Coming to the United States as an immigrant, Ouidad had to endure prejudice about her curly hair from classmates. Years later, she opened the first salon in the country that catered only to curls and she hooked up with an awesome band of female immigrants with unique migration stories of their own. Together they worked hand in hand to help relieve clients from the stress of having curly hair and being accepted for who they are.
Recently, Ouidad, also known as The Queen of Curl, released a book about her journey--My Curl Story: How an Awesome Team of Immigrants Conquered Prejudice One Curl at a Time. When you purchase the book, 100% of the proceeds go directly to Curls for a Cure, the philanthropy Ouidad founded with her husband Peter Wise in partnership with The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. The couple founded the charity after Ouidad’s recovery from breast cancer, the saem disease that took her mother from her at a young age.
“Help me. Fix me.”—That was the desperate plea Ouidad heard as a stylist from her new clients. “Every person that walked into our New York City salon for the first time had one thank in common,” she says. “They’d grown up hating their curly hair. These four words have changed many people’s lives and helped build the curly hair industry in the United States.”
This short story is about the uphill battles to convince bankers, beauty editors and society that curly hair is beautiful, professional and should be celebrated.
Ouidad also is the author of Curl Talk, and a go-to curl expert featured globally in the media, including Oprah, Allure, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, Vogue, WWD and The New York Times. She has been empowering women, men and children to celebrate their curly, wavy and naturally textured coils since 1984.
“Curls are not a trend, they’re a lifestyle,” she says.
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