Post-Pandemic Salon Safety Tips from Celebrity Hair Colorist Michael Canalé
By Merilee Kern, ‘The Luxe List’ Executive Editor
With throngs of beauty-minded folks endeavoring to “see and be seen” post-quarantine after a long and arduous lockdown, it’s time to get back on board with beauty routines—and this certainly includes our hair coloring exploits. As salons across the nation reopen, many are wondering how we can prepare for the new normal—one that ensures our health and safety in the pursuit of envy-worthy hair.
For these answers and more I turned to Michael Canalé, known to be Hollywood’s most sought-after colorist and co-creator of “The Rachel.” He’s reportedly revitalized actress Jennifer Aniston’s enviable hair for over a decade and is also credited to other A-list locks adorning the likes of Heidi Klum, Kate Hudson, Shakira, Penelope Cruz and Carolyn Murphy.
In fact, for over 30 years, Canalé has been called upon by celebs, models and industry elites. His innovative technique and keen eye has made him highly regarded, not only for his corrective color method, but also for focusing on the natural beauty of hair. He makes sure to protect and prevent damage, leaving clients with hair that is as healthy as it is gorgeous. This is also why his work has been published in Allure, Vogue, Vanity Fair, Women’s Health, Elle, Marie Claire, Redbook, Glamour and New Beauty, just to name a few.
Canalé shared this advice on how stylists and colorists can best keep clients safe, while accommodating the escalating demand for post-pandemic hair services. He also added some trend tips as well as how to get the best color and longevity out of your service. A true pioneer of his craft, Canalé is a rare and enduring talent whose efforts will benefit untold beauty-seekers in the era ahead.
Merilee Kern: How can patrons stay safe while visiting a beauty salon?
Michael Canalé: Stay home if you do not feel well or feel sick. Come alone; leave pets and kids at home to avoid overcrowding in the salon. Come to the salon with a mask and help do your part to keep everyone around you safe. Be prepared to have your temperature taken and sign a form regarding where you have been and if you’ve been traveling.
MK: What advice do you have for salon owners, stylists and colorists on re-opening—safeguards that precaution-savvy consumers can also be mindful of?
MC: My advice would be to remember their training in school. Our training and licensing is based on 1,600 hours of learning how to properly sanitize and maintain a safe, clean and sterile environment for our clients. Additionally, I would say to fully set up all safety measures such as the sneeze guards, partitions (if needed), sanitizing tools at every station and extra masks for clients before officially reopening your salon. I knew this was going to be the new normal, and so my salons prepared early and the transition has been more seamless. Our salon input a red carpet velvet rope to stop clients from entering the salon before having their temperature taken, along with forms to fill out regarding their whereabouts and standard questions.
MK: OK, let’s talk hair! How can customers get the best color from their stylist?
MC: Bring in pictures and really discuss what you want with your colorist, along with listening and trusting them in what they think is achievable and best for your hair. I look at their eye color, face shape and skin undertones to accentuate their overall look. My assistants love that I say you cannot have a good haircut with bad hair color.
MK: Is there a secret for achieving the best color for your complexion?
MC: Your skin undertones and eye color really do play a part in what color looks best on you. Face shape and personal style also play a role in what you feel comfortable with.
MK: What are a few of the biggest hair color trends of the moment?
MC: I’ve seen a lot more women going back to their natural color or color that is easier for them to maintain. Because of COVID-19, we don’t know when or how long we will be able to keep seeing our hairdressers, so to have hair color that requires less maintenance is best. I have always stuck to the more natural hair color and highlight to accentuate your facial features. Using my products really allows your hair to maintain the best color, while it’s being protected.
MK: What are some highlighting or other techniques to prolong time between visits?
MC: I do not send any clients bleach. My salon has been great at making At-Home Color Kits for our base clients and for our highlight clients they have been receiving one of my signature glosses, along with their choice of conditioner. Both new and old clients have been sending in pictures so I can determine what kit to make and send them.
My highlight clients that have been comfortable returning to the salon after our reopen have had the prettiest grow out of hair color. Although they aren’t so blonde anymore, they still look great.
MK: What’s new and exciting with you … do you have any current projects or initiatives?
MC: Currently I have been working on my signature Canalé Gloss Collection. These are the first three of six. Each contains a UV sunblock along with our Canalé Cleanse and Soften that help maintain hair color and focuses on the skin undertones. Come mid-August, I am launching a deeper blue, called Midnight blue. It will cool out warm brunettes, while removing yellow and warm tones in blondes. Along with Cool Blue, these glosses were developed for clients with cool undertones. My Sunkissed Gloss will work with gold undertone and bring over-bleached and over processed hair back to life. It also works with golden tones such as baby blondes, strawberry blondes and golden-brown red heads.
Additionally, I have two hair oils coming out in August, these are going to be great additives for the Canalé conditioners; Soften and Soften Plus. Once added to the conditioners, it can work great as a detangler, hair mask and even styling aid. My clients and their hair love it.
MK: Maintaining color between visits is a gold standard. Do any of your own products help facilitate this?
MC: Yes, the Canalé Cleanse elongates hair color allowing you to go more days without washing. Along with my glosses, they last 20 shampoos and seal in hair color while giving your hair the shine to accentuate your undertones. The Cleanse and Soften items have been tested and proven to reduce fading and oxidation
MK: I see you also offer dietary supplements—do these support hair health and growth?
MC: Yes, and my product line is really about maintaining healthy hair. I have three hair vitamins; a topical called Nourish and two ingestible vitamins; Replenish and Replenish Boost. These products help hair growth both inside and out. I have seen Nourish bring in new hair growth around the client’s hairline while the Replenish vitamins thicken and help your hair grow.
MK: Where can folks access your salons and your products?
MC: Continue to stay safe and do your part to decrease the spread of this virus. We look forward to having you all back in our salon, feeling like yourself again. I have nine locations, which are in Newport Beach, Orange County, San Francisco, Beverly Hills, Pacific Palisades, West Hollywood, Dallas, Chicago, New York and Washington DC. Additionally, my products are available on Amazon and on our website.
About Merilee Kern:
Forbes Business Council Member Merilee Kern, MBA is an internationally-regarded brand analyst, strategist and futurist who reports on noteworthy industry change makers, movers, shakers and innovators across all categories, both B2C and B2B. This includes field experts and thought leaders, brands, products, services, destinations and events. Merilee is Founder, Executive Editor and Producer of “The Luxe List” as well as Host of the nationally-syndicated “Savvy Living” TV show. As a prolific consumer and business trends, lifestyle and leisure industry voice of authority and tastemaker, she keeps her finger on the pulse of the marketplace in search of new and innovative must-haves and exemplary experiences at all price points, from the affordable to the extreme. Her work reaches multi-millions worldwide via broadcast TV (her own shows and copious others on which she appears) as well as a myriad of print and online publications. You can connect with Merilee at www.TheLuxeList.com and www.SavvyLiving.tv
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