I am a fashion editor. I suppose one goes into that profession because of a penchant for changing oneself; of making dreams come to life in the pages of a magazine. In a sense, it is a way to take control and make life better or –different.
One thing I have lost control of is my hair. No longer is it curling in pre-Raphaelite waves and swirls. As my face has changed into a longer version of itself and my mouth turns down even when I am happy, so my hair has become a mess of dead protein. I hate my hair and I spend loads of time and product getting it to this mediocre point. I should really keep in pulled back in a no-nonsense bun but something in me keeps up the fight. Day after day I try to regain control with magic potions and treatments but somehow I have lost my grove.
So when it was suggested that I go to Ouidad for a conditioning treatment I accepted –ho-hum. I had been to Ouidad and sometimes descended the elevator feeling great but other times the cuts I received were well—boring. They have always had great products that were still in my repertoire. It was time for a re-visit.
On a hot windy Friday I arrived at 36 West 57 Street in NYC. I recalled the softly lit waiting area but the bottles lined up like soldiers were expanded to include more recruits. It’s daunting to figure out which product to use for your hair type and how to use it. I get too tired and just go with the basics– but the questions remain. Do I use the hair cream before the gel? Rinse the conditioner out completely only to add a leave in after the rinse out one—that doesn’t make sense. And why do some products effectiveness quit working?
Apprehensive as I was, I pressed on. I changed into my nylon smock; I sat down in the chair and waited for Elena. Immediately I told her that I used the Mongongo oil from their new Salon Series, the night before and look at what a horror it wrought! She said that there would be someone to advise me about products after we were done.
Elena rolled over a wagon of spray bottles containing ochre-colored liquids and told me that each was a varying degree of keratin; not the dangerous Brazilian kind. After that there would be collagen and the cocktail would infuse and nourish my strands. She layered the golden serum in each section of hair then I was sent to the heat lamps. After a shampoo and I was off to see Jason, the stylist.
Jason walked me thru the steps to regain control of my tresses and he expressed this with passionate knowing. I wanted to believe, but I was faking it—I didn’t. He asked me to take notes and his seriousness made me take out my notebook.
1. NO TOWELS: Keep hairs very wet and do not wrap hair in a towel out of shower. Use an old white t-shirt if you need to.
2. RAKE AND SHAKE: Spread fingers as a rake and use 2-quarter size squirts of CLIMATE CONTROL HEAT AND HUMIDITY GEL. Rake through the hair. Starting with the middle of a ponytail down. Then shake out hair section by section to encourage curls.
3. THE WET SET: Hair must be wet to infuse moisture so use a spray bottle with water. He explained that the product was like a setting gel.
4. HEAT IT UP: Sit under dryer (which non of us have). And make sure your hair is completely dry before going to bed. The gel takes hours to dry so give it time. Once it is dry you can sleep on it.
5. FINALE: Flip head over and scrunch;
I have to admit that when my head popped up from its upside-down state, I blurted out “ I look so young” It was in a bit of heavenly shock. I actually had tears in my eyes. I couldn’t believe how good my hair looked and I couldn’t believe what I just said.
The photo of James and I doesn’t really do my curls justice. My hair was in the best condition it had been in years and I left with feeling renewed and gratified that I was right. If you keep at something for long enough, you will get results.
I am back to the daily struggle. My hair has never looked like it did at the salon, but I’ve not given up the fight. I keep calm and carry on. In hopes that I can regain that moment of glory when my hair looked as it once did. Maybe I used too much product, maybe too little? The battle is back and I am even more emboldened that I will find my way back to the land of glorious curls.