Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Luscious locks like a Sumo Wrestler: Aroma M's Camellia Hair Oil (product review)

Good hair: do it like a sumo wrestler geisha!

Give tangled, dry hair the smack-down with a traditional Japanese secret, modernized by Maria McElroy of aroma M Perfumes. Yes, you too can finally get the sleek, beautiful hair you've been admiring for years on the heads of your favorite sumo wrestlers! 

aroma M line extension: Beauty products

aroma M has just released two wonderful new products in a new beauty line that beautifully complements its sexy perfumes. Since 1995, the aroma M line has cultivated a collection of "location-oriented" perfumes and perfume oils that pivot around the center theme of Geisha culture. Perfumer Maria McElroy has carefully crafted her line to not only smell beautiful, but to work well on all skins (male or female), dressed-up or casual, in the Western world or Far East. In her new array of beauty products, eventually to number five, she turns to camellia oil, a traditional Japanese beauty product (also used for cooking and other more utilitarian uses).
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Maria's appreciation for Japanese culture and aesthetics in addition to her extraordinary experiences in the secretive world of the Kyoto Gion Geisha’s, have been the bases for aroma M’s Beauty products. Steeped in the ways of ancient Eastern traditions, and adhering to the Eastern mandate that beauty is a daily responsibility; at aroma M Beauty lies in the choice of unexpected, precious ingredients. The Gourmand combinations are a direct influence from Maria’s Kyoto born chef husband. Tuberose and Rosemary, Jasmine, and Frankincense essential oils are designed to smell beautiful and simultaneously enchant the mind, the soul, and the skin. Drawing on her Aromatherapy background, Maria has conjured elixirs that will satisfy all your beauty needs.

aroma M is initially releasing two products in this beauty line: Camellia Hair Oil and Camellia Face Oil. The line will eventually have five products. Today, I am reviewing the Camellia Hair Oil.

Why Camellia Oil? 

Camellia oil, also known as tea seed oil (or in Japanese, tsubaki) has long been used by Japanese men and women as a hair moisturizer (some even say it helps prevent or even repair grey hair!).

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Geishas used Camellia oil since the Heian era (from the 8th-12th centuries) to keep their famous assets beautiful, soft, hydrated, and shiny (no not those assets, you dirty bird: their hair and skin!). Beauty rituals were very important for Geishas, and the scented oil was an important part of their haircare routine. They would work the oil through their long hair using a boxwood or sandalwood comb before twisting it up into a traditional shimada (Geisha "updo"). Sumo wrestlers have traditionally used Camellia oil to keep their hair sleek and controlled in their very ornately-style chonmage (the traditional sumo topknot).

Camellia Oil is rich in mono-saturated essential fatty acids (EFAs) (read: super duper moisturizing!) and has more oleic acid than olive oil. Oleic acid is thought to clean the scalp and hair, letting nutrients and moisture in and thereby promoting hair health and growth. Camellia oil also smooths the hair cuticle, leaving hair with a natural shine.

Camellia Hair Oil
Organic Camellia Seed Oil, Organic Virgin Argan Oil, Organic Golden Jojoba Oil, Organic Rosemary Essential Oil, Tuberose Oil.   40ml for $65.00

Let me start by saying "yes" to hair oil. And emphatic "YES!" in fact. If you haven't tried a high quality hair oil (no, that silicone-laden Moroccan Oil stuff does not count), prepare to be wowed. When you get a good, pure, hair-appropriate oil you'll forever be converted to using it. Massage it into hair and leave in (even overnight) as a deep conditioning treatment; rub a bit into damp hair for soft, manageable locks and protection from styling products; work it into a tangle for easy comb-outs; smooth down fly-aways when you want a sleek style like a perfect ponytail, classic chignon, or beautiful bun.
 (Not sure how to use oils without ending up oily? Check out my article How To Use Hair Oils)

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Camellia Hair Oil by aroma M is a sumptuous blend of pure, organic Camellia oil, Golden Argan oil, and Golden Jojoba oil lightly scented with organic Rosemary and Tuberose essential oils. It's lightweight, golden in color, and mind-blowingly beautiful to smell.

I am impressed with how lightweight this product is. It sinks right into my oft-colored shoulder-length fine hair and my 6 year-old, Ara's, thicker, long hair. My three year-old, Lulu, still has baby fine hair but it's got a lovely curl to it, and aroma M's Camellia Hair Oil not only keeps it soft(er) and shiny but defines her curls without weighing them down. And it works gangbusters on the tangles that sometimes creep into the back of Ara's hair, which is a blessing because her head is super sensitive and we usually end up in tears (both of us!) when the tangles are bad.

Applied carefully from mid-shaft to the ends, Camellia Hair Oil doesn't overwhelm my hair, which is great because my fine hair can go from gorgeous to lank quickly if I'm not careful. I had my hair processed recently (a bit of "corrective color"), and a drop of Camellia Hair Oil on the ends for the next few days took care of the slight fraying that was apparent right after it was processed.

Maria McElroy has used her skill as an aromatherapist to ensure that even modern American women like myself get a luxurious and pampering experience from this hair oil. Camellia Hair Oil by Aroma M is lightly tuberose-scented (I don't pick up much of the Rosemary), which only adds to the luxurious feeling of using a hair oil. I notice subtle wafts of the scent throughout the day (especially from the girls as they sit in my lap!) though it's not at all overpowering and doesn't conflict with any perfume I choose to wear. As an aside, Jane Daly of Daly Beauty didn't notice the scent for long, so as always "your mileage may vary" (read Jane's review of aroma M Camellia Hair Oil here).

Even if it didn't work half as well to moisturize and shine-up my hair, I'd use it just for the scent alone! And when you factor in the gorgeous bottle, a modern take on art nouveau style, and the tell-tale Yuzen paper labels that always wrap around aroma M products, well... I am just smitten. Camellia Hair Oil is a new must-have in my beauty arsenal!

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Note: aroma M is currently holding a holiday sale! and Both the  Camellia Hair Oil 
and the Camellia Face Oil are 10% off!

Take a stroll over to my article on How To Use Hair Oils for tips on... well, on how to use hair oils!

Tell me:
Do you use hair oils? If so, which ones? What did you think? Have you tried Aroma M's Camellia Hair Oil? What tips and tricks do you have for keeping your hair soft, shiny, and manageable?

This product was provided
by the manufacturer for consideration.
 Please read my policies for
 more information on how I handle
product reviews. 

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