Although it helps to be whisked away in private jets to finesse the locks of Rod Stewart, Melania Trump, and Paloma Picasso, there’s more to being a celebrity stylist than hanging with the jet set. The role of a celebrity stylist means being a brand, being an innovator, and being a source of trust. Since the age of 15, Melissa Peverini- M’lis to all who know her- has been working in a hair salon. Having graduated from sweeping hair off the floor to cutting and coloring as a master, her career has steered her through extensive training overseas with the world’s top stylists and into the upscale hair venues of New York and South Florida.
She may be highly accomplished, but Melissa doesn’t rest on her laurels. Constantly innovating, Melissa is always looking for ways to bring something more to her clients. She saw an opportunity when clients would sheepishly return to her chair after attempting to touch-up their cut, color, or style on their own in-between visits. Ding, light bulb moment! Melissa created a novel concept called the Fringe Kit, an at-home bang trimming set. Her own line of sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner, Mlis Color Bathe and Color Condition, is exclusively available at the Cosmo & Co. salon in South Florida. Melissa is also currently working on the national launch of a new line of style, cut, and coloring tools called Versi, positioned as “the go-to brand for fringe and bangs.” A tireless hair professional, Melissa shares some tips for common haircare concerns and personal discoveries.
What causes thinning hair during the normal aging process, and what’s the best way to fill in lost hair?
Thyroid, medication, poor diet, and genetics are to blame. The best filler is TOPPIK, or colored hair powders. If all else fails, try clip-on hair extensions.
What makes hair appear greasy, and what do you recommend to hide it?
Overactive sebaceous glands create the grease effect. Prolonging shampooing in the shower is the customary way to control it, but dry shampoo is the miracle breakthrough. It absorbs the oils and gives body back to the scalp.
What’s the best way to revive limp or flat hair?
Again, dry shampoo. It gives poof throughout the day. My favorite is Oscar Blandi LOOSE dry shampoo, not aerosol.
Have you come across any hair dyes or specific ingredients that trigger allergic reactions?
I find that hair color with high levels of ammonia content can be irritating. If yours has a great deal of ammonia, always put a pack of Sweet-n-Low into the color mix, which will lessen the irritation. As far as I know, no specific ingredient in the products I use has been linked to allergies.
What are the best ways to keep hair from looking dry? Gray?
Brush, brush, and more brushing with boar hairs is the best way to increase shine by bringing natural oils down, as well as waiting as long as possible to shampoo. Water is the enemy. As for grayness, warmer tones in either permanent hair color or temporary crayons soften gray. I would recommend Wella Koleston Perfect for salon hair color, since it has less ammonia, a pleasant fragrance, and increased shine. The best temporary crayon that I’ve come across is Revlon ROUX crayon, available at Sally’s Beauty Supply.
What do you suggest for combating dandruff?
Omega 3. It has cured acne, dandruff, and psoriasis. All topicals are temporary fixes. The root cause of dandruff is internal. There is also a difference in type: dry dandruff and greasy dandruff, again due to lack of oils or excess oil in the sebaceous glands. Dry dandruff needs the omega 3 and internal oils, which can be found in Klorane Anti-Dandruff Shampoo with Nasturtium Extract. Greasy dandruff, on the other hand, needs zinc. Klorane Anti-Dandruff Shampoo with Myrtle Extract is effective against pityrosporum ovale, the micro-organism that is often the culprit in cases of greasy dandruff.
What are the most damaging salon treatments for hair?
Double-process blondes and Japanese relaxers repeated over time. The brand and technician matter greatly.
What are the signs that hair has been over-processed?
No shine and breakage.
Do you have any favorite do-it-yourself home recipes for hair treatments?
For frizz control, take a tiny swipe of Vaseline, rub into your palms, and then lightly stroke through hair. I mean tiny!! For an all-natural deep conditioner, olive oil works as a leave-in treatment. Anything else may smell too much. A great at-home remedy for build-up remover is to sprinkle a bit of baking soda into your regular shampoo.
I have a few customized recipes for color enhancers, which can be made from a range of teas and dried or fresh catnip (an herb used as a stimulant, helps increase tones). For brunette hair, use 2 bags of Black tea and 1/3 cup catnip. For red hair, use 1 tablespoon beet juice, 1 red hibiscus tea bag, and 1/3 cup catnip. For blond hair, use 2 chamomile tea bags, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and 1/3 cup catnip. Gather the appropriate ingredients appropriate to your hair color, boil tea bags (1 cup of water for every tea bag) and catnip. Let soak for about 15 minutes, strain, and add juice (where applicable). After the solution cools to room temperature, rinse it through your hair following your conditioner. If you want your hair even lighter, add vinegar to the mix and blow-dry your hair. Make sure to use a heavy conditioner after this treatment.
What are your favorite hair products and tools?
ARTEC Smoothing Serum has survived the test of time. It is the perfect blend of smoothing agents, silicones, and bodifiers for all types of hair. I am a hot roller gal, for a quick fix that looks like you spent hours. Stay tuned for a hybrid of Versi tools that I developed, which I think will become everyone’s favorite.
Worst hair mishap with a client?
Leaving a client in the hands of my assistant.
What is your personal hair care regime?
I shampoo every third day with a paraben-free, sulfate-free shampoo, then lightly condition. I apply Moroccanoil to my ends and volumizer to my roots, and then blow dry section by section. This way, I can make my ‘do last for days. At night I brush my hair out. I then wake up with a sprinkle of dry shampoo, fix my strands in place, and spray. I follow the same routine for the next two days.