Expert's Opinion

Natural Color Boosters

July 15, 2013

Philip Pelusi explains how to perk up locks this summer.

By Philip Pelusi
International stylist and product artist


One of my primary passions as a stylist, salon owner and product artist is to continually help perfect the ability of professionally color treated hair fabric to maintain its just-from-the-salon color both in color retention and shine while improving the hair’s condition.  I’ve approached this issue with precisely balanced natural and organic shampoo and conditioning treatments but also by taking the idea of preserving the appearance of fresh color a step beyond.  One of the additional ways I worked to solve this problem for myself, my stylists and our clientele is thru a natural color boosting treatment that can be done both in the salon as a service but also by the client at home to help maintain their color.
Unlike color enhancing shampoos, I decided to think outside the bottle and create a color boosting deposit-only technology with a color conditioner using natural flower pigments and human hair melanin for the deeper shades.  Not only did I find this to be the most successful method for getting the best enhancement while improving condition, I also found the use of natural flower color pigments meets the needs of today’s natural-focused marketplace.  We also noticed that our clients demanded shinier, longer lasting color with less fading.   
Because I always approached professional color services as an investment our clients are making, this type of natural color boosting fits right in with the “insurance policy” they purchase to protect their investment as part of their at home regime.
Let’s start at the color service.  There is no avoiding the fact that in order to permanently deposit color a stylist needs to work with ammonia or other alkaline color delivery systems that will lift and deposit color pigments into the hair.  Alkalinity not only opens the hair, enhancing penetration of “pre-color” molecules, but also activates the peroxide contained in the developer, catalyzing the pre-color into the mix of pigments we visualize in the final result.  Also, when used in appropriate mixtures, peroxide bleaches hair’s natural melanin to lighten or “lift” the final shade.  This is complex chemistry that not only involves striking a balance between the color system’s components but also calls into play the knowledge and skill of the colorist to assess the client’s needs and aspirations.
Once the process is complete and after the hair color is removed by shampooing with the proper cleansing and conditioning system, it is possible that because this process occurs deeply within the hair shaft, continuing oxidation can occur.  We can definitely help to correct this problem with antioxidant-rich natural and organic shampoos and conditioners that are supplemented by color-locking micro-emulsions. 
But permanent hair coloring is an innately damaging process.
In fact, the oxidation process can continue for some time producing further damage.  That is just the natural course of action once the alkalinity penetrates the hair’s cuticle and cortex.  It then “lives” in that hair until it is eventually cut off.  But for most clients and thank goodness for our salon industry, hair color services addressing these problems have become another part of life.  So I wanted to create something that would deposit pigments to stain the cuticle and cortex of hair with of natural and artificial colors that do not raise the ph of the hair like most color-enhancing shampoos.  This is how P2 by Philip Pelusi Color Boost Pure Pigments Color Enhancing Conditioners were born.
Once the client leaves the salon, they are armed with the right types of cleansing and conditioning products.  But in addition we match them up with one or a custom blend of several of our Color Boost conditioners.  Stylists work with their clients to teach them how to include this color boosting blend into their conditioning regime a few weeks after their color service has been done.  The stylist and the client can control the amount of color simply by controlling the frequency of use and the length of time the product is left on the hair.  The operatives that do the staining are natural dried and pulverized flower pigments imported from France.  Flowers such as Violets give a cool violet-based tone to blondes and grey hair clients, while Magnolias provide a warm gold-based stain for warm toned blondes and light caramel shades.  Redheads benefit from dehydrated Cherries and Chrysanthemums.  For the mid to deeper brunette shades we recruit the help from science to extract natural human hair melanin to enhance the staining and richness of color boosting properties.  Incorporating melanin is necessary because there are not a lot of dark brown flowers, and gives stylists a way to create both warm and cool tones in for deep brunettes.
This state-of-the-art approach to staining or boosting natural and artificial hair color is a non-texture specific approach in that it can be combined with any texture-controlling conditioning regime.  Also because it is a deposit-only delivery system we can also improve the condition and appearance of hair with hair strengthening proteins, sunscreens, vitamins, minerals and weightless hydrators.  No cuticle-opening chemicals are necessary.  Just like dropping a glass of red wine on the white table cloth, these conditioners stain the hair for a certain period of time and then eventually fade away depending on the porosity of the hair.  This has also proved to be a market-opening aspect of the product as it helps us to service youths that are not permitted to color treat their hair and gives pregnant women that are dealing with a color transition thru the nine months of their pregnancy who may wish to refrain from permanent color.  The non-cuticle-opening deposit-only technology has also proved to be helpful as a color fill for corrective colors.  It helps to fill the hair but without adding any additional harmful chemicals and by adding hair benefitting ingredients.
The effects of the staining can be enhanced with the use of heat, as they can also be used in under-the-dryer deep conditioning treatments.  The heat from the dryer makes the pigment molecules penetrate faster and deeper into the hair shaft, creating a stronger and longer lasting toning effect.  This is also a way for stylist to use these are pseudo-toners are part of their color services and as an add-on color boosting conditioning service between color applications to refresh highlights.
I have also found this to be another way for stylists to set themselves apart in the marketplace.  The 8 color shades and 1 clear shade of P2 by Philip Pelusi Color Boost Pure Pigments Color Enhancing Conditioners can be recommend independently or they can be custom blended to allow the stylist to not only have creative control once the client leaves the salon but also another way to leave their own personal signature on their color service by giving their client something they cannot get anywhere else.  The multitude of colors also allows the stylists to play with the clients highlight tone such as making them slightly deeper in the fall and winter and brighter in the summer.  All of this also further builds client trust and loyalty as they see their hair color looking better in between touchups as a way to further preserve their color investment.  It gives them another reason to return to their stylist at their salon creating even greater guest retention.  We are always looking for ways to help the stylist build and maintain their book while giving the client another reason to return to the salon.  So it’s more than just about what is actually in the bottle!

For product recommendation and more information contact us at Tela Beauty Organics by Philip Pelusi at either or

About the Author
Philip Pelusi is an internationally recognized stylist, photographer and product artist. Having gone from one salon to 13 locations as well as a magnificent industry centerpiece in New York City, Pelusi has created a philosophy, two product lines, P2 by Philip Pelusi and Tela Beauty Organics by Philip Pelusi and systems for success. Philip created and trademarked, within the industry, the phrase “A Cut Above The Rest” to coincide with his creation of the registered Volumetric haircutting technique around which he built his empire.

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