Only 3?  It was hard narrowing down my list of Why You Should Be Using Organic & Natural Hair Care Products Exclusively.  I talk to all of my clients about the benefits of making the organic switch.  In a nutshell: it’s safer, it’s healthier and it’s sexier!

1. Organic Hair Styling Products can correct, fight and fix dry, frizzy hair.  Look for products that contain SHEA BUTTER, ALOE and JOJOBA. Did you know that many smoothing and anti-frizz products actually contain ingredients that over time will cause dryness and frizz?  It’s true. Watch out for -TOLUENOL; BENZENEMETHANOL; PETROLEUM; BENZYLIC ALCOHOL; PHENYLCARBINOL; PHENYLMETHANOL; PHENYLMETHYL ALCOHOL; ALPHA-HYDROXYTOLUENE; ALPHA-TOLUENOL, BENZAL ALCOHOL and BENZENECARBINOL

John masters at juju salon2. Cost Effective.  Natural, Organic Hair Care Product costs are comparable to conventional salon exclusive products. The Organic Win?  Quality natural hair care shampoos, conditioners and styling products are packed with plant based ingredients and are light on water.  Therefore, less product is needed!  Conventional salon products are loaded with cheap, synthetic additives that literally fill the bottle and offer no utilitarian value. Some of the synthetic fillers to steer clear of: petroleum derived PROPYLENE GLYCOL and PARAFFIN.

juju salon beauty products3. The Scents are Safe & Sound.  Certified Organic products cannot legally contain dangerous synthetic fragrances.  Steer clear of any product that lists ‘Fragrance’ as one of the ingredients.  The chemical cocktail of synthetic fragrances is usually made from petroleum and hormone disrupting Phthalates.  Look instead for scents that are naturally derived or plant-based.

hamadi juju salon products


 Here’s the WHAT, WHEN and WHY for hat wearing this season. 

When your Bed Head isn’t tousled and cute…when you’re in a rush and your hair is a fright… when you’re sunbathing…when you’re gardening…when your frizz is intolerable…when you want to look more ladylike…when you’re at The Preakness..when you want to look more stylish than anyone else!

 Why  Oh, I don’t know….skin cancer….wrinklesage spots

What  Wide-brimmed Straw Hats will make you a beach beauty.  They are flattering for all hairstyles and give you an extra layer of sun protection. Beanies bring out the Boho in all of us. Small and sexy, these chapeau’s are perfect for bringing attention to shorter styles.  Dick Tracy Toppers say “cool”, “suave” and “debonnaire.”



So many of our clients at juju are vexed by the frizz. The key to de-frizzing is two-fold, nourishing and re-hydrating the hair coupled with the right products.


Start with a DRY SHAMPOO. Over shampooing will dry out the hair, and dry hair, especially on curly girls, will cause The Dreaded Frizz.

I recommend shampooing no more than 3 times a week and using a dry shampoo on off days.  Just sprinkle if it’s in powder form or spray for liquid form, a small amount at the hairline and crown, and work through from roots to ends.  Cocoa Tinted Dry Shampoo by Sevi is a best seller at my salon.


are great for long lasting frizz and fly-away control and can also act as a styling product. Apply leave-in conditioner on towel dried hair, mid-shaft to ends. My clients and I love Hamadi’s Shea Leave-in Conditioner. It’s perfect for those who like to air-dry their hair.

Note: watch out for de-frizzing curl cremes that contain petroleum derived silicones for shine.  After time, this ingredient will dry out the hair and make your frizz worse!


Aloe not only moisturizes the hair, reducing frizz potential, it provides hold and style.  Apply to towel dried hair, midshaft to ends. Try mixing it with your leave-in conditioner for extra thick or frizz-prone hair. I like MGA’s Styling Gel because of its lightness and versatility.

Pure Aloe helps the hair retain water and moisture, re-balances pH levels in the hair and scalp and promotes hair growth!

FINISHING POMADE  Dab a very small amount of a finishing paste or pomade on dried and styled hair to reduce frizz’s ‘Halo effect.’ John Masters Organics’ Pomade with olive and castor oils, really fights frizz and can be used on all hair types.

Make sure you look for the USDA Certified Organic Label and show your support for organic farms and processors.


I guarantee that you’ve had dandruff at least once in your life.  Sadly, many of us have had it more that once and seem to battle it on and off. Get to the root of the problem and stop dandruff from ever coming back again!

