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Hair guru and Ouai brand founder Jen Atkin won’t tell us which one of her celebrity clients is texting her the most with hair woes during quarantine (trust me, I asked), but she will spill the beans on what we should and shouldn’t be doing to our hair while self-isolating. With a new Detox Shampoo ($30) now added to the Ouai line of beloved hair products, she wants our scalps to get just as much attention as our strands. Here, she shares her best tips for getting through quarantine and how to refresh our locks from the follicles down to the tips.
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NB: How have you been staying sane during quarantine?
Jen Atkin: To be honest I’m still super busy with work, which has been great. I’m grateful for the structure. Lots of books, lots of movies and lots of puppy time. I’m also eating too much of my husband’s cooking, but I’m still working out with some of my favorite studios—LEKFIT, Tracy Anderson Method, and trying to meditate every day with The Hoffman Institute. Oh, and more eating…
NB: What is the number-one thing people should remember when they’re getting frustrated by their hair during quarantine? Should we be coloring it or cutting it ourselves right now?
JA: The number one thing to remember is that you could potentially do more damage at home by yourself that will take even longer to fix and repair than our time in quarantine. So, go easy unless you’re confident you know what you’re doing. You don’t want to reverse all that amazing work your stylist has done over the years. If you do end up cutting, I would say at most just trim for now, don’t go crazy. Read up beforehand or watch one of my tutorials on cutting your own fringe…and go slow!
NB: Why is scalp health so important to you?
JA: When I was working at the salon in my earlier days, I noticed with my clients that scalp and root health was a huge indicator for when hair and strand health wasn’t at its finest. So, you want to make sure you’re consistently detoxing as part of your routine.
NB: What else are we detoxing from when we use this type of treatment?
JA: Dirt, oil, the buildup of flakes, impurities including heavy metals and hard water deposits. Not to mention all the styling products we use during the week, ahem, dry shampoo.
NB: Did you have to approach the formulation of this differently than your styling products?
JA: The detox formula contains a unique hybrid of hydrolyzed keratin, apple cider vinegar, and a mix of chelating agents. The combo here is what makes this product so special and effective. But we had to make sure that while we weren’t skimping on quality of ingredients, we also weren’t compromising on scent. We all know what a whiff of apple cider vinegar can do to a persons’ senses, so it was crucial to add a yummy signature scent into the fold.
NB: If you could take any one product from your line (in addition to the Detox Shampoo) with you on a desert island, which one would you take with you?
JA: It’s a toss-up between the Ouai Wave Spray and Volume Spray.
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