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HOW-TO: Nailing Cali-Cool Hair 365 Days a Year

California girls, they’re unforgettable. Why? Because they’re super swaggy, yasss, that’s a given. But the #mane reason we’re fine, fresh, fierce and got it on lock is because our tresses stay getting kisses from the sun. Or, at least our color’s so fleek-y that our locks just appear that way. If you don’t live in the sunshine state, NBD—your hair can be as cool as ours, and, if you follow our lead, will be as cool as ours. When Mane Addicts’ Arts Director Desirae Cherie needed a lil’ pick me up, we knew her hair switcheroo would make for the perfect example of how to get Cali-cool hair without upping and moving. So she hit up Sally Hershberger Salon in LA, and rest assured, after Sally Hershberger colorist Bianca Hillier worked her magic, Desirae walked outta there with tresses that oooooozed SoCal. Below, we break down Desirae’s transformation with Bianca, as well as tips and key products to maintaining Cali-cool hair all year round.

Hair Color Transformation Desirae Cherie Sally Hershberger Los Angeles Bianca Hillier Balayage Olaplex

When you go to the salon with the hairstylist’s own work as examples of what you want done to your hair—the case with Desirae and Bianca’s work—you know your strands are in safe hands. “I mean, seriously—go check out Bianca’s Instagram (@biancacolour) and you’ll see an entire page of mane moments she created; I just wanted her to do her thing!” Desirae told us. As for Bianca, Mimi Lashiry and Rachel Barnes were whose manes she had in mind for Desirae’s color transformation.

Hair Color Transformation Sally Hershberger LA Salon Desirae Cherie Bianca Hillier Olaplex

Bianca’s #mane mission was to give Desirae a high-contrasted fluent balayage highlights. Her first move? Applying a weak to stronger lightener and thereafter free hand-painting in a foil. Bianca says, “I prefer Framar long heavy weight foils to conduct extra heat, allowing the lightener to penetrate through the hair and creating a dense color.” Next, Bianca used a gloss to create a naturally- shadowed root to tip canvas. “I use Olaplex in all my color mixtures to ensure the integrity of the hair, Bianca shared.

Olaplex Bianca Hillier Sally Hershberger Salon LA California hair balayage

As for the recipe to Cali-cool hair? “A proper haircut, some balayage and the Shu Uemura Kaze Wave Mousse on damp hair,” she tells us. She also analyzes the texture, shape, and hues of a mane when looking for reference inspiration.

In addition to those ingredients, it’s important to stop trying to achieve beach babe hair and let it happen. Like Desirae says, “I think too often people try and make hair too perfect when in reality, imperfection is perfection! One of my hair heroes and mentor, Howard McLaren, taught me that you have to learn the technical side so you could then learn to f**k things up—it’s what keeps things creative versus systematic.” In other words…let it go—be chill with your hair and it’ll be chill with you.

Sally Hershberger Colorist Bianca Hillier

Balayage is a low maintenance color that can grow into something more appealing as time goes by, which is perfect for Cali-cool hair. Bianca says, “Regular glossing is key for a natural new growth effect. If certain balayage patterns are toned properly, the muse may only need to highlight twice a year.” Low-maintenance, laid back, untouched—that’s what Cali-cool hair is all about.

Having Cali-cool hair herself, Desirae has the look down to a science: “With my color, I keep it as randomly placed yet as natural as possible, or as Bianca calls it—like an 8-year-old’s sun-kissed highlights. With the cut, I like to mimic a mix of Victoria’s Secret model hair and that of a surfer with long hair who’s never really had it cut. You know? Like the guys who literally get no cut and no styling yet their hair is perfection… it’s because they didn’t have someone ‘trying’ to perfect it—it just happened.”

Balayage Sally Hershberger Salon Bianca Hillier Olaplex Mermaid Waves California Girl Hair


  1. dpHUE Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinse: “I literally can’t describe this amazingness you just have to try it (and then tag me in a post so I can see that it changed your life too!)”
  2. Ouai all day: “I mean literally everything was made to make your life easier and your hair beachier; or so I like to think.”
  3. R+Co Death Valley Dry Shampoo: “Works woooonders and is my favorite smell on the market.”
  4. Ibiza Brushes: “I cannot live without especially when styling clients who have unruly hair thats also bleached. No brush smoothes the same.”

Balayage Sally Hershberger Salon Bianca Hillier Olaplaex Mermaid Waves California Girl Hair Hair Flip Model Hair


Day 1: At night, wash hair with Ouai Clean Shampoo. Condition just the ends with Ouai Clean Conditioner. Let air dry.
Day 2: Comb out with a Sheila Stotts Brush and create flat iron waves with a Kardashian Beauty Flat Iron. Spray with Ouai Texturizing Hair Spray all over and apply Ouai Hair Oil from mid to ends.
Day 3: Touch up waves with a hot tools iron just through the crown section. I’ll then smooth the ends with a flat iron, making sure they’re kept straight and everything else, a little frazzled. Apply more texture spray and oil to ends.
Day 4/5: Ouai Dry Shampoo.
Day 6: Hair is pretty grimy by then which makes for the perfect high ponytail.
Day 7: The shower is calling and it’s time to shampoo again.

Keeping up with Cali girls ain’t too hard, right?

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