Hot sun, salty water, and ocean air may be the makings of beachy summer hair, but exposure to those elements can also lead to dryness, split ends, and damage if you’re not careful. A safer alternative for those who don’t want to risk their hair’s health is turning to the windswept guise of styling products. One brand that’s making waves in this area is Captain Blankenship.
Launched in 2009, the botanical range has developed a cult following for its natural hair, skin, and body-care formulations. All ingredients are inspired by founder Jana Blankenship’s childhood trips to Maine where she would explore the sun-filled fields, forests, and shores near her family’s wood cabin, perched on a cliff above Frenchman’s Bay. Infused with plants and marine extracts, the goods are pure—and really perform.
The Mermaid Hair Care Set has been especially popular among the small-batch brand’s devotees. It includes a curated trio of bestsellers that, when combined and layered, deliver the authentic grit and salty-tousled texture of a day at Bean Island beach, minus the UV rays and sand stuck to your skin.
The Mermaid Dry Shampoo is the hero product, infused with fortifying arrowroot powder, kaolin clay, rice powder, aluminum-free baking soda and essential oils. Shake it directly onto your dry roots and actively massage it in with your fingertips, brush, or hairdryer. The white specks instantly absorb and become transparent, leaving behind thickness sans build-up or residue.
Like a lot of beach sprays, the Mermaid Sea Salt Hair Spray gives you matte, lived-in texture. But unlike many others, it doesn’t rely on any drying chemical ingredients. Instead, it’s just blended with Atlantic sea salt, aloe vera, sea kelp, and essential oils. Try spraying the mist on the lower part of your hair, after using the Mermaid Dry Shampoo on the roots, for an airy, all-over volume.
Finally, consider the Mermaid Hair Oil to be your weekly treat. Made with nourishing argan, kukui nut, jojoba, and sunflower oils, this concoction tames frizz and flyaways. Just spread a drop between your palms (a little goes a long way; too much will turn fine strands greasy) and pat on dry or damp hair. It also works as a reparative scalp treatment, or the perfect antidote for actual beach days. Leave it on overnight and rinse it out in the morning for shiny, softer hair—near or far from the shore.
Kari Molvar is a beauty writer and backstage reporter who has covered everything from high-performance skincare to hands-on makeup applications. She started her career in beauty as a senior editor at Allure and has since written for Vogue, T: The New York Times Style Magazine, Harper’s Bazaar, Town & Country and the Wall Street Journal among other print and digital publications. She lives in Connecticut with her husband and two (DIY-obsessed) young daughters. Follow her @Kari_Molvar