Hair Care

By Lauren K. Terry

In the epic battle of Wen vs. Deva Curl, Deva Curl was the clear winner. But what happens when we pit a curl-product favorite, Ouidad, against new-kid-on-the-block Living Proof? Which product stands up to the ultimate frizz-fighting test? BeautyNewsNYC went (curly) head to (curly) head to find out.

Living Proof’s new Frizz (No Frizz) collection touts that it contains the biggest breakthrough in anti-frizz technology in 30 years. What is this miracle technology that only the most astute biomedical minds could’ve created? Something called OFPMA, a frizz-controlling molecule that does something that silicone and oil can’t: block humidity without weighing hair down.

The result? Each strand of hair gets its very own weightless shield of OFPMA, repelling frizz, dirt, and oil, helping hair stay clean, smooth, and frizz-free. The Frizz collection consists of shampoo, conditioner, leave-in conditioner, styling spray, and styling cream. The sulfate-free and non-stripping shampoo works itself into a gentle lather, and exhibits a very pleasing beachy, peach-plum scent. Next goes on the conditioner, and once hair is towel-dried (again, best done with a micro-fiber towel, you fellow curly-haired ladies!), on goes the leave-in conditioner, styling cream, and finally the styling spray. So far, so good: curls look natural, frizz-free, and not overly laden with product.

After two hours, though, disappointment: my dry hair has grown in size exponentially, and the curls are no longer separated, but instead mashed together. This was a particularly humid day, so maybe just a touch up is needed? More styling cream and styling spray is applied—but now, hair DOES look like it has too much product applied to it. What do to? We all know the answer: ponytail time. Maybe Living Proof works for other curly-haired girls, but for this one, there was just too much curl for OFPMA to handle—30 years in the making or not.

The Competition

Enter Ouidad. Known as the “curl experts,” Ouidad carries products based on the type of curl you have: wavy, curly, tight curly, or kinky. On the Ouidad website (ouidad.com), you can click on “Curl Profiler” and have a personal curl consultation with Ouidad to determine which hair type you are and get tips on how to style and take care of your hair.

Using products for “curly” and “tight curly” type hair, first up was the baby-powder scented, low Ph-cleanser Clear and Gentle Essential Daily Shampoo. A low-foaming, all-purpose blend, the shampoo contains wheat protein, vitamin E, and jojoba seed oil to help your hair achieve cleanliness and health. The directions advise you to gently massage the shampoo through your hair and scalp—never bunch or scrub!—as a disruption of the curl cuticle may result (this, by the way, is the same advice given by Deva Curl).

Curls quickly and joyfully lap up Ouidad’s Curl Quencher Moisturizing Conditioner; this protein-enriched, extra-moisturizing treatment creates soft and silky hair wherein tangles disappear like magic. There’s nothing better than being able to run through your wet hair with your bare hands—such a rarity for us curly-haired gals! After hair is towel-dried, Ouidad recommends applying the Curl Quencher Moisturizing Styling Gel. Using Ouidad’s patented Rake & Shake method of application, you dispense a nickel-sized dollop to palms and work evenly through sections of damp hair. Starting at the nape area, take a two inch section of hair from ear to ear and rake the gel through; holding section at the end, then shake to reset curl pattern. Repeat entire process, working in sections to the top of your head to your desired style.

After following the process to the letter, voila! Perfectly set, separated, frizz-free, gorgeous curls! And many compliments all around. Now for the all-important, two-hours-later test: hair is now dry, a little bit bigger, but curls are still intact. Success! Pro tip: on another occasion after using Ouidad, a little application of hair spray after the use of the gel kept the hair frizz-free longer and the curls tighter.

So, head to head, the old favorite Ouidad beat out Living Proof—and it’s more affordable, too. Instead of having to buy five products with the Living Proof system, you only have to buy three with Ouidad!

Living Proof vs. Ouidad: Winner—Ouidad.

So, now is the REAL question: with Deva Curl and Ouidad being the big winners, who will take the prize home overall? Who is the curl master? Come back next month to see how Deva Curl and Ouidad fare and find out who has the chops to keep curly hair beautiful and tame.

Originally published August 2013
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