It’s been so very long since I spent time in California and yet when my Playa hair products arrived from California the memories* came flooding back even before I opened the package. The postmark said Marina Del Rey – a world away from where I was sitting opening the package. (Tooting may have just been named as one of the coolest neighbourhoods in the world by Lonely Planet but there’s not much of a beach vibe going in here unless you count the Lido!)
Playa was founded by Shelby Wild. Based in Venice and living by the beach she spent her time swimming and surfing, spending time in the garden, and studying herbalism. Over the years she has developed her haircare brand to encapsulate the laid-back California spirit in products that are effortless to use and effective too. Shipping internationally Playa has recently launched in Violet Grey, featured in Vogue, and is set to launch in the UK in early 2018.
I tried out three products from the range. Endless Summer Spray is easy to use. It’s made with Southern Californian sea salt and includes marine collagen for volume and shine and natural UV filters to protect. It works with damp or dry hair – just spray it on and tousle from the roots and it will give you wavy volumised hair without the crunch you get from the standard salt spray offering. Shelby recommends spraying it on after Ritual Hair Oil and this combination worked well for me. More about that next.
I often turn to hair oils to bring back the shine. I know a lot of people fear adding oil to their hair in case it becomes lank and greasy looking. I never add it to the roots but running it through the mid-length and ends of my hair works well for me. What I haven’t found before is a hair oil that is designed to work directly with a salt spray. This Playa Ritual Hair Oil comes in a glass bottle with a pipette dropper and just one drop is enough to bring out the shine. Then I can just spritz on the Endless Summer Spray for texture and the shine isn’t dulled down. Ingredients include apricot, kukui, and coconut oil to restore moisture and soften, and sunflower to tame frizz and add shine.
Who doesn’t rely on dry shampoo these days? It can be a great way to save the day when you’re heading out and realise that you should have washed your hair and it’s really not looking it’s best. I’ve tried a fair few and whilst they’ve provided a short-term fix I’ve found that this Playa Pure Dry Shampoo gives me so much more. This blend of botanicals and minerals includes rose powder to absorb oil at the roots and star anise extract treats the scalp and eliminate impurities. It’s not chalky at all and completely got rid of any greasiness – what’s even more amazing is that the effect lasted and the next day I didn’t need to reapply my hair still looked clean and shiny. All of the products smell like the ocean and summer and I love them.
*Oh and for those that might be interested in my past here are a few photos from my time in the Napa Valley at Villa Zapu and in San Francisco in the 1980s.
Are there any scents or products that transport you to another place or time?
This post contains brand samples.