I remember opening my first jar of this product and wondering “WTF”? It looked slimy and shiny and greasy and I had no idea what to do with it or how to use it. A styler? Nope. Conditioner? Nope. Leave-in? Nope. On my dry hair at the time, I found it too greasy. In my first year or so of naturally curly hair, oil and I did not agree.
Fast forward to 2010 and wet hands. Wet hands and wet hair – light bulb moment! Olive & Honey Hydrating Balm is water-soluble, yet it clings! It is a moisture booster and hair softener par excellence. On my wet hair it works beautifully over conditioner or leave in, before I gel. And it mixes well with other leave in products.
How do I love you, OHHB? Let me count the ways:
Day 1: On freshly washed, wet, detangled hair, apply right over conditioner, before cool rinsing. Rub a 1/2 tsp. in palms, scrunch into hair and finger smooth your strands. Let sit for a few minutes, then bend over and cool water rinse, with emphasis on getting all conditioner off your scalp and roots. A cool water rinse leaves some OHHB on your ends.
Day 1: Mixed together with a leave in conditioner, before styling freshly washed and conditioned hair: I mix 1/4 tsp. with 1/2 tsp. Abba Pure Gentle as a leave-in to “prime” my hair before styling, just like you would prime a canvas before painting. Paint applied to a stretched, unprimed canvas will sink into and be absorbed by the fabric. Gesso the canvas first to prime it, let that dry and you are painting on the primer. The paint colors and textures pop off the canvas. Same concept, except in this case the texture pops and hair is primed to hold in moisture.
Day 1: After applying a styler of choice, I use the OHHB mixed together with Loma Imply (a soft, creamy molding liquid) and smooth on wet styled and blotted ends in lieu of gel, as a final step before drying. This is a great gel replacement in the cold cruel winter. Loma Imply makes a good under-gel leave in as well. OHHB also works well under or over Vigorol Curls Curling Cream and Curl Junkie Coffee Coco Curl Cream.
Day 2: On dry 2nd or 3rd day hair, touch up curl ends with the same Loma Imply/QOHHB mixture to hydrate and reform curl ends. This is usually my last hydration step after scrunching in a small amount of Devacurl Set it Free mixed with Qhemet Burdock Root Butter Cream.
Day 3 or 4: Twisting? Smoothing on dry/damp twist ends over Afroveda Curl Define or Curl Junkie Hibiscus and Honeybutta leave in before setting overnight on foam rollers. In the morning I take down for a 1-day or 2-day twistout and my ends are soft and defined.
Day 5: Overnight on dry 4-day hair, over a very light water spritz, a water-based moisturizer, or both. Over the OHHB I will smooth a few drops of my favorite serum, Loma Pearatin Fortifying Repairative Serum (contains silicones). This softens and detangles the hair, allowing me to brush it with my Mason Pearson Junior and twist into 2-4 large bantu knots. I’ll take it down in the morning and brush into a bun. Water based moisturizers that work well for this method: Karen’s Body Beautiful Sweet Ambrosia or Hair Nectar; Afro Detangler.
Day 6: Wash day! Woo hoo! Start at Day 1.
My one and only beef with this product? The jar it comes in. To avoid diluting it with water and contaminating it with germs each time I dip my fingers into it, I have to decant it into a squeeze bottle. Olive Honey Hydrating Balm really needs to come in a squeeze or pump type bottle.
Price: 2 oz. – $5.50/8 oz. – $16.00
Ingredients: Pure Olive (Olea Europa) Oil, Virgin Sesame (Sesamum Indicum) Oil, Vegetable Glycerin, Vegetable Emulsifier, Pure Wildflower Honey, MSM (Methysulfonylmethane), Vitamin E (Mixed Tocopherols), Fragrance. (note – fragrance is extremely mild)