GEM’s Hair Hacks

The hub for all of Meg’s favorite pro hair tips and hacks!

Do you have extensions? If you do, this hair tip is for you! Now that summer is here, applying sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun is a given. However, if you’re like me and appreciate the convenience of spraying sunscreen, be sure to check the list of ingredients. Avobenzine is an oil soluble ingredient found in some sunscreens. It creates a chemical reaction with extensions and turns them a pinkish color (but not in a cute way!). When the extensions turn this color, it’s very hard to reverse, so be sure to stay away from it this summer! Some of the brands of spraying sunscreen that are non-harmful to extensions are:

Bare Republic

Alba Botanical

Cera Ve

Sun Bum

Banana Boat Sensitive

Simple Truth

Product Spotlight

Meg’s favorite products for the fall!

Why we love it:

Got four minutes? That’s all you need to repair your hair on a molecular level and reverse damage caused by heat, bleach, color, and/or chemical services! The K18 Molecular Hair Repair Mask provides immediate and long-lasting results to restore strength, softness, smoothness, and bounce to hair–all in just four minutes! If you’re not ready to commit to the full sized mask, we also carry a mini version!


“I can’t say enough about this product; I used it once and I felt like I had a keratin treatment. I cannot believe the difference in my hair. You’d be crazy not to try this.”

Why we love it:

The Restore Shampoo: this shampoo combines oat extract and Prebiotic to target dry and sensitive skin. This shampoo is dermatologically tested and proven to reinforce the natural skin barrier and promote the growth of the skin microbiota.

The Reinforce Shampoo: this shampoo combines Energy Complex with Prebiotic, to target fragile hair that tends to thin. This shampoo does wonders in improving micro circulation and cellular metabolism stimulation.

The Recovery Shampoo: this shampoo combines apple stem cells with Prebiotic to target oily scalps and dandruff. The Recovery Shampoo helps to reduce the excessive sebum production and regulates cellular proliferation, helping to reduce the appearance of dandruff. If you struggle with dandruff, this shampoo is your new best friend!

Stay in the Loop

Welcome the newest products at GEM:

Coming soon for Fall…

Fall apparel and accessories!


Journal-style entries about whatever is on Meg’s mind!

*Pssst! If you want to read Meg’s previous journal entries, you can find them here! or on the menu under “Meg Talk.”*

The Last One

The last one. That last one to lose their front tooth, have a Halloween party, kindergarten graduation– or any graduation for that matter– the last one to get their license. The last one that completed your family. When I think about that, it’s so bittersweet. What’s more bitter than watching your last one drive away for her first maiden voyage in your car? Than knowing that there’s no more behind her– that part of your life as a mom is over? Just like when you got pregnant with her and when you gave birth to her, she was the last one. But what’s more sweet than giving up everything for your kids as a mom, and watching that last one get the independence she’s been craving for the first time in her life? Finally, we can breathe. We can still worry, but we can breathe and take a moment to be with ourselves– we finally get that moment.

But here’s the thing: when you give up everything for your kids, and you finally get that moment to breathe, you look around and wonder, “who am I?” And maybe not everyone feels this way; I’m sure there are so many women who are 100% fulfilled simply with being a mom, which I applaud. But when I think about my last one, I think to myself, “thank God I had other interests, and thank God that I did pursue my career and immerse myself in what I love to do,” because if I hadn’t, I would’ve wasted another five years of my life staying married. I would’ve stayed because the only thing that I had were my kids and the fact that I was their mom. What would I do? How could I start back over at 45 years old when I’d given it all up for so long? I could’ve stayed, and then stayed longer, and then eventually just gave up like so many unhappy couples do, but I didn’t. I chose myself and then my children. I chose myself first in order to give them the gift of not having to watch me spend those next five years undeniably miserable– married, but not laughing, not singing and dancing; not happy, just being. I didn’t want my kids to think that was what marriage was supposed to be. I didn’t want my son to think that as a husband, it’s acceptable for the only effort he puts into a marriage to be providing. This is what society has taught us: that men provide and women stay home. Some people choose to emulate this within their own families, and some rebel against it– eventually, I chose the latter.

At first, however, I emulated this lifestyle too. I did hair out of the house while still being a mom who did everything for everyone, but I also completely lost myself. That harsh reality woke me up and now it’s just me and my last one. If I had stayed, I don’t think that I would’ve had the relationships that I do now with all three of my kids; I wouldn’t have been nearly as mentally and physically healthy as I am now, and I would still be unhappy. Now, all my kids see that: if you’re not happy, leaving might hurt; it might suck for a while, but you can’t stay simply because you’re afraid to take that jump. Once you take the first jump, you’ll fly. So, anyone out there who’s struggling to find their identity: I see you. I was you.

