GOODlife Magazine – Living the Sweet Life

Al Shamas, owner of Dolce Vita salon with his mentor and master stylist Frank De Bartolo by his side

Goodlife Dolce Vita

Story Laurie Wallace-Lynch Photo Steve Uhraney

Heads turn when handsome, buff Al Shamas struts into his salon, Dolce Vita Medical Salon in Port Credit. Always positive and quick to smile, today Al has some extra pep in his step; he is sharing the news that his mentor, master stylist Frank De Bartolo, has come out of retirement to help Al in his posh Mississauga salon.

“Having Frank back feels so amazing,” says Al. “I thought I had learned everything I could way back when, but I am still learning from him. No matter how much a person knows, there is always something they can learn from other people, especially from a master stylist like Frank.”

Giving Frank a friendly tap on the back, Al grins ear to ear and adds: “He’s still the boss!”

It’s easy to see why Al demonstrates some idolatry when it comes to his hero and mentor, Frank De Bartolo. Not only is Frank’s bio filled with pages of accomplishments (Examiner for the Ontario Government at George Brown College of Hairdressers, official hairdresser of Mrs. Mississauga Beauty Pageant, judge of Miss All Canadian Beauty Pageant and the former co-host/producer of Beautiful You Show on Rogers Cable10 TV), Frank is a sought-after stylist trainer and workshop facilitator.

“I learned by watching the best—Robin Baker, Marc Anthony, John Donato, Johnny Cupello and Frederick Bumbcaca in Toronto,” Frank adds.

Frank owned Prelude Hair Design in Mississauga when young 17-year-old, Al Shamas first walked through his front door.

“Al came in off the street looking for a job,” explains Frank. “I like giving young people a chance so I hired him. He started out washing hair and then I took him under my wing, as I did others and trained and mentored him to be an amazing stylist. I knew Al was different—he had the same passion I do for the business.”

Born in Baghdad, Iraq, the son of a physicist, Al has lived in many countries including Egypt, Algeria, Italy and Spain. The Shamas family chose to settle in Mississauga where Al attended Thomas L. Kennedy Secondary School. It was his after-school job that sealed Al’s destiny to become a stylist and salon owner. Unfortunately Al’s dad did not agree and the father and son had a falling out that lasted five years before they reunited.

“Frank carried me for five years and made me who I am today,” says Al. “After attending George Brown I apprenticed with Frank who became my business partner. We have been in business since 1989. In 2005, I opened Dolce Vita—my very own spa and salon.”

Frank commutes from his home in Barrie two days a week to work at Dolce Vita and says he loves every minute of it. He and his wife have two children and four grandchildren.

“A lot has changed in the industry so if a stylist says there’s nothing new in the business—walk away!” laughs Frank. “It’s important to keep up with the trends. I attend the International Beauty Shows in New York and L.A. every year and keep up with what’s new.”

Al also keeps on top of the trends and adds: “Trends go in cycles and what are coming back are curls and perms. I have done more perms this summer than I have done in the last three years. These are the big loose curls that women
aged 25 to 35 are wanting, along with beachy waves. Keratin treatments are also hugely popular because they give you the curls without the frizz.  Balayage, ombre and hair extensions are huge—we have natural hair extensions in every colour, brand and style.”

Aside from the 10 hair stations and a team of expert stylists, Dolce Vita fulfills a mind, body, soul experience with spa laser treatments like body contouring, hair removal and other spa treatments along with spray tanning.

Al is the best ad possible for his salon. He works out for an hour five days a week and has a positive attitude about just about everything. He and Frank combined have enough positive energy to light the salon without power!

“Dolce Vita—living the sweet life—it’s about being happy from within,” explains Al. “A beautiful cut; a treatment that makes you feel wonderful—all of this helps your confidence and makes you feel great inside and out and motivates you to do your best. There’s no limit to your destiny—I am living proof of that.” On that note, Al slips into his Maserati and is off to an appointment.

Dolce Vita Medical Salon is located at 1 Hurontario Street in Port Credit (Hurontario and Lakeshore),

Article and Photo Republished with Permission by from the Autumn 2017 issue.


10 Expert Winter Hair Care Tips

best salon in port credit

As the seasons change, many questions start running through your mind. Which is the best salon in Port Credit that can take care of my dry hair and scalp during winter? Luckily, you are in the right place. Dolce Vita Medical Spa & Salon is one of the best hair salons in Port Credit. We know how the cold weather can affect your hair. However, even with the extreme weather elements, our expert team of hair professionals knows how to make your hair luscious, moisturized and healthy all year round.

Here are some few expert winter hair care tips from Dolce Vita Medical Spa & Salon.

