If you are not one to splurge on your haircare, then I urge you to stop reading now. Shu Uemura is best known for their facial cleansing oils, and the Shu Uemura Art of Hair has its own line of oil-based products for the hair featuring ferments found in onsen (hot springs in Japan) that are known for their purifying properties. Today I’m sharing with you my thoughts on the Shu Uemura Art of Oils line, specifically the Cleansing Oil Shampoo, Cleansing Oil Conditioner, and the Absolue Oil-in-Cream.
The Cleansing Oil Shampoo ($56 for 400mL) is a light fluid clear liquid that is lightly scented with camelia. Claimed to be paraben and silicone-free, it also includes onsen inspired ferment. It gently cleanses the hair while balancing the scalp. It also claims to provide radiance, leaving hair feeling light and airy.
This shampoo is super gentle on my scalp. I get dry and sensitive scalp often around this time of year, of when I’m feeling stressed out, but this helped to balance out the dryness and protect my scalp. My scalp never felt tight, and it cleaned it right so it didn’t feel heavy either. The best part was because my scalp was balanced, I could get away with washing my hair every 4 days instead of the usual every 2-3 (it sounds kinda gross but washing your hair less is actually better for the hair and scalp).
My biggest issue with this shampoo is that I felt like it didn’t lather as much as I would have liked it to. The soap suds are rather thin, and it doesn’t leave my hair feel as squeaky clean. Although I know my hair is clean, I prefer that there’s a squeaky clean type of feel after rinsing out my shampoo, and this just didn’t give that.
The price of $56 is pretty hefty, so I can’t exactly recommend it. I like it because I can get away with washing my hair less. If you are someone who has scalp issues and need more of a balanced shampoo that cleanses your hair and scalp but never strips, then this shampoo is worth looking into. Or, if you’re like me and want to transition into washing your hair less and/or is lazy, then this is also perfect for you. If you prefer a more clarifying shampoo, then you should overlook this.
The Cleansing Oil Conditioner (C$56 for 250mL) is an ultra lightweight, fluid conditioner that you leave in the hair after shampooing, then rinse out. It claims to be formulated with onsen inspired ferment that leaves hair feeling soft and radiant, as well as light and airy. It is also lightly scented with camelia.
This conditioner is super light, more of a lotion texture than the cream conditioners I’ve used in the past. It coats hair well, and it absorbs very quickly. I like to leave it in my hair for a minutes while I wash my face and body so that the conditioning properties are maximized, and I found that by leaving it in my hair just a tad longer, it makes my hair feel 10 times smoother and more moisturized than if I had just rubbed it in then rinsed it out. My hair never feels heavy, and there is zero residue left behind after rinsing.
While I really like this conditioner because it is hydrating and doesn’t weigh down hair, priced at $56, it’s not enough of a miracle worker in order for me to recommend it. There are other conditioners out there that do a similar job at a fraction of the price.
My favourite of the three products, the Essence Absolue Oil-in-Cream (C$69 for 150mL) is a hair cream that melts into a thin oil once rubbed into the palms of my hands.
This cream is so lightweight and lightly scented with camelia oil; it absorbs right into the ends of my towel-dried hair. I use it every time after I wash and condition my hair with the Cleansing Oil Shampoo and Cleansing Oil Conditioner – only a pea-sized amount is required – and right before blowdrying. It helps to alleviate several of my hair issues in the winter, such as frizz, flyaways, dryness, and static, and it also protects against the blowdryer’s heat. My hair is never left feeling heavy or greasy, rather it feels silky and smooth. It has been a winter necessity, especially because of how static-y my hair feels due to the dry air.
Of the three products in the Shu Uemura Art of Oils line reviewed here, I would have to recommend this one. While it is very expensive, it truly does work. A tiny bit goes a long way, and if you’ve had issues with frizzyness or dryness, and dislike silicone-heavy hair products, this one will be good for you.