I have been searching for the Holy Grail hair product to restore the natural shine and softness to my hair that it had in my youth. Kerastase Masque Oleo-Relax has been my go-to product for now and while I really like it, I just think there has to be something better out there. I was recently in Sephora picking up a gift and couldn’t help but peek in the hair aisle to see if there was something that I hadn’t tried or written off due to the ingredients. The kind sales associate must have seen me scan the shelves of products with longing, so she offered to assist. I told her my hair wasn’t exactly fried, but it was certainly “toasted.” She said my hair looked lovely. I thanked her for the compliment and explained that it took three to four products (weather depending), finished by a shine treatment for it to look that way. “It’s just too much work!” I exclaimed, exasperated.

She took down a brown jar from the shelf and handed me an overnight mask by Ojon called Damage Reverse Restorative Hair Treatment. I recalled Ojon had received mixed reviews on TIA. Moreover, the very name - Damage Reverse - seemed like an over-the-top claim. I was about to say “no thank you” until she said the product was reformulated and re-launched recently under the “Damage Reverse” line. Moreover, I noted the formulation was without preservatives, water; artificial color; silicones; parabens; synthetic fragrances and dyes; phthalates, GMOs (genetically modified organisms) and triclosan. I have to admit, I was intrigued. The Sephora associate explained that the mask was actually oil (though it’s a solid paste in the jar) and that the treatment worked best when heated by rubbing it briskly between my hands until the substance became more liquid-like prior to application. I had never tried any Ojon products before, so I figured I’d give it a try and purchased the small (1.5oz.) jar ($19.50).

Curious to know more about Ojon hair care (an Estee Lauder brand), I decided to check it out online before I opened the jar. I found a positive review on TIA of the older formulation, Ojon Restorative Treatment, when the product was part of the “Intensive Repair Line.”  I looked on the official Ojon site, which claims the treatment to be the “ultimate do-over for damaged hair.” Ojon’s “golden elixir” oil is the key to the treatment. Read more about the elixir here.

Unfortunately, further reading revealed that according to a study I could expect a “64% improvement in the condition of dry, damaged hair after just one treatment.” Are they kidding? 64% is an “ultimate do-over?” Disheartened, but desperate to do something for my hair and considering the positive review on TIA, I decided to try it anyway. I scooped up some of the paste per the instructions, rubbed it briskly between my hands, and spread the oily substance throughout my hair focusing on the ends. The product comes with a cute wide-toothed comb, which I didn’t use as I thought a fine-toothed comb would provide better distribution. I spread a big towel on my pillow and went to sleep dreaming of waking up with silky, shiny hair.

No joy. After shampooing and conditioning with Moroccanoil, my hair didn’t show much improvement in the look or feel of it. Another one bites the dust.

I had forgotten about the Restorative Treatment until one morning I was taking off the head of my Clarisonic to microwave it. There is no metal in the brush head and I figure most germs can’t survive in that amount of heat so I microwave the brush head and my body sponge weekly (both must be damp) for 30 seconds. At that moment, my gaze fell on the Ojon jar on the bathroom shelf - and I had an epiphany! It was a freezing cold day in New York City and there was nothing going on but football and the rent, so I decided to give the treatment another try. I scooped some of the restorative treatment and placed it into one of the little plastic dispensers that Sephora gives out product samples in (they also make great pillboxes and SD card holders). Then I microwaved it for 30 seconds with my Clarisonic brush head.

The paste turned to a warm liquid, which I easily combed through my hair. I gave my hair a high heat blast from the dryer and again during half time for good measure. I had actually forgotten I had the treatment in my hair when I hit the gym in the early evening. As I washed the oil out of my hair, I couldn’t believe how incredibly soft it felt. I lightly shampooed my hair but left the Moroccanoil conditioner on for a good five minutes. I decided to blow out my hair as I normally would but instead of my usual two to three styling products, I only used a heat-protecting spray. I seriously can’t recall the last time my hair felt so silky. Moreover, it had incredible shine on its own. I put the shine spray, unused, back in the cabinet. Such a shame I didn’t have any plans that night - my hair looked and felt so incredible!

Ingredients: Elaeis oleifera (palm) kernel oil,  elaeis guineensis (palm) oil, fragrance (parfum), serenoa serrulata (saw palmetto) fruit extract, rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf extract, helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil,  hydrogenated lecithin, benzyl benzoate, limonene, benzyl cinnamate,  linalool, citral, tocopherol