Jen Atkin is considered one of the most in-demand celebrity hairstylists in the industry. She's the woman responsible for the Kardashian/Jenner clan's enviable locks (not to mention those of Jenna Dewan Tatum, Nicole Richie, Jessica Alba, Gigi Hadid, Lily Collins, and Kaia Gerber), and she also happens to be best friends with Chrissy Teigen (basically everyone's social-media BFF). She's been dubbed "The Most Influential Hairstylist in the World" by The New York Times, she owns successful hair-care brand OUAI, and she travels the world to meet her celeb and uberwealthy clients. Safe to say, Atkin is your modern-day #girlboss. We recently caught up with the stylist to give us a few wedding-day hair tips. She did her own hair, of course, when she married Mike Rosenthal in a black pantsuit at the Los Angeles court house in 2015. From her go-to bridal look to the one hair product she needs on hand at all times, Atkin spares no details.
Can you tell us about your hair look at your own wedding? What products did you use?
Doing hair, I have heard the worst wedding stories and I have seen how it changes relationships. Girls tend to make the wedding so big that they lose sight of what’s important, which is the two of you. I wanted everything to be simple. I did my own hair and makeup. I used a GHD flat iron and a Mason Pearson brush.
What would be your go-to bridal hairstyle?
Choosing the right hairstyle for your wedding is so important. Your wedding day will probably be your most photographed day ever, so making sure you look and feel confident and beautiful is key. I suggest prepping your hair for the wedding three months ahead of time.
I suggest weekly deep-conditioning treatments with my OUAI Treatment Masque and complementing your shampoo and conditioning regimen with OUAI Supplements. Each of the three types of supplements—Oily Scalp, Thinning Hair, Dry Hair—target a specific hair type, so whether your hair is oily, dry, damaged, or just takes forever to grow, when combined with the right OUAI shampoo and conditioner, they can give your hair dramatic results. Plus, don’t be surprised if it helps your skin glow too! I also love using a conditioning hair oil as often as possible so that strands stay smooth and shiny. The OUAI Hair Oil can double as both a styling product and mask, so you can wear it while you sleep or work out for extra shine and treatment.
Extensions, yay or nay?
If you don’t have the length or thickness for your ideal style, just use Beauty Works extensions to get your dream hair. These are perfect if you want to add highlights without damaging your hair, extra density, or length without the struggle of growing your hair out.
How did you get into the business of hair?
I’ve always loved doing hair and was obsessed with Natalie Imbruglia’s short haircut in her "Torn" music video when I was a teenager in Utah. No one could give me the cut I wanted, so I went to the store, bought a pack of shaving razors, and starting cutting my own hair. Soon I was cutting all my friends’ hair in my parents' garage. After high school, I drove to California with literally only $300 and my Honda Civic hatchback. I called all the salons in Allure’s beauty directory until finally someone returned my call, and I started working as a receptionist at Estilo Salon in Beverly Hills. I remember running out to feed meters for Bette Midler and I was so excited. After a while I met Andy Lecompte and started assisting him right before he went on tour with Madonna, so I ended up styling all the dancers' hair and traveled the world!
What made you want to start your own line?
I’m a confused, overstimulated consumer myself. Throughout my career, I’ve used every hair product on the market. I’ve spent years working around the globe talking to clients about hair care, listening to my followers and ManeAddicts.com readers. With a major lack of cool and curated products in the marketplace, I’ve struggled to find a hair-care brand that my friends or I could relate to.
Name a favorite product of your line that always goes empty.
The one product that I love for desert-island hair from OUAI is the Wave Spray! It is essential!! Most sea-salt sprays are drying because the salt actually dries out your strands, so you’ll find that you’ll have to use it in combination with a hair oil to get the results you’ll want. That is not the case with OUAI Wave Spray, which actually uses rice protein to create texture in the hair instead of salt. Your strands will love it.
Your hair supplements have received major praise. Can you explain the secret to their success?
Healthy hair starts at the scalp, and if your scalp isn’t healthy, your hair doesn’t stand a chance. But a healthy scalp starts from within, which is why OUAI Supplements are essential. Keeping the scalp well nourished, with a unique combination of biotin, vitamins B1 and 2, vitamin D, zinc, Omegas, niacin, saw-palmetto extract, evening primrose, black-currant-seed oil, and silica, with a steady stream of blood flow means hair grows in thicker, healthier, and faster without breakage.