Although some in the beauty industry bash silicones, Guita Dovas thinks they have gotten a bum rap. Dovas, founder of Oloff Beauty, believes the right silicones are the best thing for reducing frizz and defining curls.

“A lot of companies use one form of silicone for everything,” she said. “That’s why silicone gets a bad name. They have been unfortunate to use the wrong silicone.”

Oloff’s Barex Silicone Hair Treatment line has become a favorite for curlyheads.

Dovas always loved finding beauty concoctions nobody else could find.

Then she discovered a product called Barex, Italiana, a company founded 36 years ago in Bologna, Italy. The family-owned institute has done extensive research in developing products of the highest quality.

“I was very impressed with the high performance of the products,” Dovas said. “They understood me and my level of perfection.”

So 15 years ago, Dovas founded Oloff Beauty in New York as the exclusive distributor of Barex Italiana hair styling and treatment products in the United States.

“My concept wasn’t to come up with a shampoo I could sell a zillion of, but one that I had could get into the right hands,” Dovas said. “I’m not a mass market kind of a company.”

She started out with two products—a deep conditioning treatment and a gel. Over the years, the Barex line has grown to 16 products for for styling, conditioning and cleansing.

Dovas said she decided to concentrate on products for curly hair because research showed the best thing for curls was a silicone derivative. The Barex products contain water-soluble silicones she says are ideal for curly hair. She said she uses different silicones in different products, isolating the silicone molecules in the lab that can do what that product is designed to do. The formulations have been trademarked.

The line includes such products as Gum-Gum, designed especially for curl definition, Frizzy Hair Shampoo for coarse and curly hair, the Intensive Care Masque and Hairgomine, a relaxing balm that styles, conditions and moisturizes.

“One shampoo doesn’t do everything,” she said. “I have three shampoos for three separate conditions.”

Dovas gets continuous feedback from her assistant and national educator, who both have curls.
Barex currently is sold in 1,800 upscale salons in the United States.

“Quality is everything,” she said. “If you don’t have a quality product, you shouldn’t be out there. There are plenty of educated consumers and you can only fool them once. I’m looking for that customer who will buy my product over and over and over again.”