Embracing the Curl

Curl Immersion Group Shot

As individuality is being increasingly championed on the catwalks, the push to not conform to a single hair trend is reaching beyond the runway and into real life. Nowhere is that more apparent than with curly girls: Those with kinky curly hair have often felt backed into a corner where relaxers became the ideal and only a handful of products existed to meet the needs of many. Yet kinky curls are as unique as their owner—their types are diverse and their structures unique—yet even those with kinky curly hair may not understand their needs. “As a dermatologist I see a diverse array of patients—from very fair to very dark skin,” says Dr. Michelle Henry M.D. of Sadick Dermatology and one of the panel experts gathered at the launch of Ouidad Curl Immersion at the Quidad Salon in NYC. “I find that when looking for hair products, patients often shop their skin type, not their curl type. I constantly remind them not to judge a curl by your skin type.”

The story is not unique; confusion often arises due to the product types that were historically available: Laden with petrolatum and heavy oils, the formulas sit on top of the curls to weigh them down. “Kinky hair has low porosity and needs products that penetrate the cuticle,” Dr. Henry says. “What we need are not heavy products, but smarter products.”

That quest—to give curly hair clients smarter products—became the goal of “The Queen of Curl,” hairstylist Ouidad. “When I came to New York [decades ago], there was nobody here catering to curly hair. It became my mission to be the first salon catering to and embracing curly hair,” she says. Her experiences with kinky-hair clients led to the development of her eponymous line as well as the recent launch of the Curl Immersion Collection, which features five products and a companion three-step in-salon treatment. The goal, to deliver high-quality, hydrating and nourishing formulas to the hair as well as cut down on the amount of products a woman with kinks needs to use (typically, she cocktails six to nine products), is achieved through a unique mono-saturated oil-based delivery system that infuses oils (think: coconut and grapeseed) deep into the cortex of the curl without weighing it down. Products like Triple Treat Deep Conditioner and Hi-Defining Custard couldn’t come at a better time; women of every stripe—including African American women tired of chemical relaxers—are increasingly enjoying curl acceptance and need the proper products to support them. “Today, curls are in—it’s a huge movement. Curly women are proud to be able to handle and celebrate their curls,” Ouidad says. “Curls are regal, they are rich, they are beautiful.”


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