From stealing the stage as Sharpay in High School Musical, to stealing our screen time on social media, it’s needless to say that Ashley Tisdale has been influencing beauty trends and keeping spirits high for well over a decade.
The actress-turned-entrepreneur boasts a causal 12.7 million Instagram followers (and another 5.2 million on TikTok) where women find community in talking freely about mental health, anxiety, beauty tips and nontoxic living. Speaking of community, she’s got her eyes set on a new venture, Frenshe: a new platform that transpired out of her recent health journey. “I always talk about mental health as I suffer from anxiety and depression. I recently met with a lot of different types of doctors where I gained a lot of knowledge that’s really led me to try to transition into a non toxic life… it’s all about balance. And with that, Frenshe was born,” Ashley tells us.
As you loyal Mane Addicts know we’re very selective with who we choose to feature as Mane Muse – and Ashley is the first person to be featured not once, but twice! You can read our first Mane Muse feature from 2015 with her here.
Much has happened in the last five years–but one things remained the same: Ashley’s forthright humor and unwavering confidence lights up any room. Or in this case, her backyard which set the stage for our latest shoot. The Lumineers songs wafted through the backyard as her two adorable pups made their presence known on the patio (if you’re not following Ziggy and Sushi yet, you must!).
Meanwhile, hairstylist Bridget Brager styled up three effortlessly cool looks that perfectly suit Ashley’s soon to be mogul status. Ahead, learn more about Ashley’s new site Frenshe touted as “the Goop for the everyday girl,” her new penchant for CBD bath bombs, and a deep dive into how to create each look.
“Fun, effortless and makes me look feminine” are the words Ashley used to describe these breezy locks. Soft, tousled waves punctuated by a studded Jennifer Behr headband make for the perfect off duty look. “I would wear this to the local farmers market.”
Using a T3 SinglePass 1″ curling iron, Bridget created a loose wavy texture by holding the barrel vertical and quickly winding hair around it in 1″ sections, leaving the ends out. Once hair cooled, work Unite texture foam from roots to ends and finish look with Herbal Essences Argan and Aloe Oil Mist to smooth flyaways, enhance shine and add texture. Break up waves with Kristen Ess’s wide tooth comb and massage roots to add volume and further break up the waves.
Mane Addicts: What are some topics + products you plan to cover on Frenshe?
Ashley Tisdale: Everything from non toxic household items to overall well being to mental health to plastic surgery. Overall, I want to create a community where people can talk about both the positive and the negative aspects of those topics. We won’t be selling products on Frenshe but we will be suggesting items at a more affordable price point. Ultimately, I want to be able to help my fans identify the best non toxic products at the best prices to make things easiest for them. It’s all about being on this journey together.
MA: Growing up in the spotlight, how did you deal with anxiety and depression?
AT: I don’t think I was fully aware I was struggling with anxiety and depression when I was younger. I really faced what I was going through about four years ago and realized that anxiety and depression is what I’ve been suffering from. It affected me, but didn’t affect me as much until I became fully aware of what was going on and that’s where I think it got even worse. I talked to a therapist, did a lot of reading, specifically “Attacking Anxiety and Depression” by Lucinda Bassett which is a 15 week program that really helped me the most.
MA: How do you continue to practice self love even when you’re being hard on yourself?
AT: I think it’s important to not let yourself get to that point. I’ve done that in the past and learned that it’s important to have compassion for yourself and talk to yourself with love and positivity. I heard this quote that really stuck with me, “You should talk to yourself like you would talk to your best friend.” That’s something I try to incorporate into my everyday life.
MA: What is your advice for practicing body positivity?
AT: I’ve always been someone who has been on a diet because of my work and has had a crazy workout regimen because that’s how I de-stress as well. But during quarantine, I’ve allowed myself to not diet and to be able to eat what I want to eat. Obviously, I’d pick healthy choices like a gluten free pasta as I’m a gluten free person. I’ve been a lot nicer to myself because it’s a difficult time to be in right now. My favorite thing is to be outdoors so I’ve been going on hikes a lot vs doing a work out class every single day, like I would usually do. It’s all about how we think of ourselves, self love, and being happy.
“Whimsical,” Ashley says as playing with the look’s soft, face-framing layers. “I like that fact that it softens my face and it’s no fuss.” Is there a better style for a woman currently juggling 3+ careers? Even deep in quarantine, an ethereally effortless low bun can take a look from drab to fab. Whether you’re leading a team meeting or scheduling some OOO time for a socially distanced dinner with friends, this romantic style is sure to get you through.
To create this look, it’s best to start with texture. Bridget used the first look as a base, and then added IGK Beach Club Texture Spray to the root around the crown for lift. Create a low pony (leaving out some face-framers), split into two sections and wrap the first section around the band, pinning it in place. Wrap the second section the opposite direction, letting pieces fall out naturally, and secure with a pin in place. Finish with a light spritz of Color Wow hairspray.
MA: What are some of your go-to wellness tips when you’re feeling stressed out?
AT: I love a bath with CDB bath bombs. Also, I’m a huge fan of face rollers and the uplift by Nurse Jamie which feels like a massage on your face. I don’t let myself get as stressed as I used to. I’m a firm believer in things resolving on their own, letting things go, & seeing where it all lands.
MA: Walk us through your shower routine.
AT: I love to use the Olaplex No 4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo and Conditioner which has been so helpful with growing my hair out. If I’m going to air dry, I like to use the Olaplex Bond Smoothing Cream along with the Virtue Styling Cream. I also like to stay inside because I have curly hair and the humidity can really affect how it dries. If I’m going for a more chic look, I part my hair in the middle and put it in a tight low bun which makes for a healthy and chic hairstyle.
MA: What is your favorite hair mask?
AT: I’ve been a Kerastase fan for a while so I would say that their masks would be my favorite!
MA: What has been your favorite quarantine past time or hobby?
AT: Interior design. I’ve always been a fan of it as I’ve flipped many homes and worked with several interior designers whom I’ve learned a lot from. During quarantine, I put together a bunch of mood boards and helped a lot of friends with their places since everyone is suddenly spending so much time at home. I actually just redid my outdoor area as well!
Fresh & Wet
She may look like she took a quick dip in the pool – but don’t be fooled! This intentionally slick, kicked out look is fit for a summer lounge sesh pool side. The only catch? Ashley has naturally curly hair. “We wanted a wet look but I didn’t want to activate her curls, water does that,” Bridget tells us. The trick: use organic coconut oil, make horizontal sections and layer the oil in with hands while combing thoroughly. The result – this gorgeous slick style with a little kick.
MA: What are your fave wellness products right now (can be anything!)
AT: CBD Bath bombs. It’s something I really look forward to when I’m feeling stressed out.
MA: What’s your biggest hair regret?
AT: I would say allowing producers to do what they want with my hair — Specifically one time at Disney, I was brunette with naturally long hair and they had me cut seven inches off and bleached my hair blonde. I wish I had said something about it but obviously at that point, I was just excited to be on a series.
MA: Your go-to quarantine hairstyle?
AT: I love a fresh out of the shower sleek bun with a part down the middle.
MA: The one thing you plan on continuing to do with your hair that you picked up during quarantine?
AT: Definitely using less heat. My hair is in a great place right now because I haven’t really let anyone touch it. I’m not blowing it out all the time so it’s healthy, it’s growing, & it’s getting thicker.
Hair by Bridget Brager | Photography by Mike Rosenthal | Makeup by Jenna Kristina