Going Ombre at Gossip Girl’s favorite: Sam Brocato Salon

Entrance to Sam Brocato Salon in Soho

When it comes to dyeing my hair, it’s very simple: I’ve had a traumatic experience. The first (and last) time I dyed my hair was four years ago. I got highlights done at home and it was WAY too light. Even worse, the colored strands had a texture similar to straw. It just looked unhealthy and terrible. I dyed it back dark eventually and hardly considered ever coloring my hair again since.

But that was a long time ago. I’ve been aching for a change.

Ironically enough, earlier this year my inspiration came from watching the very blonde (read: very different looking) Whitney Port at the opening of The City. Her hair was lighter around her face and at the ends, but darker on top. I decided I wanted something similar in theory, but that would compliment my hair color. The problem was the “ombre” trend had not really caught on yet and I had no idea what it was called. I started searching terms like “dark hair on top, light on bottom” or “hair styles with lighter tips” and I was just not getting what I was looking for, especially examples of brunettes. Lucky for me, I began coming across celebs like Jessica Biel, Lily Aldridge, and Olivia Palermo who were sporting a similar darker on top/light on bottom style. I decided I wanted to go for it. And yeah, I was thinking this could turn out really good or go horribly wrong.

Sam Brocato Salon

My friends were generally not feeling the idea, I think. I wasn’t even sure how I felt since I’m normally not a fan of dyeing hair and am very conservative on what I think looks good on my own complexion. But the stars aligned and I got an email from Sam Brocato Salon with a whole report on the “ombre” trend, which they describe is the new technique that creates an effect that is soft, darker and diffused at the root, fading into lighter and brighter highlights on the mid-shaft and ends. The colorists there are experts at turning monochromatic hair color to a pretty gradient. The other great thing about this technique is it’s relatively low-maintenance, since they grow out just as beautiful and the focus is on the ends. That’s one of my biggest thing about coloring your hair — I always feel like it would be too much to keep up, and I need something that doesn’t need THAT much attention.

I made an appointment through their PR right away. To calm my nerves further, coincidentally after booking my appointment, I hear Blair say on the episode of Gossip Girl just a few days before my appointment:

“Dorota! I need Sam Brocato and an assortment of Chloè that’s subtle but sexy.”
“For your meeting with Mrs. Archibald?”
“No, for my dinner with Chuck.”

I need Sam Brocato!

(And yes, I found out that the Gossip Girl cast really do go to Sam Brocato for their hair!). I took it as a sign…well not really, but it helped.

I met with colorist, Mary. I told her I want the gradient to start subtle and have the ends pop, keeping the top dark. She knew exactly what I was going for. She started teasing the ends of my hair, adding the de-colorizer and separating them in pieces of foil. After a short heating session, she washed it out and patiently took out the tangles from all the teasing. Finally, she added a little toner and a few minutes later, I was ready for a blow dry with Joy.

Two hours later (yes, it’s a process!), I was giddy with excitement to see that my hair was exactly what I wanted. The ends were noticeably lighter, but the top of my hair was still dark and untouched. The dye is infused with Murumuru Seed Butter, Macadamia Seed Oil and Green Tea Seed Oil (and ammonia-free) so it’s more conditioning than other dyes.

My colorist Mary (left), me, and stylist Joy

It probably looks a little lighter under the lights than it really is. I took some pics with my computer to show my sisters and friends, thinking I would take better pics for this post…but since I’m lazy, and these kind of show the color better, you get the same ones, yaay:

Quick pics from my computer

What do you think? I dunno, I think sometimes change is fun.

Prices to get your hair colored the same way vary at Sam Brocato…for longer hair like mine, it’s about $180. Mary pointed out that longer, layered hair look best with this style. It might not come out as obvious on curly hair and may be too drastic of a color change for shorter hair, but I think you should always go in and at least get a consultation to see if it will work on your hair.

To make an appointment, visit sambrocatosalon.com or call (212) 334-3777.

Salon Info:
Sam Brocato Salon

42 Wooster St.
between Grand and Broome St.
New York, NY 10013



Recent Comments


  1. Archana wrote:

    it looks SO good!!

    Posted 11.22.10
  2. shyema wrote:

    Thanks Arch!!

    Posted 11.22.10
  3. jess b. wrote:

    Looks SO pretty and so healthy!!

    Posted 11.22.10
  4. shyema wrote:


    Posted 11.22.10
  5. Sarah wrote:

    im very much digging this. raar!

    Posted 11.22.10
  6. Nicole wrote:

    Love it! 🙂

    Posted 11.22.10
  7. sidrah wrote:

    your hair looks amazing, i love the style as well.
    your face is so pretty, can i have it?

    Posted 11.22.10
  8. shyema wrote:

    Aww man, You guys are too sweet…Sidrah, it’s camera tricks!!

    Posted 11.22.10
  9. Mehwish wrote:

    I love it. It looks great and so do you!

    Posted 11.30.10
  10. Cortney wrote:

    Highly descriptive blog, I liked that bit. Will there be a part 2?

    Posted 9.17.14

Comments are closed.