Interview: Jen Atkin of OUAI talks haircare, collab with BYREDO and more

Jen created OUAI so that everyone can take #HAIRGOALS into their own hands -no glam squad needed.
Reading time 6 minutes

Recently announced her new book Blowing My Way to the Top and launched her collaboration with BYREDO, the French fragrance label, Jen Atkin (@jenatkinhair) is the hair guru on everyone's lips in recent years.

It would be remiss to not mention her resume as the hairstylist of the Hadid sisters, Jessica Alba, the Kardashian-Jenner family, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, just to name a few. But on top of that, Jen is also the mastermind behind digital magazine, and the haircare powerhouse OUAI (@theouai) which is now expanded to include fragrance and body care lines. 

Jen created OUAI so that everyone can take #HAIRGOALS into their own hands. The brand has been rolling out products that answer to real-life hair problems and come in handy for the everyday hustle.

Use the Leave In Conditioner before you dry blow cause it tames the flyaways, detangles and conditions your strands at the same time; always go with the rice protein-infused Wave Spray to achieve effortless, undone waves. And if you need a midday touch up, use the Dry Shampoo Foam to refresh and refine your locks without leaving them a crunchy texture, thanks to its Diatomaceous Earth ingredients.

Every #HAIRGOALS begins with healthy hair, and that's why even the styling products at OUAI are rooted in nourishing remedies. So, if you happen to be one of those who believes that #HAIRGOALS involves a lot of hassle, OUAI is right here to bust that myth.

L'Officiel Malaysia caught up with Jen Atkin of OUAI as she shares more about haircare, her collab with BYREDO and everything:


Tell us the definition of “#HairGoals” in OUAI’s dictionary.

Wearing any hair style that feels completely authentic to you. Whether that’s braids, big curls, straight and natural, a super complicated updo that you’ve been wanting to try out for months – my advice is to go after whatever is going to make you feel the most comfortable in your own skin.


What do you think is the biggest myth or misconception of haircare?

That in order to get your hair to grow, you have to get your hair trimmed more often. It’s such a myth I’ve heard around the hair industry for years – not true!

What’s next in haircare?

I think actual care has been a huge priority this year because of everyone in lockdown. During this time at home, everyone has started to take better care of their hair, their skin. Self-care has really ramped up in 2020 so I think people are going to be taking a more natural route than ever before.


Who or what inspired your career path?

I’ve always known I wanted to work in hair, I was cutting my friends and family’s hair as a little girl and knew that it was my calling. I packed up my car and moved to LA and worked my way up in a few major salons, learned and digested as much as I could. Over my years working with clients, working at all the fashion shows, at salons, I started realizing that there was something missing in the haircare market, which is when I set out to create OUAI.

I wanted to create a line that was community-first. Not everyone is a hair pro, so it was important to me to create a range of products that allowed people to do their hair functionally and as effortlessly as possible, no frills, no fuss. The idea for accessible luxury was something that really motivated me to turn OUAI into what it is today.

Congratulations on your latest collaboration with Byredo! How was it to work with one of your favourite brands? And why the dry shampoo?

It was such a dream to work with Ben and the whole team at Byredo. I’ve been obsessed with the line for literally a decade or more so this was a big moment. Ben and I met at a dinner party in LA years ago and instantly hit it off. Over the years, we started talking about ways we could collaborate and bring the two brands together somehow.

The dry shampoo felt like such a solid choice because we could take their signature fragrance, Mojave Ghost, and marry it with our cult-fave product, and create something that was not just functional for your hair in that it soaks up oil, but also makes your hair smell amazing in the process.


You once said OUAI is a girlfriend-to-girlfriend line, any advice on beauty or career you want to share with the girlfriends out there?

I remember Serge Normant gave me some great career advice once. He said not to be threatened by your peers, and instead be inspired by them. I’m a big believer that there’s enough room to go around for everyone pursuing their dreams, so collaboration over competition is what I say, always. Lift each other up, don’t waste your time or energy taking each other down.

Here, we list down our favourites from OUAI, available at Sephora Malaysia.

Get the best bang for your bucks and load up your beauty supply as Sephora Beauty Pass Sale is back this 1st to 6th Sep 2020, happening both online and in-store.

Head over to to find out more.



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