Product Review: Ojon Restorative Hair Treatment

I splurged on Ojon Restorative Hair Treatment after having straightened, bleached, permed and dyed my way into a damaged hair nightmare. The Ojon Treatment is described by the company as 100 percent Ojon palm nut oil designed to improve the condition of damaged, color-treated, or processed hair without weighing it down. The hype about this intensive hair conditioner (“fortifying, rebuilding, and nourishing”) led me to seek it out in my local Sephora, and after speaking with a sales associate who raved about its ability to restore friend hair, I decided to make what I thought was a worthwhile investment. I was greatly mistaken.

Much of the hype about Ojon stems from the legend behind it. “Restore your hair’s natural beauty with this ancient native secret from the remote tropical forests of Central America.” claims the Ojon company. It goes on to describe how for over 500 years, this secret to remarkably healthy hair has been hidden in the rare oil of the tropical Ojon tree known only to the Tawira Indians who are referred to as “the people of beautiful hair.” WOW. With a whole tribe of Indians backing this product, and a history of over 500 years, it’s got to be good, right? Wrong.

Ojon Restorative Hair Treatment is a conjugated oil in solidified form, with a texture that is much like a balm or pomade. As the instructions directed, I warmed a scoop full of Ojon in the palm of my hands until it liquefied. I then applied it on dry hair, working my way from scalp to ends. Since I had some household chores to do, I was able to leave it on for much longer then the minimum 10-20 minutes (I actually had it on for closer to three hours, so the deep conditioning effect should have been greatly amplified). I then hopped in the shower and shampooed the Ojon oil out of my hair, following up with a conditioner. After towel-drying, I applied a very small amount of Ojon as a leave-in conditioner, to subdue any remaining frizziness (as the package instructed).

The results? The only promise Ojon followed through on was that it gave my hair shine. Unfortunately, that was only due to the fact that I had a veritable oil slick in my hair. If I had rubbed Vaseline into my strands, I would have had SHINE, too- but who would want a greasy, slimy mess like that in their hair? And all of the other promises that Ojon made- like renewed strength, softness, silkiness, manageability? Those qualities were nowhere to be found.

Lack of efficiency wasn’t the only issue I took up with Ojon. My first gripe was with the smell of the product. The copy for the product describes it as a pleasantly earthy sandalwood smell, but everyone I know who has used it has agreed that there is nothing “pleasant” about the fragrance. The best way I can possibly describe Ojon’s scent is “wet, rotten tobacco”- it’s an acidic, stinging nicotine-like odor that reminds me of the taste of Nicorette. Certainly, I’m not prissy- I would gladly deal with the odd stench if the product actually worked. But Ojon Restorative Hair Treatment doesn’t work. It doesn’t do anything. It justâÂ?¦.sits there, stinking and weighing hair down with a thick, greasy coat.

Then, there’s the issue of price. At $55 for 5 ounces, the user is paying a pretty hefty sum for this “ancient hair care miracle”. However, sometimes, you get what you pay for.; The price wouldn’t be so much of an issue if 1) The product worked in any of the ways it claimed to or 2) It actually contained an ingredient that was expensive or rare. As soon as I took a look at the ingredients, I realized that Ojon was taking me- and the countless others who have purchased the supposed “miracle” product- for a very expensive ride.

Because I am in the business of beauty, I happen to have a vast knowledge of ingredients. Whether it was forgetfulness or laziness, for some reason I didn’t bother to take a look at Ojon’s before purchasing. Once I had actually tried the product, I grabbed Ojon’s packaging in a fit of frustration to take a look at the ingredient listing, which is as follows (with my explanation of each ingredient in parentheses) : Elaeis Oleifera (American Oil Palm), Fragrance, Lecithin(a phospholipid and emollient mainly derived from common egg yolk or soybeans), Tocopherol (Vitamin E) , Ascorbyl Palmitate (Vitamin C) , Citric Acid (Another form of Vitamin C), Serenoa Serrulata(Saw Palmetto), Prunus Africana (Pygeum Bark, also called Red Stinkwood or African Cherry).

The first thing that sticks out upon reading the ingredient list? There is not a single trace (NO, NONE AT ALL) of any rare tree oil. The main ingredient, Elaeis Oleifera is actually the common American Oil Palm, which is an amazingly ordinary plant grown throughout South and Central America for its production of palm oil. In fact, in the International section of my local grocery store, Pure American Palm Oil is sold�.for 3 dollars a jar! The rest of the ingredients are benign, and not particularly beneficial in hair care applications- nor are they rare or expensive in any way.

I promptly returned my jar of Ojon to Sephora, who, luckily, has a wonderful return policy that allows you to bring back products after you’ve tried them and hated them. If I knew how to go about it, I would sue Ojon for false marketing to put them out of business. Not only does the product work miserably, but the marketing team behind it has misled thousands and thousands of people into forking over their hard-earned cash for a product that is nothing more then solidified American Palm Oil. I am saddened and angry to think about those who have no knowledge of cosmetic ingredients, who are probably convinced there is something wrong with their hair when it doesn’t respond to Ojon’s “miracle” treatment.

The bottom line? Don’t waste your money. If you want a hot oil treatment, that’s the only thing that you’ll be getting- and you could easily get the same thing by massaging a little olive oil into your hair, lightly heating it with a hair dryer, and shampooing it out. You’d be fifty five dollars richer, as an added bonus.

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