As a culture, we Indians have been oiling our hair for centuries, especially the South Indians with coconut oil. Whether oil really does help improve the texture of our hair or it just coats our hair to make it look smoother is a debate that’s been going on for years & if you talk to people you’ll find they’re either pro-oil or anti-oil. I for one am firmly on the pro-oil camp. It may or may not actually help, but it can’t hurt right? Oil is natural (neem oil is great for ridding the hair of dandruff) & the massage is good for the scalp so why not?
One of the main reasons oil has fallen out of favor in recent years is probably because of the look it gives when it’s on. Nobody wants their hair looking like a deep-fried food so most people oil their hair at night & wash it off the next morning.
When Dove launched the Elixirs they had a very visible advertising campaign: Your granny was right. Oiling is good for the hair.  They promised the benefits of overnight oiling in just 30 minutes. So I suppose I got intrigued & promptly picked one up the first time I saw it available (in January) while shopping for groceries.
They are available in three variants- Hairfall Rescue (Rose & Almond Oil), Nourished Shine (Hibiscus & Argan Oil) & Dryness Care (Lavender & Olive Oil). I bought the last one – my hair is dry & I love the smell of lavender.
What they say: Used in Egyptian medicine from 1800 B.C. and often used by Greek pharaohs for fragrance, Lavender or Lavendula, now lends itself beautifully to Dove Elixir. Lavender with rich Olive Oil that’s known to be found in the Mediterranean region, make for the virtuous concoction – Dryness Care by Dove Elixir. These golden drops of Dove Elixir Dryness Care work to help repair signs of dryness, to help nourish every single hair fiber and help protect against hair damage. The golden drops of elixir breathe life into fragile hair that fall easily, to nourish and protect hair from damage. The potion of Dove Elixir – Dryness Care for luxuriously soft, beautiful tresses. To give you the goodness of overnight oiling in 30 minutes.
Warning: The review part of this is going to be long! But it had to be said. If you’re at all interested in knowing about chemicals in hair products or how prominent brands mislead people then read on.
The box – note that it says ‘Precious Hair Oils with Real Ingredients‘.A close up photo of the ingredients. Have a look, because we’ll be discussing this soon.The pump bottle is glass made of glass with a subtle ombré effect (yellow on top, lavender at the bottom). There are also a couple of petals floating inside, which on close inspection of the ingredient list above turn out to be lotus petals.
I have to admit, presentation-wise I was quite impressed with the bottle. While most other hair oils come in plain plastic flip top bottles, a glass pump bottle with lotus petals seemed very luxe.
Before I really talk about how it feels, I’d like to revisit the ingredient list for a bit. As pointed out above, Dove proudly proclaims that this is a precious hair oil with real ingredients. Yet the ingredient list tells a whole other story-
The first ingredient listed is mineral oil, an oil that’s very commonly used in skin & hair care products.  Is it precious? Hell no! It’s a byproduct of petroleum & the only reason it’s used is because it’s very cheap. This article outlines well why it should be avoided. {Sidenote: This is also the main ingredient in Johnson’s Baby Oil, & mineral oil is terrible for babies. Please never use it or gift it to a newborn’s family & always try & educate anyone who uses it for their babies. More people need to know how terrible it is}. I know what you’ll say now, that most of the concerns are skin related & that it should be safe enough to use for the hair, which doesn’t absorb toxins as much. Well you’re probably right. But this goes against the whole precious oil bit completely, no? And it’s not just another ingredient. A whopping 78% of this consists of mineral oil.
The other oils this product contains are listed as sesame seed oil, coconut oil, sunflower seed oil, olive oil, sweet almond oil, lavender oil & palm oil. All of those oils, together make up just 16% of the whole. The two ‘top billed’ oils appear at 6th & 8th position on the list respectively. The lavender fragrance is obviously artificial, because it probably contains just a teeny tiny microscopic amount of lavender oil.
Is your hair feeling smoother & nicer after application? Well then it’s probably the silicone that appears 3rd on the ingredient list that you can thank for that. Silicone is a product that’s found in most shampoos & conditioners today. It smooths & coats the hair but many claim it also suffocates it. It’s a well know fact that silicone closes you hair out (as outlined well in this article) making it impossible for any deep condition treatment to actually be effective. I’m not completely against silicones but I’m definitely not comfortable with it being in a hair oil, something that’s supposed to deep condition.
That’s all I have to say about the ingredients. Nothing special to say about the oil’s effects. Dove claims it can be used as a finishing touch after styling for added shine, but I think it’s too heavy/greasy for that purpose. I didn’t find any difference after using it before a shampoo & conditioner.
Now I sometime’s use it at night, just for added moisturization (if any?) Lavender as a scent is known to aid in relaxation & help with sleep so putting some of this on at night works well for me, even if the lavender fragrance is synthetic.
In summation, I’m not saying that this oil is very evil or bad & it’ll make all of your hair fall off. But I think the branding is highly misleading. With words like precious & real, they’re trying to position it as a natural product when it’s clearly not.
Price: ₹185 for 90 ml.
I prefer to use natural products when I can but it’s not like I don’t use hair products with mineral oil / silicone in them. But what I don’t like is being lied to, & that is what Dove is doing with this oil. I generally like them as a brand but I’d never, ever recommend this to anyone, it’s a total rip off. You can definitely make your own blend with coconut oil, olive oil & lavender essential oil (in fact I have all three at home & will probably make some myself when this is over). It won’t be much more expensive & it will be truly natural.

If you’re still interested in getting it, knowing it’s limitations you can probably get it at your local chemist / supermarket or on Flipkart.