Okay, so today’s post is going to be about Ouai Haircare, I promise, but first let me launch into a tangent about how half of my major in college was English Lit and I did an analysis on Gillian Flynn’s novel Gone Girl – specifically the monologue the character of Amy Dunne gives about the “Cool Girl” myth and I’ve been obsessed with it ever since. It. Is. Epic. You can watch the film scene here, but the book is better – of course. When picturing this mythical woman Amy describes, you just have to imagine her with perfectly undone, shiny effortless waves right!? Like the kind of hair that Kate Hudson has when she hops out of the shower in any movie she is in, probably an adorable romantic comedy, and lets her blonde hair “air dry” – AKA a team of stylists coiffed that look that no one can attain in real life. Well, that they can’t attain if they don’t have the right products.
That’s where Jen Atkin’s, celebrity hairstylist to the love of my life Chrissy Teigen, Jenna Dewan, and others, freaking amazing hair range, Ouai Haircare, comes into play. Side bar – the end of that last sentence created a little rhyme (play and ouai) to help you understand the pronunciation of the collection’s name. Ouai is the slang version of “yeah” in french which makes it so très cool.
Atkin’s Ouai Haircare products create the most gorgeous styles, keep my hair healthy and maintained, and smell f**king wonderful- like so wonderful she just released a fragrance line.
I’ve been slowly but surely making my way through the collection and honestly, I haven’t found a product yet that isn’t fantastic. Let’s delve into what I’ve tried, shall we?
For The Shower
So far, I have used two shampoos, two conditioners, and the Treatment Masque. The mask does just what it says it will. It treats dry, brittle hair – like mine from way too much heat styling and color, leaving it soft and shiny, but not feeling greasy. It’s simple and effective.
The Repair Shampoo and Repair Conditioner were the first I tried and I think it is my favorite line of the two I’ve experienced and I am now on my third set. Like I mentioned, I put my hair through a lot of damage on a regular basis, nor was I very kind to my strands when I was Miss WV USA with all the extensions, teasing, and what not. However, I was truly impressed with how my hair was fairing after the last drops were gone from these two bottles. This shampoo and conditioner left my hair smooth and soft, but again, no heaviness which is all I ask for in my hair products. Oh, and this scent is just wow. It’s the fragrance Atkin dubbed Mercer St. and I want to eat it with notes of Italian lemon, Turkish rose, jasmine sambac, iris, lily, and white musk. Heaven.
Next, I purchased the Smooth Shampoo and Smooth Conditioner because your girl here has the weirdest texture/frizz/one wavy section/one straight section/little curly baby pieces of hair you’ve ever seen. So, I thought the smooth line would help tame these tresses just a bit and it definitely did, especially on the frizz front. I will say it is a little more hydrating (i.e. weighs down more) than the repair range, so my curls were more like loose waves. It wasn’t anything too crazy, just something to keep in mind if you have very fine hair. Overall, I can see this being a line I reach for when I’m wanting to wear my hair straight and want a lighter fragrance – this one is North Bondi, a clean scent that I feel like Blake Lively probably smells like.
For Heat Styling
Leave-In Conditioner (formerly known as Smooth Spray) is the Ouai product I have repurchased the most. I actually stockpiled it when I thought it was going to be discontinued, but thankfully they just renamed this little angel of a hair treatment. In addition to keeping my hair conditioned, it tames frizz, helps my style last longer, and protects against heat damage. I spray mine into my palms and work into wet hair before I blow dry. Also, it carries the North Bondi scent as well and made me realize how nicely all the Ouai scents layer with each other.
The Ouai’s Volume Spray is a really gorgeous volumizing product, it truly is. However, I do have pretty thick, voluminous hair already, the only upside to the texture and frizz mentioned earlier, so I don’t reach for this one very often. It works though and gives me that extra boost when I need it, like when I use a flat iron and it takes away my natural body. My mom on the other hand, has finer hair and this has worked noticeable wonders for her. I recommend blow drying upside down to get the most bang for your buck.
Wave Spray is arguably one of the most recognizable products of the Ouai Haircare arsenal and it is easy to understand why. If you didn’t hear me say it before, here it is one more time – I have frizzy hair. Therefore, using beachy, wavy sprays that have sea salt is a disaster for me. It roughs up the cuticle of my hair so much that I don’t have those aforementioned Kate Hudson waves. I tend to look more like I got drunk on a beach and passed out on the sand while ocean water pelted my head – so really, really terrible. Thankfully, I was still working at Sephora when this gem graced the shelves of our store one summer. It took only one try and I was hooked. Yes, you can totally use it on damp hair and scrunch for waves, but I like to amp it up and spray on second day hair after wrapping a few pieces of hair around a curling wand in various directions. It’s the secret to that cool girl hair, trust me.
This section is called “For Heat Styling” so of course it makes complete sense to include my weapon against all hot tools, Memory Mist. If there is only one thing you take away from this post, let it be that you should always, always, always use protection – especially when it comes to heat on your precious hair. This one gets extra points because it also protects your hair against UV rays and locks in your style – I can even skip hair spray when I use Memory Mist.
For Hair Longevity
While I do love Wave Spray, Texturizing Hair Spray , gets my vote as Ouai’s hero product. In fact, I think the two together are the perfect cocktail for creating that cool girl look I’ve been rambling on about. Texturizing Hair Spray is one part dry shampoo to one part hair spray and I live for it. I use it on the first day after a blowout when I want to start the process of extending the life of my hair without committing fully to a dry shampoo. I’ve also repurchased this a few times and it’s just a go-to. Highly recommend it if you want to achieve that messy, short bob look as well.
Ouai Haircare does so many things well, clearly I’m a fan, and their Dry Shampoo is one of those things they do well. It’s what I use it on days two and three after a wash, when I need something more substantial.
Dry Shampoo Foam can be a difficult product if you don’t know how to use it properly. It’s for when your hair is really dirty. I’m not talking about the oh, I need a little volume dirty, I mean like you probably should have woken up 30 minutes earlier to wash your hair before work but you decided to hit snooze 6 times instead, dirty. I’ve heard it said before that Jen Atkin based this product on what hospitals use for bed-ridden patients that are unable to wash their hair in a traditional way. I can believe that, as it does feel like a little shower for your hair and that is exactly how you should work this product into your roots – like you were going to town scrubbing your hair in the shower. Rub it in until it feels dry, then rub some more. It’s a miracle worker.
I am still making my way down Ouai’s product list, which can be difficult because they seem to be adding new rock stars to the line-up every month, but I can say without hesitation it is one of my favorite hair companies. I think if I could have anyone style my hair for a day it would totally be Jen – she’s a boss babe and looks great doing it. Perhaps she’s the cool girl after all! Let me know if you’ve tried anything from Ouai Haircare and which product I should go for next!
In the meantime, you can always shop my favorites from makeup, haircare, and more on the Shop Instagram page.
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