Founded in 2016, Ouai was named to emulate the casual, Parisian way of saying "yes." Their product lineup is well up to the task: chic, uncomplicated offerings that smell expensive, look great on your vanity, and actually work. And with their latest launch, Scalp Serum ($52), Ouai has made it easier than ever to say "yes" to luxe, nourishing haircare—in a cool, French-casual way, of course.
"To support hair health externally, we wanted to create a serum that was packed with ingredients like adaptogens, hyaluronic acid, and peptides to help foster a healthy, balanced scalp," Jen Atkin, founder of Ouai, explains to Byrdie. "Supporting your scalp in this way can help promote the appearance of hair that looks thicker, stronger, and fuller."
But efficacy wasn't Ouai's only goal. They wanted the serum to be an indulgent product, too. The Scalp Serum's scent, Cape Town, is a new addition to the brand's collection. Per Atkin, "It’s a combination of notes like ginger, basil, and spearmint with green fig and wet grass"—and yes, it smells as good as it sounds. Luckily, you don't have to apply it sparingly. This serum can be used on wet or dry hair, so there's no need to sync all of your haircare with your hair washing schedule. You can use it daily, day or night. "Scalp Serum is a thin formula that absorbs fully into the scalp, so it won't affect styling, or volume," Atkin explains.
This combination of effective formula, delicious scent, and anytime-anywhere application makes Ouai's Scalp Serum an easy go-to. Ahead, all the details on Ouai's latest launch and our honest review.
Ouai Scalp Serum
With this scalp serum, Ouai wanted to create a formula that was luxurious yet still simple, the kind of product that fits seamlessly into a routine but improves it all the same. To do that, they looked for inspiration in other self-care rituals—namely, skincare. Atkin explains, “Skincare doesn’t stop at the forehead. Your scalp has its own set of skincare needs and a healthy, balanced scalp is so important for healthy hair.”
That said, Ouai "took a lot of inspiration from skincare serums and focused on a formula that makes the application process really effortless," per Atkin. To apply this serum effectively, you just need a few drops applied directly to your scalp. Then give yourself a scalp massage (as luxurious as your heart desires) to make sure the product is completely absorbed.
Though the focus of the Scalp Serum is your scalp (obviously), just like your favorite skincare serums, this product is multi-use. According to Atkin, the formula keeps your scalp balanced while also soothing irritation and giving your hair more life.
Ouai's Scalp Serum features a lineup of nourishing ingredients, including hyaluronic acid and adaptogens (like Arctic Root, Siberian Ginseng, and Chaga Mushroom) that treat your scalp to some much-needed barrier-boosting moisture. The Scalp Serum is also good news for those who love a high pony. The formula includes red clover extract, which can relieve discomfort from tight hairstyles.
The most noticeable difference, however, shows up in the hair. Courtesy of the formula's peptides, this serum helps foster fuller, thicker, and healthier strands. In a 16-week expert grading study on 32 subjects, 100% of users "showed improvement in the look of fuller, thicker hair," per Atkin. She explains the results, "When applied daily, users can begin seeing results in as early as 90 days. Like with skincare, results take time and consistency is key."
My typical haircare routine is as simple as it gets. Considering I've always had thick hair, I've never put much thought into how to treat it right. I often ignore warnings about the dangers of washing your hair every day, and I have a bottle of two-in-one shampoo and conditioner in my shower to this day. To be honest, I've never been really interested in changing that. I have enough over-complicated self-care routines to leave my hair out of it. Still, I was intrigued by the idea of a scalp serum that's as low effort as possible. It requires only one step (two if you count the massage), day or night, no matter what my hair looked like.
I've only used the serum for a week now, so I can't attest to any long-term results, but I will say that my hair is extra soft and shiny when I use it. Plus, my scalp, which is prone to dryness, has also fared well despite the recent change in temperature. For me, it's already a great option for elevating my haircare routine without taking it to an unmanageable level of upkeep.