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Cactus Oil and S M Cosmetics Store – Product and Store Review

December 12, 2012

I was recently wondering in what’s most suddenly become ‘little Africa’, in the heart of the Footscray suburb of Melbourne when I came across S M Cosmetics in the Metro West Shopping Centre. S M is one of many stores in the centre and the area selling everything from Africa and black hair beauty products from around the world. You will find almost everything from dried fish, spices, hair braids and extentions, and of course in my exotic hair care oils from Africa and the Middle East like Green Grass Oil (will be trying that next week) and Cactus oil of which I am about to review.

Why S M Cosmetics

S M Cosmetics is only one of many stores selling all sorts of things in the area and before entering or purchasing my Cactus Oil, I visited as many of the stores in the area as possible. I found that S M Cosmetics was the most organised in terms of how the stock and the store were presented, busiest, and friendliest. On the two occasions I’ve gone there, they have been at least three staff members floating around the store who happily approach you and ask you if you need any help. You’re offered a shopping basket to carry your goods.

I’ve felt more comfortable in S M Cosmetics than I’ve ever felt in any of the other African stores in Footscray which I generally try to avoid.

What Will You Find At S M Cosmetics

While you wont find the new wave of black hair care products used and reviewed by most naturals, you will find the traditional black hair care products and relaxers and braids and extensions.

You will also find the Vatika brand of hair care (which is from India), Henna which I think is from India or Pakistan (which apparently is meant to be better than Egyptian, and several other hair oils used in North Africa and the Middle East. Most of them you wont have heard about like Cactus Oil.

S M Cosmetics also offers a range of skin care cosmetics from the Middle East, Northern Africa, and India. Unfortunately here is also where you will find a multitude of hair lightening creams.

Be aware that most of the ingredients will be written in a foreign language (maybe Arabic) and you may need to get some help with the translations. Most of the clientele who go into the  S M speak Arabic (Somalians, Ethiopians, Eritreans, and Sudanese).

Cactus Oil

Manufacture: Baqais, made in K.S.A (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) 

Colour: Green

Ingredients: Cactus Extract, natural oils



The oils used in the preparation weren’t specified. The information on the box just said natural oil. Although I am not sure and can’t tell what natural oils they have used, I’m 100% certain at least from the smell of the product that no paraffin or petroleum has been used as the smell of petroleum in oils is hard to disguise.

Price: $10 for 125 ml

Product Claims: Promotes hair growth, prevents breakage (that’s my interpretation, actual writing on the box states: Lenghthenin the hair, preventing from falling and shortening, English is obviously not their first language and no one at the company uses spell check).

Viscosity Of The Oil:

I wouldn’t call this a very light oil, it has a slight thickness to it which I didn’t mind. It’s similar to that of Olive Oil which might have been used in the ingredients.

I never heard of Cactus Oil before but when I saw the white box with a picture on it on something that looks a little like Aloe Vera, I dissed the green grass oil I was originally going to get and swapped it for the Cactus Oil. Why? Because any plant that can survive the scotching temperatures of the desert and thrive must surely have something to over my hair.

I tried to do a little research on the net after purchasing the oil and there was almost nothing on Cactus Oil, nothing anyway that was worth sharing. I take it that this is not a commonly used hair oil in the west at least.

How To Use Cactus Oil

There are no usage instructions on the box and since I couldn’t find any information on how to use the oil. I took it upon myself to invent them. The oil absorbs into the hair quite easily and you don’t need a lot of it.

I used this on my hair when it was wet and dry without noticing anything strange so I will say that it can be used on wet or dry hair. I noticed that my hair was incredibly soft after using it, I guess it also softens the hair. The most impressive thing for me was that I noticed less hair breakage at the ends after use and it seemed to help with reducing tangles.

I also used it to oil my scalp. Why? Because it lengthens the hair, meaning it could possibly stimulate the hair follicles. I maybe reading too much into this but I haven’t had any problems with the oil on my scalp so I will continue to use it for this purpose on a daily basis as my other scalp oils stink and I can only apply them to my scalp if I’m going to be washing my hair.

Hair Types: 

Purchased From S M Cosmetics

Purchased From S M Cosmetics

Considering this Cactus Oil is from Saudi Arabia, I can go out on a limb and say that this oil should suit most hair types and textures as the hair of the Saudi People varies from straight to curly to kinky.

This oil should also be excellent for those of us in very dry climates, due to the nature of the cactus plant which should have great moisture retention properties.

I will keep you all up to date with any other new discoveries I make about this oil.

I will be purchasing this oil again in the future because of it’s strengthening capabilities.


  1. Janelle permalink

    Hey there, I bought this oil today.I must admit I am a little afraid to try it since it is nothing like the products available in my country (I am from the Western hemisphere currently residing in north africa.) I too am trying to grow out my hair and I do not want anything to hinder my progress. Do you have an update on the oil? Do you still like it?

    • Still love it. Used it all up. It’s amazing how great oils from the middle east are. I’m never going to use any other oil but ones that from the middle east. I’ve also tried Aloe Vera oil and now I am torn. Both of them work equally well at stopping breakage, the cactus oil is lighter. Try it. You wont regret it.

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