May, 2008

Marco Pelusi

The Mane Objective | by Marco Pelusi


Harnessing Your Passion

You owe it to yourself, and to everyone, to find and harness your passion. Let me tell you about my passion, and let’s see if we can spark yours.

As a child, I remember everyone around the dinner table talking about the family hair-care business. Not only did my uncle Philip have unparalleled talent for hairstyling, but my dad Henry also had enormous passion and genius for the business.

My mom and older sisters were all glamour girls and loved dressing up, which included having perfect makeup and hair, as well as following the latest fashion trends and styles. This is what I grew up with.

I became passionate about hair and fashion at a young age, even before becoming a licensed hairdresser. Soon after I started working at my family’s salons, a top-of-the-line Italian haircolor company came in to train the trainers at our salons (including me), and I knew right away I wanted to become a color guru.

It was so exciting to understand fabulous color, both creatively and technically. It gets both sides of my brain going at once, which is fortunate for my clients, but not as fortunate for me, since it drives me crazy. But it’s my passion, and it certainly keeps me going. There’s no doubt about that.

It took me years to wrap my head around how to perform and how to teach good haircolor. Being exposed to a tremendous amount of outside education, I became an educator myself.

When you’re an educator, you learn more than your students do and that is an amazing thing. Since you hear yourself teach something repeatedly, it helps you retain the information better than if you were attending the class.

I became so mesmerized by how to do good color that I had no choice but to continue to pursue it in a big way. I worked in the lab at one of the world’s leading haircolor companies based in Milan with U.S. headquarters in my hometown of Pittsburgh, and then became a regional color educator in Southern California. I also traveled to work closely with master colorists and chemists. I took a chance by leaving the family business in Pittsburgh for an unknown future. I bonded with the stylists in the L.A. area. Then another huge hair care manufacturer took me onboard at their labs in L.A. to work side by side with their chemists to research and create color products.

It’s still inspiring to me how the very basic artist’s color wheel affects how a woman looks when she selects her haircolor, as well as how it affects the outcome of the color service.

But there was still so much more for me to do; too much passion left to harness. I wanted to create something of my own that would revolutionize the care for color treated hair, so I knew I had to create my own product system. I didn’t have a choice in the matter; I knew it was what I had to do.

You’ll know what I mean when you find this passion within your own hairdressing career.

Find what motivates you the most and stick with it. Do it repeatedly until you master it. I believe repetition -- getting up and working your craft repeatedly every day -- is far from boring, it’s actually exciting to see how long you can hang in there. It’s all about perseverance. Never stop learning. Never stop sharing. Give away your secrets, empower other stylists. They’ll respect you.

Maybe your passion lies in managing hairdressers, and then you have no choice but to run a large salon. Maybe it’s razor cuts, and you simply must create a revolutionary way to texturize hair that’s never been done before. Maybe it’s blonding. Maybe it’s updos. Whatever it is, doing it will require major energy, and it will probably make you tired, because I know I sure do get tired. I’m exhausted but I’m also exhilarated. Life is good because I found what makes me passionate.

In the end, you have to find passion in what you do. Maybe it’s not in the hair industry. Is that scary to think about? Well, you had better find out. If your passion is not in the hair industry, you need to leave it, and do something else. If it is indeed in hair, then do it with all the zeal in your heart. Give it all you got.

I’m having fun while working quite diligently. It’s not easy. It’s not a piece of cake. It has taken me a long time to do this. It still will. I still have a long, long way to go to fulfill my passion. But I’ve found it.

Find yours. You owe it to yourself. You probably already know what it is. Grab a strong hold of it, and do it.

Marco Pelusi is globally recognized as a haircolor trainer and platform artist. Marco Pelusi Hair Studio, Inc. was named Best Hair Color in Los Angeles 2007 by KTTV Fox11’s “myfoxla Hot List” competition. Pelusi created the Marco Collagen Color Guard HairCare System, the collagen system developed for color and chemically treated hair. For more information, visit