Summer Hairstyles: Looking Great for Less

By  | 

As frugal living becomes the new “black”, I’ve received quite a bit of mail from readers asking how to do their hair in chic n’ cheap styles. All over the world, people are cutting back on expenses. And part of this scaling back, is looking for new ways that we can style our hair.

Speaking for myself, I am afraid to cut or highlight my hair at home. However, I know some of The Recessionista‘s readers are currently doing this to save money on salon visits. It’s great if you can do it. I’m more comfortable finding some basic styles I can do myself, and some products to help me keep my hair in “tip top” shape. To research this area, I called my stylist David Jensen at Santa Monica’s hip celebrity boutique salon, The Shampoo Lounge. The Shampoo Lounge is discreetly tucked away on Pico Boulevard a short distance from Shop Intuition. David was full of great information and sample ideas for easy summer styles. Following is my interview with him and some pictures to illustrate his tips.

Q. What are some of the current hair style trends that you’ve seen? Popular looks?
A. David, The Shampoo Lounge: I am seeing a lot of braids; they are quick and easy for everyone to do with just a little practice. This is an easy and chic look. I’m seeing more braid styles turning up on celebrities and my clients.

Pictured: Linda McCartney’s Band on the Run “accent braids” from an old Wings album cover.

Pictured: Actress Anne Hathaway’s braid up do, a new twist on an old favorite.

Pictured: Actress Jennifer Anniston’s braid accent at the Academy Awards this year.

Q. Any styles that you recommend that are particularly easy to care for ?

A. David, The Shampoo Lounge: We are definitely seeing a return of curly hair. Once you have taken some of the water out of the hair, with a towel or a quick squeeze, I recommend putting on some Fresh Curls (from Redken) or another curl relaxer or refiner (Glass, Vinyl Glam or even Fast Food). Then simply leave your hair alone and let it dry naturally. The less you fuss with it the better it looks. I used to spend time blow drying and straightening some of my client’s hair. Today, many of them no longer want that—they are happy to just let their hair go naturally curly. I have one client who writes a popular blog that is now doing this! 🙂

Pictured: Actress Drew Barrymore’s easy curl/wavy hair look
Q. What are some simple tools that you recommend Recessionistas keep in their Hair Care tool box?

A. David, The Shampoo Lounge
: I love Glass (from Redken) it is the best product, for ultimate shine and frizz control, and the best priced of all its competitors and expensive imitations. ( I looked this up on ePinions, and the reader reviews give Glass a strong thumbs up.)

Pictured: Redken products recommended by The Shampoo Lounge

Outshine is great and gives a nice conditioning treatment. I recommend using this when it is dry due to Southern California’s Santa Ana winds or being inside with air conditioning. In the summer, beware of AC as it does dry the hair out.

Fabricate is the best for giving support to a heat set. If I am going to take the time to curl hair with a curling iron or hot rollers, this product gives great long lasting shiny curls and works fast. Using rollers at home or curling iron is a good way to give yourself a special hair look at a low cost. Just make sure to use a product like Fabricate to get the most of our your curls.

I recommend Redken’s Rough Paste for fine hair when you want a little volume without teasing.

Q. Any secret products for men?

A. Often over looked, but a classic, is Redken’s Cleanse bar for men. It smells great. Men tend to shower a lot and Cleanse keeps the skin clean but not tight and dry. And at under $8.00 US, it is a great price.

Q. For a special evening out, what would you recommend? An up do? A chic blow dry style?

A. For an evening out the pony tail seems to be the new up do. I recommend doing your ponytail up high and then pulling it tight so the hair volume is at the crown.

Pictured: Keira Knightley looks tres chic in a ponytail and Roland Mouret dress.

Pictured: An easy high pony tail style. The look is swept back in a colorful clasp.

For more information, and some discounts, visit The Shampoo Lounge website. If you live in the Los Angeles area, check out their Happy Hour promotions. There’s nothing better than a little hair care, some gossip at the salon and a great Cosmo-tini!

Leave a comment and let us know if you have any summer style tips of your own!


Since 2008, Mary Hall has been the author of The Recessionista Blog, which is read by thousands of regular readers in over 160 countries. An internationally recognized expert on the art of the living the good life for less, she has been a commentator on local, national, and international radio and TV shows. Her advice has been featured in over 2,000 media outlets, including The New York Times, Reuters, Life & Style magazine, ABC News, NBC News and now The Huffington Post, among many others.


  1. CocoLESS

    July 25, 2009 at 9:40 pm

    I was excited to read this on the Shampoo Lounge and David–he's great and affordable.
    Check his reviews on YELP!

  2. Anonymous

    July 26, 2009 at 3:30 am

    david is definitely the best! he has been cutting and coloring my hair for years and is always up and current on everything with lots of great ideas. i just let him do whatever he wants and i have never been dissatisfied. . .from long to short and back again. the salon itself is also very chill and easy to be in. everyone is warm, real and pleasantly accommodating. i've tried others but after finding david and the shampoo lounge, i'll never leave.

  3. Target-Addict

    July 26, 2009 at 3:59 pm

    First off, I LOVE the classic beauty parlor photo you used to open this post. Secondly, I too have been letting my hair go “au naturel” this summber. Folks at work keep asking “did you get a perm?” but no, I'm just not fighting with the blowdryer and straightening iron these days. I also tend to let my hair grown longer in the summer, so cutting back on frequent trims is helping me save some $$ as well.

  4. MH

    July 26, 2009 at 4:18 pm

    Hey thanks Target Addict! Yes, I love the picture of the ladies in their 1960 garters under the dryers too. And, I've been letting my hair go au naturel for awhile. I just dab on the Fresh Curls,pump it up with the Afro pick and go. Gone are the days of paying to straighten.
    We have to meet in Carmel/Montrey one day–we must plan it.

  5. Loehmann lover

    July 26, 2009 at 4:24 pm

    I'm going to Loehmann's today to look for Redken products using the coupon from under your Top Picks.Sometimes Loehmann's sells the Redken hair products for less.
    If they have them, they'll be by the cash registers–look for them fellow shoppers.

  6. Iman Woods Creative

    July 26, 2009 at 7:02 pm

    What a great post! I just started leaving my hair curly too. Everyone loves it. After I put some product in it I put it in a really loose scrungee at the top of my head to let it dry. The curls/waves look softer and almost styled.

  7. Anonymous

    July 28, 2009 at 12:40 am

    What a gorgeous picture of the Lovely Linda McCartney. She was really beautiful. How sad in her own lifetime, that so many unflattering pictures of her were published and her looks were many times ridiculed.

    And look at her rock'in the cool braids on Band on the Run!!! NICE!