How Ouidad Changed My (Curly) Life

Monday, 5 May 2014 by Guest Blogger

I’m thrilled to be guest blogging for Ouidad, because I know all too well the struggles us curly girls often deal with. But before I dive into tips and tricks, I wanted to share my personal hair story with you. We all have one—mine’s just a little bit complicated.

Here’s where it began: The ‘80s, when my mom (who is Puerto Rican), and my father (who is black), gave birth to a lovely mixed daughter who came fully loaded with big cheeks and a head of super thick, curly hair. For years my poor, bewildered mother spent Sundays washing and detangling as I squirmed and whimpered. When I was finally old enough, she took my little sister and me (who, to my mom’s dismay, had equally thick tresses) to a stylist, who suggested we relax our hair to make it more manageable.

From then on I was the girl with really long, straight hair. I loved it, mostly because it earned me so many compliments. But I hated the hours at salons and in the bathroom with my blow dryer and straightener. From time to time, I tried to wear it naturally curly, but years of heat, relaxers, and color left the texture a limp crimp at best.

 

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My Relaxer Days

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People made it a point to compliment me when my hair was straight, so in my mind back then, straight hair = pretty Arianna—so I stuck with the straightener and relaxers. Fast forward through high school and some wild years at Penn State to when I landed my dream job at O Magazine. I had less time to straighten, so despite still having a relaxer, I started letting my hair air dry—often with frizzy, wavy results. One day an editor took pity on me and asked if I’d ever heard of Ouidad, the curly hair specialists. After a quick Google, I made my first appointment.

I’m not one for hyperbole, but Ouidad changed my life. For the first time, I met with a stylist who didn’t gasp and make me feel like a freak because of how much hair I have. She explained my curl type and why I never should’ve gotten a relaxer. I agreed to a big chop to cut out all of the damaged, relaxed hair to go completely natural. Afterward, she walked me through the rake-and-shake styling technique and which products I should be using.

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After my Big Chop!

I was nervous about my short cut, but I instantly felt freer. Suddenly, I knew how to wear my hair naturally; I could spend the hours I’d previously spent straightening on more important things (you know, really important stuff like watching Game of Thrones or grabbing margaritas with friends). Slowly but surely over the next few years (with a few missteps in between!) my hair grew naturally long and healthy. I finally tossed out my old mentality that straighter is prettier; I’m more confident than I’ve ever been, and I’ve never looked back.

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Loving My Natural Curls

So now that I’ve learned how to manage my curls, I’ll be sharing with all of you my favorite style how-to’s (especially with the upcoming heat and humidity!) Ouidad products, tips from stylists and experts, and more. Feel free to leave any questions or topic ideas in the comments. Here’s to keeping up with the curls!

xoArianna

 

Arianna Davis is an Associate Editor at O, The Oprah Magazine where she covers pop-culture, lifestyle, and health.

She writes about her life in New York City on her blog, floorthirtysix.com.

Follow her adventures on Instagram @ariannagab and Twitter @ariannagdavis.

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17 Comments for “How Ouidad Changed My (Curly) Life”

  1. 1Justine

    Yassss. Curly hair and being natural is the way to go. I have to set an appointment for myself when my hair gets a little longer. Can’t wait to read your tips!

  2. 2mom

    Love It!!! Keep up the good work!!! Hey, God blessed me with my girls I just didn’t expect so much hair and what to do with it was another story. Trust me, it was a time for me as well, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Love you XXoo

  3. 3Channing

    I love your Curl-story! I want to explore wearing my hair natural, but I think I’m still struggling with pretty= straight. This summer I need to make this happen.

  4. 4Karen

    Ms. Davis, you are beautiful! Your hair looks great, both long and short. I’ve been a fan of Quidad for well over a decade, though I’ve gone through phases of not using the products exclusively, mainly because of the convenience factor of having to order online before I run out v. buying products locally while on the run.

    I have never been able to get comfortable with staying with curly permanently. I hate to say it, but it’s just too much trouble, far more trouble than blowing the curl out. When I let it curl naturally, I can’t touch it. My hair gets snagged in everything it brushes against, like watches, glasses and rings. I have to wash it and go through the whole rigmarole everyday just to maintain any semblance of control. A slight breeze will make me look like Medusa and the soupy summer air of these Southern United States? Oh my! There do not seem to be enough products in the world to stop the cotton ball halo that dogs me when heat and humidity combine. We scoff at 60% humidity! Try dew points and humidity of 100% at 95 degrees. LOL.

