If you haven't heard of celebrity stylist Jen Atkin yet, no offense, but where have you been? The go-to mane master for the entire Kardashian family (Kylie has confessed that the women fight over her!) was recently declared the most influential hairstylist in the world by The New York Times. On her ascent to strand stardom, she worked with the likes of Chris McMillan, Andy Lecompte, and Guido Palau.
In addition to being responsible for Kim and co.'s fantastic locks, she's also styled the coifs of celebrities like Sofia Vergara, Jessica Alba, and Chrissy Teigen. She recently founded Mane Addicts, a website and community showcasing stylist talent and education. Oh, and she's a social media maven — her two Instagram accounts have a combined total of nearly one million followers. Now she's capping off her plan for world domination with the creation of Ouai, Atkin's first-ever hair care line comprised of chic, modern essentials.
Ouai has been in the works for two years and won't be available until February 2016, but it's well worth the wait. Thanks to its simply named products and effective formulas, the collection will finally help us all achieve our model-off-duty #hairgoals. "Kendall is the dream — she just [does] nothing with her hair and she looks cool," Atkin gushed. "I want everybody to get to that place." While many brands' offerings can be difficult to navigate, Ouai is edited down to a (shockingly affordable!) selection of shampoos and conditioners, a few styling and treatment products, and even dietary supplements.
"I've been such a pill pusher for so long," joked Atkin, who has tirelessly advised that her clients take biotin, fish oil, and other vitamins to improve the health of their hair. "We are all the girls who do juice cleanses, we go to SoulCycle, everyone's all about being healthy . . . but topical [treatments] aren't going to do it," she insisted. "You have to change it from the inside."
The product we are most excited to test is Ouai's treatment mask, which took Atkin the longest to get exactly right. If you follow her on Instagram, you know that she travels frequently to the United Arab Emirates for work.
"I talked to different women about hair in different countries . . . Dubai is insane — their hair is so good!" she exclaimed. While busy American women never make time for tress treatments, Emirati women ensure they use one every week. Ouai's formula is individually packaged, making it more convenient to use regularly. Atkin suggested incorporating it into a workout routine or spa visit.
It isn't surprising that when Atkin created Ouai, she had social media in mind. "I wanted it to look really pretty in the bathroom . . . have it be selfie-worthy." She took inspiration from minimalist, elegant brands like Diptyque and Byredo for her aesthetic — she also drew from fragrance lines and her Hawaiian upbringing for the scent of her products.
"I love soft, expensive-smelling things," she shared. Many of the products feature notes of gardenia, jasmine, and plumeria. Trust us when we say that it smells incredible — like a freshly dry-cleaned cashmere throw and a pricey bouquet had a baby.
As for the name, Atkin was inspired by France and Paris Fashion Week. "I love the term ouais, which is casual for 'yes' (oui)," she explained. She dropped the 's' off the end and realized the word looked vaguely Hawaiian. She also confessed that she wanted the brand to start conversations (or small debates) at brunch.
"You can be your friend that's correcting your other girlfriends . . . 'no, it's pronounced way.'" Leave it to the chicest stylist on the planet to make you and your hair unbelievably cool. Read on to shop our favorite products from the line, then visit TheOuai.com.