It would be easy to write about Julia Rae, née Julia Rae Schlucter, as yet another precocious Main Line talent.
We’d tell you she was performing in regional theater at age 6.
That she was recording original songs professionally by age 15.
That she’s been a featured singer in the 6ABC Thanksgiving Day Parade for eight years.
That she skipped senior year at the Academy of Notre Dame to pursue a music career in LA. That, still a teenager, she walked the Hollywood red carpet with Brooke Shields after one of her original songs was featured in a Shields movie.
That she detoured into modeling, beauty pageants (“Miss Philadelphia” in 2015) and a Fordham degree, then in the last year, circled back to music, releasing a strong and sexy EP (“Belle de Jour”) which she performed this spring for hometown fans at 118 North in Wayne.
Sure, we could tell you all that. And more. There’s no shortage of material about this multi-faceted gal.
But you’d only get part of the story.
Because Julia Rae – gorgeous, gifted, preternaturally poised and way wiser than her 26 years – was born with the chronic, lung-and-life-sapping disease, cystic fibrosis.
So was her big brother.
And that, dear reader, changes everything.
Meet them on the Main Line – Will Schlucter owns WillPower Strength and Conditioning in Ardmore, Julia does online reporting for 6ABC – and you’d never guess their compromised lungs need an hour and a half of breathing treatments so they can get out the door each day.
Jeeze, she’s a singer and reports into a microhone. And Will, well, he’s a he-man – a Brazilian jiu-jitsu competitor and kettlebell-swinging king. Strong lungs are how these two earn a living, no?
But dig deeper and you find that it’s Will’s extraordinary will, his four-hour-a-day workouts, that keep his health in check. The St. Norbert/Conestoga/St. Joe’s Prep product who admits he used to “fall back on his CF” diagnosis when coaches pushed him too hard now pushes others, himself included, above and beyond.
You learn that Julia’s lungs have partially collapsed six times over the years, leading to long hospital stays in Philly and LA, and that, not so long ago, blinding pain forced her to retreat into dark rooms a few hours each afternoon.
These days, two blue Kalydeco pills, approved last fall for the Schlucters’ rare CF mutation, mercifully keep Julia’s head pain and the doctors away.
“It’s changed my life,” Julia tells SAVVY. “I never thought I would feel this good.”
Bearded, brawny Will works out Main Liners – first at Shaolin Studios in Strafford, then Main Line United in Ardmore, and as of four years ago, at WillPower – and tells his CF story sparingly. His sister does not.
Like her CF “sister” in Lower Merion, Emily Kramer-Golinkoff of Emily’s Entourage, she’s a national CF patient advocate and started a CF nonprofit, (Singing at the Top of My Lungs). Julia crisscrosses the country to speak to families facing CF diagnoses. She recently testified on Capitol Hill about insurance protections for people with preexisting, chronic conditions like CF. “It’s an expensive illness,” she says.
Julia’s front and center – the face of the brand, so to speak.
Just as her mother, Juliette Schlucter, was once the local face of a very different brand, Bonne Bell Cosmetics. Our homegrown “Bonne Bell girl” back in the day:
Having two kids with CF propelled Juliette Schlucter’s career to a different spotlight: she’s a nationally known advocate for family-centered pediatric care and a director at NYU’s Sala Institute.
Still, the CF glare can get old, even for a born entertainer like Julia Rae.
“It’s hard to be this open about it all the time,” she confides. “It’s such a personal battle. Sometimes you just want to be a 26-year old girl.”
Understandably, she doesn’t want to be defined by her disease and so, let’s return, shall we, to 118 North, the new music venue in downtown Wayne, on a recent Sunday night. Strobe lights flash, music pulses, a full house cheers, and a determined young woman takes the stage, strong, free and singing at the top of her lungs.
Julia Rae’s “Belle de Jour” EP (AIR Records, stream on Spotify and iTunes) features five original songs, inspired by the 1967 classic Catherine Deneuve film and early Michael Jackson hits. Will Schlucter offers private and group kettlebell workouts at WillPower, 14. W. Lancaster Ave., Ardmore.
