Lee Brock Saved My Hair! Get to Know the Joseph Cozza Salon Color Expert

I walked into the Joseph Cozza Salon at the end of January this year with broken hair and most likely a broken heart…more on my dating life later.

I had been working with an oh-so-instagramable salon in Walnut Creek for over a year and while my instagram selfies in the salon were fire, the health of my hair was not. I am not naturally blonde (shocker) however, I have been bleaching and toning my hair with minimal damage for years…so I thought.

Flashback to a week before I walked into the Joseph Cozza Salon when I realized that my hair was breaking…everywhere. Remember the movie, The Little Rascals? I WAS ALFALFA and my breakage was standing straight up in the air!KatWalkSF before look from the Joseph Cozza Salon

Not only was this awful and upsetting, but it was also a week before I was scheduled to fly to New York for Fashion Week! Lucky for me I had already come into the Joseph Cozza Salon for an event and met one of the owners, Blake. I sent him an emergency SAVE MY HAIR message and before I knew it I was sitting in Lee’s chair and my hair was on the road to a healthy recovery.

Meet Lee Brock – Color Expert at The Joseph Cozza Salon

I’ve always loved playing with hair. I loved brushing my mom’s and my grandma’s hair. One
day, when I was 9 years old, I sat in the bathroom with my mom while she colored her
hair with Clairol Nice & Easy Light Auburn. What magic! I was hooked. My grandma taught me
how to set her hair in pin curls because it was becoming difficult for her to do it

Then she got me doing her perms and color.

In school, I was a theater geek. I loved to sing and perform. Offstage, they always had me do
the hair and makeup. I used to do all my girlfriends’ hair. I loved doing makeovers. In beauty
school they gave used to give me the tough hair coloring clients–they said I had the

I kept hearing that if I wanted to really get anywhere in the business, I needed to go
through a high-end salon training program. I had a connection with someone at Vidal Sassoon
Salon in Beverly Hills and I got an interview. Two of the toughest years of my life were spent in
that apprenticeship for hair coloring. I stayed with VS for another 5 years, working in London,
Germany and finally San Francisco. From there I went to DiPietro Todd in SF for four years in
SF before coming to Joseph Cozza Salon where I have been for the past 10 years.

Kat (and her damaged hair) From Lee’s Perspective

When I met Kat, I knew instantly that this beautiful bubbly girl would be fun to work with. But I was a little afraid to do her color. Her hair was in rough shape from so much bleaching. She was sent to me at the Joseph Cozza Salon to try to rescue her breaking hair while keeping her silver platinum blonde. Kat makes a stunning blonde and it was worth a try.

At our first session, I immediately clarified Kat’s hair with Malibu C Crystal Gel Normalizer to remove any mineral, metallic, and medication buildup to avoid any further breakage which can occur when lightener or color interacts with these elements hidden in the hair. Next, we did an Olaplex No.1 in-salon treatment to start building the bonds that add strength to the hair structure. The last step of her pretreatment was a Malibu C Miracle Repair Hair Reconstructor to boost protein for structure and Vitamin B5 for elasticity and malleability, all to prevent further breakage.

Then we very carefully touched up her regrowth with lightener but did not lift it as pale as previously done. I strongly suggested Kat wear a softer warmer creamy blonde tone so we wouldn’t have to bleach her hair as much as we would for the silver platinum. We finished with Olaplex No. 2. And of course, she looked gorgeous. I got her on Olaplex home care which–she can attest–has made a huge difference.

Even with all the TLC, when she came back for her next retouch, I could see that her previous hair damage was really too far gone to maintain full bleach-outs any further. We decided to only highlight her regrowth to let some of her darker base grow back in to reestablish substance and density while still keeping her quite blonde. And now you can see that after embracing a bit of ‘root shadow’ her hair is growing back, getting fuller and longer. Root shadow is both on trend and yet classic.

KatWalkSF Q & A

KatWalkSF readers have been following on my hair journey and submitted their questions for Lee.

Feel free to add your question in the comments and we will keep updating this post.

What’s the best at-home hair mask?

I wish there were a one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Each head of hair is unique. There is such an assortment of hair conditioners for all hair types from curly hair, dry hair, oily hair, natural hair, colored hair, damaged hair. One of my favorites for ‘all hair textures’ designed specifically for color protection and shine is the Shu Uemura Color Lustre Hair Mask–not too heavy and provides excellent conditioning and beautiful shine.

And currently flying off the shelves at the Joseph Cozza Salon, for cool blondes, is Kerastase Masque Ultra-Violet.

