A Journey to Surf Babe Hair with Shelby Wild

Hello my dears. A while back, a woman named Shelby Wild reached out to me, wanting to introduce me to herself and her company Playa, conscious haircare inspired by a surf life, for that free and beautiful surfer babe hair. I was intrigued by Shelby’s story, a former NYC fashion stylist turned Venice based surfer & herbalist, and her intention with Playa, to create a haircare line for easy, carefree style using streamlined, non toxic products.

She sent me some products, which I enjoyed trying out and I wanted to know more…….She agreed to let me ask her some questions about her own hair journey and her brand journey as well, as I am feeling very compelled to share the experiences of others who take an Idea and turn it into a Reality because I feel like it helps inspire and elevate everyone who reads it to do the same on many different levels…..Taking steps towards creating the reality that we want to be living in. Fruition!

Here she is, Shelby Wild, and here is her story. 

Where do you live and where did you grow up?

I live on the beach in Venice, CA and I grew up in a small costal town outside of New Orleans called Bay St. Louis, Mississippi.

 

Have you surfed your whole life?

Growing up I lived close to Florida and would surf recreationally, but the waves in the Gulf of Mexico aren’t that great. I really started surfing when I graduated high school. When I lived in New York I would surf in the summers at Ditch Plains in Montauk and would take one or two long trips to Costa Rica in the winters. I really began surfing frequently when I moved to Los Angeles. There is a great break in front of my house so I usually go out 3 times a week or so. My boyfriend and I are also building a small surf cabin at Hollister Ranch in Santa Barbara, so we have been spending the weekends in the water there recently.

Tell me about your journey with your own hair? What is your weekly ritual?

I am pretty low maintenance when it comes to my hair, which ultimately is why I created Playa.

Most days I either exercise or am in the water so I generally need to wash my hair every day. I also just hate to feel dirty. I use our Supernatural Conditioner (after shampooing) 3 days a week. On these days I take a long bath, apply about two quarters of Supernatural Conditioner all over, put my hair in a bun, and chill out for about 20 minutes. I may or may not attempt to apply a face mask (haha).

 

Wether I am washing or washing/conditioning I will next towel dry, apply our Ritual Oil, then spray about 15 pumps of Endless Summer Spray all over my hair and mess it up with my fingertips. If I am at home for another 30 minutes ill wait for my hair to air dry then spray our Pure Dry Shampoo on the roots. My hair is very fine so I find this to be the step that really transforms the look without having to do much work. No matter where I am or what what I am doing, this is my go to weekly hair routine.

How has surfing effected your own hair journey?

The idea or surfer girl hair or beach hair has become so popular, but I have never seen anyone get out of the water and have these blown out curls that you see all over Instagram and Youtube. When I created Playa, the idea was to replicate what your hair actually looks like after a day at the beach or surfing.

 

Additionally, the salt in the water (or chlorine if you are in a pool) really dries out your hair, so that influenced the creation of our Ritual Oil quite a bit. I put our oil all over my hair to protect any time I get in the water. It also contains lycopene which naturally helps with UV protection.

When did you realize that you wanted to create hair products?

It was something that happened organically over time. Since I was a child, I have always loved making things and that initially transpired to me working in fashion. To be honest, there is nothing more painful to me than having to sit inside an office all day and when my job inevitably became more corporate, I found that I really needed a creative outlet. I have also always loved beauty products and it was around this time that I opened my small new york apartment sized vanity and about 10 bottles of half used salt spray fell on top of me and spilled all over the floor. It was then that I asked myself why I a) had so many products and b) wasn’t using any of them. I then spent a few years trying to figure out what essential products women used on a daily basis and I set out to try to create (in my opinion) the best versions of them. That project eventually became Playa.

 

What was that process like for you?

