September 2009

Lisa Kind - Editor

The Mane Objective | by Marco Pelusi


Attend Seminars and Trade Shows

It’s a necessity to continue our education as hairdressers. We all still must strive to constantly better our skills and check out what’s going on that’s new and exciting.

Therefore, seminars and trade shows are an imperative component to maintain and sharpen our skills and awareness. When is the last time you attended a trade show?

When is the last time you attended a haircutting or haircolor or styling seminar? Take a moment and actually write down and track (to the best of your ability) your attendance record in the past five years at these events. Hopefully you’ll find you’ve been able to attend many of them. But if you haven’t, take action immediately.

Here is a specific strategy for seminars: the very first thing to do is to consider which manufacturer you purchase a large portion of your supplies -- specifically your haircolor inventory.

Haircolor companies should provide ongoing education to you as a support system based on your orders. Check with your local sales rep the next time you see them and ask what education is available to you free-of-charge as a long-time customer of the company. If they are unable to come up with anything, explore what other companies are able to provide this service to you.

Maybe it’s time for a switch, a fresh start, in which case, the new color company should provide introductory education. If you’re a salon owner, do other members of your staff order from the same manufacturer from which you order? If so, the sales rep should be carefully calculating the totals, including your staff’s orders as well, and therefore, based on the numbers, should be able to offer your salon some free education.

Speak with your staff (or speak to yourself!) and determine what is the weakest link in your skill level in terms of haircolor. Do you all need a new trendy technique to offer clients, or are you experiencing problems with gray coverage? Get specific about your needs, and speak to the sales rep about what’s available to meet those needs.

This class at your salon will also benefit the sales rep and manufacturer as well, because you and your staff will inevitably order more product as a result, making everyone happy.

Another possible option is for you to purchase a ticket to a local color seminar offered by your manufacturer (or another manufacturer who wishes to entice you), and attend, and hopefully receive some complimentary product. Maybe the sales rep might be able to offer you a few free tickets to one of these seminars.

The second strategy involves professional beauty trade shows, which is an extremely viable option for you and/or your staff to attend. A show is a fun way to see what’s the latest and greatest in terms of products and techniques. If you’re a salon owner, consider offering to treat your staff to a ticket as an incentive to produce more.

Are there any platform artists you admire? Find out where they are performing, and make an effort to get there to watch.

To sum it up, figure out what is lacking in your personal skills, or in your salon, in terms of cutting, coloring and/or styling. When you select and go to an event, be prepared and take copious notes. Bring a digital camera to take pictures of each step of the technique that is demonstrated.

When you return home, attempt to use the technique or information you just received in your salon, even if it’s just on a mannequin to start. Whether you’re a salon owner or a stylist or both, check with your accountant to determine if you’re able to count seminars or shows as a business expense as a deduction on your taxes.

I challenge you to find a way to fit at least one of these shows or seminars into your or your staff’s schedule soon, especially before the (hopefully) crazy business we all get during the holiday season. Don’t put it off until next year. Make it a priority.

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



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