Go Behind the June Cover: Beauty Oasis

About 90 miles outside of Los Angeles is the desert community of Palm Springs, which until the last decade or so had primarily been known for mid-century modern homes filled with retirees who were annoyed by lusty spring break parties. (Maybe if you’re older, you might also remember Sonny Bono as the town’s mayor!) But over the past few years, that perception has changed with the continued popularity of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, held every April. Now, the area is the staging ground for the hottest summer trends that will be emulated by trend-watchers the world over. So it was a no-brainer for the folks at Great Lengths to make the trek to the area to shoot their June American Salon cover feature. “We rented a high-end, mid-century modern home in Palm Springs and shot on location for two days,” says Danielle Keasling, Great Lengths guest artist.

Shooting on location can be a gamble at best, and a fiasco at worst. Considering the shoot took place during the rainy winter months—news of the area’s once a decade “superbloom” that resulted from record-breaking precipitation attracted thousands of gawkers—it’s no surprise that every contingency was taken into account. “We were very mindful of how the environment would affect the hair,” says Keasling. “Luckily, we didn’t have to battle humidity,” she jokes. And shooting on location had another benefit—it allowed her and the team to stay focused on the goal of the shoot: festival luxury.

Since Keasling wasn’t at the casting, she relied on videos of the models who were asked to walk and shake their hair. “That was a huge help,” she reveals, saying it aided tremendously in the planning process. “I was able to see their texture, porosity and so on.” Since she is also an Artistic Director for Matrix, she used Matrix color, which was finished in just an hour and a half, to ensure locks looked extra healthy. And the extensions? “There was no cheating on set. No clip-ins or tricks,” Keasling promises. “A full day of prep went into the extension work, and I love that. Great Lengths doesn’t rely on smoke and mirrors, just the quality of their product.”