The 5-Minute Hair Treatment That Has Randoms Commenting On My Hair

Photo: Courtesy of Angela Law
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When you have blonde hair, there are very few occasions when people will ask if you've had your hair done. Usually it is right after having your regrowth covered up, or the day after using a particularly potent purple shampoo.
But since receiving Ouai's new Hair Gloss, I'm now being asking near-daily whether I've had my hair done — and the treatment works in the time it takes me to shave my legs. I'm not kidding when I say everyone from the barista at my local coffee shop to my colleagues have been commenting on how fresh my hair looks.
When I caught up with Jen Atkin, celebrity hair stylist and the founder of Ouai, on her most recent trip to Sydney, she explained that the product will give your hair that just-left-the-salon shine, in five minutes. "You know when you leave the salon and you feel like your hair just looks so healthy, and it's just glowing and shiny and reflecting light. It's going to give you that," Atkin told Refinery29 Australia. "[Plus,] it's really, really easy to apply."
Photo: Courtesy of Ouai.
But even with Atkin's assurances, as a faux-blonde girl, I was still a little bit sceptical. Often products that promise to deliver salon-quality results fail to do so, plus, in my eyes, shiny hair on an average day between salon visits is reserved for brunettes. Words like "liquid" and "glossy" are often used to describe chocolatey tresses, but for blondes, the goal is usually brightness, because glossy and shiny hair can be hard to achieve when you're smashing your strands with bleach every other month.
On this, Atkin was quick to offer me some validation. "I do know what you mean, because [with] blonde hair, it's harder to get the light to reflect on blonde than it is on dark hair, because usually the cuticle just is a little bit more frazzled," she explained, promising that her hair gloss would deliver the shine I've been wanting.
Her final recommendation? "No, try, you'll be obsessed," she promised.
So I tried the Ouai Hair Gloss, and I immediately loved it.
My first impression of the product is that the bottle was going to last me a really, really long time. At 177ml and with only using a small little blob every few washes, I can see one bottle lasting me well over a year. "So I would say, start with a pea size [amount of product]," said Atkin, adding that "if you want to use a little bit more you can, but I would follow up [on your next wash instead] if you feel like you need a little extra."
The desire to use more than the directed pea-sized amount was strong, but about an hour after meeting with Atkin, I also ran into Ouai's Senior Global Director of Education, Diana Pratasiewicz, who reiterated that a pea-sized amount of the hair gloss would be plenty of product for one use. She stressed that even when I feel the pull to use more, I was to follow their directions and... not.
But even with Atkin and Pratasiewicz's voices in my head, the directions on the bottle said I could use a pea-sized amount on every two-inch section of hair, so I decided to land somewhere in the middle. After shampooing my hair and gently wringing out any excess water, I separated my hair into two sections and applied a little blob to each, before combing it through. I then went about my business for five minutes, shaving my legs and washing myself, before rinsing it out and hopping out of the shower.
The directions dictate that you don't need to use conditioner, but you should follow it up with a leave-in conditioner once out of the shower, and I've found that to work for me. I already use the Ouai Leave-In Conditioner, $55, which helps with detangling, and hydrating my hair, and also acts as a heat protectant before styling, so I spritz that onto towel-dried hair and style as normal.
After styling my hair with the full gamut of hot tools — my Dyson Airwrap, $849, then the GHD Chronos Straightener, $465, and Classic Curling Wand, $270 — my hair's glossy shine was immediately obvious. When I turned my head in the sunlight, light reflected off it in a way that is usually reserved for the very minute I walk out of the salon and not a moment longer. Not only that, but my blonde looked fresher and creamier as well, which is just how I like it.
In the days after applying the gloss for the first time, I was asked a few times whether I'd had my hair done, even though it had been weeks since my colour had been freshened up. And this has continued.
The Ouai Hair Gloss promises to last for three washes, and that's been true for me, though it is at its glossiest right after application. I have also played with using it two washes in a row, and haven't noticed any product build-up on my hair, though I have no reason to ignore all of Atkin's recommendations by using it on every wash — plus, that would just feel like a waste of product.
What I also love about the hair gloss is how it plays with the rest of my haircare routine. I now treat every third wash as my "everything wash day" to compliment my otherwise minimalist hair care routine. On these days, I use the Ouai Detox Shampoo, $58, as my first shampoo (it's my favourite, non-drying clarifying shampoo), then the Pureology Hydrate Shampoo, $56.50, as my second shampoo, and apply the Ouai Hair Gloss as a final treatment in the shower. When I feel like my hair needs a little something extra, I'll follow this up with the K18 Leave-In Molecular Repair Mask, $99.95, but most of the time, it's just a spritz of the aforementioned Ouai Leave-In Conditioner.
After using this product for a month, I'm a convert and can see myself keeping a bottle of the Ouai Hair Gloss in my shower at all times moving forward. Just like Atkin promised, I'm obsessed with this product.
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