Beauty

Here's How Ouai's New Curl Crème Really Works On 4C Hair

I put the brand's latest launch to the test.

Ouai

For the last two years, cult-favorite haircare brand Ouai has been working with members of its community to concoct the perfect styling essential for curly hair. After countless testing and feedback on its formulas, the Ouai Curl Crème is officially here as its first crowdsourced product that's meant to be inclusive and work on all curl types.

Anytime a product claims to be inclusive for all hair types, I see it as a challenge. I have thick 4C curls that feel barely manageable on most days, so I'm a skeptic about most "curl-friendly" tubes of styling creams or mousses.

Brands that aren't exclusively formulated for natural hair tend to be a hit or miss for me — they either have little to no impact that leaves my curls undefined, or they bring out my curls but leave a white residue that is painfully obvious. But Ouai has become an industry favorite brand, so I had to see if the new product truly lives up to its all-inclusive claim. Ahead of its launch (it's now available in both a fragrance and fragrance-free version for $32 each), I tried Ouai's Curl Crème on my 4C curls to see how it held up.

The Ingredients

The cream is made from chia and linseed oils, which work together to form and shape curls, control frizz, and help protect hair from humidity. Coconut oil works to seal damaged cuticles and hydrate while babassu oil conditions, softens, and enhances shine. It also contains other popular natural hair-friendly ingredients, including glycerin, which is known to help nourish and hydrate curly hair.

It's also silicone free, which is great for natural hair as silicones tend to weigh strands (especially curls) down and prevent other moisturizing ingredients from penetrating into your hair shaft.

Ouai included a fragrance-free version in the launch, but if you love to leave your wash days smelling like your products, the regular version of the crème has a light floral fragrance with hints of bergamot, jasmine, and sandalwood— the same scent as the Ouai North Bondi Perfume.

Ouai

How Does Ouai's Curl Crème Define Curls?

Getting my 4C hair to appear defined is a struggle with most products, but with the Ouai Curl Crème, my curls began to come through fairly quickly. I've found that the trick with this product on coarser hair textures (like my own) is definitely applying on wet or damp hair.

My hair tends to be very frizzy when dry so I figured (based on past experiences with similar products) that applying the cream on my dry curls wouldn't help much. The instructions suggest applying sparingly and directly to dry hair to help define and smooth frizz, and applying on wet hair to enhance curls and create your favorite curly styles like a wash and go.

How Do You Use Ouai's Curl Crème?

Ouai

The crème has a light buttery texture that is easy to apply. I'm used to a thicker consistency in natural hair curl creams that can sometimes be too heavy and leave buildup, but this lightweight formula melted into my hair and disappeared almost immediately.

I applied a dime size of the product to damp sections of my hair, combing it through first with my fingers before using a Denman brush for more definition. I was pleasantly surprised to find that as I added more product to the same section, I didn't see the white buildup start to accumulate that's so common in other curl formulas.

Should You Try Ouai's Curl Crème?

This product did not disappoint in giving me hydrated curls without product buildup. However, because I do have coarser coils, I had to also apply a little gel for more long-lasting definition.

If you have looser curls (3A to 4A) this product could be your next go-to for an easy twist out or wash-and-go. For those with thicker curls like myself, the Ouai Curl Crème is a great alternative if you find curl puddings and curl smoothies to be too thick; for super-defined curls, you'll probably need an additional product, but the Curl Crème works great as a hydrating base.

Sources:

Harding, CR. (2014). A high glycerol-containing leave-on scalp care treatment to improve dandruff. Skinmed. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25134312/

Gavazzoni Dias MF. Hair cosmetics: an overview. Int J Trichology. 2015;7(1):2-15. doi:10.4103/0974-7753.153450

Rele, A. (2003). Effect of mineral oil, sunflower oil, and coconut oil on prevention of hair damage. J. Cosmetic Sci. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12715094/