There’s cool, and then there’s California cool. Los Angeles native and celebrity hairstylist Mara Roszak is well-versed in the difference, especially how it translates into unfussy, perfectly lived-in lengths of all shapes, sizes, and textures. She is, after all, the mastermind behind some of the most envied manes in Hollywood, counting Emma Stone, Zoe Saldana, Lily Collins, and Olivia Wilde as clients.
Now, after over 17 years in the business, Roszak is finally bottling her secrets into her own clean hair care brand, Rōz (pronounced “rose”), out today. Her debut product is the Santa Lucia oil, a lush botanical elixir that nourishes strands while also serving as a multi-use styling product. “Hair oil has always been my go-to—a staple in my kit and the only styling product I use on my own hair,” explains Roszak of prioritizing the health of hair first and foremost. “Our hair loves moisture,” she adds. “From fine and straight to thick and curly (and everything in between!), we all benefit from hydration.”
To supercharge strands while conditioning and enhancing texture, Roszak spent five years landing on the perfect blend; a mix of ultra-lightweight, uniquely beneficial plant-based oils including restorative sunflower, strengthening argan, deeply moisturising olive, and scalp-loving jojoba. “It won’t weigh down even the straightest, finest hair, but also provides the smoothing and defining that thick curls desire,” says Roszak of its universal appeal. For air-drying, the styling oil can be worked through lengths to add shine, definition, and smoothness, while for blowouts or other kinds of heat styling, it can act as a foundation, allowing the brush to glide through easily and helping to cut down on dry time. But for the ultimate nod to California, the real clincher is the oil’s fresh, herbaceous scent designed to transport you to a misty nature hike in the mountains of Big Sur. “This fragrance has been the first thing clients and friends have commented on loving as soon as they try the oil,” she says.
From fighting unwanted brittleness to enhancing your natural texture with gloriously minimal effort, here Roszak breaks down her top tips and tricks for making hair oil a hero styling product.
Comb hair in the shower
To get dreamy texture, you’re going to want to minimise brushing your hair once you’re out of the shower. “Keep a wide-tooth comb or hairbrush in your shower always,” says Roszak, who suggests detangling while you brush though conditioner, then rinsing. After absorbing excess water with a hair towel, your damp strands are primed for a styling oil.
Start application at the ends
“Always start applying the oil to the ends of your hair as they tend to be the driest and most absorbent,” says Roszak of tending to pesky split ends. From there, work the hair oil up through the mid lengths, adding little if any to roots for light smoothing.
Remember: Less is more
“We can easily overload our hair with too much product,” cautions Roszak. “I always tell my clients that less is more—start with less product, and you can always add more as you style.” She recommends starting with one to two pumps, then applying more one pump at a time if needed.
“Scrunch the oil into the hair or wrap oil around individual curls to get more definition,” says Roszak. If you diffuse your hair, apply a drop more of styling oil into your hands and work through hair mid-way through drying. “This will help with the frizz that can come with diffusing without losing any volume!” The last step: Add a drop more to the top layer of curls after hair is dry, twisting a few curls with oil for extra definition.
Smooth and protect
If you’re blowdrying your hair, apply the oil to ends and mid-lengths and brush through to disperse evenly. Then, smooth: “Add a drop of oil to palms of hands and apply to your ends and to any flyaways from the drying process,” she instructs.
“For re-zhooshing second-day hair, I recommend having a light mist spray bottle to mist the areas that need a light re-shape,” explains Roszak. “Then, apply a drop or two of styling oil to palms of hands to re-form, de-frizz, and define your natural texture.”