It took a while and a lot of money – OK, a long while and a whole lot of money – but ta-da: Radnor now has a library worth crowing about.
Smashed down to the studs, enlarged and invigorated, Radnor Memorial Library just opened to rave reviews and a full parking lot.
It’s as if folks had never seen books before.
And in a way, they hadn’t. These many months, patrons made do with a Wayne storefront that had room for just 5 to 10 percent of its holdings.
Now they can peruse the spiffy new shelves, surf with upgraded WiFi (yes!), collaborate on school projects in the teen room, chat over coffee in the new café, snuggle up in a sunny nook or on Wendy’s Porch, debate their book club’s latest read in a new small-group room, or watch over their wee ones in the “family play area” (below).
And that’s just for starters.
All those nasties about the old library have turned nice.
- The shabby bathrooms are now chic and sleek and include a family restroom.
- Notoriously wild temperature swings are no more. The new HVAC system does its job, and efficiently, too.
- The floor – once littered with kids from Radnor Middle School and St. Katharine’s who couldn’t find seats after school – should stay clear come September. There’s ample seating among the stacks, plus a designated room just for teens. It has a door so we don’t have to hear them.
Despite its old-school name – a salute to Radnor’s WWII fallen listed on a giant, circa-1949 maple plaque in the foyer – Radnor Memorial Library is 21st century all the way.
Good thing, too. Because libraries are our new town squares: places for folks of all ages to meet, collaborate, learn, hang out. And yes, check out a book or three.
So, yes, the project ran long and the ride was a bumpy. Weather, mold, construction issues and such stretched 16 months of construction to 24.
And yes, it ran over budget. $4 million morphed into, gulp, $7.15 million.
But, it was done right. So a tip of the hat to:
- the library’s board of trustees
- the staff (only full-timers could stay on during the transition)
- township officials and their original library strategic planning group, first convened a dozen years ago
- Kimmel-Bogrette, the only architects who cleverly thought to expand over the parking lot.
- the 42 generous folks who bought a quote, now writ large on the library’s walls, and the 100 more who sponsored a bookcase.
Y’all found a way to get it done: A state grant here, township funds there, followed by a smart capital campaign capped off with foundation and trustee gifts. Radnor asked you to “Be Part of the Story.” You more than answered the call.
Nothing Bundt Cakes just fired up its ovens in Wynnewood.
How sweet it is.
The bakery’s so mom-and-pop cute you might not guess it’s a franchise, actually the third PA location of a Texas-based chain.
Baked fresh on site daily, cakes come in 10 flavors and four sizes: 8-in. bundt, 10-in. bundt, personal-size Bundlets (they can be towered), and bite-sized Bundtinis. (We tried the red velvet dotted with chocolate chips. Dee-lish.)
Buy them plain – adorned only with NBC’s signature cream cheese frosting – or, for an extra $10, order them dressed – with paper flowers, ribbons, cute signs and such. A giant album helps you “Build your Bundt.” There are 29 suggested styles just for birthday cakes alone.
Good news for procrastinators: the bakery needs just 20 minutes notice to fill orders.
Allergy alert: Gluten-free chocolate chip cake is always available. Dairy-free folks can choose the carrot cake without the frosting.
Also in store: greeting cards, cake platters, balloons, gift bags and wine glasses and mugs to pair with bundtlets.
Owner is Kim Wright, a Delco mother of four who fell for the NBC concept when she lived in Texas. She fell for the Main Line when she stayed with her Gladwyne in-laws. “I was always looking for a reason to come back,” she tells SAVVY.
Nothing Bundt Cakes, 333 E. Lancaster Ave., Wynnewood West Shopping Center, is open Mon. – Fri. 9 to 6, Sat. 10 to 6, 215-454-2286. Limited local delivery planned. Adoptions from the Heart Benefit Day July 13. Free monthly Bundtlets for a year to first 50 guests July 14, which is also Family Fun Day (face-painting and balloon art), noon to 2.
