Ever wonder about the secret behind Gigi Hadid's exquisitely beachy waves? Or how Khloe Kardashian keeps her hair so perfectly imperfect? Speculate no longer. The genius behind them is stylist-to-the-stars Jen Atkin. Her signature, model-off-duty look is everywhere – even The New York Times named her the most influential stylist in the world.
Effortless hair tends to be rather effortful — which is where Atkin's line, OUAI Haircare, comes in. The products promise to help cut down styling time, making red carpet-ready hair a lot more relatable. Plus, they look just as great in your tresses as they do on your countertop. We chatted with Atkin about the line, her predictions for the next trends in the hair world, and the secret to that signature look.
BIKINI: What is your favorite look you've created for a client? How did you achieve it?
BIKINI: Why do you think the effortless hair trend has exploded in the last few years? Will it stick around?
JA: Loose, natural-looking strands give an overall cool factor to the hair that can make a style look a little more modern. Effortless, natural beauty is definitely in. While we may never stop seeing sculpted styles at award shows, more textured, effortless styles definitely give a breath of fresh air to the red carpet.
BIKINI: In your opinion, what’s the next trend to take over in the world of hair?
JA: I think short hair is still here to stay! Shorter hair lengths are refreshing, cool, and relaxed compared to the overly styled long locks that girls have been wearing for so long. Short hair exudes a certain confidence and sexiness. It looks effortless and young.
BIKINI: What steps should everyone take to get their best haircut ever?
JA: I think hair is more beautiful when understated. Invest in a great haircut and color that will look great without having to style, and use the right products for your hair type to bring out your natural texture.
BIKINI: What hair trend do you wish would go away?
JA: Stiff, crunchy curls that are over-styled with hair spray. I love soft, touchable curls that have movement.
BIKINI: Where do you look for inspiration when creating celebrity looks? What Instagram accounts do you follow and love?
JA: I look to so many places for inspiration. When I'm traveling abroad, I love looking at the editorial spreads in magazines. Every country has such a unique view on beauty, and sometimes the editorial trends will translate seasons later in the States. I check fashion sites regularly to see what's happening, as that always translates for hair. I love watching new models on Instagram and seeing how they'll play with their hair, especially when they're off duty. I'm also so inspired by other hairstylists. I love seeing what my colleagues post on their Instagrams, especially people like Harry Josh and Oscar James, who post so many inspirational quotes and stories.
BIKINI: What's the number-one mistake women make when attempting to create an effortless look? How can this mistake be fixed?
JA: Over-styling. Embrace a minimal, low-effort styling routine. The days of big blowouts are over. Sleep on your style for more lived-in texture, and check out the learn section of OUAI for simple tutorials that have real women styling themselves.
BIKINI: How can women cut down styling time in the morning?
JA: My favorite way to cut down styling time in the morning is to spray OUAI Wave Spray throughout my hair and take the Dyson Supersonic blow dryer and diffuser to it to bring out the natural wave and mold it into the effortless style that I’m wanting to achieve. It's super quick and doesn’t require any hot tools!
BIKINI: Who is the OUAI woman? What inspired you to create your own line of haircare?
JA: I’ve spent so much time in France for work and fashion week, and it’s always been a place that inspires me. The Parisian woman, no matter where you come from, is what every woman aspires to be: casual, effortless, and beautiful. OUAI is all about the nonchalant attitude of the French, saying yes to good hair every day. I also wanted it to be a conversation piece, so you can be the friend at lunch correcting your friends on the pronunciation.
BIKINI: For someone new to OUAI – what is the first product you’d suggest them buying? How should you use it?
JA: I would suggest their first product to be OUAI Wave Spray. It is essential! Most sea salt sprays are drying because the salt actually dries out your strands, so you'll find that you'll have to use it in combination with a hair oil to get the results you want. That is not the case with OUAI Wave Spray, which actually uses rice protein to create texture in the hair instead of salt. Your strands will love it, whether you use it before blow drying your hair full with volume, or if you spray it to enhance your natural waves while air drying or diffusing.
BIKINI: What is the standout product in your line — one consumers can't find anywhere else?
JA: The OUAI Dry Shampoo Foam! It's literally a foam version of dry shampoo that really helps soak up any excess oils on day two or three hair, but is also great for volume and texture on a fresh blowout.
For more on Atkin, check out OUAI's YouTube channel: