Category Archives: Hair

Olaplex is a Game Changer in the Hair World

I stopped into Oribe Salon in South Beach, Miami a couple months ago. While I was getting my hair styled by Elvio, who’s worked on the locks of Jennifer Lopez, Celine Dion, & Naomi Campbell amongst others, I asked him what is the biggest thing right now the world of Oribe. Without a pause, his answer was Olaplex. I was aware of this new product and had heard some of the claims but until recently did not fully understand it’s potential.

What is it? Olaplex is a single-ingredient wonder created by chemist Craig Hawker, the co-director of the Materials Research Lab at the University of California Santa Barbara. Hawker is a nationally recognized scientist, and his research group is focused on molecular engineering, specifically as it applies to biomaterials and energy, but this was Hawker’s first invention contribution to the beauty world.

What this mean to all of us?  When chemicals are used in the hair, from coloring, peroxide developers, or straightening treatments, the sulfur bonds split, and then become sulfur hydrogen. This process can eat away at the hair proteins, which causes sever damage and results in “fried” hair.  Olaplex prevents the splitting from happening. In short, Olaplex links broken bonds in the hair making hair coloring safer, and helps eliminate hair breakage during the coloring process.


Well, now it’s here at DnA Salon, and I could not be more thrilled! It has completely opened a new palette of options that were almost impossible to reach until now. No more broken hair for temporary “fantasy” colors or waiting weeks in between to go lighter.  The product can also be used alone as a treatment to help erase past damage from processing or heat damage.  Olaplex is the answer to our Hairgod’s prayers!

This is my client, Morgan's [dark brown natural] hair with previous damage, colored to an aqua jade green with Olaplex.
This is my client, Morgan’s [dark brown natural] hair with previous damage, lightened and colored to an aqua-jade green with Olaplex.
To make an appointment call 215-925-1881 or book online.  Mention this post and receive 10% off any Olaplex color service until September 1, 2015.

2015 Top Beauty Picks –

Here is a list of my favoritebeauty products of 2015.

In an effort to cut down on the ongoing cosmetic graveyard in every woman’s bathroom, I have compiled a list of my most frequently used and most effective beauty products. All of the products listed I have personally used / approved.


Hair Tools/Products



Curling Iron – Babyliss Pro Professional Porcelain Ceramic Curling Iron $37
Curling Iron – Babyliss Pro Professional Porcelain Ceramic Curling Iron $37Hot Tool – Babyliss Pro Professional Porcelain Ceramic Curling Iron $37

Hot Tool – Babyliss Pro Professional Porcelain Ceramic Curling Iron $37

Hair Dryer – Turbo Power Hair Dryer 3200 Twin Turbo 220V $137

Brush -The Wet Brush Detangling Shower Brush $9


Hair Serum- Moroccanoil Oil Treatment with pump 100ML/3.4OZ $45

Keratin Complex Color Care Shampoo - 13.5 oz bottle $19
Keratin Complex Color Care Shampoo – 13.5 oz bottle $19

Dry Shampoo- Psssssst! Instant Dry Shampoo – 5.3 oz spray can $6

Hair Spray – Bumble and Bumble Thickening DrySpun Finish 4 oz $30

Shampoo – Keratin Complex Color Care Shampoo – 13.5 oz bottle $19

Conditioner – Wella Enrich Moisturizing Treatment $16

Hair Protective/Primer -Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Primer 8.5 oz$29


 Face & Body


Body Moisturizer -Jergens Natural Glow 3 Days to Glow Moisturizer, Fair to Medium Skin Tones – 4 fl oz tube $8

Sunless Tanner -Sobronze Sunfree Self Tanning Airbrush Tanning Spray 7.5 oz $28

Makeup Remover -Spectrum Naturals Organic Coconut Oil, Refined – 14 fl oz jar $8


Foundation-  it Cosmetics Your Skin But Better™ CC Cream with SPF 50+ $38

Primer – Face Studio Master Prime Blur + Illuminate 1 Fl. Oz. Tube $8

Bronzer/Blush- Sonia Kashuk Chic Luminosity Bronzer/Highlighter Duo $13

L.L. Bean Personal Organizer Toiletry Bag, Medium $30
L.L. Bean Personal Organizer Toiletry Bag, Medium $30

Eyebrow Definer – e.l.f. Cosmetics Studio Eyebrow Kit, Medium – 0.07 oz compact $3

Mascara- L’oreal Voluminous in Carbon Black $8

Eye Palette -Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette $29

Setting Spray – Nyx Long Lasting Makeup Setting Spray Matte Or Dewy $8

Makeup Bag – L.L. Bean Personal Organizer Toiletry Bag, Medium $30

Do you have a favorite beauty product? Comment below with your “Top Beauty Pick.”

Have you heard of “Ecaille” yet?

The newest hair buzzword is “ecaille.”  It’s pronounced ik-eye-ell. Ecaille is French for “tortoiseshell” which is exactly the shades it mimics. Think caramel, amber, honey, chocolate & mahogany.
tortieI have always loved how luxurious my tortoiseshell accessories looked. Now we can give our number one accessory (our hair) that same feel.

Ecaille is a new take to add richness and dimension to the hair. It can update hair and be incorporated with any of the current natural hair color trends such as ombré or baby-lights without  doing excessive bleaching, but while still keeping some of those lighter pieces, especially around the face. It can also be done on solid colored hair. The difference between ecaille and some traditional highlights & lowlights is a toned down or “blurred” root to keep with the “natural” look which eases maintenance and staying between 1-3 levels of the natural hair color. Many celebrities have already had the ecaille color for some time, Jessica Biel and Kloé Kardashian to name a tortieWith the rise of the youthful hair color trends and variations, ecaille has arrived to add new gorgeous, gentle, and natural looking multi-dimension to lackluster strands.

my ecaille look
Ecaille hair color “Before & After” done by Samantha Shorette of DnA Salon.

To get 10% off this service, book “full highlights/lowlights + color gloss” with Samantha at DnA Salon and mention “ecaille” in the comments.

And check out my Pinterest board to see the best “Ecaille” color I have fround around the web! Plus, be sure to follow me on instagram, too! @samschairphilly

Follow Samantha’s board Ecaille on Pinterest.


I recently created an editorial styled photo shoot at DnA Salon. I was inspired by the Northern Liberties neighborhood; it’s history and future. The name, NEOTERIC DÉMODÉ, is essentially an oxymoron meaning New-age/Vintage.  The result was mixed ultra modern styles with a somewhat gothic victorian mood. The photographer, Sachi Anand, captured the vibe I was going for perfectly! Jewelry for the models was provided by local designer, sticks+ stones, and is all available for purchase from or in store at Ritual Ritual – 819 N 2nd St, Philadelphia, PA 19123

A big thanks to DnA Salon and  everyone that helped make this possible!

Here it is!








A Healthy Platinum Blonde; Can You Have the Best of Both Worlds?

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Platinum hair is beautiful and can be a stunning look on so many individuals, but breakage, frizz, and tangled hair is not the “more fun” part of being a blonde. Achieving this look while maintaining the integrity of the hair is a process that takes patience.

The intial process takes about 3 visits. After that’s complete, the retouch (roots) maintenance is much more simplified.

Here is what you need to know and keep in mind:

The first appointment will take about 3 hours depending on your hair.  This will probably be the longest and most costly visit during platinum process. The colorist will do a few processes separately in order to let your hair rest in between and to make sure nothing is left on the hair longer than necessary. The color you see at first will probably be a little scary, but stay calm and keep in mind it is a process. The color you leave with that day might be brassy; that’s normal. Since toners deposit color back to the hair, if you intend on going lighter, it is better to use very little toner. The colorist may use a toning shampoo or toning rinse just to get you by for the next week, but it will wash out in a couple shampoos.

After each appointment, it is very important to not wash your hair for at least 3 days. When you do wash your hair, use a sulfate and sodium chloride free shampoo.  A keratin care shampoo is a great one to use. Coppala Keratin Complex even has a violet based ones just for blondes. Use a deep conditioning restorative mask treatment instead of your normal conditioner.

keratin shampoomoroccanoil-restorative-hair-mask1

Things to avoid are metal brushes (boar hair bristle brushes are ideal), and high-heat styling (click here to read about low-heat styling options).

Boar Hair Bristle Brush

 Give 10-20 days space in-between each appointment. The second appointments will be a little less time and money. Again, there may be a couple different processes involved. At this point, you can expect to leave with more of a light yellow blonde. 

My client, Jen, going from a balayage blonde to a full multidimensional platinum blonde. She is due back in two weeks for her third appointment.
My client, Jen, going from a balayage blonde to a full multidimensional platinum blonde. She is due back in two weeks for her third appointment.

The third appointment should get you very close to your goal. A trim might be necessary at this point. You may also need your roots retouched, too. After this lightening process is complete, continue with the same  at home care.  To keep your blonde bright and cut any brass, book a color gloss once or twice a month. This service usually runs about $35-$45 and is well worth it. Book your retouch about every 4-6 weeks.

The final step is to just bask in the compliments and envy of everyone around you. You made it through the process & achieved gorgeous platinum locks!


To book an appointment at DnA Salon call 215-925-1881 or book online. New clients: mention this blog post and receive 10% off your first visit with Samantha.

The New Color Trend is Here and it’s Adorable!

With all the low-maintenance color trends going on right now (ombre, balayage, bombre, etc.) “Babylights” is the new adorable buzz word for color that begs to ask the question “Does she or doesn’t she?”

“Babylights” is a term coined by a British colorist, Jack Howard. As the name suggests, Babylights are a technique that is meant to mimic the vibrance of children’s hair. BabyLightsThey are micro-fine highlights placed throughout the hair in a slightly warmer and lighter shade than the client’s natural color.  The youthful result gives a subtle all over new brightness, adds radiance to the client’s complexion, and brings back the shimmer that fades from our hair as children.  This trend is very suitable for clients new to color and looking to try highlights for the first time or did not like the maintenance that comes with having traditional highlights as they grow out. Here are a few examples I have gathered from around the web.Babylights

Babylights have the most impact on medium brunettes to blondes. This color technique can also be incorporated with the other natural color trends like the balayage to create a completely custom color which still looks 100% natural. Since Babylights are placed so finely, they grow out incredibly gracefully.

Suggested maintenance is 12 weeks and pricing starts at $115.

 Click here to book an appointment for “Babylights” at DnA Salon. Book  “Hightlights+Gloss.” Mention “Babylights with Sam” in the comments section to receive 10% off.




Hottest Short Cut For Women this Fall (and no, I’m not talking about the “Lob”).

I’m starting to become slightly obsessed with this new hybrid short cut being referred to as the “Pixie-Hawk”.

Screen Shot 2014-09-29 at 8.00.07 PM It can be worn sleek, roughed up, or even curled.

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I have been seeing it styled as somewhat of a cross between a fauxhawk and a pompadour.
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There’s plenty of length on top and tightly cut or even clipper cut sides being tapered to a “V” shape in the back.

Screen Shot 2014-09-29 at 7.48.28 PMJust stunning…

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The cut has plenty of versatility, style and is a change up from traditional crop cuts for women.  So what do you think? Love it, or make it stop? Check out my pineterest board “Chop” for more of my favorite fall cuts (yes, in also includes the beloved and popular Lob/long bob).

Follow Samantha’s board Chop on Pinterest.




Fast Track to Long & Healthy Hair


The formula to achieve long healthy hair, in addition to avoiding excessive heat and chemical processing, is to speed hair growth, but also avoid breakage.

Here are 10 tips split in 2 categories of “Growth & Breakage”.

How to speed hair growth:

Bioten supplements 5000mcg – As soon as cold weather approaches and the days of bare legs are over, I always incorporate Bioten into my daily supplement routine. Look for a Bioten supplement with 5000mcg.
Drink Water – Yes, water makes everything grow better. Aim for 8 8oz servings daily starting as soon as you wake up.blog2
Eat Protein – Chicken, fish, eggs, nuts, etc. It provides hair with essential vitamins needed to grow. Aim for at least 40g daily.blog3
Vitamin B – This vitamin makes hair grow strong and healthy. Without vitamin B, hair becomes dry and brittle. Check your multivitamin to see if it has 100% of your daily value. A good natural source of vitamin B are bananas and peppers.blog4
Exercise – Exercising increases bloodflow which aids in hair growth. It also helps relieve stress which can cause hair loss.blog6