Taking the all-day breakfast concept to sweet heights: Moo Moo Milk Bar, newly opened in the Edgemont shopping center, next to P.J. Whelihan’s.
On the menu: Cereal “bowls” in 9 flavors from Apple Pie to PB&J to Waffle House ($5); 8 flavors of homemade ice cream including Fruity Pebbles, Coco Puffs and Cap’n Crunch Berries; plus milkshakes, Konery waffle cones and soft-serve.
The only no-sugar-added offering: locally-brewed La Colombe draft latte in cans.
Moo Moo comes from the foodie couple that brought Shoo Fry (French fry shops) to Philly and a Coldstone Creamery to Delco. Matt and Rachel Biaida have three young kids and another on the way, so family-friendly comfort foods like cereal and ice cream felt right for their new venture.
Strictly seasonal, Moo Moo goes bye bye at the end of September.
Moo Moo Cereal Milk Bar, Edgemont Shopping Center, 4751 West Chester Pike, Newtown Square, is open Sun. – Thurs. noon to 10; Fri. and Sat. noon to 11, (484) 428-3864.
The stats are scary. Suicide rates are on the rise in every state but Nevada. Those most likely to die by suicide, according to the CDC: middle-aged white men, veterans and LGBT youth.
Not someone like Jordan Burnham, the varsity golfer, pitcher, homecoming court-popular senior at Upper Merion High whose overwhelming depression caused him to jump out the window of his family’s King of Prussia apartment in 2008. Miraculously, his body took a beating but he survived the nine-story fall.
Since those dark days, he’s lived to tell the tale – over and over and over again – so others might not take the same desperate leap.
A compelling speaker and director of student engagement for Main-Line based Minding Your Mind, Burnham had an extra big audience June 24. He was featured on the CNN Town Hall: “Finding Hope: Battling America’s Suicide Crisis.” He talked about the culture, slowly changing, that still stigmatizes depression. As a teen, he felt ashamed to admit the illness that swallowed him whole, the days of despair when he couldn’t get out of bed. What saved him? His supportive family and friends and sharing his story so others won’t feel alone.
Click here to watch this important CNN Town Hall. Burnham appears 39 minutes in.
This and That
Downtown Wayne’s Company C is consolidating into Aubusson Home next door and will close July 31. Until then, rush on in for 20 to 70 percent savings on pillows, bedding rugs, lamps, home decor items, desks, chairs, lamps and such.
Just down the road, Anchored in the Main Line has pulled up anchor. Owner Cindy Walsh says she’s moving the store online and will sell at popups and at her “more successful” shore spot, Anchored in Sea Isle.
Swimsuit seller Shirley & Co. has called it quits in Ardmore. A sign on the Greenfield Ave. door says it lost its lease and invites shoppers to patronize Everything But Water in Suburban Square or visit its locations in Newtown and Elkins Park.
After a six-month search, the Main Line Art Center found a new leader in its own Haverford backyard. Thomas Scurto-Davis, eight years MLAC’s director of finance and operations and the interim exec. director since Amie Potsick’s December resignation, officially took the reins June 25.
Clearly, the guy knows the place. Plus, he has pipes. Deep ones. He was a baritone opera singer for more than 20 years, performing principal roles for Opera Company of Philadelphia and other renowned companies across the country. His latest artistic passion: woodturning. Cool.
Meanwhile, Nancy Campbell‘s been running the ever-evolving show at the Wayne Art Center for an astounding 30 years. Congrats on the milestone; Masterfully done, Ms. Campbell.
by Rebecca Adler
Ivory Tree portrait studio in the heart of Wayne is flooded with golden, glowing light. It’s like stepping into the ultimate Instagram filter – thanks to three giant, southern-facing windows.
