Saturday, October 23, 2010

Ouidad Natural Hair Makeover

My hairstyle of choice is double-strand twists, however, it's been several years since I've worn my own natural hair without a pump-up-the-volume boost of added human hair.  Now that I work at home and have more flex time to style my hair, I decided it was time to change up my style....at least temporarily.

Me with hair twisted, before twist-out.
So I went to Ouidad, a salon and product line known for its expertise with "curly hair."  The light-filled midtown Manhattan salon is spacious and extremely professional.

Although most of the salon's clients at the time of my visit didn't have my ethnic hair type, I was pleased to see that the questionnaire I filled out before I met with my stylist included a box for kinky/curly hair texture. And as Mary on "The Real Housewives of D.C." drunkenly eloquently put it, even though we have different hair needs why should we have separate salons?

I sat down with Ana, an African-American stylist who has worked with Ouidad for fifteen years.

"T.L.C. is the most important for natural hair," she says.  "Your hair speaks to you and tells you when it's happy or sad."

So it's a good thing I'm giving my hair a break from the twist extensions.  While analyzing my hair, Ana noticed shorter pieces mixed in with longer strands and assessed I need a trim at least once every three months and a deep, protein-based conditioner treatment every two weeks.  Oil treatments, Ana says, make the hair look shiny but "suffocate the scalp."

Me with my hair twisted-out.
Washing my hair once a week and rinsing it with conditioner in between shampoos is also part of the Ouidad hair care regimen.  I also discovered that you should work in shampoo from the ends up and never apply conditioner directly to your scalp (apply it about an inch from the scalp).

The combo of Ouidad's Water Works Clarifying Shampoo and Curl Quencher Mosturizing Conditioner made my hair feel unbelievably soft and the Double Detangler comb is a godsend.

As it turns out, my hair has both an "S" and a "Z" curl pattern.  That explains why some of my ends are straight even though I haven't had a perm in more than a decade, while others are more tightly coiled.  Since I wasn't ready to go for a completely "au naturale" Afro style, Ana twisted my hair using the Curl Quencher Moisturizing Styling Gel.  She then sat me under the dryer for about 20 minutes, unraveled the twists, and styled my hair with a diffuser and Ouidad's Clear Control Pomade.

While I'm not accustomed to wearing my own hair untwisted and to so many steps for maintenance, the style was cute.  I left better informed about how to care for my hair and with a few products to try at home. Because I'm a get up and go kinda gal, I know I'll eventually go back to my usual "natural" style.  But I'm glad I had the Ouidad experience.

2 comments:

  1. They did a fantastic job!! And it was great hearing the advice they gave you in regards to adding oil and conditioner to the scalp/hair... that is a tip I recently "discovered" during my usual hair care routine and my hair has been happier since I learned that lesson!!

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  2. Hi Tracy,

    We're so glad you enjoyed your experience at Ouidad and I really enjoyed reading this post.

    Your hair looks great!

    Katie for Ouidad

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