March 2010

Lisa Kind - Editor

The Mane Objective | by Marco Pelusi


Where Are Your Mentors?

Do you have a mentor in the beauty industry; someone who has inspired and guided you throughout your career?

Or, does it feel like this world is lacking in terms of good mentoring?

Maybe you’ve already had a mentor/role model – although you may not recognize it. You, in all probability, have also motivated and/or mentored other hairdressers. Well, it’s time to identify your own mentor, and to acknowledge yourself as one. Not only will you help your clients, co-workers, and/or staff by doing so, but also you will help yourself grow your own business.

Own up to the fact that you’re talented in some way, and share your talent with others. Work on becoming a mentor to someone professionally. Search for your OWN role model and/or mentor in the beauty industry. It may very well be someone within your own family.

I was lucky enough to grow up within our industry with my uncle Philip and my father Henry, both of whom still work tirelessly to do the very best they can, in every way, in their work in the beauty industry. They’re exemplary, and they inspired me at a very young age, to want to make a huge contribution myself in this glorious industry of ours.

It doesn’t matter if you yourself don’t have a family member as a mentor – your mentor is most likely simply within arms’ reach.

Often you have more than one mentor; I’ve had several wonderful mentors in the beauty industry. When I first moved to California, Terrie Valkanas at Framesi graced me with a job. She believed in me and was my role model. She also accepted 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 much more artistically creative colorist thus becoming a mentor to me. Another mentor, industry-wide, is Frederic Fekkai as a leader and a role model in this industry. He’s the classiest of any of the legends who have been around a while. Frankly, there’s no one else out there like him. He inspired me.

Sometimes it’s hard, and takes a real effort, to be a mentor and/or role model. At times it can be challenging to discover who your own mentors are. Doing so requires honesty, hard work, and relationship skills, such as interpersonal communication.

But really putting yourself out there – finding your own mentor – and being a mentor – can be extremely rewarding. And if you’ve never had your own personal mentor, or role model, find one now before it’s too late.

Who motivates you in this industry? Discover who it is, and if possible, find a way to contact him/her. When you reach out to your role model(s), 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.

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



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