What is the best treatment for super dry colored hair? 

Clarifying the gunk off your hair’s surface will allow any of your favorite conditioners to work much better. See my answer below about the hair myth.

Do silk pillowcases really help?

If your hair is in a delicate state, then, yes, I’m told the reduced friction from silk pillowcases can be a benefit. Personally, I don’t like the feel of silk, too slippery for a pillowcase.

What is the number one mistake people make with their hair?

The first that comes to mind is using rubber bands, especially on wet hair and super-especially on bleached hair. No no NO!

Heat protectant: Do you really need to use it?

That’s a good question.


Client feedback says yes, it helps. My fave, an oldie but goodie, is Kerastase Ciment Thermique for fine and highly processed hair. But no amount of protection is going to help if you are constantly frying your hair.

Seriously, I think everyone needs to calm TF down with all the heat styling. K? The optimum temperature of heat styling tools to prevent most damage is 365ºF. The next flat iron I buy will be the ghd® Platinum + which has sophisticated heat regulation, among other benefits. I almost want to ‘accidentally’ break my current flatiron.

How many times do you need to wash your hair per week?

That really depends on your scalp and hair type. Some people with very curly hair use shampoo only once a month. It’s fine to power-rinse your hair instead of shampooing sometimes, or to scrub with your conditioner to cleanse very gently. If you have colored hair, shampoo with cooler water and as seldom as you can stand it. Generally, shampoo twice a week for normal healthy colored hair.

If you could use only one product line for the rest of your life what would it be?

Oh! That’s tough. There’s always so much new stuff coming out!  No single line ticks all the boxes. But particularly for color brilliance and longevity, I could narrow it down to two:  The Malibu C line for its purity and clarifying (which is half the battle) and the Olaplex line for its strengthening and surface care. They are not as “cosmetic” as others, but they address the core issues with maintaining beautiful colored hair which is our primary objective.

What is a hair myth that drives you crazy?

“Dry hair needs moisture!”  This myth is perpetuated by marketing. We all fall into this trap. Moisture is water which is not conditioning at all. Before you can restore “moisture” to your hair you first need to gently remove what’s hiding in your hair that’s causing it to feel dry. Hard water deposits and styling product buildup are usually the causes. That, together with a proper balance of proteins, lipids, and smoothing conditioners, makes the hair feel “moisturized.”

What do you tell clients when they come in with an unrealistic photo of what they want?

Ooh, great question!


I hate telling anyone “no.”  But social media has really set us up with the difficult task of helping clients get a reality check. This is why I always try to have my new referrals come for a consultation before the day of the actual color appointment. That can also give us time to do any required prep work, for example, strand tests or clarifying.

The consultation is first a listening session where I gather information about their lifestyle, hair history, natural hair color (as a child, teen, and adult) and where I hear their wants and needs. Second, it’s an analysis of their hair, their natural coloring (hair, skin, eyes) and what colors they wear best. Most importantly, we need to determine if their current hair can withstand the process and still look beautiful and healthy.

Lastly, I give a breakdown of what they are requesting, to help them understand what their desired result would require in terms of, A) time–how many hours and how many sessions; B) cost, and C) maintenance. At that point, it becomes clear if their expectations are unrealistic for their personal situation. And if that’s the case, I always have suggestions for alternate options.

Book Lee Brock at the Joseph Cozza Salon here or call (415)433-3030

The Salon Floor at the Joseph Cozza Salon

The waiting room at the Joseph Cozza Salon

Check out more beauty posts here + here.

Tie-Dye SZN: The Best Pieces to Buy

Fashion blogger KatWalkSF on the beach wearing the POLO RALPH LAUREN Big Fit Tie-Dye Shirt on a lounge chair with a missoni towel, Tie-Dye SZN

Tie-Dye SZN

Outside Lands is over, but my summer of love vibes are still going strong and I am tie-dye obsessed.

While tie-dye is typically associated with hippies and the Grateful Dead, it just so happens to be one of fashion’s current obsessions. After turning up on a number of runways for spring 2019, as well as a few for fall 2019, this trend is here to stay and I AM HERE FOR IT.

Despite what you might think about tie-dye, it’s actually quite versatile, since it comes in a number of color combinations, patterns, and intensities. If you’re more of a “dip your toes into a trend” type of person, I’d say the easiest way to pull off tie-dye is to start with smaller items like socks, shoes or a T-shirt, while keeping everything else pretty basic. A tie-dye T-shirt can easily pair with jeans, trousers or a skirt. You can also go for the reverse, pairing tie-dye bottoms ― one notch bolder than a T-shirt ― with something simple on top.

