I’ve long prided myself on abstaining from hot tools and have been sans-straightener since middle school. But, last month, I got an $18 face frame from a cosmetology school student (she killed it) and realized that my new fringe demanded occasional TLH — tender, love, and heat. So I blew the dust off my blow dryer brush, ate my humble pie, and found a product that kept my mane silky and safe. Quickly, I was lost in the sauce of surplus leave in conditioner, hair oil, and hair mask options and none of them seemed to do everything I was looking for. So when the news of the just-launched Ouai Hair Gloss landed at the top of my inbox, I was intrigued.
Ouai‘s Hair Gloss is the newest product from the mostly-hair, sometimes-perfume brand, founded by celebrity stylist Jen Atkin. The paraben-free and cruelty-free gloss is fragranced with Ouai’s North Bondi Eau de Parfum (think white musk and beachy florals) and promises heat protection, color fading prevention, frizz-reduction, strength, and shininess. If your hair is already prone to breakage, the gloss also purports to treat damage, too.
While Ouai cites the active ingredients in the gloss as hyaluronic acid, sugar beets, panthenol, and rice water, cosmetic chemist Ginger King explained to Allure that the force behind the formula is a combination of silicones. “Hyaluronic acid can help to coat and make hair less frizzy, but the ‘gloss’ part comes from dimethicone, phenyl trimethicone, and dimethiconol,” says King.
In 2022, amid a rice water craze on TikTok, Allure spoke to board-certified dermatologist Howard Sobel, M.D. about the benefits of the starchy liquid. “It contains antioxidants, amino acids, vitamins, and a substance called inositol, which all contribute to making the hair shinier and stronger,” Dr. Sobel remarked.