WHY WE’RE LOVING KIM K’S STYLIST’S OUAI HAIRCARE
You know all those celeb-stylists-turned-girl-bosses whose beauty lines are over-hyped? Jen A.'s is the anomaly.
By: Amber x Dani
We don’t know about you, but we were super excited when we first heard that Jen Atkin was coming out with her own line of haircare products. Why? We totally trust anyone responsible for keeping the Kardashians/Jenner’s hair in check, obvi. Besides, Jen totally knows her shit and her debut line of products confirms it tenfold. The fact that her OUAI Haircare products were beautifully packaged and didn’t test on animals (!) was such a great surprise. After being sucked in by the flawless branding and countless positive reviews on YT, we went ahead a placed an order on their site and tried out the Texturizing Spray and the Wave Spray. But then we just had to try more, so we stopped to Sephora on the way home from work randomly and picked up a couple more products. here’s what we thought after we tried four products from the line.
Dani: Okay, I have to admit, one of the main reasons why I was so tempted to try out these products is because of the minimal, beautiful packaging. What can I say, I’m a very visually-driven person, and as stupid as it is, packaging gets me. There can be the best ‘miracle’ product out, but I might not ever try it because the packaging is ugly and won’t look good in my bathroom’s open storage or my vanity tray in my bedroom.
I will say, the aerosol bottle used for the hairsprays is not the best option environmentally speaking. That’s the ONLY downer.
Amber: As a self-professed aesthete, I’m beyond annoyed by products, especially high-end or luxury, that come in packaging that is not #shelfie-appropriate or instagramable. Granted, I will still buy something in hideous packaging if it’s one of our holy grail, tried and true products (or if every single beauty blogger on YouTube is raving about it, LBR) and just stow it away in the bathroom vanity. But I prefer to force my products to double as décor pieces.
Jen clearly was on a mission to design her packaging to be as gorgeous as the hair she styles. The OUAI Haircare products are so photogenic, I’m jealous. Like seriously green-eyed. They have no bad angle and they capture the light perfectly. Even down to the coloring of the Wave Spray (not pictured), the brand is perfection aesthetically-speaking.
Dani: Right off the bat, I can tell you I absolutely love the smell of OUAI Haircare products. All of them. They’re fragrant, but still fresh and not overpowering. Some days I even spray my (clean) curly hair with the Texturizing Spray, which is also tied tightly into a bun, completely tucked away. Weird, I know, but it’s ok, I promise. My favorite out of the bunch we tried is the scent of the finishing creme. O.M.G. When I tell you this smells amazing, I’m not just saying that. All the other products have the same scent, and although they’re pleasant, they do still smell like a hair product, but not the finishing creme. It smells more like a luxe body creme or lotion. Whenever you stop by a SpaceNK or Sephora, have a sniff of this one and watch, you’ll want to buy it based on scent alone. Although some are different, they all have a very strong scent, so if you’re not into that, I’d pass on Jen’s products.
Per the description, the Texturizing Spray is “like dry shampoo and hair spray had a baby”, but with my hair texture, I have no use for dry shampoo; my hair is coarse and very curly and quite kinky in some sections. I have very dry hair, so it takes a long time for my hair to get “dirty” or “oily” (I’m taking at least 6 weeks), and when my does hair gets dirty, I prefer to just wash it and start all over again fresh. But when Jen said it can be used for adding that laid-back, textured vibe to straight (even clean) hair in Marianna Hewitt’s YouTube video, we figured, hey, why not give it a try? So when applying, I sprayed it only to the roots of my hair, followed by a round of (unnecessary) hair fluffing, and guess what? It worked. I was left with extra volume, which I’m always after since my hair is annoyingly thin. It also adds a pretty major hold that isn’t sticky at all, but can be a problem if you’re going for fluffy, fresh hair.
Normally, I don’t wear my hair bone straight. Since my hair tends to get frizzy as the days/weeks go on, I like to take the safer route and add some texture to my after straightening it. I usually will put my hair into two big twists, which will get pinned up overnight, and the Finishing Crème is perfect to set them with.
Amber: Disclaimer – after using the four products I tried, I realized that most of the products from the line is just not for me. Jen definitely catered OUAI Haircare to girls who have a Kardashian-esque hair type, which is fine, but not going to deny that it would have been nice to see a new brand that was more inclusive.
I have extremely curly, kinky hair that has to be blown out and flat ironed to be straight. A wet spray like the Wave Spray just caused my straightened hair to revert back to kinky coils, not create that effortlessly wavy beach hair. The repairing conditioner didn’t weigh my hair down enough, though it did very much leave it looking shiny and smelling amazing. Even though I don’t think the Finishing Crème and Texturizing Spray are ideal for hair texture like mine, they did as promised. The spray left my hair feeling light and refreshed. I actually used the spray as you would a typical hairspray overnight and I found that it helped to keep my hair smooth overnight. It acted sort of like a primer for styling the next morning.
