Worth The Hype? OUAI
That's the OUAI I like it
In case you are new to the brand, it is worth mentioning that OUAI was created by multitalented celebrity hair stylist Jen Atkin (whom you might have seen on KUWTK). Her line was developed with busy girlbosses in mind; "results-driven, simplified routine" that should give you the best of both worlds: chic locks and healthy scalp. I love the brand's minimalistic aesthetic, friendly pricetags, as well as its passion for natural ingredients (and chic scents too). Personally, whenever I envision that model-off-duty hair, I instantly think of OUAI. And since it is my go-to hairstyle anyways, I figured it would be fun to finally sit down and talk to you guys about some of the brand's hits and misses. Hope you enjoy!
My Hair Type: virgin (aka has not been dyed before) long, wavy, normal-fine (or what my Danish hairdresser calls "Scandinavian") hair type.
Products marked with (*) are PR Samples. Everything else I purchased myself. Read more here.
Shampoo & Conditioner
I came across OUAI Smooth Shampoo and Smooth Conditioner (28/26 USD respectively; Made in USA) a few years ago, when I was on a hunt for clean, nasties-free haircare products. If you look at the ingredients' list, you might think you are reading a menu: Coconut Water, Jojoba Oil, Carrot, Jasmine, Rice, Ginger, Artichoke, Pea, Tamarind Seed Extracts are only the tip of the iceberg here.
Since my hair is naturally wavy, it can look quite frizzy too (not to mention baby hairs poking in hundred different directions). Thankfully this formula doesn't only nourish my locks like no other shampoo/conditioner can, but it also helps keep frizz and tangles at bay. Doesn't matter whether your hair is fine or thick, it will work. Plus, I can easily straighten mine in less than five minutes, which is quite impressive for (let's face it) an amateur. I have been through so many bottles of both Smooth Shampoo and Smooth Conditioner in the past 2-3 years and highly (highly!) recommend both of them.
Great For: dry, frizzy hair that needs hydration.
I thought that since I loved OUAI's Smooth line so much, I would like Repair one too. Although I have never dyed my hair, I do style it quite often, which is why the mid-end section can become a bit "fried" over time. It's been two months and I have almost used up both Repair Shampoo and Conditioner (28/26 USD respectively; Made in USA) and here is what I have to say: as much as I like it, I will not repurchase this line and here is why.
While the ingredient's list is impressive and my hair looks nice, it doesn't feel as amazing as when I use the brand's Smooth range. Perhaps I would enjoy it more if my hair was [indeed] coloured. But since I worry more about dryness/frizz than I do about anything else, I have figured that I would go back to my OG favourites instead.
Great For: coloured, dull hair that needs extra care and attention.
Repurchase? No, but only because I prefer the other formula more. I would still recommend it to those of you, who are looking for a potent shampoo/conditioner duo for colour-treated hair.
"Like dry shampoo and hairspray had a baby", this is what literally sold this product to me. You'd think that after years of working in advertising I would be immune to smart marketing slogans. But, alas!
Texturizing Hair Spray (26 USD; Made in USA) claims to give you an incredible volume and texture all at the same time. It also has "volcanic minerals" in it, that should help absorb extra oil, thus leaving you with a refreshed scalp. Good thing about it is that you can use it from roots to ends, since it won't make your locks feel all sticky and hard. It is actually quite weightless, which is something I like.
Since my hair is long, I do feel like my roots can look rather flat at times. I was hoping that this product would become that perfect all-in-one for me. While my hair looks amazing during the first one-two hours, slowly but surely, it goes back to its original (flat) state relatively fast. Refreshed? Yes. Long-lasting? Not so much.
Goor For: I think that as long as you view this product as a hair-refreshener, that will absorb oil and give you a bit of body, then you're going to like it. Not sure about thick hair, but if you are on a fine side, you might give it a try. I suppose it would work best for people with shorter haircuts as well; not so much for long hair.
Repurchase? I will make sure to use this baby up, but will not repurchase it, because I have found a better OUAI alternative.
At this point we are entering the "marmite" territory of OUAI aka products that people either love or hate.
Dry Shampoo (24 USD; Made in USA) is the ONLY dry shampoo that I will ever agree to use on my roots (*). While I am an anti-dry-shampoo gal, I must admit that sometimes I can't avoid a second-day hair grease. Unlike most products of its kind, this formula is actually packed with great, nourishing ingredients and is (in my mind) not nearly as drying as its drugstore rivals.
Plus it works well for my normal-fine hair. It is quite airy and gives me that effortless Bardot-esque volume, without the odd white residue (bear in mind my hair is black). I also find that it lasts for hours (and hours and hours). I spray it, flip my hair over, fluff it real good and voila! Never takes more than 30 seconds.
Good For: people with dark hair and sensitive scalps. Great, quick "second day hair" solution, especially for those, who lack in the volume department (aka moi); if your hair gets that extra bit greasy on the third day, that means it's time to actually wash it. Please remember that dry shampoo is only a temporary solution.
Repurchase? Hundred times yes!
This is yet another product that gets a lot of hate, but...for whatever reason I quite like it! Dry Shampoo Foam (28 USD; Made in USA) is somewhat a bizarre product, but it actually works (*).
When I used it for the first time, I thought to myself "WTF am I doing?". Putting wet foam right through your roots sounds like a recipe for disaster, but! Trust Jen and just keep on working the product onto your scalp. I also prefer to flip my hair over as I do this.
I personally like this product as much as the brand's original Dry Shampoo. I know, our connection is hard to explain, but every time I look at my head after using it - I feel like I have a lion's mane. If that wasn't good enough, this product will get rid of any extra oil, which is an added bonus. You can still run fingers through your hair; the formula is so weightless, you won't even feel it.
Good For: if your scalp is not extremely oily, but gets a touch mweh and flat on the second/third day, then you might really enjoy this product. It is a better volumizer than it is a dry shampoo, which is exactly why I love it so much. However, if your concern is oil absorption, then you might prefer the original Dry Shampoo instead.
Last but not least, let's talk about the brand's Finishing Creme (24 USD; Made in USA). I bought this little guy when I was on a hunt for a smoothing dry-ends solution and thankfully it did not disappoint.
While it works for all hair types, if you are on a fine side [like your friend here] then use this product sparingly. I am talking about a little dab that you then carefully run through dry strands. If you have a blunt or layered haircut, this could be a great tool to achieve that separated "piecey" look. Think of it as the icing on the cake (in a positive way).
Finishing Creme additionally protects your locks from heat, so you can use it before/after styling. I prefer the latter and use mine right after blow-drying my hair. Good tool for second day hair, especially when you need a bit of definition. I do not use this cream to tame my baby hairs though.
Good For: if you suffer from dry ends (not frizz), then you might really enjoy this quick and nourishing every day solution.
Repurchase? Considering just how much product you get, I do not think I will need to repurchase it in the nearest future. But when I run out, I will definitely get a new tube.
What are your OUAI favourites? Let's chat in the comments!
Purchased Products & PR Samples; full disclaimer here