    That said, I still think Quidad’s products are superior to any I’ve ever used…bar none. The Deep Treatment is hands down the best. I also love the daily Botanical Boost. The shampoos and conditioners are excellent. Without any hesitation, I would recommend them to anyone, curly or straight…and I have…because they are simply superior to anything I’ve ever tried. As anyone with stubbornly curly or frizzy hair can attest, we’re experts on all the products out there; we’ve tried ‘em all. When I use Quidad exclusively, the condition of my hair, which tends to be combination of both wiry and fine, is the best its ever been, even though I continue to blow the curl out. Anything that will make curly hair shine, and people notice enough to compliment, is worthy of my devotion.

    Thank you, Ms. Davis, for sharing your story. Keep smiling. You look great. And, thanks Quidad. I may not go the curly route, but your products are still the superior choice for maintaining hair health.

  5. 5Terry Lou Forestal

    Great story! Way back in the day…I used to iron my Irish/Scottish very thin curls. Now almost 60 it also took until a few years ago when I found Ouidad to stop brushing the locks which made a frizzy stringy mess! Sadly I am in the process of growing out another bad haircut from folk who do not understand the natural curly experience Ouidad products make it easier to endure the grow-out. (Sigh..no Ouidad salon here in my small country city) I’m very grateful for the Ouidad web site as I pass out Ouidad samples to hairdressers with curly hair who straighten their own beautiful locks!

  6. 6Sharlotte

    Your curls are so beautiful! Your story is so similar to countless other curly girls. We have been so conditioned to believe that straight hair is preferred and somehow curly hair is unacceptable and even unprofessional in the workplace. I transitioned from relaxer to natural curls in 1997 and experienced more prejudice toward my hair choice from my own circles as well as from other people of color. This is quite shocking as most of my family and friends altered their hair with straighteners and chemicals for years. Fast forward to 2014 and most of my girlfriends have transitioned. It’s great that we have choices, whether curly or straight.

  7. 7Helen

    Love your hair story — you look gorgeous.

    And your radiant smile hasn’t changed :)

  8. 8Renee

    Loved your story! I have thin curly hair and when I let it go curly, I feel it really ages me and that’s not good. So I’m still struggling to find the right ‘mix’.

  9. 9Ouidad-The Curl Experts

    Thanks so much for reading! Look out for more great posts coming up. :-)

  10. 10Kimberly Randolph

    I would love to try the product. But I have invested in so many others and my hair is short and it looks. But I would like to speak to an adviser or there’s a salon that I could be referred to in KansasCity that could use products on my hair so I could have an idea what would really work for me.
    Thanks, Kimberly.
    Please holla back.

  11. 11Ouidad-The Curl Experts

    Hi Kimberly! Thank you for your interest in Ouidad! To search locally for a salon near you please visit our salon locator. http://www.ouidad.com/Salons If there is no salon close by, we invite you to submit your current favorite salon to become Ouidad Certified! If they do become Ouidad Certified you will win a year supply of your favorite Ouidad product. http://www.ouidad.com/refer-your-favorite-salon

  12. 12Ouidad-The Curl Experts

    Thank you for the wonderful feedback Renae! Have you visited a Ouidad Salon? We would love to help you with this in person! To search locally visit: http://www.ouidad.com/Salons

  13. 13Ouidad-The Curl Experts

    Thank You Helen!

  14. 14Ouidad-The Curl Experts

    Hi Terry Lou! Thank you for sharing your story and THANK YOU for spreading the word about Ouidad. We hope to have our salons accessible to all curls in the near future.

  15. 15Ouidad-The Curl Experts

    Hi Karen- Thank you so much for the feedback and sharing your curl story with us. There will be more upcoming posts from Arianna so stay tuned!

  16. 16April

    Love your blog post. I have very similar hair type. You mentioned having of some setbacks. Would you talk more about what those setbacks were and what you learned from them? I’ve been natural since 2007 and I find I’m still struggling to get the length I want. Would love to get my hair to look like yours :-)

  17. 17Ouidad-The Curl Experts

    Hi April! Glad you are loving this. Arianna definitely will be talking about this in her next installment. Stay tuned!

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