We’ve long been a fan of California Cool. Our Pinterest boards are littered with pictures from the 70’s at Ocean Beach and skateboarders in Dogtown. The common thread throughout being the hair. The surfer hair that you can’t truly emulate unless you yourself are hitting the waves on the daily. That was until Playa came to be. Playa is a botanical hair-care line started by the effortlessly chic Vogue and Intermix alum Shelby Wild. Living in Venice, she found a need for daily essentials that would give that wash, surf, and go texture. She formulated the products with all sorts of amazing natural ingredients like apricot, kukui nut, and sunflower oil, and then partnered with celebrity stylist Kristen Shaw to show how they can be used.
We met Kristen in New York when she was in town for a few days. Working out of Suite 303 salon downtown, she greeted us with the biggest grin and a warm hug. We couldn’t help but notice her incredibly cool piece-y, sun kissed bob as well. As she played with our hair, giving it texture and applying lots of Playa product, we fell in love with her hair ethos. She’s not too precious, and not too perfect, which showed with our final look. We didn’t look like we had just gotten a blow out (the worst!), we looked like we had just spent the day in the ocean and then let our hair air dry on the beach. It was essentially the blowout of our dreams.
We called Kristen up to see if she would break down her technique for us so we could recreate the look at home. Here’s what she said:
Playa Girl HairA How-To
Depending on the style you love, using a curling iron can be your BFF or your biggest enemy. I wanted to show you how to get the best out of your iron and product, to give you the effortless, french-girl-meets- california style. This look is full of your natural essence to be a totally chic babe, but also has some grit to show you’ve been places.
My trick is to section the hair in to three sections: One ears down to your neck, one temples to top of ears, and the crown. In each section, you’ll be curling every other hair strand. Depending on how your hair air dries, I suggest either letting it air dry if you love the way your wave is, or go through your normal blow-dry routine to prep a good base.
For curling, I typically love a 1” to 1” 1/2 iron. The smaller you go, the more the waves will resemble natural waves and curls because they will be tighter and have wrapped around the iron more than if you use a large iron. Rule of thumb is to wrap the hair around the iron away from your face- This will open up your face and add youth.
Start by wrapping a 1” section of hair around your iron ( preferably a wand or an iron with the clamp taken off) midway down from your root. This technique will help so you don’t look like you have a head full of ringlets- The waves will only be able to wrap around a few times depending on the length of your hair. Keep your finger on your hair on the iron and once its too hot for your finger, release your hair. Once you release your curl, grab the bottom and give it a gentle pull so the curl isn’t too tight. If your ends look a little scraggly, take your curling iron and smooth it out.
Skip the next inch section, and repeat this step with the next. Continue doing this for each of the three main sections. Once you’ve finished, put your hands in your hair from underneath, going up with your hands around your ears. Shake your hair out from the inside so you can get great texture without creating fluff, frizz or causing your hair to go too flat from trying to shake it up from the outside.
To lock in your texture, I suggest using Playa’s Endless Summer Spray. This is my favorite sea salt spray because it has a gentle amount of oil in it to give the perfect beach-y texture without the dryness. You can spritz this all over your head, taking a few random curls around your head and wrapping them around your finger as the product is still wet so you can lock it in.
Now, to get the french girl vibe added in, I love adding dry shampoo from Playa, too. It’s heavenly, and adds the most amazing volume and light texture. Spritz the dry shampoo all over your head and use your fingers around the top of your head to shake it out. You can also use your fingers to “activate” the dry shampoo once spritzed by rubbing your fingers with your waves in between. I love this method- It gets great volume and allows you to make sure you’re getting the most out of your product.
Special thanks to Kristen Shaw!
Model: Kendall Sargeant
Photo by Kristine Lo