Ouidad Hair Product Review | Part 2

Ouidad Hair Products
Back in August I was lucky enough to win one of the Ouidad weekly Unfurl Your Curl contests. The prize was an Ultimate Gift Set of eight products for curly hair. These are high-end, salon quality products, so it’s been a pleasure to be able to use and review them. You can check out my reviews of the Essential Daily Shampoo and Conditioner, the Moisture Lock Leave-in Conditioner, and the Tress Effects Styling Gel here.

For this post, I am reviewing the following:

12 Minute Deep Treatment

Of the eight products, this was the only one I received in the 2.5 oz trial size, and when I looked up the price I understood why. A 2.5 oz bottle regularly sells for $26! Expectations were high. The good news – for long hair this amount is plenty for one deep treatment. For those with shoulder-length and shorter hair, you can get multiple treatments out of it.

I normally leave deep conditioners in my hair for an hour or more, or if I’m short on time, 30 minutes minimum. So I was curious how well my hair would absorb this one in only 12 minutes. I shampoo’d with Ouidad Clear & Gentle Essential Daily Shampoo, separated my hair into four sections, and applied a liberal amount of the deep treatment to each. Normally, my biggest gripe with deep conditioners, even the good ones, is that they lack the “slip” of regular conditioner, making them hard to comb through. Not the case with this treatment; my wide-tooth comb easily slid through as I combed the product in. I put my hair in a bun, put on a plastic cap, and per the directions, heated my hair with a blow dryer and let the product sit on my hair for 12 minutes. Also per the directions, I added a bit of my regular conditioner to my hair before I rinsed it all out, to help seal in the nourishing ingredients.

Even as I was rinsing out the deep conditioner, I could feel the softness of my hair. I followed up with Ouidad Moisture-Lock Leave-In Conditioner and a bit of Climate Control Heat and Humidity Gel. I was starting with pretty rough hair after 3 days straight of saltwater swimming. When my hair dried it was noticeably softer and my curls were so well-behaved! The only downside is because my hair was so moisturized, I lost some volume (we must all make sacrifices sometimes). For a 12-minute deep conditioner, it really did the job!

Climate Control Heat & Humidity Gel

This was the product I was most excited to try. I don’t like using a lot of gel in my hair because I hate the tacky, stiff feeling, but I heard that this one worked wonders. I decided to give it a try on my recent trip to Miami, knowing I could really put the product to the test with the tropical weather. After washing and conditioning, I layered a small amount of the gel over my leave-in. The first thing I noticed about this gel is that it is thinner than the Tress Effects Styling Gel, and not as sticky, which was encouraging. As my hair air dried, I definitely felt the hold that gel provides, but once it was completely dry and I scrunched out the crunch, my hair really was soft AND defined. It even lasted through dinner on the patio and night of dancing. (Sadly, I don’t have any pictures from that night because I was too busy having fun.) I liked this gel much better than the Tress Effects gel, and will likely re-purchase it when I run out (which will probably be forever since I use so little at a time).

Botanical Boost Moisture Infusing & Refreshing Spray

I like this product, but I have to say I don’t love it. I am all for refreshing sprays. My curls tend to lose their shape after the first or second day. To revive them, I’ve created my own mixture of water, leave-in conditioner, and coconut oil that I spray onto my hair whenever the curls fall flat or get really dry. This homemade concoction works well for me, so I was really hoping that Ouidad’s mixture worked better. The first time I tried the refreshing spray, I used it on second-day hair on which I had applied one of my staple leave-ins. It did a pretty good job; it definitely gave me a moisture boost and left my hair feeling soft. The second time I tried it, it was also on second-day hair, on which I had applied the  Ouidad Moisture Lock Leave-In Conditioner and the Tress Effects Styling Gel. Maybe my hair was already dry from the gel, but the spray didn’t do a whole lot. To be fair, it brought a couple of curls back to life, but overall my hair still seemed pretty frizzy. Here’s a before and after photo:

Before and after using Ouidad Botanical Boost
Only a slight difference

On my hair, it seems to work best when I don’t have any gel in my hair from the previous day. Given the amount of refreshing spray I use, I’ll likely stick with my own mixture once I run out of Botanical Boost (but I will use it all!).