SHOP |Tie-Dye SZN | The Best Pieces to Buy

More from this trend here.

M. Gemi Palestra Sneaker Review – The $228 Sneaker.

A detailed shot of the M. Gemi Palestra Sneaker

Save $60 off your first order with the code: KAT60

The M. Gemi Palestra Sneaker – now $125 

Sneakers are crazy expensive right now (insert all the designer dad shoes). Sure, there are still a ton of great options on the lower end, but more and more, it’s become “normal” to spot a pair of six, seven, even eight hundred dollar kicks when scrolling Instagram…hell I’m guilty of it here.

But when it comes to shopping for sneakers (especially a classic everyday white sneaker) my goal was to find a pair of sneakers that look expensive but don’t require a small business loan to pay for -> Enter the M. Gemi Palestra Sneaker. Now I ‘ve been wearing heels from M. Gemi for years. The Cammeo classic pointy-toe pump is on constantly on repeat in my wardrobe thanks to its classic design, comfort, and approachable price point, so I was already a fan of the brand when my sneakers arrived.

My Palestra sneakers arrived last week and in less than seven days I have really put them through the wringer. From a third date walking ALL around San Francisco to a food photo shoot that involved me balancing on a chair the Palestra sneakers survived and kept me looking cool and comfortable. I even spilled some food on them mid-photo shoot and was able to quickly wipe them clean with a napkin. With its clean lines and minimalist style—this sneaker is truly elevated. I would honestly compare them to my $400 Original Achilles leather sneakers from Common Projects, but slightly more comfortable. You can also easily get away with pairing these sneakers with dressed-up pieces or leather leggings.

Seven days into owning these sneakers I give them two thumbs up and recommend them to anyone in the market for a quality white leather sneaker.

KatWalkSF putting on her M. Gemi Palestra Sneakers

How can M.Gemi afford to make shoes this good at such a reasonable price? Well, like lots of new fashion brands that were born in the tech era, M.Gemi sells its shoes directly to consumers instead of third-party retailers. In other words, if they did things the old school way, you could expect these sneakers to retail for at least $600. Now, look—we know nothing can beat the real thing, and sometimes a $900 splurge on sneakers is just what the soul needs. Point is, these M.Gemi sneakers will still get you all the compliments of a shoe that’s a lot more expensive.

The M. Gemi Palestra Sneaker

Details: Tumbled leather upper, soft gold eyelets, white cotton laces, leather lining with a rubber bottom. Made by hand in Marche, Italy.

Fit Tip: A super-comfy, easy fit. Readily accommodates a wider foot. Those with narrower feet may wish to go down a half size.

I am a true Italian size 38/US size 8 and on the average to narrow side and ordered true to size. I have a little bit of extra room but feel that a size 37.5/7.5 would be too small. My recommendation would be to order true to size unless your foot is really really narrow.

Shop the Palestra Sneaker with the code: Kat40 for $40 off (the code works on any M. Gemi shoe)

July Top Sellers

Fashion blogger KatWalkSF wears the Something Navy Easy Knit Midi Dress

1. Something Navy, Easy Knit Midi Dress | full post on this oh-so-fabulous slip midi dress here.

2. Target, Women’s Lounge Jogger Pajama Pants | the $20 tie-dye pants of my dreams | don’t forget about the sweatshirt here | the description says ‘pajama’ but I have been wearing this set, out and about all month!

3. Spanx, Faux Leather Leggings | post on them here | on sale until 8/4 here + here.

4. Brixton, Joanna III Wool Felt Hat | full post on this hat here | shop similar options here + here.

5. Something Navy, Satin Trench Coat | you can NOT beat this price!

6. Topshop, Joni High Waist Jeans | my favorite jeans, that just happen to be on sale until 8/4 | size up! | more styling inspiration here.

7. Topshop, Colorblock Satin Midi Skirt | price goes up 8/4

8. Caslon, Rounded V-Neck Tee | price goes up 8/4

9. M. Gemi, The Palestra | full blog post and discount code here.

10. Aerie, Striped Pullover Sweater | 50% off

No Longer A Small White Dog – Benji’s Breed Reveal

Fashion blogger KatWalkSF on the beach wearing the POLO RALPH LAUREN Big Fit Tie-Dye Shirt with her dog.

Today is the day! July 31 is National Mutt Day and my lovable little guy, Benji will no longer be referred to as a small white dog thanks to the Breed Identification Dog DNA Test Kit from Chewy.