“Nobody does it better than Mother Nature,” says owner Lara Mattey of the all-natural photography boutique which prides itself on an artistic approach to family photos with customized service and a team of skilled photographers.
Modern, airy, and dotted with jars of candy to ply the kids, the new space is outfitted with four carefully curated backdrops to appeal to every taste – modern, funky, timeless or somewhere in between:
- A huge, pastel watercolor (painted by local artist Andrea Moran).
- A beautifully backlit window seat for an ethereal vibe.
- A clean, modern neutral backdrop – perfect for headshots – is refreshed quarterly to complement the changing light.
- A styled seasonal vignette (think cascading flowers, a giant moss wreath, gold-dipped magnolia) for holiday cards.
A career marketer, Mattey fell for the photography business when her first daughter was born. “My husband has muscular dystrophy,” she explains. “We went probably ten years not knowing whether we could have healthy children. One of the photographers here did the images of our girls. The [pictures] captured this moment in our family … and how connected we are and how much love we had and how long we waited for them.”
Inspired by the art form and a lifelong dream of owning her own business, Mattey bought the Little Nest Wayne franchise 18 months ago before breaking off in February to create Ivory Tree. The name is a play on the new studio’s pure ivory light and the family tree.
Capturing the essence of families – from cake-smashing one-year-olds to adorably awkward teens – is at the root of Ivory Tree’s mission.
And because no two families look alike, Ivory Tree shies away from the traditional package model so you only pay for the stuff you want. Prints and items from three distinct accessory lines (modern, classic and organic) are offered a la carte, including handcrafted frames made from reclaimed wood, linen-wrapped photo albums and glass float frames accented with metal bolts.
More standout services from Ivory Tree:
- Monthly mini sessions provide lasting memories at half the cost of a traditional shoot.
- An on-call stylist will help you shop the Internet (or your closet!) for the big day.
- Swoon-worthy outdoor shoots, like local lavender fields, vineyards and most recently, an idyllic wedding venue with pond, gazebo and rustic barn.
- Baby’s first pro pic is bound to be a breeze – Ivory Tree photographers are trained in newborn safety and massage.
- Have a vision for the ultimate image? The studio will make it happen. A favorite freestyle shoot: recreating a Griswold Family Christmas.
“Are you a classic family who comes in wearing monogrammed matching outfits? Are you a modern dad who has a mohawk and a tattoo sleeve or are you organic and into deep textures?” Mattey muses. Ivory Tree has something for everyone.
Ivory Tree, 21 West Ave., Wayne. Holiday sessions are booking now. Call 610-710-4330 or visit ivorytreeportraits.com.
It’s summer – take that workout outside!
By Susan Greenspon
The longest day of the year has come and gone but there’s still lots of summer left for exercising alfresco. Kill calories, stretch your legs and feel the sun on your skin in a local park or plaza, on a bridge or rooftop. Here’s where to go:
Eastern Main Line:
At Linwood Park in Ardmore (Linwood and Athens Ave) greet the day with Sunrise Yoga (above), Fridays at 6:30 a.m. with Shanna Graziani from Bryn Mawr’s Hummingbird Yoga and Massage in Bryn Mawr. Stretch to chirping birds and scented greens at this little oasis in a former church parking lot. An all-levels class, drop in with your mat and a suggested donation of $5. Half goes to Friends of Linwood Park, the folks who sustain this patch of paradise.
Or join Gabi, a certified reflexologist for free Mindful Movements and Reflexology Tuesday nights at 7, also in Linwood Park. She’ll start with 10 stretching movements (no mat needed), You’ll end with a walk on the reflexology path – a horseshoe surface of smooth stones and rocks. (Fuel Cycle Fitness Ardmore and MovementsRx Studio Wynnewood have also offered workouts in Linwood Park and might do so again.)
Yoga not your speed? Lululemon Ardmore has teamed with Focus Fitness for free, cardio/strength workouts in the Suburban Square Courtyard, July 18 and Aug. 22 at 6:30 p.m. Call 610-642-2841 for updates.