Seborrheic dermatitis, or dandruff is a very common affliction.  The brunt of the blame lies squarely on the harsh synthetic ingredients found in most conventional hair care products AND our obsession with over-shampooing our hair.

An overly-dry or oily scalp provides the perfect environment for dandruff to thrive. This is often caused by over-shampooing with cleansers containing Sodium Laural/Laureth Sulphates, PEGs, artificial fragrances and parabens.  These synthetic, cheap and potentially harmful ingredients* contribute to inflammatory and compromised skin conditions which in turn can lead to dandruff.

Poor diet and hygiene can also cause dandruff by encouraging fungal and bacteria growth on our scalp.

Fight off the flakes with these 4 easy and natural steps:

Shampoo less.  Our obsession with squeaky clean hair has become a bad habit for many of us.  Try using a dry shampoo between washings or ‘shampoo’ your hair with only conditioner.  Make sure to rinse thoroughly with this practice.
Only use natural and organic shampoos and hair care products.  Look for shampoos that contains tea tree oil, lavender oil, zinc, sage and aloe. DIY: add a few drops of lavender or tea tree oil to your favorite organic shampoo .  And remember, steer clear of synthetic, chemically laden ingredients will only worsen the problem.
Try a natural pre-shampoo treatment.  Massage your scalp with coconut oil for 5 minutes before you shampoo your hair.  Coconut oil contains naturally occurring antimicrobials and fungicides that help quash fungal and yeast growth.
Rinse your hair with Apple Cider Vinegar.  ACV naturally balances your scalp and hair’s pH.  Shampoos and soaps make the skin and scalp more alkaline which can compromise its ability to fight off fungus, a leading cause of dandruff.  ACV’s pH of 2.5-3 can rebalance the scalp.  Mix one part ACV with 2 parts distilled water.  In the shower, pour the mixture all over  wet hair and massage in for a few minutes.  Rinse well and condition  Added Bonus: ACV removes excess oil, water contaminants and product build-up leaving your hair soft and silky.


You’ve heard about it, maybe you’ve even tried it:  Dry Shampoo.  Many of my clients give me a vague and noncomittal response when I ask them if they’ve tried dry shampoo yet.  Surprisingly, not many have.  What’s more, they don’t have a clear understanding of how versatile Dry Shampoo can be! This product has been trending for the past few years.  Here’s the lowdown:

shampooB1. Quick & Easy Hair Cleanser  No time for shampooing, drying and styling, but you really need to do something to your hair? Shake it on your roots and finger or brush it through your hair.  Neutralizes oily roots and leaves hair smelling fresh.

2. Too Much Shampooing Has Left Your Hair Dry, Frizzy and Jacked Up  Cut back on your wet shampooing to once or twice a week and use Dry Shampoo on off days. Taking a break is transformative.

3. Dry Shampoo Speaks Volumes  Get fullness in 5 seconds flat! I like to carry Sevi’s mini-sized dry shampoo with me so I can refresh my style on the go.   Not to worry, this stuff is light and won’t weigh down your hair.

4. Pets, Children & Other Stinky Creatures will love you for not tossing them in the bathtub! Enough said.

5. This One is the Best – Mask Your Grey Roots Between Color Touch-Ups  A sprinkle of Tinted Dry Shampoo at your part and hair line can fool the eye.  Try Sevi’s Coffee or Cocoa formula for best results.



I have a brain ‘hiccup’ every time I’m asked when I opened  juju salon & organics.  2005.  What?  How is it possible?

I remember preparing the space for its opening, with my youngest daughter toddling around in diapers and getting into every last dangerous-looking pile of unpacked supplies. She’s now 10, but just as mischievous and adorable as she was then.  And juju is almost 9.

In all of the tim20120213_juju_0276e that has passed, my goals and juju’s Mission remains exactly the same: non-toxic beauty is attainable.  juju’s growing up.  And like my daughter Frances, with her never-changing cuteness and wily-will, I hope it never loses the ethos, goals, warmth & style that it was born with.