Is Ouai Haircare Worth the money?
Dani: At first glance when you see the OUAI Haircare products on the website, the prices don’t seem unreasonable. But then when you consider how much product it you’re getting for that price – the conditioners are only 8.4 ounces which is half the size of a standard conditioner – the tables start to turn a little. I think, relatively speaking, considering the performance and packaging of the products I’ve tried, they are fairly priced. Are they cheap? No. I think it really comes down to personal preference.
Amber: I couldn’t repurchase the repairing conditioner for the simple fact that the bottle is tiny. I only use conditioner weekly, but I use it to co-wash my hair and to leave some in as a leave-in on wash days. Of the 8.5-ounce bottle, I used a third of it in just a single use. So at $26 dollars a bottle, I’m paying almost $9 per wash and that’s just out of our current price range. For someone with silky texture hair, who would only use a minimal squeeze per wash, this size bottle might be worth the money.
If anything, I would be willing to try the Curl Conditioner for what it promises if the bottle was larger and if I actually styled my hair curly (which I don’t). For the risk of it still not working for my hair type, I wouldn’t chuck out another $26 bucks for something that would be gone after three uses.
Again, the other products are for someone with a silky texture styling their hair, so there wouldn’t be any sensible reason for repurchasing (unless buying them just so my hair can smell incredible is a sensible reason.)
Would you recommend or buy again?
Dani: The OUAI Haircare wave spray I’m not going to repurchase. Although I’m sure it may work for other people, it just doesn’t do anything special enough for me to repurchase it again. It’s like that extra that dress just sitting around in your closet that you like to admire on the hanger, but you never get around to actually wearing it. And I have this thing about having things and not using them. It gives me anxiety, not kidding. If I’m not actively using something, keyword actively, I have to get rid of it. Sometimes I’ll want to keep a product I’ve emptied because it’s pretty, and I try, but after a while it’s begins to irk me too much and I end up tossing it out.
There was nothing majorly wrong with the Repairing Conditioner, but I would not purchase it again. For one, it didn’t give me the slip I’m used to from my other conditioners (not that it claimed it would, just saying). The consistency was actually a lot thicker than I was expecting. And as far as a repairing conditioner, I’d would have to use it for a longer period of time to see any major results, I presume. But again, the bottle is SO small, I’d have to go out and buy two more bottles if I wanted to try it out for, say, three months, which I think is a fair amount of time to judge if a product is working for you or not. I’d literally go through this tiny (!) bottle in one month. When I buy a conditioner, I want to buy it and not have to worry about buying a replacement for at least three months–that’s just me. And even though I never buy wash-out conditioners with the expectation that they’re going to work some sort of magic on my hair—I only need a basic conditioner that simply gets the job done—for the price, it should’ve done something to my hair other than leave it refreshingly fragrant.
Amber: Besides being gorgeous, the products smell absolutely ah-mazing. Seriously, musky floral scenes are the way to my heart. Or my pocket, apparently. Basically, they turn me reckless. You know how I said the wave spray isn’t for my hair texture? Well, even though it’s not the styling product I need, sometimes I just spray my recently-washed hair with it before I braid it up at night just so when I get up in the morning to style it, it smells divine.
These products are not for my hair needs, but don’t get me wrong – these products are not for my hair needs, but I think they’re quality products that girls with the appropriate hair texture will absolutely adore. I would definitely recommend OUAI Haircare products to anyone with silky, straight hair looking for good, cruelty-free products that smell extremely luxurious.
Dani: 4.5 out of 5 for OUAI Haircare. Double kudos to Jen for creating a modern brand that is completely cruelty-free. So, if you’re new to buying cruelty-free cosmetics then using these products will be one of the easiest transitions ever. I should also mention that the customer service at OUAI is great, which is a super bonus to me. I had emailed them using the online contact form one night, and then by the next morning I already had a response from someone from the team, who answered my question thoroughly.
Amber: I’m giving Jen and her team a 4 out of 5 on this one. I knocked off a point because although I think these are high-end, aesthetic pleasing, and wonderfully smelling products that could definitely have potential to become go-to daily products, the conditioner is a part of a collection positioned as “daily care for every hair type” and that’s unfortunately just not true. That said, got to give props to Jen A. for creating a brand that caters to the modern girl who wants to look but together without looking like she tried and being able to do it on the go. The products smell good enough to start an obsession, look good enough to include on your IG feed, and are totally cruelty-free, which is so great.
It’s still a newer line, so hopefully as they get more feedback they will evolve the brand to be more inclusive.
Have you tried any products from Ouai Haircare? Did you love them? Let us know your experience in the comments section below.
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