I Tried Dove's Pure Care Dry Oil, and I Have Thoughts

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3.8

Dove Pure Care Dry Oil

Dove Hair Oil Product

Nicole Kliest/Design by Cristina Cianci

What We Like
  • Doesn’t weigh hair down

  • Visibly smoother hair after one use

  • Bottle is heavy and feels luxurious

What We Don't Like
  • Not Byrdie Clean

  • A bit pricey for Dove

This dry oil from Dove made my thick hair look smoother and smell good. My only wish is that it was $5 cheaper.

3.8

Dove Pure Care Dry Oil

Dove Hair Oil Product

Nicole Kliest/Design by Cristina Cianci

We put Dove's Pure Care Dry Oil to the test after receiving a complimentary sample from the brand. Keep reading for our full product review.

I’ve been using Dove products for as long as I can remember. This ubiquitous company is a mainstay in many households in large part due to its accessibility, low price point, and versatile range of products. Up until very recently, I’d primarily been using their bars of soap for sensitive skin but nothing else. When I decided to give their dry hair oil a go, I had a few questions in mind. Will it make my hair greasy? What does it smell like? And why, pray tell, is this drugstore bottle costing me upwards of $25? For the answers to these questions—and my full product review—read on. 

Dove Pure Care Dry Oil

Best For: Dry or dull hair.

Uses: Tame frizz and add shine.

Byrdie Clean?: No, contains BHT and mineral oil.

Price: Around $25

About the Brand: Dove has been supplying Americans with its iconic products since 1957. Now owned by parent company Unilever, Dove offers a range of hair and skin products and in 2013 it made its foray into the premium dry oil market, a departure from its regular budget-friendly assortment of products.

About My Hair: Thick and wavy

Unlike my skin, which is finicky and takes a ton of work to look good, my hair has always been an area where I can take it easy. It’s thick (my strands are thick and I have a lot of ‘em) and has a natural wavy texture—I really like it. That said, it’s not void of issues entirely. On days when it’s especially cold or windy, my hair will dry out and frizz up. Also, unrelated to topics a hair oil could address, I suffer from bouts of dandruff and an itchy scalp. So, it’s not perfect hair—but all things considered, it’s not causing me much grief.

The Feel: Oily and spreadable

Texture Shot

Nicole Kliest/Design by Cristina Cianci

The first thing I noticed when I opened my package was how heavy and luxurious the bottle felt; this led me to down a rabbit hole to Dove’s 100% recycled bottle mission, which I was surprised to learn about. The product is dispensed through a small pump and the texture of the oil is pretty similar to others I’ve tried—it's spreadable and leaves your hands (and hair) ultra-soft. 

The Ingredients: Lots of oils (some great, some not)

Dove’s star ingredient for this hair oil is Macadamia ternifolia seed oil, which is packed with enriching fatty acids and moisturizing emollients. There’s also coconut oil, sweet almond oil, sunflower seed oil, palm oil, and pomegranate seed oil. On the flip side, there’s also mineral oil and BHT, two ingredients that conflict with our clean beauty pledge. However, Dove states on its website that it “only uses pharmaceutical-grade high-purity mineral oils—those that are also used in hospitals and have been proven safe to use on a regular basis.” I’m skeptical by nature, but I appreciate the level of transparency they have on their website surrounding ingredients and sustainability. 

The Scent: Nutty and enjoyable

The hair oil has a strong fragrance but it blends into the hair nicely and doesn’t feel overpowering once applied. It smells sort of nutty with a slight hint of coconut. It’s not the most nuanced scent but it’s pleasant all the same.

The Results: Smooth and shiny

Dove Hair Oil: Before and After

Nicole Kliest/Design by Cristina Cianci

Unless I’m straightening my hair for a special occasion, I usually let my hair air dry and become wavy. When I do this, the strands are better off with a few pumps of oil to reduce the volume. I used around three pumps, which I warmed up in my hands and gently applied from mid-length to tips. The result: hair that was instantly smoother and a bit shiny, too. As with any hair oil, it’s always better to start conservative and add in more later—it’s all too easy to apply one pump too many, rendering your hair a greasy mess.

The Value: A bit pricy

While I did enjoy using Dove’s hair oil, I had a hard time spending so much on a drugstore brand. Though the website lists the product for $20, it’s incredibly difficult to track down (this hypothesis was validated by the many online reviews I read from other users saying they had a hard time finding it in stores and the fact that all of the vendors Dove lists on its website say the oil is currently unavailable). 

I ended up finding it on Amazon for $25 (pre-tax) and it felt like too much money for what I was getting. That said, in comparison to other hair oils you find at your local drugstore, Dove’s product offers a high concentration of quality ingredients—all of the oils I listed before are at the beginning of the ingredients list on the back of the bottle. 

In other words, if you can get over the fact that you’re paying as much for a bottle of hair oil from Dove as you would from, say, Oaui, then yeah it’s worth it. 

Similar Products: You have many options

The hair oil market is saturated with options from corporate players (ahem, Dove) all the way to indie startups. There are a lot of fun oils to choose from, and each offers a unique array of benefits for your precious locks.

Oaui Hair Oil: The Hair Oil ($28) from Jen Atkin's brand Oaui offers a mix of African galanga, ama oil, and Asian borage oils. Smooth and de-frizz your hair with this fragrant delight (it smells like violet, gardenia, ylang-ylang, and white musk—chic).

Prose Custom Hair Oil: Speaking of cool startups, Brooklyn-based brand Prose's Customized Hair Oil ($48) program asks you to complete a questionnaire before they create a unique-to-you formula. Available ingredients include maracuja oil, babassu oil, beech oil, chicory oil, and plenty more. 

Final Verdict


It made my hair look nice and in the grand scheme of things, a $20+ bottle of hair oil that will last me close to a year is not a bad deal. If you’re curious, I’d say give it a go.

Specs

  • Product Name Pure Care Dry Oil
  • Product Brand Dove
  • Price $25
  • Full Ingredient List Cyclopentasiloxane, Parafflnum Liquidum (Mineral Oil), Dimethiconol, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Elaeis Guineensis (Palm) Oil, Prunica Granatum (Pomegranate) Seed Oil, Parfum (Fragrance), Phenyl Trimethicone, Amodimethicone, Cyclohexasiloxane, Cyclotetrasiloxane, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, BHT, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Benzyl Alcohol, Benzyl Salicylate, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Citronellol, Coumarin, Geraniol, Hydroxycitronellal, Limonene, Linalool.

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