Ariel Laur is a freelance writer from NYC who shares her wealth of knowledge about health, beauty, and nutrition.
I have been getting my hair cut by Ouidad stylists for a number of years now, so I felt it was time for me to share my experience with those of you considering it.
Here's a sneak peek of what this article will cover:
- how a Ouidad cut differs from a traditional cut
- my review
- at-home styling tips
- what to do with second-day hair
- the history behind the company
What Is a Ouidad Cut?
In many ways, a Ouidad cut follows the traditional method of hairstyling. Once you arrive at the salon, you will have a consultation focusing on any problems and share your hair vision with your stylist. Then your hair will be washed and conditioned. The stylist will comb out your hair and cut the length and shape of your hair. It is at this point that your style will deviate from what is traditional. There will be the “Carving & Slicing” portion of the cut. This is when some of the unnecessary bulk will be taken out with careful attention to the way the curls will lay.
Would I Recommend Ouidad?
I was thrilled with my Ouidad cut and kept going to the same salon for years until I moved. My hair was far more manageable and beautiful than ever before. The Ouidad cut gave me everything that it said it would, such as:
- Healthier hair and no frizz because of less shampooing and more conditioning.
- More defined curls thanks to a cut that took my curls into account as well as using the right styling products.
- More uniform curls throughout my head thanks to learning about the “Rake & Shake” styling method.
- More lift thanks to scrunching and duckbill clips.
How Much Does It Cost?
The price of the cut will vary depending on where it is done. A typical cut will cost $125. I once paid $160 for a cut in Richmond, VA.
The high cost of this cut might be the biggest turn-off for many people. Paying a lot for a haircut because you have curly hair can make you feel like you are being penalized for having the very hair that Ouidad is trying to encourage you to be proud of. I mean, why can’t I celebrate my curls and pay the same as a person with straight hair?
How Long Does It Take?
The entire process takes less than an hour, about the same amount of time as a typical salon cut.
How Often Do You Need a Haircut?
I found that I could wait six months or more before going back for another cut, but trims are recommended approximately every few months.
Where Can I Find a Ouidad Location?
You can get a Ouidad cut at one of four flagship stores: there are two located in New York City, one in White Plains, New York, and one in Santa Monica, California. There are also Ouidad-affiliated salons located nationwide where you can find a stylist.
Currently, I have to drive over an hour to a Ouidad salon; this is a big deterrent to keeping up with my curly hair look. While the number of salons is increasing, it might still be inconvenient to get to one near you.
After the cut, the stylist will move on to applying a leave-in moisturizer and gel.
Here is the Ouidad at home-styling steps:
- Begin with wet hair (no towel drying!).
- Apply a moisturizing conditioner and work product all the way through so that it is evenly distributed.
- Use a gel from the scalp outwardly. This also works to separate the curls giving them a nice definition.
- Section the hair and apply more gel from the root outward.
- Rake and shake sections of hair. This is done using the four fingers of the hand, beginning at the base of the hair, combing the fingers through until just before the end and then shaking the hair.
- Apply duckbill clips near the root on top of the head (optional).
- Air dry or diffuse dry.
- Apply a holding spray.
What to Do With Second-Day Hair
Ouidad suggests that after styling your hair you would not need to wet or restyle your hair for two or three days. They suggest that you put your hair up with a scrunchie overnight.
While I will occasionally go out of the house with “second-day hair,” I will typically wet and restyle my hair most of the time, so I typically don’t follow this advice.
One reason that I don’t follow this advice is that I exercise on most days which leaves me in need of a full-body (including head) shower. I am also a swimmer and wearing a swim cap doesn't leave my hair in presentable shape.
Ouidad has its own product line and the stylist will recommend these products. Other than the Climate Control Gel, I never found the need to use Ouidad products exclusively. For me, it was mainly the cut that made the difference, learning how to style my hair using the Ouidad methods also helped a great deal.
My experience is that most stylists will try to sell their products. I never like feeling like I am listening to a sales pitch. And since I don’t love the Ouidad products and would rather stick with my preferred drug store products, this is a con.
“Ouidad” is the first name of a woman who has built an empire around caring for, cutting and styling curly hair. This empire involves flagship salons, certified salons, training stylists, and manufacturing and selling products that focus on the needs of those with curly hair.
Ouidad herself has built this empire because as a hairstylist and woman with curly hair, she was frustrated with the lack of knowledge about curly hair. As a child, Ouidad suffered from frizzy unmanageable hair for which she was teased. As an adult, she set out to learn how to manage her own hair and has brought wisdom and beauty to other women who now can wear their natural curls with supreme confidence.
She invented a method for cutting hair that she calls “Carving & Slicing.” This method works to remove the bulk that curly hair tends to have, and almost like magic, allows the curls to take center stage and with the right amount of moisturizing and product, the hair shines in its own glory. This is how the Ouidad website describes the specialized cutting method:
“The technique is based on strategically cutting hair at the curvature of the curl pattern to create sculpted, defined curls that 'fit together' like puzzle pieces. The proprietary method of cutting helps eliminate unwanted bulk that can obscure the curl pattern, so that well-formed curls can shine through.”
I Highly Recommend a Ouidad Haircut
I highly recommend getting a Ouidad haircut. The price is high, but it is worth it. The value is in learning how to make the best of your curls so that each and every day you can love the hair that you were born with is worth it in the end.
You also might consider a DevaCurl haircut. DevaCurl is another method of styling hair. You can read a comparison between DevaCurl and Ouidad here.
© 2015 Ariel Laur