But before we get to the Breed Reveal and ALL the photos of us in matching tie-dye fits, let’s take a minute to talk about how Benji came into my life…

A little over seven years ago I was minding my own business drinking rosé and reading 50 Shades of Grey on my iPad in Washington Square Park when a man in the park approached me. The man was holding two teeny tiny puppies and said,

“Hey, Lady you want this dog?”

and without skipping a beat (thanks to the rosé), I said sure! The dog fit in the palm of my hand, went by the name Spartacus and had been living in the park and eating mayonnaise sandwiches. I gave the man $60 and he was mine. The man asked to give Spartacus one last mayo sammie and before he left I asked him what kind of dog I had just acquired. The man told me that Spartacus was a Yorkie/Chihuahua mix and walked away. This dog barely weighed 2 pounds, was a dark apricot color and looked nothing like a Yorkie/Chihuahua mix.

Flash forward to today and Spartacus is now Benji (named after the statue of Benjamin Franklin in the park), about 7 pounds and white. Now, if you have a mixed breed rescue dog you are familiar with the game people play with you every time they ask you what kind of dog you have. I always just say that I don’t know and I call him a small white dog. They come back with Havanese or Schitzu and I just shrug my shoulders and walk away!

Fashion blogger KatWalkSF on the beach wearing the POLO RALPH LAUREN Big Fit Tie-Dye Shirt with her dog.

Fashion blogger KatWalkSF on the beach wearing the POLO RALPH LAUREN Big Fit Tie-Dye Shirt with her dog.

Fashion blogger KatWalkSF on the beach wearing the POLO RALPH LAUREN Big Fit Tie-Dye Shirt with her dog.

Fashion blogger KatWalkSF on the beach wearing the POLO RALPH LAUREN Big Fit Tie-Dye Shirt with her dog.

Fashion blogger KatWalkSF shares the results on the beach of his Chewy Wisdom Panel 3.0 Breed Identification Dog DNA Test Kit

Now let’s discuss what I used to get the results:

The Wisdom Panel 3.0 Breed Identification Dog DNA Test Kit from Chewy makes it easy to find out the breed of your dog. With this simple kit, you can swab your dog’s cheek, send it off in a postage-paid box, discover your dog’s genetic background in just 2-3 weeks and throw your dog an epic breed reveal party!

The results are traced back to the great-grandparent level with over 250 breeds detected, including almost all of those recognized by the AKC. You decide whether you want the test to be run for mixed-breed, designer or purebred. All of the tests include a predicted weight profile and will check for the multi-drug resistance 1 (MDR1) genetic mutation that may cause severe adverse reactions to commonly prescribed drugs. The purebred and designer dog tests will also provide a chart that compares your dog with others of the same breed, and the purebred test adds a Homozygosity Profile that measures genetic markers.

Fashion blogger KatWalkSF shares the results on the beach of his Chewy Wisdom Panel 3.0 Breed Identification Dog DNA Test Kit

Key Benefits of the Wisdom Panel 3.0 Breed Identification Dog DNA Test Kit

  • Detects over 250 breeds, types and varieties including 99% of AKC-recognized breeds. Traces 3 generations revealing your dog’s genetic background.
  • Provides adult weight prediction to help with lifelong nutritional choices for your dog.
  • Includes MDR1 genetic mutation test to check for multi-drug resistance that may cause severe adverse reactions to commonly prescribed drugs.
  • No need for blood testing at the vet, DNA cheek swab identifies dog’s ancestry so you better understand your dog’s unique appearance, training needs, behaviors, and health/wellness needs. Perfect for use on rescues.
  • The customized report provides a family tree going back to the great-grandparents and will detect whether it is a purebred, mixed-breed or designer dog.

Fashion blogger KatWalkSF shares the results on the beach of his Chewy Wisdom Panel 3.0 Breed Identification Dog DNA Test Kit

Ok! Now let’s get to the results:

A luxurious laminated packet arrived with all of Benji’s results and SHOCKER the man in the park who gave me Benji was right!

Benji is:

37.5% Yorkshire Terrier

37.5% Chihuahua

25% Breed Groups

  • Companion
  • Sporting
  • Sighthound

and he tested clear for the multi-drug resistance 1 (MDR1) genetic mutation.

Benji and his results from his Chewy Wisdom Panel 3.0 Breed Identification Dog DNA Test Kit

Fashion blogger KatWalkSF on the beach wearing the POLO RALPH LAUREN Big Fit Tie-Dye Shirt with her dog.

Wahoo! We finally know what he is!

Details on how to throw your own Breed Reveal Party here.

More on Benji here + here.