How about doing a bridge on a bridge? Roots2Rise offers Yoga on the Manayunk Bridge linking Philly to Lower Merion, Sundays at 10 a.m. Check out the Center City skyline or the meandering Schuylkill shoreline. A $5 suggested donation supports Roots2Rise classes in Philly parks and rec centers.
Try a scenic spin through some of the Philly area’s best roads and bike paths with Trek Travel Ardmore Saturday, July 14. Meet at the Ardmore store at 10. $35 fee includes gourmet picnic lunch, full ride support and snacks. Seasoned cyclists and rookies riders welcome. Sign up here.
Prefer to freestyle? Lace up your sneakers and find your Zen off-road at:
- Cynwyd Heritage Trail, which loops over to the Philly side via the restored Manayunk Bridge.
- Gladwyne’s Rolling Hill Park.
- Haverford College’s Arboretum trail. Power walk by a picturesque duck pond, 19th-century campus buildings, playing fields, gardens and woods. Don’t miss the foot bridge and a tree-lined slate path, a throwback to the days when students walked past stately Victorian homes en route to the historic Haverford Friends Meeting House.
- Stoneleigh Public Garden in Villanova. The trail’s just a mile long but treat it like a track and lap it. (And admire in the native plants, specimen trees, and charming garden follies along the way.)
King of Prussia area:
Have your Hatha and your happy hour, too, at the King of Prussia Town Center, where Stillpoint Yoga leads free intro sessions (“pre yoga”) Tuesdays at 5:30. Then, head over to a neighboring joint for special food and drink deals. BYO mat, towel and water bottle. Expect to see about 100 of your besties to spread out in the square, says Stillpoint owner Dianne Rutstein. “It’s great for anyone who’s new or may be intimidated to go to a studio.”
Want to make better use of the great outdoors? Get schooled (for free!) at REI King of Prussia. Among its cool summer offerings: “Adventuring with Dogs” July 14 at 10:30 a.m.; “Women’s Backpacking” July 31 at 6:30 p.m.; “Kayaking Basics,” July 28 at 10:30 a.m.; “Traveling Light” August 21 at 6:30 p.m., and “Best Fall Hiking” Aug. 28 at 6:30 p.m. Or dive right in for an overnight backpacking adventure to the Delaware Water Gap, July 28-29 ($279 members/$299 non-members). Limited spots. See the full list of classes and register here.
Salute the sun Saturdays and Sundays at 9 a.m. with Conshy-based Yoga Home on the rooftop at Whole Foods Market in Plymouth Meeting, $5. Roots2Rise Wellness & Be & Breathe yoga leads $5 classes atop the Exton Whole Foods Market, Saturdays at 9 a.m. (Email [email protected], call 260-494-8678 or check Facebook for updates.)
Western Main Line:
Get in tune with nature at Yoga in the Woods, Sunday nights at 6:30 through Aug. 26, at “The Beach” at McKaig Nature Center in Wayne. Park at Roberts Elementary School on Croton Rd. Bring a thick blanket to put under your mat and wear appropriate footwear – no sand, just pebbles on this beach. (Rainy night classes in the Old Roberts Schoolhouse.) $10 for members, $15 for non members. Questions? Call the park ranger at 484-580-9474 or e-mail [email protected].
Valley Forge Park Alliance runs Trail Tuesdays, one-hour group walks through the park beginning at 10 a.m., weather permitting. All fitness levels, dogs and strollers welcome. Dermatologist Bonnie Koo will talk about minimizing your skin cancer risk during the July 17 walk. New summer meeting spot at the lot at 1500 Wilson Rd. for easy access to the shady Valley Creek Trail. Grab a post-walk lunch at the Tavern at Valley Forge where VFPA members get 20 percent off. Questions? Contact [email protected] or call 484-886-5853.
Prefer to pedal the park? Rent a bike in Valley Forge Park’s Lower Visitors Center lot. Choices include “performance” bikes, kids bikes and buggies and locks, $5-$30. Call 215-789-6259 with questions.
