Andrea Tkac is proud to say that Essentials is a signature salon for the J. Beverly Hills line of all-natural hair care products. Photo by Chris Sturgis.

By Chris Sturgis

Andrea Tkac, owner of Essentials Salon in Mercerville, says she doesn’t just style hair: she follows her artistic passion.

“Essential Salon has lit up Mercerville since opening a year and a half ago,” she said. “It’s a full-service salon that brings the flair of Beverly Hills to Mercer County.”

Twice a year, she and her stylists hop a jet to learn the latest trends and techniques at the J. Beverly Hills Academy in Beverly Hills, Calif.

“It’s beautiful, exciting and it’s where everything is happening, and we bring back to the Mercer County area the newest, latest products and trends,” she said, opening a photo album of her training trips, complete with scenes of her travels to Rodeo Drive, the epicenter of celebrity glamour.

Tkac doesn’t just train at J. Beverly Hills. Essentials is also the only “signature salon” in Mercer County for the company’s line of all-natural botanical hair care products.

“I am an educator for the East Coast division in both products and styling. They are better for your hair because they are all natural,” she said, reading from an ingredient list that included roses, geraniums and mint extract.

She also is certified in the application of hair care products by Matrix, Clairol and Jingles International.

Tkac is a Hamilton native who graduated from Hamilton West High School. She has 22 years of experience in the hairstyling business, including 10 years with her own salon. Essentials has every service needed to help clients look their best for a formal occasion, such as a wedding or prom. That includes a cuts, color, style, hair extensions, full body waxing, manicures and pedicures.

“I welcome all clients to stop in and visit and let our highly trained staff design a creative new style that fits each individual personally,” she said, noting that a hair style should complements the person’s skin tone and facial structure.

Tkac said she is very proud of her staff. Alissa Johnson is a master colorist. Lauren Hill is a stylist who also does waxing. Krystle Dempsey is a hair designer and stylist who also does nails, waxing and hair extensions.

She said her goal is for all clients to leave the shop pleased with their new coif. Those success stories always start off with a conversation between the client and the stylist about what style is most suitable. The shop styles hair for men, women, children and families. Senior citizens will receive a 10 percent discount n Thursdays. Gift certificates are available.

“We listen to the client, and provide a clear consultation, all in a friendly comfortable environment,” she said. Essentials Salon, 3133 Quakerbridge Road, Mercerville, is open from 10 a.m. until 9 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays. The shop is closed on Sundays and Mondays. The telephone number is (609) 689-0808.