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I’m a big comparison shopper when it comes to beauty – and have a bit of an obsession with reading reviews. Before I commit to hitting the check out button on a product, you’ll find me scrolling through all the star ratings and customer feedback to see if it's actually worth it. And in my years of doing my consumer due diligence, I've never come across a product as hyped up as the Oribe Gold Lust Nourishing Hair Oil, $81.
This is possibly one of the most popular hair products on the internet: I found five-star review after five-star review everywhere I looked. People seem to have only overwhelmingly positive things to say about it, other than the fact that it costs $81 for a 100 ml bottle. One person even called it a "holy hair staple I can no longer live without." It always gets an honorary mention in Youtube comment threads or beauty discussion forums ranking the best products to give your hair some shine and nourishment.
If you suspect that this is subliminal messaging by Oribe flooding the internet with effusive praise, I was right there with you. But then I came across the fandom IRL: I was chatting with a colleague with some seriously glossy and luscious long locks – and guess what came up as his go-to product? The Oribe hair oil.
Intrigued by its pristine online reputation and excellent word-of-mouth endorsement, I decided to try out the hair oil on my own recently permed, relatively frizzy hair. Keep reading for an honest low-down of my experience before you decide whether to make the investment yourself.
One of the reasons Oribe has such a cult following in the beauty community is the classy packaging – this hair oil is no exception. The bottle lives up to the "liquid gold for your hair" description from the brand's website, featuring a black-and-amber gradient design, gold lettering, and an embossed brand logo. It's a product that already feels expensive before you've unlocked the cap.
Another thing that really stood out was the scent: the oil smells absolutely incredible. It contains notes of sandalwood, bergamot, jasmine, edelweiss flower, and lychee – pretty much the type of ingredients you can find in an elegant and pricey perfume. And it does feel like you're wearing a unique kind of perfume for your hair. I got lots of compliments on the days I had it on.
The oil itself is see-through and more watery than you would expect. Unlike other hair oils out there, the texture feels super lightweight, which means it can be smoothed over your tresses without adding any greasiness. According to instructions on the box, one to two pumps should be enough oil – but I actually needed a lot more than that. It took around five to six pumps for my thick, chest-length mane to feel covered.
For two weeks, I applied the hair oil after every time I washed my hair before drying it with a diffuser attachment. I also smoothed a dollop over my ends when I thought my hair was looking extra frizzy after waking up.
One of the benefits stated on Oribe's website is that the hair oil helps speed up the drying process of your wet hair, and I have definitely found that it does make a difference. There were a couple of times I applied the product after washing my hair and using a hair towel – and my hair had air-dried before I could even get around to finding my dryer.
Fans of the oil also said that the product leaves their hair moisturised and shiny. I find that statement to be halfway true in my case. On one hand, my frizzy hair did appear visibly smoother, with a natural sheen that made my hair appear less damaged. But I did find myself wishing for a heavier, more hydrating formula on the days I blow-dried. Since I had recently permed my hair, my ends would still feel limp and thirsty after using a hair dryer, even though the hair oil offers protection from heat and styling tools. The oil did work amazingly on the days I decided to air dry my hair when the extra glossiness really comes through.
If you are looking for a conditioning hair oil with a lighter formula that doesn't clump up your strands of hair, I would say Oribe's hair oil is the right investment for you. The emphasis is on light though – so really think about your preference and your hair's needs. It's the perfect everyday product for my coworker, who is after a subtly shiny look that doesn't come off too "wet".
Personally, I am a fan of the super luxe fragrance, the fast-drying effect, plus the glossy finish, though I will switch out for a heavier product when I use a hair dryer. I will be saving this hair oil for the days I choose to air dry – or when I'm wanting everyone to comment on how lovely my hair smells.