Jen Atkin knows a thing or two about good hair. The hairstylist turned beauty mogul is behind some of your favorite celebrity hair moments—from the Kardashian-Jenner sisters to her BFF Chrissy Teigen—and is the founder of her own haircare empire, OUAI.
Her latest launch, a revamped collection of shampoos and conditioners, is the brand's most innovative yet. "It's so important for us to stay a clean brand and be sulfate-free and paraben-free," Atkin told ELLE.com. "But there's been a lot of innovation with the laboratories that we worked with that are the best of the best."
The Daily Care collection features three shampoos and three conditioners. Each comes in a fine, medium, or thick formula, specific to your hair type. "We wanted to simplify the whole concept of shampoo and conditioner," she adds. "One thing that we discovered while we were crowdsourcing is every person has different needs for fine hair, for medium, for thick. It's not just one in particular need."
OUAI spent a year developing the formula using targeted ingredients. Biotin, hemp seed, and keratin work to reduce frizz and flyaways for fine hair, while the thick formula has nourishing avocado oil and shea butter. Daily Care also checks these boxes: Gluten-free, phthalate-free, paraben-free, and color-safe. The only thing that has stayed the same is the brand's signature Mercer Street scent, a delicious blend of Italian lemon, Turkish rose, jasmine sambac, iris, lily, and white musk.
When looking for inspiration, Atkin asks her OUAI community, clients, and friends. In the beginning stages, most of her crowd-sourcing went "down in the DMs." "I like to DM [my friends and clients] all the time. In the beginning phases, I definitely do chain texts to girlfriends, and we'll DM and get any sort of feedback that I can from people I really respect."
In Daily Care's case, Atkin took a trip to Japan and was influenced by MUJI's refillable pouches. "I was like, this just feels like a no-brainer," she says. "You get three bottles worth in the pouch, and you can fill the original bottle that you buy." This is just another step in OUAI's efforts to become more eco-friendly. "We wanted to consider, 'How can we go green with the new packaging?' All of the bottles are made from 20% post-consumer recycled materials."
Ariana Yaptangco Social Media Editor Ariana Yaptangco oversees all #content across ELLE's social media platforms and covers fashion, beauty, and culture news.