Mon-Tue and Fri, 9am-6pm; Wed-Thu, 9am-6:30pm; Sat-Sun, closed
F at 57th St.; N, Q, R at Fifth Ave.-59th St.
Growing up, Ouidad's (no last name, thanks) Lebanese heritage meant split ends and frizz frustrations. While her parents wanted her to pursue a career like medicine, the budding stylist was more interested in finding a cure for her curls. After developing a reputation as a curl expert during stints as a stylist in Europe, Ouidad opened her own place in 1983. What began as a cramped Midtown space has become the country’s first and only franchise of salons devoted to wavy hair; in 2004, the flagship operation moved to its current loft-like location, outfitted with faux snakeskin sofas and spacious rows of consultation chairs. The staff—all trained by the founder—tackles the corkscrew quandaries of a mainly Middle Eastern and African American clientele using the trademark Carving and Slicing technique which reduces bulk from the bottom of hair and adds volume at the roots to ward against the dreaded “pyramid” effect. The salon also colors, softens, and straightens, but its cuts are in highest demand. Ouidad herself does Minnie Driver's mane, and stylists come from across the U.S. to train and become certified affiliates. The salon boasts a line of protein-heavy, vitamin-enriched, spiral-enhancing haircare products that is used and sold in Ouidad certified salons around the nation.Extra
Those who want Ouidad herself to cut their hair must get a referral from one of her personal clients and make an appointment three to four months in advance.
The staff answers curl queries at 1-800-677-4247, Mon.–Fri., 9 a.m.–5 p.m. They also take requests to model for their stylist training sessions; trainees carve and slice for free.
See ouidad.com for promotions on products and services.
Indoor surfing, spinning lovefests, a luxurious pig-placenta facial, and more.