Performance Bicycle in Paoli offers beginner rides on the 14-mile long Chester Valley Trail at 9 a.m. Saturdays through the summer.
Willistown Conservation Trust on Providence Rd. in Newtown Square will host Thursday night “Yoga in the Meadow” Aug. 9, Sept. 13 and Oct 11 at 6:30 p.m. Your $10 fee ($15 at the door) pays yoga instructors Elizabeth Capps and Linda DiValerio. Click here for info.
Walkers, runners, hikers and bikers have oodles of off-road options, among them: Radnor Trail, Chester Valley Trail, Schuylkill River Trail, Chesterbrook’s paved paths, and Valley Forge Park‘s paved and unpaved trails.
East, West, Wherever:
Slide over serums, peels, lasers – even scalpels, the biggest buzz in skin rejuvenation is needles.
Not the Botox kind. (Old news.)
No, tiny “microneedles” on the edge of a specially designed pen.
I was invited to give microneedling a whirl by Melissa Lees, the capable R.N. who offers injections and medical-grade microneedling at Purenergy Studio in Paoli.
A beauty editor in one of my pre-SAVVY incarnations, I’ve long been scrupulous about skin: No sun (not ever), regular Retin A and dermaplaning/peels have helped keep (some) lines and bags at bay. But as the years slip away, so, inevitably, have my good buddies – collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid – the lovely trio that keeps our skin tight, smooth and moist.
Microneedling, aka “collagen induction therapy” – was created to bring ’em all back – with virtually no downtime.
And that’s why it’s all the rage. Hundreds of tiny pinpricks reach down to the dermis (where collagen is built) causing “micro-injuries.” Once its needled, skin-plumping hyaluronic acid is applied and readily absorbed at those deep layers. After that, the body’s natural healing process kicks in, cells turn over, and collagen and elastin come out to play.
In the process, scars and spots fade, fine lines blur and pores shrink.
And over time – a few months or so – all that strong new collagen essentially shrink wraps your skin. Voila, tighter, firmer, less wrinkly you. And that new collagen apparently sticks around for years.
I finished my third microneedling session about a month ago so it’s still too early to see the tightening, but I already see a difference in fine lines, pores, tone and texture.
What to know before you go:
- SkinPen by Bellus Medical, the kind Lees uses at Purenergy, is the only FDA-cleared, legally marketed microneedling device in the U.S.
- The deeper the needle penetration, the more collagen/elastic remodeling. Talk to your medical professional about how deep to go for your desired result. Note: an esthetician may not be able to go deeper than the epidermis. At-home microneedling devices cannot achieve the same results, Lees says.
- Microneedling of surgical and acne scars works. Treat soon after the scar forms for best results.
- Make sure your provider gets a full medical history. Microneedling is not for pregnant/nursing mothers and people with autoimmune and other chronic conditions.
- Cleanliness is everything. The SkinPen uses a disposable, sanitary cartridge. A former intensive care nurse, Lees says she treats the skin “almost as if I’m performing surgery on it.”
- A topical anesthetic made the procedure fairly painless. Afterward, I was blood-red, only a smidge swollen and felt like I had a bad sunburn. By the next morning, I covered the redness with a tinted moisturizer and faced the world. Expect some peeling skin for a week or so.
- Three treatments, 5 or 6 weeks apart, are recommended. The going rate is $350 for each medical-grade treatment.
- If you still allow a little sun on your face, microneedling is not for you. Your rejuvenated skin will be extra-prone to sun spots post procedure. A strong sunblock is a must.
- Lees does not perform the “vampire facial” – in which your own blood plasma is applied to your microneedled skin. In her experience, hyaluronic acid works as well.
- Be patient. Results don’t show for a few months; cellular regeneration takes time.
Still live in the world of razors and waxing?
You’re showing your age.
