The “Salon Tea” from Hollywood’s most sought-after colorist and co-creator of “The Rachel,” Michael Canalé

By Chardai Fisher

This week, I had the pleasure of interviewing the legendary Michael Canalé. Canalé has been voted “Best-of-the-Best” by Allure Magazine 14 years in a row and commented on by Vogue as “not only really good, he’s really fast.”

Canalé personally travels between Rancho Santa Fe, San Francisco, Dallas, New York, Washington DC, and Beverly Hills. Making sure that each of his clients gets the hands-on attention they need to look and feel they are the very best.

In this Q&A style read, you will find the inside thoughts of this magical mastermind celebrity stylist, salon owner, chemist, and innovative influencer in the beauty industry.

Tell me why you are in the world of beauty and hair? 

Canalé: I am talented and get gratification from making people look pretty and feel good, my clients rely on me to make their day easier. I started as a chemist and ended creating a wave of fashion in the beauty industry. I worked in the permanent wave world, and it was a smooth transition into the hair color world. Perms create texture, and you can create sculptures in the hair, and color brings life and depth into the hair, so the two were easy to bridge together. 

What is your passion?

Canalé: The charities that I am involved with drive me, and my salons are what drives me. The different types of people that I get to impact and touch. When I am in New York or Los Angeles, I get to work on fashion icons and actresses. In Washington, D.C., I have the pleasure of working in/ with the white house. I also love connecting people for charities to make a difference, and I work hugely with Stand Up For Cancer. In Texas, I work closely with the homeless.

What are you doing to stay grounded? 

Canalé: In Arizona, I work on healing and love with yogi Dr. Joseph Michael Levry at Naam Yoga.  

What are your thoughts on 2020?

Canalé: Financially, 2020 is a disaster for everyone. In my world of hair, it’s all about sanitation, wearing a mask, social distancing asking questions, and having guests sign a document confirming that they don’t have coronavirus. 

What advice do you have for a future beauty professional?

Canalé: My best advice is to assist and learn from the best in the area that you’d like to be the best in. If you are looking to be the best hair colorist, find the best in your city to assist, if you’re looking to be the best cutter, find the best in your town and help. To pick up greatness, you should learn from multiple people. Remember, you are the best when a hair cutter says you are. No hair cut looks good with lousy hair color. Take your time to learn and perfect your work.

What advice do you have for salon owners and colorist on reopening their salons?

Canalé: Price raises $20 per guest, work longer hours, come in earlier, or stay late, go by the rules set by your state board. The fines are huge, and there are whistleblowers out there looking to turn salons in. Make it an experience. In my salons, we have a red carpet and rope to enter during temperature checks and the questionnaire.

What are your tips on keeping the client safe and best practices?


  • Everyone wears a mask and stays their distance
  • Wash your hands Frequently 
  • Do not touch your face 
  • Do not go to bars

What are your tips for maintaining color between salon visits?

Canalé: Roots are in the embrace. Cover your grey with concealer, if concealer if you’re stuck at home use WOW. Do not mess up your hair just because you’re stuck at home.

How can a guest get the best hair color form their stylist?

Canalé: Get a color that last brings a picture, gravitates to your natural color, brings in a younger photo of you, does not go for a color that is so aggressive. It is a great time to condition your hair.

What are the best colors for different complexions?

Canalé:: Undertone plays a considerable part in the best hair color, look in the wrist of any person you are going to see your veins. If there is a blue vein, cool ash bases would be ideal for this complexion. If you see a green thread, warm golden tones would be ideal for this complexion. Create sparkle tones in all colors and work with the natural hair color. Always work with the eye color, the eyes are the face. Bring out your guest’s eyes, and you will change their lives. 

What is the biggest hair color trends of the moment?

Canalé: Natural color and styling are in, work with what you have. 

What is the Spring into Summer color trends?

Canalé:: The same spring highlights will be great into summer, lighter hair makes everyone feel happy, keeps your hair healthy and shiny, and loves strawberry blondes, redheads, and golden undertones. I use Liquid hair color to create the consistency that I need. I still use bottle applications for my hair colors. Embrace your undertone, use hair color as hair makeup.

What highlighting techniques do you use to prolong the time between visits to the salon? 

Canalé: Use Thinner highlights, use your natural hair do not alter your base. You may see other tones throughout your head, so 25% should be what God gave you. Maintain hair color with oils and conditioners in-between visits.

It was such a pleasure chatting with the great Michael Canalé and getting his perspective. He is not only a salon owner; he has his product line, Canalé, which includes a cleansing shampoo, softening conditioner, nourishing foam, and a vitamin replenish.

Canalé Hair Care Products

Michael’s first salon location was his Beverly Hills location, and he says if you can make it in glamour there, you can make it anywhere. He has a total of 11 salon locations around the globe. 

“Look at everyone as being equal. The most important client is the client in your chair. Always do your best and get as much education as you can” – Michael Canalé

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