Monday, October 4, 2010

Ouidad, I love you

For those of you with naturally curly thick hair, maybe you've already heard of Ouidad. I didn't hear about it until recently and then spent the better part of a year debating on whether or not I was going to go through with it. Last week I finally gave in and I'm so glad I finally did. For the first time that I can remember I am in love with my hair.

Ouidad is basically a way of cutting thick, curly hair that thins out the volume of it. So your curls hang loser and your hair is much more manageable. You're going to have to go to a pretty nice salon and pay a pretty penny for the initial cut but it's totally worth it. My hair moves when I turn my head but doesn't get dented when I lean on it. While it has been thinned out it is still very thick and has plenty of volume and shape.

It was nice to go to a stylist who knew how to do my hair and was able to show me how to do it at home. Yes, they try to get you to buy all the products, no you don't have to buy them all to have totally awesome hair (I bought about half of what they recommended I buy). I have friends who use the products and didn't get the cut. Either way, these Ouidad folks definitely know curly hair.

I would like to respond to some of the negative press on the Internet about Ouidad:

1. The style gives you "the wet look".

This is totally untrue unless the stylist weighed you down with too much product for the thickness of your hair. I sat under a dryer for 20 minutes to make sure I liked the way my hair looked when it was dry. They used a lot of product but once it was dry it didn't look wet at all and my style lasted for 3 days.

2. You're hair will be butchered with some sections cut down to the scalp and some very long. You will not have any variation in your style because of how it is cut. The hair cut is high maintenance.

The stylist didn't cut any sections of my hair down to the root. She would pull out a section of hair and then cut some bulk out of the middle of it. I have not had any problems when I changed the style of my hair with any thin patches. My stylist said that she has heard of other stylists using the wrong type of scissors or doing the cut on people who's hair wasn't thick enough. I think the key is researching the stylist before you go in for an appointment.

There were great reviews on the salon on "curly" web sites and blogs. Once I picked the salon, I sat down and talked to the stylist who was going to do my hair before I made the appointment. She showed me before an after pictures of her other clients and reassured me that she knew exactly what she was doing. You do have to go back for maintenance cuts every 4 months or so but I don't think that's excessive. Yes, you will use a lot of product in your hair but if you have naturally curly hair, you're used to this. Every curly girl I know has a ton of hair care products in her bathroom. Pick and choose which, if any, of their products you like and stick with any others that you've had success with. This is not an all or nothing thing.

3. The Ouidad cut is for white people and will not look good in your hair. You will probably have to see a white stylist who doesn't know how to do black hair.

The Ouidad cut is for people with thick hair. People of all races can get this cut. Depending on where you live, your stylist might be white (mine was) but that doesn't mean she doesn't know how to handle black hair. Don't be afraid to ask a salon if they have a stylist who can do black hair. You don't have to go to a black hair salon to find someone to do your hair.

Personally, there are no black hair salons in the Syracuse area that specialize in natural hair. Every time I have gone they have encouraged me to go back to relaxing my hair or blow drying it straight. I generally see a stylist that knows how to do black hair at a salon that is not a "black" salon. I always call ahead to see if they have someone who can do my hair before I make an appointment. It seems like this is less of a problem in major metropolitan areas but, in my experience, relaxers and blow-outs are still the standard in black salons and I never leave them happy.

I read this girl's blog a couple weeks ago about what a great hair cut she got from her new white stylist and I was disgusted with how many people gave her crap for going to a white stylist. The comments ranged from "you are taking business away from black people" to "I would never let a white person touch my hair". It is disappointing that people were more focused on their own bigotry and not on how great this girl's hair looked.

I have had my hair messed up by black stylists in the past and had great hair styles from white stylists. I do not discriminate against either because I have had good and bad from both. Half of the celebrity stylists I see doing black hair are white. I know that it is the training and experience of a stylist, and not his/her race, that determines their ability. I'm just happy that I know this and that I know have an awesome hair cut that I can finally maintain. Let it go people! You want your hair to look as good as people on TV? Find yourself a stylist who knows how to do your hair and go with it. It might be the best decision you ever make (for your hair).

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