Ouidad is known as the “Queen of Curl”. She started out her career in the US as a theatrical hair stylist for the Broadway production of Evita. It soon became evident that she had a talent for working with curly hair. People all over New York began coming to her for help with their curly hair. She saw a niche that wasn’t filled and despite being advised it was a bad business move, she started a salon and began developing products exclusively for curly hair. Today she is internationally recognized as the pioneer of the curly hair industry. Her trademarked cutting and styling techniques and specialized line of award winning products are sought out not only by beauty editors but people with curly and wavy hair all over the world. She has her flagship salon in New York , a salon in the Los Angeles area and is an author, teacher, and global educator.
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My Publisher Lawrence and I had the pleasure of meeting with her and experiencing her newest breakthrough called the “ Ouidad Luxe Mediterranean Bay Leaf Hair and Scalp Treatment.” The following is our “He said” / “She said” recap of our experience.
Ouidad’s inspiration for this treatment was the barbershops she remembers as a child growing up in Lebanon . To this day men will go weekly to their barbers for “Hot Oil” treatments designed to give them a full head of hair.
About the treatment; it features Bay Leaf Oil imported from Lebanon , hand selected by Ouidad for its purity and efficacy. This oil originates from Lebanon and is commonly used throughout Europe and the Middle East for its restorative qualities. It is blended with a fine grained natural exfoliant in a base of amino acids with moisturizing and re-structuring proteins. It exfoliates dry scalp, inspires healthy growth and reinvigorates hair.
I liked it. Do I need to say anymore? Oh? You want details. Ok. I was impressed by Ouidad’s knowledge of her products, her belief in natural ingredients and not using so many chemicals and plastics like silicone. Her dedication to her field is illustrated by the fact that she continued on with her education studying chemistry and becoming a junior chemist. She sees a need for a product and then goes into a lab and works directly with chemists coming up with products that fulfill that need. I am impressed with that type of hands on ethic. All her stylists are hand picked by her and she even likes to choose ones who have curly/wavy hair so they know first hand the hardships and pitfalls of working with curly/wavy hair.
I also liked that this “ Mediterranean Bay Leaf Treatment” is designed using old tried and true methods with natural products from her native country. That it is a treatment not only for women but that it was actually taken from a treatment that men would get some on a weekly basis. Because it not only helped their hair feel soft, but it helped keep them from losing their hair. I especially enjoyed the initial exfoliation where the product was massaged into my scalp.
My stylist Morgan was in constant communication with me about how I was feeling. Was the massage pressure alright, to hard or to soft, how was I? She also explained everything she was doing and even gave me suggestions and pointers specifically for my type of hair that went beyond the treatment I was there for.
The treatment made my hair feel soft and very luxurious. I have very coarse wavy hair, most stylist are surprised by how coarse it is when they first touch it. I have the kind of hair that is very hard to work with. Her products left my hair feeling softer and more manageable than usual and that softness has lasted for weeks.
I’ll say it again: “I liked it”.
I was intrigued by the exfoliation. I’m a firm believer in exfoliating your skin but I had never heard of, or even thought of exfoliation of one’s scalp. When I mentioned this to Ouidad she related to me about how important this step was, especially with all the products out on the market which are not naturally based. She spoke of how the silicones in products will actually get into the pore that the hair follicle grows out of and they will build up and clog those pores. This leads to the hair shaft starving and not getting nutrients, oxygen etc and it dies off. This is one thing that helps create hair loss. Who would have thought that product build up could be so damaging?
The exfoliation portion of the treatment was lovely. My stylist Kate had me sit side by side at the wash basins with Lawrence who was getting his hair treatment at the same time. She applied the exfoliant and then massaged it deeply into my scalp for about five minutes. This stimulated the hair follicles and helped improve circulation which is good for hair growth. I only wish it was more like 50 minutes, it was quite lovely and I didn’t want her to stop. Then that was rinsed out and a deep conditioner was applied and we were taken to the dryers for 15 minutes of heat while the Bay Leaf Oil, amino acids, and re-structurizing proteins activated by the heat penetrated deeply into my scalp, bonding with my hair cuticles and replenishing my hair. Once more we were back to the wash basins for a final rinse and then a style.
The “ Ouidad Luxe Mediterranean Bay Leaf Hair and Scalp Treatement” was fantastic. It was the perfect mix of pampering and doing something incredibly helpful for my hair. In the last few months I have taken to bleaching my hair by myself and had just returned from a mini vacation where I used a very inferior shampoo and conditioner. Due to the bleaching damage I had already done to my hair, this “vacation” had left my hair on the verge of looking like hay. I was one or two cheap shampoos away from a full out disaster, when I went into Ouidad’s salon. In just one treatment my hair went form looking frizzy and fried; to smooth and supple. The softness returned and I could see beneficial results. Exactly, what I had hoped for when I first heard about the treatment.
But and this is a big BUT all of this is not what left me leaving the salon in shock. Real honest to G** shock. It was when Kate set about styling my hair. She applied Ouidad’s products telling me exactly which one and why she chose it for my hair. She asked me if I knew that I had a little wave to my hair. I told her that I thought maybe very little but I considered myself to have completely straight hair. She than said that she wanted to see how much wave she could coax out of it. As she worked on drying my hair she gave me tips on how to do it myself and taught me one of Ouidad’s signature techniques called the “rake and shake”. The more she worked my hair an amazing thing happened; curls and waves, without the use of rollers or curling irons or straight irons or round brushes, nothing but her hands. She did use a blow dryer but with a diffuser and only to dry it no artificial curling techniques were used and voila. I had beautiful wavy hair. The exact kind of hair I have always wanted. I’ve even paid lots of money for spiral perms that didn’t deliver that kind of curl, and ruined my hair. I was literally in shock. I couldn’t believe it was MY hair. I actually had mermaid hair. Who would have known? Certainly not me and I’ve lived with it all my life. I would have sworn up and down that my hair was completely straight with barely to no wave at all. But that was before I entered magical kingdom created by Ouidad the “Queen of Curl”.
For more information go to www.ouidad.com