December 2008

Lisa Kind - Editor

The Mane Objective | by Marco Pelusi


Become a Role Model and Leader

You’re already a role model and a leader—although you may not recognize it. You’ve been a role model for your clients for years.

By now, you probably have motivated, if not trained, other hairdressers. Well, it’s time to identify yourself as a role model. Own up to the fact that you’re talented in some way, shape, or form, and give your talent to others. Mentor someone professionally, perhaps someone in your own family.

I was lucky enough to grow up within our industry with my uncle Philip and my father Henry. They’re exemplary, and they inspired me, at a very young age, to want to make a huge contribution in this glorious industry of ours. If you have children, perhaps consider mentoring them. Teach them. Give, give and give some more. It all comes back to you in the end.

It doesn’t matter if you don’t have family to mentor. I’ve had many other wonderful mentors in the beauty industry. When I first moved to California, Terrie Valkanas at Framesi graced me with a job out here. She believed in me and was my role model. She would accept nothing but the best from her Framesi team.

Soon after, Damien Carney, my friend and colleague at Joico, forced me to become a better and more artistically creative colorist. Damien became my mentor. Industry-wide, I’d name Frederic Fekkai as a leader in this industry. He’s the classiest of any of the legends who have been around a while. He inspires me.

Sometimes it’s hard, and it’s a real effort, to be a role model. Doing so requires honesty and hard work. But really putting yourself out there and being a mentor is extremely rewarding.

If you’ve never had your own personal mentor, or role model, find one. Who motivates you in this industry? Discover who it is, and if possible, find a way to contact them. When you reach out to your role models, the best statement to make is simply, “I really respect and admire your work.” A compliment, professional to professional, is the easiest way to start a conversation.

Trust me, recognizing your own personal mentor will allow you to step up to the plate and become one yourself. Become a role model and a leader and find out who yours is. It’s worth a shot.

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