Hair stylist, salon owner, curl expert and founder of Ouidad
The Queen of Curl since 1984, Ouidad caters to the curl category whether she’s cutting and styling clients at her Manhattan or Los Angeles salons, training stylists around the country on her signature techniques or formulating products that improve the health and appearance of curly hair. Her techniques, such as the Carve and Slice cut and the Rake and Shake styling method, help clients ‘embrace their natural curl’ and her full line of products address all curly types. As an advocate and educator, Ouidad is constantly teaching women and men how to care for their curls, whether through one of her multiple speaking engagements or through her book Curl Talk. In addition, Ouidad is a staunch breast cancer supporter, and her Curls for a Cure campaign has raised $400,000 to date for The Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
From where does your entrepreneurial drive originate?
It’s in my blood. I grew up with a father who was an entrepreneur his whole life and had several companies at one time. I will always be involved in entrepreneurship—I am helping and inspiring other women to start their own businesses today and seeing them go from initial idea to launch.
As you grew your company/brand, what “ah-ha” moments of clarity helped you shape its future course?
It was just a gut feeling from seeing women not knowing how to handle their own hair and the lack of knowledge about curly hair from both clients and the stylist community. And, now that I am working globally I am seeing this need for curly hair education still across the world.
As you shaped your company, what have been some of the biggest stumbling blocks?
Convincing the beauty industry and the business world that the curly hair industry exists. The clients were thirsty for this knowledge about how to manage their curly hair.
How would you describe your management style?
My management style is to always see the best in my team and bring that out, even if they did not see it in themselves. I feel a good leader is to be hands on, to be part of the team, to do what needs to be done—not just to delegate to others. I always want to show my team what needs to be done by example.
I am always striving to be a better mentor. I have gone from coaching stylists to coaching entrepreneurs and there are always new and different challenges.
How do you set goals for yourself?
I have a personality that likes to win, so I want small and big goals to make sure I’m winning and accomplishing goals. I am hard on myself and have high expectations for myself. I hold everyone to high expectations.