It definitely wasn’t easy, and for a long time I was doing it on the side while I had the worst office job on the planet. For a few years I was working on Playa at night and on the weekends which was really tough. I went through about 7 chemists until I found our current formulator, and together we created about 20 variations of each product. You will inevitably have days where you question what you are doing, and these days are what really makes or breaks a startup. I truly love and believe in what we are creating with Playa, and that love got me through some of the hard times in the beginning. Now it has become such a big part of my life that it almost feels like a child of mine where I have created this thing, launched it, and now spend my days trying to nurture it to its fullest potential.

Tell me about your experience with herbalism?

My father is a scientist and I have loved science and chemistry since I was a child. As I grew I became really interested in organic foods, yoga, and ayurveda. I studied yoga when I lived in New York and when I moved to California and began to study herbalism. With Playa I wanted to make products that worked for everyone, and we did this by balancing science and nature, clinical and botanical ingredients. Studying the medicinal and therapeutic properties of plants was incredibly beneficial when formulating our products, as it allowed me to determine which botanicals we could use to replace the more toxic synthetics you usually find in salon products. It also allowed for enough knowledge to determine how far botanicals would take us with performance, and when we needed to supplement the products with safer clinicals.

 

What are your favorite 3 ingredients used in the line and why?

Every Day Shampoo

Coco glucoside is a natural, non-ionic, surfactant that is ultra mild. This gives a light lather without stripping the hair like harmful detergents would.

 

Ritual Oil

Broccoli Seed Oil or Brassica Oleraceae contains a fatty acid profile that allows for excellent absorption while also offering significant film forming properties on the hair, resulting in a natural shine and smoothing of the hair cuticle. The amazing anti-oxidant profile makes it an easy substitute for harmful silicones, which are often found in hair oils.

 

Pure Dry Shampoo

The Rose Petal Powder in our dry shampoo absorbs oil at the root and due to its weight, shakes out on its own preventing the buildup you often experience. It also acts as an emollient, helping to keep your hair soft and shiny- like you actually did just wash it.

Rad. We love it. Check out Playa here, and follow them on IG @playa to keep up on the goods. Thanks, Shelby, for sharing about your journey!

xo, Roxie Jane Hunt

Energetic Self-Care for Empathic Hairstylists

Every hairstylist knows what it is like to come home feeling drained, anxious, un-grounded, wired, exhausted, buzzed, zapped, empty, overfilled. Sometimes we experience all of these feelings at the same time, and it can take a long time to wind down, it can make sleeping hard, and we can be very irritable with our families and friends.

After a day behind the chair, we have effectively soaked up the energy of everyone who has been in our chair, and every hair that we cut. This is an invisible side effect of working with the emotional and energetic weight of other peoples hair. It is very real, and it is something that we need to be careful and mindful about, just like we care for our physical bodies.

Today, while this baby naps in the other room, I am attempting to pull it together enough to share a few important tools for Energetic Self-Care to help hairstylists, and anyone else who works closely with other peoples identities and physical bodies.

Grounding

Before you start your day, take 5 minutes to ground yourself. Do this before you have had your coffee. Find a quiet place without distractions. If you can sit on the ground outside somewhere that is best……Pavement is okay but grass or dirt or anything natural is ideal. Put your phone away.

Take some big breaths through your nose, deep into your belly. Release any tension that your body is holding onto. Clear your mind by visualizing a big, old tree whose leaves are gently moving in the wind. The sun glints through its branches and it is strong and solid. Visualizations are like watching a movie in your mind, but with the alchemy of imagination.

Imagine that you are this tree. Picture it in your mind. If it is too much of a stretch to imagine yourself a tree, just imagine the tree as itself. Don’t get frustrated if it seems hard to keep your mind quiet enough to focus on being a tree. This is a practice, it gets easier, and every day will be different. The intention of grounding is enough to help ground you so don’t get hard on yourself. Imagine that your roots are growing  into the ground. Imagine them busting through soil, making their way deep down into the earth.

Feel the feeling of being held to the earth firmly, strongly in your body, rooted to the source of energy and strength that the earth provides. Breath here, and be here for a few minutes.