How to avoid breakage:

Trims – Frequent small trims are essential to keep the split ends at bay. When ends start to split they do not stop splitting and continue to gradually move up the hair shaft until they are properly cut off.blog8
Use gentle shampoo and limit washing to every other day – A gentle shampoo preserves the integrity of the hair. Just as you wouldn’t wash a delicate sweater with dish soap every time you wore it, your hair should be treated with the same  care. A sulfate free shampoo is a must.blog13
Tight pony tails – Tight hair ties are the number one culprit of breakage and flyaways. Buy no metal fabric hair ties and never tie your hair up wet as it constricts as it dries.blog9
Deep conditioning – A deep conditioning mask every week will restore moisture to dry ends and help prevent split ends. I like to switch between a Kpak conditioner and natural coconut oil.blog11

Brush hair gently using a wet brush – A “wet brush” has soft and flexible bristles that gently detangles hair even when it is wet to prevent hair from snapping. They can be purchased at DnA Salon.blog10

These are 10 basic tips you can incorporate in your routine to help your hair be as healthy as it can be.blog14










10 Easy Hair Hacks

Here are some of my useful hair tricks and secrets I share with my clients.

1. Squeeze excess water out of hair with a towel after shampooing before conditioning instead of just using your hands to help the condioner penetrate move effectively.


2. Ease up on Bioten in the Spring/Summer and beef back up on it (2.5mg) in the Fall/Winter. Unless your bikini waxer is your best friend, bioten makes ALL of your hair grow faster. Not particularly desired during warm months. hacks6

3. On days you aren’t washing your hair, use a t-shirt to wrap hair up under a shower cap to prevent the frizz from the steam.


5. Use a “top-knot” burn form to preserve and quickly tie up a blow-out without leaving dents.


6. Use 1 part apple cider vinegar and 1 part water once a month to rinse hair of buildup and add shine instead of clarifying shampoo.hack4

7. Dilute sunscreen with water in a spray bottle and mist on hair to prevent color fade from the sun.


8. Wash just the very top crown of your hair in the sink with the rest of your secured and out of the way and restyle for a fresh hair look on short time.


9. Before dipping in chlorine water, soak hair with clean water to block and repel the chlorine.

hair hacks8

10. Never set hot tools above 350 degrees and mist hair lightly with a flexible hold hairspray before you curl or flat iron to aid in styling hair without excess heat.

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A New Wave of Rollers

Rollers have been around for over 60 years. All kinds have come and gone, but for many modern women they are no longer a staple in their beauty routines like they used to be.  Although wave styles have changed throughout the decades, in my book, rollers are still the best way to get gorgeous hair.

Recently, on one of my Target shopping trips, I saw these new “Goody Dent-less Waves” foam rollers and at about $10 for 9, I decided to try them out. They were worth the purchase.

No hard plastic clamp! Tired of dents? Want beautifully flowing waves without the dent? Introducing Goody Dent-Less Waves Foam Rollers! The self-holding strap secures the roller in place without uncomfortable pins or plastic clips that clamp down on your hair and create a dent.

Here are some tips to get ‘blow-out’ worthy hair at home or to keep your salon blow-out looking it’s best.rollers2

Unwrap your rollers and un-velcro them all.

Blow dry your hair in sections smoothly as you normally would.

As soon as you finish drying a section, while it is still warm, wrap the hair around a roller and secure it with the velcro strip. Be mindful not to “fish-hook” the ends.

After you have wrapped all of your sections, mist the hair with a flexible hold hairspray.

I like to leave the rollers in for at least 30 minutes.

I do not suggest using them on damp hair.

Here I am before bed on freshly blow-dried hair. One fell out over night.


To re-awaken a blow out over night:

Wrap big crown sections on top with 2 or 3 rollers and use about 2 or 3 rollers on the bottom layers.

Since the rollers are all foam with no hard plastic, they are comfortable to sleep on.

Oh and the squishy foam makes them super easy to pack. I can alway stuff a couple in an over night bag.

Here’s the link to buy them at Target

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