When it comes to my (lengthy, perhaps over-the-top) grooming routine, I have high standards for which products make the cut. I want healthy ingredients, visible results and an irresistible wow-factor aesthetic, be that via chic packaging, an irresistible scent or whatever else might make me want to reach for something over and over again. Few brands nail it every single time, but this Ouai Detox Shampoo review is proof of how consistent Jen Atkin’s hair care brand is when it comes to knowing their customer. I’m already a fan of their styling products, and this new ‘poo is exactly what I’ve been missing in my routine.
A little about me—more specifically, my hair. I have medium-thick, color-treated, reasonably healthy strands, and a lot of ’em. Since I know washing my hair every single day isn’t great, I do my best to go as long as I can without washing, often relying on Ouai’s Super Dry Shampoo and other reliable faves. If I train my hair just right, I can go a week without washing, and that’s currently where I’m at. That said, on day six my hair starts looking greasy, and feeling even worse. Thank goodness for cute updos, am I right?
Since I go so long between washes, using the right products when I finally do hit the showers is essential. With so much dry shampoo and product buildup on my scalp, it’s important to use formulas that really deep-clean and break down gunk, which is why I’m such a fan of clarifying shampoos. Cue Ouai with a new fave.
The Ouai Detox Shampoo, launched two months after the brand’s three Daily Care shampoo and conditioner duos, retails for $30 and comes in their signature chic, cylindrical packaging. Before I even used it, I already wanted to post it on Instagram—that’s the level of aesthetic wow-factor I’m looking for, people! The formula itself is even more divine, scented with their Melrose Place perfume and loaded with exfoliating apple cider vinegar. I’m a big fan of ACV rinses to clarify my dirty hair, so I took this as a good sign right away. The formula also utilizes chelating agents to combat the effects of hard water on the hair, as well as hydrolyzed keratin to smooth the appearance of hair follicles and banish frizz.
The Before: Greasy, Gunky, Dirty
Don’t shame me! This is the reality of training your hair to go without washing for a week: on that final day, it’s capital-D DIRTY. Don’t worry, I wore my hair up so no one would see it in all its, um, glory. My hair looks great the rest of the time, promise! But when it’s like this, I know it’s time for a detox.
Take a look at that! No more grease! No crunchy, wet roots or dry, damaged ends. Even my balayage looks better when my strands are clean. The Before & After images already tell you this stuff is bomb, but the number one thing that stuck out for me about this shampoo (in addition to the fact that it lathered far more than the average clarifying shampoo)? Even though my hair felt gunk-free and refreshed, it didn’t feel too clean—like, the kind of clean that doesn’t hold a curl and looks limp after just a few hours. It’s almost like the Ouai shampoo took me past that awkward squeaky-clean phase and right to the best parts of tousled, second-day hair, but on day one. Sold! Safe to say I’ll be using this stuff again.
Since I wash my hair so infrequently, I could realistically use this shampoo every time I do so, but if you wash more often, you might want to save it for once a week. The key when applying is to treat it like a conditioner, in that you need to let it sit on the hair for a few minutes instead of immediately washing it away. Give those clarifying ingredients time to do their thing, girl! The ultra-clean feel post-shower will be worth it.
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