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Our Salon

Smoke + Mirrors is a collective of hair artists, with each individual focusing on their own specialties and talents, opened in 2015 by owner + master stylist, Leah Michael Taylor. The goal being to create an inclusive, sustainable + eco-conscious environment where stylists can work + learn from each other while also passing on that same energy + knowledge to each of their own clients.

In support of our mission to find the most sustainable products on the market, we use primarily Oway Organics + Original Mineral, as well as Cult + King, and the latest addition Mr.Smith. It is important to both the staff and stylists in the salon to work with these smaller companies who are making a change by focusing on reducing their environmental impact while retaining their luxury status.


Empowering people and bringing their inner beauty to life

We're Hiring!

Join our talented and dynamic team of creative individuals! In addition to working with unique clientele, we offer a variety of training programs and opportunities for experience and advancement.

Meet Our Talented Stylists

Our Team

 Meet the dedicated individuals committed to crafting beauty, where talent meets personalized care for your unique style journey.

Founder, Owner & Master Stylist

While taking some time off from college in 2002, Leah began working at a small boutique spa in her hometown of Shepherdstown, WV. Her youthful passion for cosmetology and experimenting on her own and her friend’s hair grew to be more than just a hobby. She decided to return to school at Towson University (2003-2005) and, while studying full-time to complete her degree, she completed a cosmetology apprenticeship program. Soon after being licensed, she started working at a salon in Baltimore City that focused on a more organic and holistic approach. After 9 years she decided to make her dream a reality. That brought the creation of Smoke+Mirrors – a salon based on integrity, creativity and artistry. She prioritizes working with companies and brands that are creating positive change for the industry and the environment while placing more importance on ethical decisions in a cleaner, healthier and more sustainable way. Each client she works with allows her to focus on the reasons why she first got involved in the industry. She loves working with her clients’ needs and desires to make their visions reality; creating effortless color and cuts that work with the natural texture of their hair.

Achievements and Certifications

2005 – B.A./B.S. in Theatre Arts with a concentration in Design and Production from Towson University
2008 – Obtained her Senior Stylist license in MD
2011 – Published in Hair Now magazine
2016 – Educator training for Simply Organic Beauty, specializing in Oway
2017 – Men’s NY Fashion Week with O&M
2018 – NY Fashion Week with O&M
2018, Spring – Owayans event with Oway in Bologna, Italy
2018, Fall – Holistic Hair Retreat in Bologna, Italy with Oway and Simply Organic
2019 – Simply Organic Educator training
2020 – Cezanne Keratin Smoothing Treatment Certification
2020 – Hotheads Sewn-In Weft Extension Certification


Sara Saona started her salon career while she was still in high school attending a vocational school, which lead her to graduating from Empire beauty school in Harrisburg, PA. After receiving her license in 2015, she was able to experiment with all the beauty industry had to offer and found her passion doing hair extensions. Sara was then given the opportunity to work for a hair extension company as an educator. Sara also specializes in blonding, lived in color, and creating looks for her clients that will make them feel amazing.

When Sara is not at the salon, she loves spending time with her doggy Enzo, going on adventures, and exploring new places!

Achievements and Certifications

2017 – Aqua Hair Extensions Tape-in Certification
2017 – Aqua Hair Extensions Cylinder Certification
2018 – L’anza Colorist
2018 – L’anza Blonding Specialist
2019 – Aqua Hair Extensions Fusions Certification
2019 – Aqua Hair Extensions Hand-tied Weft Certification
2021 – Haircation Seamless Extension Blending Certification
2021 – Haircation Rich Brunettes Series
2021 – Haircation Lived-in Blondes Series
2023 – O&M Level 1 Certification

Gwendolyn Martin

Gwendolyn graduated from the Paul Mitchell, The Temple located in downtown Frederick and received her cosmetology license in 2020. Throughout her youth, she formed a passion for experimenting on her own hair which was the start of her love for cosmetology. She enjoys customizing styles for her clients and finding solutions to make their desired outcome manageable to maintain once leaving the salon. Healthy hair starts with a healthy scalp which are both important priorities to her as well. When Gwendolyn is not in the salon, she enjoys cooking elaborate meals and spending quality time with her cat Shea.

Achievements and Certifications

2020 – trained in tape-in extensions
2023 – trained in sew-in extensions
2023 – O&M Level 1 Certification
2023 – O&M Blonding with Angelo Torres

Sasha Vertucci

Sasha is a barber/stylist who graduated from a Paul Mitchell Partner School in Maryland in 2021, specializing in gender-affirming haircuts and those with special needs. Whether it’s creating a perfect taper fade, or long, luscious layers, she has you covered while also considering possible auditory sensitivities and/or over stimulation to texture and touch. She loves creating dimensional balayage looks and bringing client’s ideas for fun, vivid colors to life! Curly hair is one of Sasha’s favorites to work with; really showing guests how to embrace their natural texture and sculpt their hair into something beautiful. Sasha used to have her own small business as a barber/stylist, “Fierce Fades,” and worked in several other salons around Baltimore before joining the Smoke+Mirrors team. A former ballerina, a freelance photographer, and currently writing a novel, Sasha loves the arts and outdoors! She loves to go camping and hiking and she owns chickens with some fabulous names! Ask her about them when you come to see her!

Achievements and Certifications

2021 – BTC education with Paula Peralta
/ Men’s perms