I’m going on five years of finally walking away from my marriage, and I can confidently say that this is the first time in 50 years I have ever felt so content just being me, with me. I’ve been by myself, but I haven’t been lonely. This has been five years of hard, hard work– a lot of crying, wine, laughter, mistakes, poor judgement, self-love, and letting go of shame and people that I could not be around regardless of who they are. It’s taken learning to sit still, the universe knocking me down, not listening until I had to, and so many last times. But now, I’m exactly where I need to be: sitting in my backyard with my dogs, listening to the leaves and the birds, and watching my dogs run back and forth in the yard attempting to outrun a baby fox. I am tracking my youngest, not for the last time, ironically, on an app that I didn’t have with my other two. Sometimes it makes me more worried, sometimes less.

There’s still a lot more last times and I can’t wait to see the rest of them. It felt like a dark hole for a while, but we all got through it and now they get to see the happiest version of their mom– one that they hadn’t seen in a really, really long time. When they come over for our weekly Monday night family dinner, we play Rummy like my Mam Mom used to do with me. They’re not on their phones, and we laugh and tease each other and enjoy playing games together as a family– something they never really had before. I think they finally see that no matter what, their mom will never, ever give up on them. I would lay my life down for each and every one of them, and I celebrate every moment I get with them. I feel sorry that it took this long for them to see a truly happy me, but I know one thing that is true: they will never see an unhappy me again.

XO Meg

Meg’s Mantras

Meg’s favorite affirmations for the quarter:

“Today, I choose happiness.”

“I am grateful for everything and everyone I have in my life.”

“My body is healthy and strong and so am I.”

“I can do anything I set my mind to.”

Client Spotlight

Find out more about the Gems that keep us going!

Julia B.

1. How long have you been coming to Gem?

I have been getting my hair done by Meg since 1995– that’s 28 years! I followed Meg wherever she was working. I’m so happy for her that Gem is her own successful salon.

2. What do you like about Gem?

There are so many things that I love a bout coming to Gem: the atmosphere– so comfortable and accommodating to their clients; the expertise of everyone at Gem, but also the understanding that it is a learning environment. I think everyone is always reaching for the newest styles, methods, and products– in that way, Gem is always growing. Most importantly, it is Meg’s talent as an artist. No one else, in all these years, has ever cut and colored my hair as perfectly as Meg. This past year, I decided to go gray; with Meg’s expert skills, I was able to transition to this new look easily and smoothly.

3. What is your favorite poem?

“You do not have to be good.

You do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.

You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.

Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.

Meanwhile the world goes on.

Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain are moving across the landscapes, over the prairies and the deep trees, the mountains and the rivers.

Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air, are heading home again.

Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, the world offers itself to your imagination, calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting– over and over announcing your place in the family of things.”

~ Mary Oliver: Wild Geese

4. What’s been the best thing about being retired?

My favorite thing about being retired is having more time to: write poetry, read, visit with family and friends near and afar, walk in the Wissahickon, volunteer to help children at a nearby public school, and have the space to learn new things.

An Update on Meg’s Hand

We finally have some good news regarding Meg’s hand injury– she’s back to 90% movement! This being said, Meg still will NOT be providing keratin services; both Naomi and Sam have been trained on how to use each keratin treatment that we provide at Gem, and either one of them could definitely provide you with the keratin treatment of your dreams! Meg would like to thank all of our extremely loyal Gems for bearing with her during her hand injury and understanding the circumstances. It’s been a long road, but we’ve almost reached the light at the end of the tunnel so thank you for sticking around!

A Note on Tipping

At Gem, we deeply appreciate any tips that are given to our staff for our services. That being said, we wanted to make an announcement regarding tipping via credit card– due to the increasing costs of credit card and Venmo fees, we are asking all clients that want to tip to please take a few moments before your appointment to make sure you bring cash to do so. We’re still accepting tips via Venmo, but we’re trying to eliminate tipping on credit cards. Cash is king 🙂 Once again, we thank you so much for tipping, and it does not go unappreciated!

An Update on Booking

We are asking all clients to book their appointments via our Vagaro booking link ( from now on– if you cannot find a spot, simply add yourself to the waiting list and we will call you to get you in as soon as possible. If you prefer to call, our number is (215) 647-3128; if you prefer to text, (215) 559-9158 is the number for you! Please note that we only check our messages (phone and text) in the mornings of our workdays, which right now are Wednesday-Saturday. If you call on days off during work hours, we will not get your message until the NEXT DAY. Please also note our cancellation policy: