Beachy waves will always be on-trend if you live in Southern California. Just ask Playa founder Shelby Wild, who gave up a fast paced city life in New York and headed west for the beaches of Los Angeles. She has created a natural line of hair care products that include a shampoo, conditioner, dry shampoo, a summer spray and hair oil. We sat down with Shelby to find out what inspired her to create these dreamy, beachy hair products, how she discovered natural ingredients for her formulas, and a great tip for caring for your wet hair this summer.
It’s like you’ve bottled up the cool and zen lifestyle of a laid-back Californian. (Thank you very much as we’re Angelenos as well!) Were you California dreaming about this product line when you were still living in your small apartment in New York?
I grew up on the water, and I always knew California was the place where I wanted to spend the majority of my life. It was hard for me to be in the city, because I really love being outdoors, surfing and gardening. When I was ready to leave the fashion industry, I made the move to Venice and started Playa. The line is representative of this shift in my life - to simplify my routines and spend more time living my life.
What inspired you to want to create a natural haircare product line?
My friends and I love natural products and organic foods, yet any time you went into our bathrooms, you would see that we were all still using really harmful salon-based hair products, because they actually worked. This was kind of my “aha!” moment. With Playa, we combine natural oils and botanicals while using small amounts of clinically active ingredients to create safer alternatives to the salon products we currently find in the market. I'm all about balance, and this line represents that happy medium by combining science and nature to create products that are truly transformative.
Your products contain so many yummy ingredients that they almost sound good enough to eat. How did you go about finding all of these wonderful natural ingredients for your collection?
I studied herbalism before I began formulating the line. I have always been interested in herbal remedies, and with our products I tried my best to replace the harmful ingredients we usually find in salon-based products with safer alternatives, while still maintaining the level of efficacy we are accustomed to. Adding these active botanicals to our products just made sense.
What’s the best way to care for your hair when you’re in and out of the ocean this summer?
I highlight my hair and it gets very dry in the summer - especially when I am in the ocean. I liberally apply our Ritual Oil all over, focusing on the ends of my hair before I get in the water (pool, ocean, etc). If I feel my hair is dry, I will use our Supernatural Conditioner as a treatment mask. In the shower or bath I will wet my hair, apply a quarter-sized amount all over, comb through with my fingers, put my hair up in a bun, wait 10 minutes, and rinse. I then towel dry and add a bit more hair oil to my ends. This usually does the trick.
What’s the one hair care trick that you wish every woman would know?
Healthy, well-nourished strands are the fundamental building block to great hair, and achieving this is the ultimate hair trick. When my hair is hydrated and well-nourished, I find that it does its own thing just beautifully. The reason I created Playa was so that women did not need to think about styling tricks anymore. Our products do the work for you so that you always have the best version of your hair, effortlessly.
If we raided your handbag, what beauty and hair products would we find?
I don't use handbags, but I always carry around a water bottle and have Burt's Bees lip balm in my pocket.