Styling Mist Setting & Holding Spray

The directions say this mist can be used as a hair spray on dry styles or as a setting mist when styling wet hair. I decided to use it as a hair spray when I recently styled my hair using pin curls. After I’d blow dried my hair and rolled and pinned each section, I sprayed a couple pumps of the Styling Mist all over my head. I’d applied it pretty lightly but it still had the hold that I need on dry styles. I then tied a scarf around my hair and went to sleep. The next morning, I took down my hair and had gorgeous, smooth, shiny ringlets. Not hard or crunchy at all. The look I was going for required looser waves, so I combed through the ringlets, and spritzed them once more with the Styling Mist before putting them in a loose pony tail to stretch them. I was flying to Miami that day, and by the time I took down my hair again later on to style it, my hair was still smooth, shiny and frizz-free. This product worked well for my hair, and I can’t wait to try it as a setting mist next.

Overall, I’m a fan of the majority of Ouidad products I tried from the Ultimate Gift Set. My favorites are the Climate Control Gel, Moisture Lock Leave-in, Deep Treatment, and Styling Mist. These products get an A+ from me in terms of moisture, curl definition and light hold. I’ll be scraping the bottom of the bottle with these for sure!

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Caring for Chemically Lightened Curls

bleach and unbleached curls
My actual curls.
Sad. Lifeless. Limp. But BLONDE. These are the words to describe those sections of my hair that I highlighted last fall. We all know, we’re always told, that bleach kills your curls, but many of us do it anyway because of the way the color makes our curls pop. I’m definitely guilty. When I get bored with my hair, I either cut or color, and you can only cut but so much and still have hair. So when I can’t fight the mighty light (color), here’s what I do to beat the bleach.
diagram of hair strand
Image source: http://student.santarosa.edu


What Bleach Does to Hair

First, let’s look at how bleach actually affects hair (I did some research on this one).  When bleach comes into contact with the hair shaft, it causes causes the protective cuticle scales to lift and separate, allowing the chemical to enter the cortex and remove pigment. The longer you leave bleach on your hair, the more your cuticle is lifted, and the more pigment is removed. This causes hair to become more porous, and the cuticle is no longer able to do its job and lock moisture in. That’s why hair becomes so dry and brittle after using bleach. Curly hair is already more porous (and dryer) than straight hair, so the process is even more damaging to curly locks, and it’s irreversible. But it looks good!

Protein Treatments
Hair is composed mostly of protein, and when you put bleach on your hair, it breaks down the proteins to remove pigment. So it is ESSENTIAL to try and replace the lost protein in order to regain hair strength and prevent breakage. Personally, my favorite protein treatment is
Palmers Coconut Oil Protein Pack
Image source: Target.com

Palmer’s Coconut Oil Formula Deep Conditioning Protein Pack. I used this 1-2 times per month, in addition to my hot oil treatments, which I’ll discuss in a minute. I use this product because 1) I trust the Palmer’s brand,  2) it’s affordable, and 3) my hair loves coconut oil. It only costs $2-$3 a pack, and with the amount of hair I have, I use two at a time. There are a ton of other protein treatments out there, ranging from ApHogee reconstructive treatment for severely damaged hair (I haven’t tried this yet, but I hear good things about it, with the exception of the smell), to all-natural egg or avocado mixtures (there are many, many recipes on the web).  The point is, put protein back in your hair – regularly!

Hot Oil Treatments
coconut oil on naturally curly hair
Image source: coconutoilexperts.com

We’ve already discussed how bleached hair is unable to retain moisture because of the lifted cuticle, so we’ve got to lend our hair a hand. The only true moisturizer is water, which curly hair tries to grab from the air (hello frizz), but we can help it by coating our strands with a nutrient-rich, natural oil that strengthens hair and helps prevent water from escaping. My hands-down favorite hot oil treatment is done with coconut oil. Its small molecular structure allows the fatty acids and vitamins to penetrate the hair shaft so your hair can absorb all the goodness (can you tell I’ve been studying this?). My second favorite oil to use is extra virgin olive oil; it’s just as good on your hair as it is in your body.

Protect Those Ends
From experience, most of us know that the ends of the hair are the oldest, most fragile, and most prone to breakage. Split or thinning ends will ruin your curls, so they must be protected like the life of your hair depends on it (well, it does). I always put extra moisturizer and oil on my ends, I NEVER brush my hair in its dry curly state, and I ALWAYS re-moisturize my ends at night and tuck them away in a pineapple or loose bun. I’m a lot more relaxed about this when I don’t have highlights, but when I do, I’m militant!
Those are my basic bleach-battling techniques. What are yours?