products that make my skin feel soft and my hair super shiny. It has transformed my fried blonde ends and essentially given my hair new life. Obsession continues.

Two things I found fascinating about this cooperative. One. It is pretty rural; nothing fancy but these women work. I mean, there is nothing frilly which is interesting because Argan oil is not cheap and major companies buy this product. Two. Visiting this place was engaging. I loved learning about how the oil is made but more than that, the women seemed like a family; but not in a cute, sit-com sort of way. They work hard, they spoke with me about their part in the production process, and they produce what is an amazing product; together. I imagine there is an immense amount of pride in this.

A better photographer would have produced better portrait shots but I am VERY shy about taking photos and videos of people, even with their permission. So for me, this is pretty good!

And a video to show you the amount of work that goes into making this liquid gold:


  1. not only are their hands super strong..but super SOFT as well.! Amazing. good job telling the story. cause there is a ton of products in the beauty/hair industry out there with argan oil in them.

  2. Susan Wachowiak

    Very informative, Claire. I have been using an Argan oil product and had no idea of the origin of the oil or the enormous amount of work that goes into processing it. I will appreciate even more now that I know the whole story.

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