Philadelphians understand that when a business is awarded a “Best of Philly” by Philadelphia Magazine, it’s time to sample the business’s offerings.  Well, juju salon & organics is proud to have received this year’s “Best of Philly” award for Best Hair Salon!  What makes this award truly amazing is that a green, all natural salon was selected out of a pool of hundreds of chic and style-setting salons in the area.  Further, the fact that we are organic, and well, very, very different from conventional chop-shops, says something about the growth and acceptance of green businesses in general.  Doing business in a green and sustainable way is completely “normal.”

I’ve often hoped that the press and the general public would one day, perhaps, embrace one of my firmest business tenants: that is, that juju, like any other top-notch salon will give its clients great hair and will provide a resource for cutting-edge and attainable style and beauty, all in an eco-friendly way. Being green is just the icing on the cake. You really can make the healthier and more responsible choice and not have to sacrifice style and beauty.

So, come in! See what everyone is raving about.  Schedule an appointment with one of our organically educated and truly talented stylists.  Get safe, beautiful and long lasting color, a flattering style and find out for yourself why juju is this year’s Best Hair Salon!  Thanks to our clients, Philadelphia Magazine and my wonderful staff at juju for making this award possible!


OK, so maybe not Grey Gardens. But if any passers-by had stumbled upon our small, city garden, surely “over-grown garden” would more than likely come to mind; overgrown with weeds and last fall’s foliage, that is. One of the best decisions of 2010 was to enlist the help of Philadelphia’s green guru, Grace Wicks, of Graceful Gardens. Grace, with the aid of her experienced assistant Bernie, skillfully tamed our ornery weed population while bending the out-of-control shrubs and vines to her whimsical way. Make no mistake, Grace is very serious about what she does, and she does it all with a smile on her face that reveals a true passion for what she does best. A snip here, a cut here, some more color over there, and four hours later the garden was brimming with delightful beds of flowers and grasses that rejuvenated our once grey block of land into a green sanctuary. The addition of edible flowers and vegetables was just what we needed and our little Japanese maple has never seemed so happy being the center of attention amidst a charming, little rock garden. If only “Big Edie” & “Little Edie” Beale had known someone like Grace Wicks in 1975, history would have been rewritten; instead, these eccentric socialites would have squandered their fortune surrounded by beautiful landscapes and greenery…hehe.

Alas, my very own Graceful Gardens is where I want to be. I reach for my cup of coffee, step through the french doors, and I’m there…once again.


I can’t believe my eyes…right there, on the back of a bus, bigger than big, is this wonderful image: Persepolis reading Persepolis!  My family LOVES Persepolis: we’ve watched the movie 100 times, Santa filled the stockings with Persepolis books 1 and 2…now it seems, Persepolis fever has infected not only my family, but the whole city.  The Philadelphia Free Library (god love them) has chosen Marjane Satrapi’s The Complete Persepolisas the featured selection for 2010’s One Book, One Philadelphia.   This “is a joint project of the Mayor’s Office and the Free Library of Philadelphia that promotes reading, literacy, library use, and community building by motivating tens of thousands of people to read an annual featured selection. Marking the eighth consecutive year for One Book, the 2010 program runs from January 20 to March 17, 2010.”  Previous books featured in this project included Steve Lopez’s The Soloist.

Persepolis, a graphic novel…er…comic book, is Ms. Satrapi’s personal story about growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution.  Favorite parts include ‘Margie’s’ young adult life in exile in Paris, befriending, hanging out and trying to fit in with sophmoric Euro-poseurs. The Free Library’s One Book Committee chose this tale, in part, because of recent election protests in Iran.

Read this now! You’ll have Persepolis fever too, I promise.


I cannot forget that I am 43…43…43…over 40, by a landslide!  Today’s NY Times health blog featured results of a new study, proving that flexible middle-aged bodies may be less prone to cardiac disease than stiff computer potatoes…”In short, the study concluded that ‘a less flexible body indicates arterial stiffening, especially in middle-aged and older adults.’ ”  more Aha! my New Year’s Resolution Solidified – albeit, in a flexible way!  More yoga, more yoga more yoga more yoga more yoga….I internally chant.  Here’s where I love to practice in Philly:Wake Up Yoga,  friendly, knowledgeable, grateful yogis abound here!  Shankya Yoga in Northern Liberties – a loving and  peaceful oasis,  and my new favorite for authentic Jivamukti (and Ashtanga when I’m daring!) Shanti Yoga Shala, newly opened in Old City by the beautifully souled Shiya.  For 2010, I’m making my home away from home these three beautiful studios.