1. Invest in a high-quality moisturizer

Best Salon in Port CreditEven if you do not use moisturizing hair products, a good moisturizer will help to hydrate and deeply nourish your hair during winter. Make sure to choose a moisturizer that works well with your hair type (oily, dry, treated or normal). We highly recommend water based moisturizers with humectants, occlusive and emollients ingredients. Apply a moisturizing hair mask once every week to revitalize and repair your hair.

2. Hot oil treatments

During winter, the cold breeze, icy snaps, central heating and pouring rains all have a bad habit of drying out skin and hair. This, in turn, makes hair breakage much more of a possibility. The best way to minimize split ends is by using a hot oil treatment to prevent your hair from drying and breaking out. Moisturize your hair once a week with hot oil treatment that provides more moisture than you usually use, for a healthy scalp and nourished hair.

3. Use Quality products

Being one of the best hair salons in Port Credit, we understand the importance of using quality products on our client’s hair. This is one of the most critical parts of having flawless, silky smooth hair throughout winter. Although many people tend to go for the cheapest product, it is important that you choose products that will help you have the healthiest hair. Preferably, switch to a creamier, thicker conditioner to help your hair retain moisture for longer. Also, try and get products that include natural oils that protect hair from the harsh weather. Consider natural oils with Soya, butter, ginger, Shea, lemon grass and the popular olive oil.

Best Salon in Port Credit4. Use a deep conditioning treatment

Although you can purchase hot oil or deep conditioning treatment to use at home, we highly recommend that you visit the best hair salon in Port Credit to get a professional deep conditioning treatment at least once a month. This will help restore your hair’s vibrancy. At Dolce Vita Medical Spa & Salon we have a variety of high-quality deep conditioning treatment for all hair types and hair problems.
A good conditioner for winter contains fatty acids and humectants that help to keep moisture in your hair. Deep conditioning treatment is designed to be stronger than the regular conditioner to increase softness, shine, and manageability. To keep your hair hydrated, we recommend that you use conditioner after each shampoo. Lock in the moisture by running your hair through cold water for extra shine.

5. Avoid leaving the house with wet hair

During these cold months, it is very important that you dry your hair before stepping out of your house. Wet hair in the cold weather damages your ends and leaves your hair dryer and more brittle. If the weather outside is frigid, consider covering your hair with a stylish scarf or hat to protect it from the cold, wind and snow.

6. Maintain a healthy lifestyle

During winter, you need to eat a healthy diet and drink plenty of water for your body and hair. A healthy diet is critical in keeping hair healthy and strong especially in the winter. Your diet should be rich in proteins, vitamins nuts, and leafy green vegetables during the winter. Additionally, keep your body and hair moisturized by drinking at least eight glasses of water per day.

7. Get a humidifier

Winter is the most damaging to your hair because of the artificial heat pumping from everywhere. This, in turn, causes your hair to become static because of dehydration and a lack of sufficient moisture. Invest in a humidifier to add moisture to the air in your office or home. This extra humidity will help stop your hair and skin from feeling dry.

8. Cut back on heat styling

Due to the excessive dryness in your hair from the cold air and artificial heat, it is necessary that you cut back on heating styles during winter. Blow dryers and curling irons only increase hair damage and dryness. If you opt to use heating styles, protect your hair with good quality, heat protecting spray and leave in conditioner to leave your hair looking healthy and hydrated.

9. Regular hair appointments

Best Salon MississaugaTrimming your hair every 5 to 6 weeks helps to remove the damaged, dry ends. It is essential to maintaining healthy and well-nourished hair. Trimming contributes to promoting healthy hair growth and brings the natural shine and luster of your hair. Make sure to book your appointment with Dolce Vita Medical Spa & Salon-the best hair salon in Port Credit. We provide the best in salon nourishing, revitalizing and repair treatment to help add protein, moisture, and shine back to your hair.

10. Wash your hair less often

Avoid washing your hair every day during winter. This is because in the colder months, the PH level in the water is high and it causes your scalp to become dryer and can even cause dandruff flakes. Also, washing your hair too often depletes its natural oils causing it to become dry and limp. We recommend washing your hair either once or twice each week.

Easy right! With a little extra TLC with your hair this winter, and armed with these essential tips, you are guaranteed even more glorious locks come springtime. Visit the best hair salon in Port Credit for professionally done hair services and advice on the best way to protect your mane during the coldest winter months.

Adapt your hair care to the various weather conditions
Look for shampoo that will keep your hair strong and healthy. Look for shampoos and conditioners that will help.

At Dolce Vita Medical Salon & Spa, we take our clients and stylists well-being to heart. We only provide treatments and use products that are considered safe. We will also get you that look you will love! To book your free consultation to see if our services are right for you, contact our salon in Mississauga today!