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Meet : Jen Atkin from Ouai

Portrait | 1 ER OCTOBRE 2018


Avec 2 millions d’abonnés sur son compte Instagram, Jen Atkin fait partie des coiffeuses les plus influentes du moment. Arrivée à Los Angeles à vingt ans à peine, elle a choisi le cheveu comme moyen d'expression et coiffe aujourd'hui les personnalités phares de Californie.

En 2016, elle fonde sa propre marque de produits capillaires, OUAI. Avec un packaging volontairement épuré et facilement reconnaisable, des senteurs exotiques, comme le gardénia ou le jasmin, la gamme est rapidement devenue une référence dans le monde du cheveu.

Why did you decide to launch your own brand of hair care?

It also felt very odd to me that there was a lot of men in boardrooms making decisions about what women want for our hair. I wanted to create the first product line a community helped create; promoting a realistic lifestyle that feels inclusive. It was important for me to have a group of women talking to other women about their hair care needs. I think that more brands are trying to empower women. I want to change the conversation in Business and beauty! I wanted to stop making the conversation only about women being pretty and start celebrating the spirit and power of being a woman in business

What does « OUAI » mean ? (in French, it is a derivative of « yes »). Is it a choice that it is difficult to pronounce ?

The name OUAI comes from the casual, Parisian way of saying YES. It’s about saying yes to being that effortlessly cool girl, the modern French woman on the go who looks like she did nothing, but still looks flawless. 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.

Can you describe your brand in one word ?


Your Instagram account is very colorful, sometimes funny, do you think that new way to communicate about hair care has contributed to the success of your brand ?

I’ve always been obsessed with social media and technology, so creating a social presence came really naturally to me. I’m an over sharer so it’s fun and easy for me to use Instagram and Snapchat. As I’m promoting my work, I'm also trying to lead and start conversations about, “What I can do for other people? What I can create that will make people's lives better?” I want to change the conversation in Business and beauty! I wanted to stop making the conversation only about women being pretty and start celebrating the spirit and power of being a woman in business.

You have launched the hashtag #myouai and a quiz on your website so that your fans can make you regular comments about OUAI. Why is it important to have their opinion?

A lot of what we do at OUAI involves a lot of crowd-sourcing. Having a large audience, has allowed us to listen to what women really want in hair-care line and getting their feedback on what products OUAI should come out with next. This has really helped us grow as a new company on the map.

What is the hair trend of the autumn of 2018?

Right now, I love the look of soft, shaggy layers with a textured fringe. Tell your stylist you want a lot of movement and texture, especially towards the ends and in the fringe. It also helps to show your stylist screenshots of looks that you like, as long as they’re of someone with similar texture/length to yours.

To maintain the modern-ness of this look, define the layers with a texturizing paste like OUAI Matte Pomade mixed together with OUAI Rose Hair & Body Oil. Rub it in your palms and work it through from mid-length to ends.

What is your typical day in LA?

Wake up check my phone… put some Gangster rap on Sonos…. then make tea. My perfect day starts with a workout. No two days are ever the same and I’m constantly running around everywhere. A typical day usually starts with taking calls at my house in the morning, driving to a client, heading straight to the OUAI office, meetings, and then dinner & drinks.

What is your favorite place in LA? And in Paris?

LA- Alfred Coffee, Jon & Vinnys, The Now
Paris- Le Bon Marche, Jovoy, Merci, Collette, MidTown Studio