May 2011

Lisa Kind - Editor

The Mane Objective | by Marco Pelusi


The Haircolor Fashion Wheel

As experts and business builders in the beauty industry, we must be "in-the-know" about whom or what is setting trends in hair coloring fashion.

Do you agree?

Our clients come to us specifically for our revered advice on both fashion and trends; and, they expect us to infuse this knowledge and design into their own personal haircolor.

The more trendy ideas we can blend into our color service menu, the more we are paid, the more we will create demand for our work, and the more our clientele and business will grow.

The key is to provide fashion forward, up-to-date haircolor for our clients, yet allow them to be able to live with it on a daily basis.

Many haircolor trends actually start in Europe or Asia, and then finally make their way here to the United States. In addition, many celebrities and models will wear a new haircolor trend (sometimes unintentionally) for a period until it finds its way to our mainstream clientele.

We have all seen, and perhaps even performed, the new highlight trend that starts several inches away from the scalp. Recently, I created a technique to achieve this very style and demonstrated it onstage at IBS New York. Did you know that Sarah Jessica Parker showed up with this rooty look a long, long while back during the last several episodes of the HBO series, "Sex and The City?" Yet nowadays, every model in every fashion magazine is wearing it.

Today, we receive requests for this off-the-scalp highlight look from our client base… It has become a fabulously trendy, very fresh new color look. Some of these grown-out highlights actually occurred by mistake, or simply by virtue of a bad economy; i.e. clients stretching out their haircolor appointments. Personally, I was thrilled. It is a cool look with free-form color application and lots of room for creativity.

However, many of our clients did not immediately embrace or ask for this specific, cutting-edge highlighted look when it first arrived. They were perhaps intrigued by it, yet somewhat fearful. Still, at the onset, the trend was not generally soft enough for most women to wear daily.

This inclination was because newly introduced trends are usually labeled as "avant-garde." This is the first "spoke" on what is called, "The Haircolor Fashion Wheel." In fact, at its introduction, off-the-scalp highlighting was just too wild for many people. However, it did attract a lot of attention.

Now today, we have Rachel Bilson's off-the-scalp highlights. Rachel is wearing one of our country's current, new favorite haircolor looks. Therefore, now more than ever, we must be able to offer a softened, watered-down version of Rachel's color for our everyday clientele.

"Mainstream" is the next "spoke" on The Haircolor Fashion Wheel. Many of our clients are able to wear a look like this, trendy, but soft enough for many ages, body types, and lifestyles.

Typically, most everyone is bored with chunky, obvious highlights right now. Women crave a new look, a new trend. Rachel models the new highlights quite beautifully yet rather conservatively, and just safely enough for a wide audience to wish to replicate it, or a version of it, on their very own heads. This is where we come in.

We are happily still in the midst of this hot, new haircolor trend, as it makes its way around the fashion wheel. It started out as edgy. Then, we made it more conservative and attainable for our mainstream clients to wear. Yet sure enough, eventually it will become dated or boring again. The next and final '"spoke" on The Haircolor Fashion Wheel is referred to as "out of fashion."

Right now, we are still enjoying the look. It is not nearly out of fashion, yet. But, much like it has happened before with any trend, it will remain mainstream for a while, then it will go away, and then come back again…as the wheel goes round and round.

You can see how The Haircolor Fashion Wheel works. What goes around comes around, literally. As business owners and hair designers, we need to pay attention to trends entering and exiting the fashion wheel in order for our color business to thrive and to help us meet our bottom line.

It is a constant balancing act, as we have to continually offer color creativity and trends to our clients in a ready-to-wear look. Maybe one day you and your staff can begin to predict haircolor trends long before they become mainstream. Trendsetting is one of our most creative and most lucrative challenges we have as haircolor artists; and, it is what can help to set us apart from the rest.

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 2009 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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