Sharing Hollywood Hair Color Secrets at the Karg Unplugged Show
Salon owner, celebrity colorist and platform artist Marco Pelusi, was invited to travel to Switzerland to share his hair color technique with an audience of hairdressers in Zürich. Pelusi, whose clients include actors, models and influencers, educated around his signature techniques at the KARG Unplugged Show, the brainchild of cutting expert Mike Karg. MODERN SALON asked Pelusi to talk about the trends he brought from his home in Hollywood to this audience of European hairdressers.
MODERN SALON: You recently traveled to Switzerland and joined the KARG Unplugged Show, an education event for hairdressers. Tell us a bit about this event and what is offered.
MARCO PELUSI: The KARG Unplugged Show is a large, product-independent educational hair event in Switzerland produced by hairstylist Mike Karg, a native of Switzerland, who started it all in 2003. The Unplugged Show, which takes place in beautiful Zürich, presents the latest in cutting, coloring, finishing and styling trends. It’s all about useful, wearable, honest education for everyone and each year, Mike Karg invites hair colorists from the US to present and I was delighted to join him, this year.
MS: What education did you offer at the show?
MP: As a hair color specialist, I demonstrated four heads of live hair color onstage, each showcasing a different use or version of my Marco Signature Highlighting Strategy. I did this on two men and two women. On the ladies, I demonstrated a warmer, golden blonde with lowlights, a ‘sombre’ caramel brunette; on the guys, I demonstrated a lowlight on a grey-haired guy, as well as blonde highlights on another younger guy. Also, we threw in a lighter, paler red with highlights which created a honey-rose color. All colors were executed with my strategy used in different ways.
MS: What were the hairdressers most interested in learning?
MP: They wanted to be inspired. They’ve since shared that they have already been able to take my highlighting strategy back to their salons and use it on both men and women. They were especially thrilled to learn a technique for mens’ coloring as well.
MS: How does their hair color savvy and knowledge compare to hairdresser audiences here in the US?
MP: In Switzerland, they do not attend school, but rather, they attend an apprenticeship program. I feel as though they are more personally trained then we are here in the US and they also seem more disciplined in their approach to their craft. They do look to us, especially someone like me, who works with celebrities, for what’s the latest and greatest from Hollywood, and on television and films.
MS: Why do you love educating on color?
MP: The moment I saw a hair color educator come into my family salons back east and teach us to train the trainer when I was just a kid, I knew I had to become a hair color trainer. Color is virtually limitless in its possibilities and creativity and I love the technical, chemical and logical side of it as well. I have a bit of both right and left brains in me and hair coloring gives me the chance to work with both sides.
MS: What do you think is the next trend coming in hair color?
MP: For reds, it’s Honey Rose, this year’s answer to Rose Gold; a lighter, paler, softer version of the Rose Gold, often achieved with highlights first. For brunettes, it’s a Caramel Ombre; a softer, subtler, warmer, more naturally blended ombre on the brunettes. And for blondes, it’s a warmer Honey Golden Blonde. We saw so much platinum last year, we are ready for warmer blondes once again. I demonstrated all three of these at the show.
MS: What tools and products do you use in your demonstrations?
MP: I love Product Club foils, gloves, clips, and combs; and Mike Karg has a nice relationship with them, therefore, I was able to work with their products onstage, so it was a win-win for all of us. Joico color was provided for me to use, both their permanent and demi permanent coloring systems, and I enjoyed it very much. I used to work in-house at Joico as their national color educator soon after I first moved to LA.
MS: Where can we see you next?
MP: I offer private and small group hair color courses here at my Studio in West Hollywood, and we are booking now through summertime. You are welcome to email me directly at [email protected] to find out more and to consult about coming for classes. I can cater the class to adjust to the hairstylist’s needs and wants; anything color, as well as business-building techniques.
I will also be onstage next at the Las Vegas IBS show at end of June teaching How To Add Dimension to Blondes (I just completed teaching Caramels and my Signature Highlighting Strategy workshop at the New York IBS in March).