Q&A: Marco Pelusi of Marco Pelusi Hair Studio
As a creative person, Marco Pelusi is used to having ideas percolate in his head. But he points to one a-ha! moment that kick-started his career as a West Hollywood salon owner and hair-color artist, who counts many celebrities among his clientele.
“I was about 21 and had just finished at Penn State,” says the Pittsburgh native. “I was a licensed stylist and I saw a trainer stand up and talk about hair color. I fell in love and I knew I wanted to do more on a larger scale.”
Pelusi had another natural advantage: his father and uncle run a chain of salons in Pittsburgh; they’ve both served as longtime trusted mentors.
After working for two hair-color companies, Pelusi opened his hair studio in 2005 and the next year launched his Marco® Collagen Color Guard™ HairCare System. The signature product is his Anti-Frizz Leave-In Conditioner, which has earned widespread acclaim and media attention. He has been honored by the West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce and is a member of the West Hollywood Design District Board of Directors.
We caught up with him recently to talk shop.
What’s special to you about working in West Hollywood?
West Hollywood is the epitome of the creative class (artists, designers, performers, writers, etc.) and especially the Design District where I’m at – it’s the ultimate in creativity. The more you don’t fit into the societal norm, whatever that is, the more creative and successful you can become in West Hollywood.
What are some unique aspects of the Design District?
It’s all about businesses helping each other. We usually have the same type of customer – someone who is discerning and looking for quality – so we help each other, we refer business and we find support within the community.
Can you share some cold-weather hair-care tips?
My No. 1 tip is to use shampoo and conditioner that will preserve moisture. Marco Color Guard is a great choice. During the winter months, you don’t need to shampoo every day. Once a week, be sure to use a deep conditioner.
After showering, towel-blot your hair and apply a leave-in conditioner to detangle and prevent breakage. Use your fingers to comb through wet hair. Dry it until it’s 80-85 percent dry and use a brush for the last several minutes. This will minimize stress on your hair.
Any fun ideas for holiday hair looks?
Well, a really easy one is to just pull the hair back into a loose ponytail. Making it slightly asymmetrical softens the look.
Also, wavy at the ends is in right now. Dry the hair, use light hairspray on a big section of hair and wrap it around a barrel curling iron. Curl it, then finger comb through, loosely. From there, you could clip up one side and not the other – using a single pretty barrette or perhaps a cluster of several barrettes.
As for color, you might want to intensify your highlights – either going lighter or darker – so that they really pop.
What’s a life lesson you’ve learned at the salon?
You have to follow through every time you go to work. You’re only really as good as your last hair service.