I Tried a No-Hot-Tools Hairstyle Challenge and Learned a Ton

As soon as I took my helmet off, I looked like I was shot out of a cannon. It wasn't as bad as it could have looked, but then again I also have low expectations. Most important, I survived zip-lining across the rain forest and didn't manage to get eaten by an alligator. I'm winning.

Jessica Radloff

I get back to the resort and realize I need to wash my hair before dinner with the Herbal Essences team. The only problem is that I can't dry my hair once I shower (darn rules). It's also too wet for me to put it in a hair tie. So I'm going to have to go to dinner looking like a wet dog and dripping like a faucet. I didn't think this part through.

This is where things start getting uncomfortable. Our dinner is outside on a veranda, and between the humidity in the air and my now soaking-wet clothes, I feel the opposite of presentable. Everyone thinks it's kind of cute because they all know I'm doing a "challenge," but I feel like a fish out a water. Then, as my hair starts to dry, I want nothing more than to douse it with oil. Even with all the moisture in the air, it still feels dry. In fact, it feels so uncomfortable that I'm having trouble enjoying dinner because I can't stop fidgeting with it.

Jessica Radloff

A few hours later it's almost entirely dry, which wouldn't be the case if I were back in Los Angeles. It would probably still be wet the next morning, but in this climate, it's like I've gone through a car wash. Surprisingly, it doesn't look bad—especially my bangs, which I for sure thought would curl under like Kerri Strug's in the ’96 Olympics. If anything, the look is working for me, and I'm wondering what magic is in that new Herbal Essences Replenish White Charcoal Conditioner (besides, of course, the deep-cleaning charcoal).

Day 3: A Downpour of Epic Proportions

Jessica Radlof

For weeks I had been scared to death about going to Costa Rica because of the mosquitoes so bad "you'll want to rip your skin off" (yes, a friend actually told me that). What she didn't tell me was that if you go during the rainy season, they're almost nonexistent. So the good news is that I spent almost a week in the most biodiverse place on earth and never once got bitten. The "bad" news was that when it rained, it rained. Like monsoon-style.

But let's get to the important part: my hair. It's the morning after I washed it and did nothing else. It's got a ton of body and definition, and I'm kind of digging it. The temps are also in the low 80s with modest humidity, so it's pretty much resort weather at the resort.

After breakfast (during which we learned that the brand's new Bio:Renew formulas are eco-friendly), I sought out the help of hairstylist Bridget Brager to teach me all her heat-free hair secrets. Apparently braids are the answer, and I'm immediately out of comfort zone. But she says the style will keep my hair off my face (my problem from the night before), and then when I take the braids out the next day, it'll give me the most incredible waves ever. So braids it is.

Jessica Radloff

I won't lie, they took some getting used to. But Bridget loosened them up some and pulled out a few wisps, so it didn't look so severe. I can't say I'd ever do this back in L.A., but you know what? If you're not going to try something fun and different on a tropical island, then when else will you?

Day 4: Waves for Days

Jessica Radloff

Published at Fri, 01 Mar 2019 21:20:47 +0000