First up: Bumble and Bumble’s Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil. “This transformative blend of nourishing oils vanishes into hair, leaving a smooth feathersoft feel and a trace of shine,” says Bumble and Bumble, who also claim that this product smoothes down frizz and flyaways, detangles and strengthens hair against breakage.
While I didn’t use this product long enough to properly test out the breakage claim (I was using a sample vial I received as part of a Sephora bonus purchase), my six uses of it did reveal an oil that left my hair soft, detangled and with more than a “trace of shine.” It also did a reasonable job at fighting frizz and flyaways though it didn’t totally eliminate either of those problems.
Because I did just have a sample vial, I was pretty conservative with the amount of oil that I was rubbing through my hair. But it seems like a dime-to-nickel size amount is all you need for plenty of shine and a “feathersoft feel.” That amount also didn’t leave my hair greasy or slick; instead it absorbed quickly and easily.
Matrix’s Biolage ExquisiteOil was also quickly sucked up by my hair. I received a full-sized bottle of that product in my Spark Sessions swag bag and so I was sometimes a bit more generous with the amount that I ran through my hair. But whether I used a dime-sized amount or a loonie-sized one, the results were always the same: Super-soft hair (softer than when I used the Bumble and Bumble oil) that was shiny and never greasy.
Initially, I was fairly impressed by ExquisiteOil. Okay, it wasn’t the greatest at fighting frizz or flyaways but that’s not really what this product is about. It’s marketed as a “softening treatment” that is supposed to leave hair “tamed, supple and beam(ing) with exquisite shine.” Containing “an exotic blend of Gardenia and coconut oil,” this oil supposedly “evens out the hair surface for increased manageability and control.”
And that’s exactly what I thought this product was doing during the first week I used it. But then I did a split test, and then another, and then another and then basically a week had gone by where only half of my head got the oil. The results of the split test were always the same: While the hair that received the oil was definitely softer than the side that didn’t get it, shine and manageability levels were the same across my whole head. In other words, it wasn’t this oil that was making my hair shiny and easy to comb.
I did do one split test with the Bumble and Bumble oil and it was easy to see which side of my head didn’t get the oil; it was visibly frizzier than the other side. There was no visible difference with my ExquisiteOil split tests though you could feel a difference.
Performance isn’t the only noticeable difference between these two oils. The Bumble and Bumble oil costs over $40 while the Matrix one comes in at about $10 less. However, for me, the Bumble and Bumble oil works better. It also has a nicer looking bottle that feels a bit more durable.
Would I buy either of these products: I’m passing on the Matrix one. While soft hair is great, having less frizz is even better. But I might pick up the Bumble and Bumble oil once I have a bit more cash to spend.
Should you buy either of these products: The Matrix one does market itself as for people with “coarse hair.” If that description fits you and you’re looking for a product that will leave you with soft, supple hair, you should check this one out. However, make sure you pair it with a shampoo and conditioner that brings both shine and smoothness.
If you already have fairly soft locks and instead are looking for a great, all-round hair oil, Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil will do the trick, though for a bit of a price.