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Curl Talk: A coveted cut at the Ouidad ‘curly hair’ salon

May 25, 2012

By Sarah Khan

Curls this good don't come easy

For a die-hard curly girl such as myself, there is but one holy grail: a haircut from Ouidad, the salon legendary for being a curl’s best friend. For years I’ve admired the brand from afar, using Ouidad’s products and dreaming of the day I’d finally be able to introduce my own curls to her patented Carve and Slice method.

Well, BATFers, I’m pleased to announce that day finally arrived last week.

As soon as I set foot into the Ouidad flagship in Midtown, I knew something special was going on. The universal leaving-the-salon look known all too well by women the world over—shiny, glossy, bouncy, and straight—was nowhere to be seen. Everywhere I turned, there were women leaving their appointments with glorious, lustrous, luscious ringlets. Thick spirals, tight coils, loose waves—there was a veritable curlocopia of beautiful locks all around me, and nary a single straight strand to be found.

Finally, my tresses had found their temple.

Ouidad -- the gateway to curl heaven

It isn’t easy being curly. I’ve often written about my own trials and tribulations with a crowning glory that generally refuses to obey orders. But if anyone could help me manage my mane, I figured it was Ouidad’s team.

Jessica whisked me off for a shampoo, and talked me through all the basics of curly care—essentially a crash course titled “What Sarah Khan Has Been Doing Wrong All These Years 101.” I never condition my hair when I just rinse it; I don’t use water-soluble products, yet I wonder why my curls often harden or feel crunchy. Then my stylist Melissa descended upon my mane, deftly flitting her scissors across my strands.

Ready!

After a five-minute blur, the cut was over—I’m not sure exactly what went into it, but somehow she got rid of my admittedly too-long dead ends and still ensured my hair wasn’t too short. Best of all, somewhere along the way she slightly thinned out my curls as well, ligtening up my hair and making it more manageable.

Jessica working her magic


.

Then began the fun part. All these years I thought I was blessed to be able to wet my hair, douse it in some product, and walk out the door in five minutes or less, while my friends subject their strands to hours worth of blowdrying and styling. Evidently, I’ve been getting off too easy. Styling curly hair can be very time consuming, I quickly learned, as Melissa sectioned off my hair and slowly applied dime-size dollops of Moisture Lock gel cream to my entire head, loosely shaking the strands to help form the curls. Clips were set in the top, to add volume to my crown—something I’ve always wanted, but wasn’t sure how to achieve. And when that process was over, I was sent off to sit under a hood to dry my hair, for what felt like close to an hour. It was probably less, but I’m not used to spending more than 15 minutes on my entire morning routine, including my shower, so this was something of a departure for me.

And also a revelation. Because as you can see, the results were definitely worth it. I left the salon holding my curly head high, and I have never gotten as many compliments on a haircut as I have in the past few days. Ouidad, now that we’ve finally gotten acquainted, I’m pretty sure you’ve spoiled my curls for any other salon. And that’s just fine by me.

Sarah Khan is an editor at Travel + Leisure magazine. You can read more of her work at www.bysarahkhan.com or follow her on Twitter @BySarahKhan.


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