Beauty on a Budget: L’Oréal Paris Extraordinary Oil

For most of my life, I’ve used “budget” hair care products. from Pantene to John Frieda and L’Oréal, I prefer to buy what I can purchase at Target or CVS (or, I know, the horror – Ralph’s). Consequently, my hair has never been anything special. It’s all right, but it hasn’t grown a single inch in 6 years. Seriously, I haven’t so much as trimmed my hair in 6 years.

However, once I switched to salon brands like Big Sexy Hair/Blonde Sexy Hair and L’Oréal’s professional line, everything changed. In an instant (or what seemed like it), my hair grew a full inch and became so much shinier, softer and sleeker. It turns out that all I needed to do all along was shell out a few extra bucks for haircare.

I use Blonde Sexy Hair violet shampoo to lighten my hair and add gray undertones in. But since I use SO MUCH conditioner every time I wash my hair, I’ve shied away from using the same line’s conditioner. It would cost way too much. Instead, I’ve been using L’Oréal Advanced Haircare Total Repair 5 Damage Erasing Balm every time I wash my hair. Technically, this product is a hair mask not meant to be used daily, but because my hair is so dry, this product is a lifesaver. The product claims to “repair up to one year of damage in one use,” which I don’t buy, but it does make a huge difference and I love it.

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So when L’Oréal sent me products from their new Extraordinary Oil line, which promises to be even more intensely damage-erasing than their Total Repair line, from Influenster and VoxBox, I was instantly intrigued. My dry, colored, heat-styled hair can use all the help – and oil – it can get!

The Extraordinary Oil line utilizes L’Oréal’s proprietary oil complex (coconut, argan, chamomile, amla, soja and sunflower oils) to nourish hair. The line promises to do this without weighing hair down. This was the real kicker for me, as my hair is not only dry but also very thin and fine (yayy for me).

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First, I tried just the conditioner with my usual Blonde Sexy Hair violet shampoo. I fell in love with the conditioner’s smell. I hate the smell of coconut. Although you can smell a hint of coconut in this product, the other oils have their own pleasant smells which make the overall effect nice instead of like cheap summer sunscreen, which is what I think of when I smell coconut.

When I came out of the shower, my hair was soft and sleek. And no, it was not weighed down! The next day, I smelled the conditioner every time I moved my head. My hair was soft and bouncy with a nice shine. I was hooked.

Unfortunately, I did not have the same pleasant experience with the shampoo. Contrary to what it said, the oil complex DID weigh my hair down. I tried the shampoo twice, and on both occasions, I exited the shower with dull, limp, almost-greasy hair. Such a bummer. Not only that, but my hair color looked “off” every time. I would not recommend using the shampoo if you have colored hair – it made my blonde look brassy – or thin/fine hair like I do.

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Although I’m a fan of the conditioner, it pales in comparison to how much I love the Extraordinary Oil Lustrous Oil Serum. I had NEVER heard of hair oil before (I know, I’m such a beauty n00b). I was scared to try it since the label warned against using too much, and said that using too much could weigh hair down and make it look greasy. I used a tiny pea-sized dab on my ends and WOW what a game-changer. My dry, frayed split ends instantly bonded together into shiny strands. I was so amazed. I know this is a temporary quick-fix to a long-term problem (dry hair and split ends), but in the meantime while I’m nursing my hair back to health, this tool is great for faking-it-till-you-make-it.

Before: Dry and frayed
Before: Dry and frayed

I told my friend about discovering hair oil and she looked at me like I was crazy. She told me that hair oil had been around forever and it was her favorite tool. She also told me that she knew a girl who needed it, and she can’t concentrate whenever she sees her frayed ends. I laughed and then I worried about how many people thought that of me before I discovered hair oil.

After: Shiny and new
After: Shiny and new

This oil is also great when I’m having a less-than-stellar hair day. When I know I’m going to wash my hair later (the oil weighs my hair down), I comb a bit through my hair. It helps make waves manageable and smoothes down ponytails. I’m hooked. Best of all, with a $7 price tag and a “serving size” of a tiny pea-sized drop, this oil will last me forever and thus is perfect for a Diva on a Budget!

All in all, I’d recommend the L’Oréal Paris Extraordinary Oil conditioner and hair oil to anyone with dry hair and split ends who isn’t about spending a bunch of money on haircare but still wants nice locks. So, a Diva on a Budget who wants it all but doesn’t want to drain her bank account.

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Apparently no for shampoo, yes for conditioner and hair oil! Hooray!

Disclosure: I received these products free for testing purposes. I received no other compensation. All opinions are my own.

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