Ashley Wahler made a mainstream name for herself costarring alongside her husband Jason on MTV’s The Hills: New Beginnings—but long before reality fame, she’s been a high-profile hairstylist at Laguna Beach’s Indigenous Salon. Given her hair background and her love for finer things, the industry pro decided to launch her own line of luxe hair accessories.
Under the Ashley Wahler Beauty umbrella, the limited-edition line is called the Gold Collection, featuring nine different statement headbands, barrettes and innovative accessory designs. None of the products exceed $60, and they have the ability to instantly elevate an otherwise ordinary look (especially on those unfortunate bad hair days). While some pieces are perfect for everyday wear, others are better suited for weddings. Ultimately, there’s something for everyone in this mix. And lucky for us, the mom of two is revealing her pieces publicly for the first time right here with Mane Addicts!
Keep reading for a formal introduction to the line, along with hair tips from the pro and some inside scoop on the strands of her costars!
Mane Addicts: How did Ashley Wahler Beauty come to be, what was the inspo behind the pieces, and what’s next for the brand?
Ashley Wahler: I’ve been working professionally as a hairstylist for the past decade. Fashion and beauty is something I’ve always been passionate about, but my favorite part of it all is making people feel good about themselves. I continued listening to my clients about a need to style their hair that was easy. About two years ago, I was introduced to Nicole [Ostya] and Christina [Lozano] who own Basic Extra [hair accessories], and we completely hit it off. I was styling a client for some of the products they were launching and we all decided to take a meeting at Soho House. From that moment on, The Gold Collection began.
I started sketching away. It took over a year to make sure every detail was right. From the color gold, to the perfect bend for the crown headbands, I wanted every piece to not only make people feel beautiful but also be extremely easy to use. The pieces are great for day or night, and add a little finishing touch to any outfit. I love gold, but when I dove deeper to find the meaning behind it, it wasn’t just about glitz and glamour. Gold was also associated with illumination, love, compassion and courage. It’s also a precious metal, which is a representation to who I have become as an individual over the years. As long as people are loving [my pieces], I’ll keep creating them.
MA: At Mane Addicts, we live for hearing other peoples’ hair-washing routines. Take us through your typical wash, the brands and products you use and how frequently you use them.
I wash my hair every three days. It used to be more, but now with two kids, it’s been a bit more challenging. I’m a product hoarder and believe you should change up your shampoo so your hair doesn’t get use to it. Currently, I’m using Milbon Smoothing shampoo + R&Co Atlantis Shampoo. I normally shampoo twice because I have tons of hair and like to be extra squeaky clean. Next I either use my Television Masque from R&Co or the Kérastase Resistance Masque Force Architecte. I like leaving those on for five minutes, then rinsing. Then I always use a heat protectant when styling. I say it’s like a condom for your hair. If you don’t use it, you’ll end up with babies (aka split ends)! My favorites are always 10 in 1 by L’Oréal Professional, then a little Elixir Oil by Kérastase. I always use a Wet Brush to detangle before I blow it out.
MA: What’s your go-to hairstyle to cover up a bad hair day? And on the flipside, what are your tips for ensuring there are (almost) no bad hair days?
AW: A sleek bun is my favorite hairstyle when my hair is yuck and I don’t have time to do it. Mr. Smith has this styling gel called The Foundation, and it’s incredible! It goes on like a thin gel and looks wet, but doesn’t dry hard—which means when you take your hair out, you can brush it and it’s soft. I don’t know how they do it, but it’s a miracle product. I always use a boar bristle brush to make sure it’s super smooth and sleek. My favorite are the Ibiza Brushes, I own about 15 of them!
Also, on the flipside, I think using great products for your hair is extremely important. I never understand why people pay a fortune on their color but won’t get the product to keep it healthy! The secret to getting that perfect color and cut to begin with is having a great canvas, and the only way to get that is to buy the products your hairstylist is telling you to buy.
MA: There are tons of social events on The Hills: New Beginnings – Do you and any of the cast members get ready together? What’s that like?
AW: I actually color Kaitlynn [Carter]’s hair, so I see her a lot in the salon. We filmed a scene in the beginning of us doing pandemic hair at my house in my sink, which is always fun! Honestly it’s like any other girlfriends. We text each other what were wearing, and if we’re on a trip, I’m normally touching-up the girls’ hair, which I love doing. Audrina [Patridge] and I are the ones who get ready the most together, but I do have a fond memory of Jen Delgado and I trying to get a wig on her and styling it at her house. The [show’s glam team] found out after the fact that the hair wasn’t 100% real, so imagine trying to curl that. If she’s reading this, she’s laughing out loud right now.
MA: Which cast member do you think has the best hair?
AW: Jen Delgado! She 100% has the most beautiful hair… and face… and body… on the planet. Not jealous at all or anything!
MA: Have you influenced Jason’s haircare habits at all?
AW: I wish [laughs]! Jason is so high maintenance with his hair. I honestly didn’t even touch it until the pandemic when he started looking like a caveman. He finally asked me to cut it and I felt like I won the lotto! So I would love to take credit for his gorgeous locks, but I can’t. I’ll take credit though for his product choices. He is a loyal Control Maniac from Big Sexy Hair and Kenra 25 fan.
MA: Being on camera so frequently, do you ever worry about a bad hair or beauty moment? Have you had any up to this point that you regret?
AW: I always say I’m going to do my own hair for the whole season because that’s what I do, but honestly when it came down to the last season, I was so pregnant I wish I had someone do my hair for some of the big cast events. I always wait until the last minute to do it and then stress out if it doesn’t work out. But oh well, that’s the reality of it, right? As far as regrets, my only regret was my French twist in San Diego I thought it looked fab but looking back, it was a little geriatric for my style that night.
MA: How do you feel about your experience on The Hills: New Beginnings overall? What’s been the best part and the worst part? If renewed, do you think the show will give you a good platform to promote your new business?
AW: I’ve had a great experience. The fact that I can work with my husband is such a gift. The best part is honestly getting to be ourselves and share our stories about life as it is—raising awareness about substance abuse and mental health and just our struggle this last year. I feel so blessed to be able to use our platform to relate to people. If I can help one person feel less alone because their story sounds like mine, then that’s really the most self-gratifying feeling. The worst part of it all is some days being really long. As I had mentioned before, I was really pregnant in the last season, so sometimes on trips you film all day and night, so that would get exhausting.
I do think the show has been a great opportunity to open doors for me. It’s helped me connect to some of the greatest people who help expand all of my interest and talents. I also think a lot us would love to have a Season 3! Some not so much, but they’ve already vocalized that more than enough. The camaraderie is so good right now, and all of us feel like we have so much going on in our lives at the moment that it would be a shame to not share it with the audience. Either way, I’m sure you’ll see me around. I’ve been styling one of my girlfriends Emily [Simpson]’s hair a lot lately from RHOC, so you might see me pop in here or there.