*Disclosure: This featured experience has been sponsored by Ouidad.
I can’t say that I’ve searched long and hard for that perfect hair stylist as a curly guy but I was lucky enough to head into the Ouidad salon in NYC recently for so much-needed mane tlc.
I arrived about ten minutes early and was greeted by very friendly workers at reception. A pleasantly chatty red-haired woman took my information and told me that my stylist Ayanna would be right with me. So I sipped on my lemon water for a few minutes, then a few more, then a few more before Ayanna was free to begin our work together. I was hopeful that my initial wait time was not a reflection of Ayanna’s professionalism and later found out that her past few appointments had arrived late. A pleasant woman with long braids, Ayanna did a quick assessment of my hair and passed me onto her assistant for a quick shampoo. And yes, guys, at salons even the stylists have assistants. Pretty dope. Can I get one of those?!
What came next has to be one of my favorite parts of my experience with Ouidad: THE SHAMPOO. No, not the actual product itself but the act of having someone else shampoo your hair is nothing short of a pretty magical experience. If there would be any one reason to go to a salon for a cut, it might be the shampoo. To be honest, it really is the perfect way to cap off a stressful week at work. Now I know why women always flock to salons for a little r&r.
To be honest, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do with my hair before I got into the chair. I had actually given it very little thought and hoped that a nice trim would do me well (it was about time for a trim anyway). I told Ayanna what I was thinking and nonchalantly said something along the lines of, “you can play with the shape a little bit if you’d like”. In my head I was screaming, PLEASE DON’T TAKE MY FRO AWAY!”
Ayanna was a true professional. She took her time on my cut, chatted me up about natural hair and its effect on her life and mine and it turned out to be a great time. She has a great attitude and I’d be happy to sit in her chair any day. We also discussed the products she wanted to use on my mane and she educated me on the right way to use the products on my own. Major bonus points there. It should be noted that she cut my hair in its naturally curly state unlike another major salon I tried a while back. Also, she detangled my hair with the Ouidad Double Detangler which should probably be used by anyone with thick, curly hair. That thing is a beast!
The cut itself came out great. Even though Ayanna thought my original fro shaped my face nicely, she took up the sides a bit and kept the top a little longer. I was pleasantly surprised! I even joked with Ayanna during the cut, telling her that she was some sort of curl surgeon. I was amazed at her precision and obvious breadth of knowledge. Clearly Ouidad knows a good stylist when they see one. I then left Ouidad with a great bag of goodies in tow feeling pretty good about myself and feeling pleasantly surprised by how great my cut turned out.
Overall, I had a great experience at Ouidad and would consider going back for some curl care whenever I need it. The only real negative to my experience happened the day after when the Curl Quencher Moisturizing Styling Gel flaked like crazy! I have used the product since then and haven’t had the same issues so maybe it was just a fluke. But, all in all, my personal experience at Ouidad was a much-needed departure from daily routine and proved to be a great refuge for both curly girls and guys alike.