Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Curls Courtesy of Ouidad

I've got curls - serious curls. If you knew how stick-straight my hair is, you would think it's a miracle. Instead of divine intervention, though, it was royal intervention. Ouidad, the "Queen of Curl" struck.

Don't we always want what we can't have? Although I loved my long, straight hair in college, that was a long time ago. For many years, my hair uniform has been a bob - long bob, short bob, medium bob - the best I have been able to do is keep my hair turned under on the ends with a styling product and hair spray. I'm not really complaining now that bobs are "in," but every now and then a girl needs a change! Not a drastic change, just something different, if only for a few days.

Thinking that Ouidad products were only for women with natural waves or curls, I had never tried them. During the last week, I gave three products a workout: Clear & Gentle Essential Daily Shampoo ($13), Balancing Rinse Essential Daily Conditioner ($15), and PlayCurl Volumizing Foam ($17). We started at my hair salon, where I asked Donna if she could help me test the products and create a curly style. With a worried look that said, "I don't have all day," she kindly agreed. She's actually a great sport, but I know she thought I was having a birthday crisis.

The Clear & Gentle shampoo has a very pleasant, light scent, lathers nicely, and cleans thoroughly. Judy, the shampoo specialist and hair stylist in her own right, was impressed. From my vantage point, I was impressed with the nice, very light citrusy fragrance. This all-purpose shampoo is blended with essential wheat protein to restore hair's natural body and shine, as well as vitamin E and jojoba seed oil help ensure that your hair looks and feels its healthiest. The Balancing Rinse Essential Daily Conditioner also had a nice light fragrance, and it does its work quickly. We made sure to leave it on until we could easily run our fingers through my wet hair. The oil-free, wax-free, and animal fat-free formulation locks moisture into your curls by closing each hair's cuticle layer - important for nice, curly but frizz-free hair. Then, onto Donna's chair. PlayCurl also had a very light fragrance on application, and then the fragrance disappears - perfect! PlayCurl blends arnica flower extract, wheat protein, and hydrolyzed silk with volumizing polymers to strengthen and detangle hair without weighing it down - giving hair an effective body boost that encourages curl formation. Donna scrunched PlayCurl into my hair from the bottom up and started her work.

She created curls - or at least the early makings of curls - by quickly creating large, messy curls all over my head with double-pronged clips. Then I sat under the dryer for a short time. Had I been at home, I could have let the curls air dry. After she removed the clips, she went at my hair with a small-barreled curling iron. She fussed until she was satisfied. The results? Curls, volume, shiny hair, and no frizz! With almost no hair spray, the curls lasted for two days. Wow! The cool part is that people noticed and liked the look. Who doesn't appreciate compliments?

My own results, while less professional than Donna's, were very satisfying. I went for waves - a second look I have wanted to achieve. I like wavy bobs with a turn under here and a little flip there - a casual look that won't hold in my hair more than 15 minutes under normal conditions. It worked! My hair did exactly what I asked of it, without much more effort than I put into it on a normal day.

We have a consumer reporter in DC on NBC4, Liz Crenshaw, who has a segment called, "Does It Really Do That?" The answer with Ouidad is a resounding YES!

By the way, you curly haired gals will find that the products are really up your alley. You can learn how to work with your curls, not against them, on the Ouidad Web site. There's so much good information there, including videos. Not only that, there is a 24-hour help line!! How good does it get?

Those who have subscribed to Ouidad's Curl Talk e-mail list can receive a special code for free standard shipping on any order placed before Friday, September 25th.

I will try to get you some before and after photos eventually. In the meantime, head over to Ouidad to check out the curl celebration!

Photo courtesy of Ouidad.

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