“Millennials are all going for laser hair removal,” says Franziska Ringpfeil, M.D. of Ringfeil Dermatology in Haverford and Center City. “They don’t think twice.”
But somehow, their moms, still waxing and shaving away, never got the memo, she says.
Since she started offering it 20 years ago, Ringpfeil the procedure has become a “commodity” for many, no longer a luxury for the “designated few.”
Tired of razor bumps and ingrown hairs – and anxious to see what I’d been missing all these years, I signed up for laser treatments of my underarms and bikini line at Ringpfeil in Haverford.
After two treatments, here’s what I learned:
- It’s way less painful than waxing (until now, my preferred torture regimen before beach vacations). Channing Bushnell, my chipper aesthetician, told me the laser would feel like a snapping rubber band and it did. A quick, hot sting – then nothing. Ice packs help numb you first.
- It’s not as pricey as you might think. In the 20 years she’s offered it, Ringpfeil says she’s cut prices because of increased competition. She charges $90 for underarms, $120 for bikini line (Brazilian bikini is $220). Financing available. Some patients use flex health care spending.
- The lasers work on dark hair only. So no dice on your fuzzy blond face. Ringpfeil uses one of two lasers based on your coloring/heritage.
- It’s quick. If you’re lasering a small area, you’ll be in and out in about a half hour.
- You can’t laser skin that’s tan. Even sunless tanning will interfere with the laser’s effectiveness.
- It’s a commitment. You have to hit the hair follicles during their growing cycle. Figure on 4 to 6 treatments, 5 – 6 weeks apart (or longer) for complete hair removal. But hey, it’s forever.
Ringpfeil Advanced Dermatology, 509 W. Lancaster Ave., Haverford (or 1516 Locust St., Philadelphia), 610-525-5250.
Keratin smoothing treatments have been both hot – and a hot topic – for years.
Yes, they tamed wild-child-at-the-beach hair, infused shine and cut blow-dry time in half. But, oy, how about those noxious fumes? Watering the eyes, singeing the throat, causing some stylists to don surgical masks, others to install vents and fans. That stinky smoke – aerosolized formaldehyde – can’t be good for you, right? What price beauty?
Still, remove that smelly chemical and keratin didn’t work so well. The frizzies, barely banished, returned post haste. And darn it, at $250 to $350 a pop, keratin was hardly a cheap fix.
Imagine then the plight of a certain local salon owner with asthma.
Heather Heyman, owner of Paoli’s Studio H Color & Design Group, tried a few keratin companies at her salon, but “the heavy fumes made it hard to breathe.”
Heyman, truth be told, is a bit of a hair geek: she takes her work seriously. She styles umpteen weddings and fashion shoots. She competes in hair shows – her astounding human-hair topper just took home a blue ribbon at Devon Horse Show’s hat contest. She trains stylists. She does her homework, constantly honing her craft.
And – Eureka! – in the last year, she found a keratin that ticked all her boxes: Keratherapy’s Ultra Strength Brazilian Renewal formula. (Fun fact: Keratherapy’s owner has asthma, too.)
- It has no discernible fumes. No scary cloud of smoke as the product is blow-dried and flat-ironed into hair.
- It doesn’t make you walk around with icky, stick-straight hair for even a day. You can shampoo right away.
- It works. Its formalin levels (a formaldehyde solution) are 75 percent lower than competitors and well under OSHA recommendations. It also contains keratin, collagen, argan oil and soy and rice proteins that add strength and shine.
- And it lasts. “Clients still have a a good bit in four months into it,” Heyman says.
A personal post script: A summer frizz queen, I’ve had a slew of keratin treatments over the years. To avoid the stinging fumes, I sometimes held a wet cloth over my nose and mouth. I tried Keratherapy six months ago at Studio H, and then again, in early June. No smell, no smoke, no cloth, no frizz for four months. No kidding.
Keratin smoothing Keratherapy treatments are $250 – $275 at Studio H Color & Design Group, Paoli Village Shoppes, 610-647-2187.