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Interview

Get Your Hair Summer-Ready with Playa In Conversation with Founder Shelby Wild

BWB chats with founder Shelby Wild to see how she keeps her beauty routine easy, breezy and natural.

For many of us, it is difficult to recall the feeling of sand between our toes. Beyond the walls of our homes during this quarantine period, the beach waits patiently beyond our reach. The good news is that all this time indoors is doing wonders for our hair. No more hot tools, crunchy sprays or fragrant dyes! But what if you could still bring the beach to your locks without the concern of damage?

With Playa, you can trust that the creams, mists and oils you are applying to your hair and scalp are free of SLS, parabens, phthalates and dyes. Instead, the Venice-based line offers natural and effective products that are safe for you and for the environment. Beach hair should be as simple and effortless as a dip in the ocean – even without the ocean.

Keeping in line with their commitment to conscious production, Playa offers a complimentary recycling program for customers in order to reduce plastic pollution. Sexy, summer hair that’s environmentally sustainable? That has the BWB stamp of approval!

We spoke with founder Shelby Wild to see how she keeps her beauty routine easy, breezy — and natural.

What is it about the California girl that made you choose her as Playa’s muse?

While I recently moved back to NYC, my happy place will always be a Pacific Coast beach. Being by the water simply gives me life; it’s the salty air, the sunny days spent surfing at Venice Beach, and that warm feeling you just can’t get anywhere else. This essence was the inspiration behind Playa. Our line of clean hair care products aim to give you that just-been-surfing, effortlessly tousled look.

What has changed in your self-care ritual since your pregnancy?

After taking a course in herbalism in LA a few years ago, my eyes were really opened to the powerful role plants can play in our daily routines. Now that I’m pregnant with my first baby, I’ve found myself turning even more to plant-based products. A huge discovery for me has been True Botanicals’ gorgeous skincare line. I pretty much exclusively use their products now, and it feels good knowing that what I’m putting on my skin is good for me and for baby.

Favorite wellness products?

I’ve recently been focusing on my meditation practice, so I like to download different guided apps to help me keep up that ritual. Headspace has been really helpful, and I’d recommend it to anyone trying to get into meditation.

My morning smoothie is also a cornerstone of my wellness routine, and I’ve finally landed on a recipe that I really love! I blend spinach, coconut milk, banana and pineapple for a nutrient-rich breakfast that actually tastes good.

Which ingredients are the most harmful and should be avoided when shopping for hair products?

We avoid known toxic ingredients including SLS, parabens, phthalates, and dyes. They wouldn’t increase the efficacy of our products, and are harmful to both environmental and human health. I’d recommend for everyone to carefully read your labels, and at the minimum avoid those ingredients!

What is your everyday haircare routine?

During my evening shower, once a week I’ll use our California Salt Shampoo & Healing Hair Masque. Otherwise, I use our Every Day Shampoo & Supernatural Conditioner. Then I towel dry, brush through with a wide tooth comb, and lightly apply New Day Mist all over. I use two small sponge rollers for my bangs and four large rollers for the rest of my hair– stopping at mid-length so I can lift my hair above my pillow to sleep comfortably and have a more effortless style!

On nights when I don’t wash my hair, I brush strands with a boar bristle brush, twist my hair into a bun, and secure with a silk scrunchie to preserve body and texture.

In the morning, I take my hair either out of a bun (2nd/3rd-day hair) or sponge rollers (if I showered the night before), and spritz New Day Mist to remove creases from sleep. I follow with our Dry Shampoo (re-launching in May!) on my roots for volume, a touch of Ritual Oil on my ends for hydration and shine, and finish with a mist of Endless Summer Spray for a more tousled style.

How can we take advantage of this extra time to give our hair some TLC?

Now is a great time to treat your strands with some extra love! Try a newmask, give your hair a break from heat tools, and celebrate your natural texture. The Playa Healing Hair Masque is a super luxurious weekly treatment that treats the scalp with kaolin clay while packing serious moisture into your strands thanks to beautiful natural ingredients like Amla Oil.

How do you personally cultivate an eco-friendly home?

With my first baby on the way, I’ve found that I’m becoming a conscious consumer in my everyday life. There are sooo many products and *things* that come along with babies, so I’m actively trying to cut down on anything that isn’t totally necessary. I also look for sustainably made toys and clothing for little ones, to minimize our growing footprint as much as possible.

Most memorable moment in your career?

Getting picked up by Sephora was a huge moment for me. They’re an incredible retail partner, and their support really validated that I was onto something with Playa!

Is there something you took for granted before the quarantine that you now cherish even more?

It’s the small, everyday things that I miss the most. My husband and I were enjoying a slower pace of living as my due date was approaching, with leisurely walks along the Hudson river with our dog. It’s difficult now to enjoy those outings without a sense of anxiety and fear. I’m looking forward to seeing our beautiful city come alive again.

Alicia Zhang

Originally from Los Angeles, Alicia lived in Shanghai for 11 years before moving back to the states to attend the University of Miami, where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in public relations and minors in art and philosophy. Currently residing in New York City, Alicia applies her knowledge of strategic communication and design in her career. She enjoys painting, rugby, exploring, and more often than not, you’ll find her petting someone’s dog.

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