Throughout the day, when you start to feel like you are losing yourself, remember this tree and its roots. Come back to your body.

 

Uh Oh! baby crying. Be back soon!

 

Breath

Start to be aware of your breath. Understand that when you breath in, you are clearing new space and nourishing your entire body with oxygen and when breath out you are breathing out what you no longer need, physically and energetically. When we take on negativity or unwanted feelings from other people without knowing it, our breath becomes our ally for letting that energy go. But this takes some awareness. Often we hold tension in one part of our body throughout the day, without even knowing it. This restricts our breath, our vital life source.

Check in with yourself every so often, and scan your body for where you are holding tension. My belly is where I hold the most tension, also my jaw. Breath into these places, long and steady. Soften them. Breath out all the energy you hold that you have taken on from others. We don’t need to carry it. We need to help them channel it, and then breath it out ourselves.

Sheilding

When you find yourself feeling bombarded or unprotected, or like you are soaking up too much and it is starting to weigh on you, perhaps you are working with a particularly intense person, or being a listening ear for a client who is going through some heavy shit, It is time to put on your shield. This is self-protection and self-preservation and is showing respect to both yourself and your client. They don’t want to bring you down! But many folks also don’t know how much we take on as stylists……Again, energetic self-care is so crucial.

This is a tool you can use at the beginning of the day, during a service when things get energetically intense, or before a particular client shows up who you know you need some energetic boundaries with.

Take a few deep breathes. Close your eyes for a few seconds and call in your color of the day. You might see a color clearly in your minds eye. You might here a voice that says “yellow!” in your mind, or perhaps you will see your color spelled out P-I-N-K. Don’t second guess it.

This is the color of your shield today. And the color is important. You may choose to use the same color for every sheild but I like calling in my color on a daily basis because I can’t ever decide on one to stick with.

Imagine that a halo of colored light is spreading over your entire body, covering you with a soft glow, an aura, if you will. This is your shield, and it is an energetic boundary that keeps  dark energy from entering your forcefield. When you start feeling bombarded, or like you are taking on too much from someone else, imagine this shield protecting you, as their energy bounces off of you and dissipates into the air.

Clearing

A common way to clear energy throughout the day is smoking, and lots of us do it without realizing why we feel we need it so much. It is obviously not a healthy option and I think that we crave a way to clear off energy that hangs on us in between clients and this is why we so often reach for tobacco. We physically need to clear ourselves of what we carry for others. A nice alternative to smoking is smuge and incense. I smudge after every day behind the chair, myself and my work space. Check out this DIY.

My favorite way to clear energy in between clients is sweeping the floor. It brings me great pleasure as a meditative whisking away of stagnant energy that is held in the hair that has been cut away. Imagine as you sweep, that you are clearing unwanted weight and energy from your workspace and making a safe and peaceful space for you and your next client to drop in together.

Restoring

This is my favorite part. Water is life. Water is the most healing and restorative medicine for empathic people. Remember this…….Any time you are losing your shit and need to calm your nerves, or heal a broken heart or a broken ankle, go to the water and let her work her magic.

I take a bath after a work day. Simple as that. I often add epsom salts for my soar muscles and herbs and flowers depending on what I have around me but water alone is the medicine. Be near it. Be in it. Listen to it, watch it, drink it (Spring water if possible.)

My recipe for honoring and healing and restoring my hands after a long day (we all know that our hands are our hardest working and most important/ under appreciated tools, not to mention the physical entry point for energetic transfer between our clients and ourselves )is simply this……….

Rest your hands on the surface of water. A bowl of water, a sink full, a bath tub, a lake, whatever you can. Gently let your hands float ever so lightly on the top of the water. There is an unmeasured and profound restorative energy source that lives on the surface of water and has the capacity to recharge your whole body through your hands.

This shit might sound so woo to you. And it is. And it works wonders. Please try it, and take good care!

I invite you to share this post with friends who may find it useful, these tools have really helped me and I wish I would have learned them long ago!