See what product the Scandal star calls her "reset button" after a dip in the pool or ocean.
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Kerry Washington
Credit: Amy Graves

The heat and hair-swelling humidity of summer — not to mention the damage inflicted by pool or ocean swims — can make it tough for women trying to keep their natural curls in tip-top shape. But Kerry Washington says she can’t stay away from the pool, so she comes up with hair tricks that’ll work before, during, and after a dip.

The Scandal alum embraces her curls among other natural styles during the summer, like the chic braided look she sported to Jennifer Klein’s star-studded Day of Indulgence in Los Angeles earlier this month.

“It's so much easier to just go with the curl,” she said with a smile, before showing us that her manicure perfectly matched her red-and-pink gingham Kate Spade dress (which happens to be on sale). “I swim a lot in the summer, so sometimes I'll blow it out and then still do like a braid to keep from fussing with it too much, but because I swim a lot in the summer, I tend to do curly more.”

With two kids — Isabelle Amarachi (born in 2014) and Caleb Kelechi Asomugha (born in 2016) — and a pool at home, Washington says she’s likely to jump in no matter how her hair is styled on a given day. “Even when I do have my hair blown out, if I come home and my kids are in the pool, I can't resist.”

As for the products she swears by to protect her curls, Washington said, “I'm a big experimenter.” She continued, “I like a lot of stuff. I like to try new stuff all the time, but Neutrogena has a clarifying shampoo that I really love, because I tend to use a lot of different leave-ins. So, it’s great when I need to press the reset button. We have a salt water pool, but whether it's ocean or chlorine or whatever, I stick to that.” That shampoo? It's called Anti-Residue Shampoo and currently costs less than $5 on Amazon. Of note, Washington is a brand ambassador for Neutrogena, which she's been repping since 2013.

InStyle caught up with Washington at the annual luxury shopping-and-spa-treatments event, where she was mixing and mingling with her Scandal squad — a tradition that she, Shonda Rhimes, Katie Lowes, and Darby Stanchfield have had for years. Now that Scandal has come to an end, Washington has moved on to other projects she hopes will make a big impact.

“I’m shooting a series right now for Hulu with Reese Witherspoon that we are producing and starring in called Little Fires Everywhere [based on the Celeste Ng novel], and I have a film that comes out this fall on Netflix, [as well as] the filming of a play I did on Broadway called American Son that will be out in spring,” she said.

VIDEO: Kerry Washington Looks Back at Her InStyle Covers

We can’t wait to see each of those upcoming projects, as well as the beauty looks she’ll bring to each red carpet. We’ll be taking notes for sure.