Metallic hair is trending. On Instagram, the hashtag #metallichair has been used over 37,000 times. The thing is gold, silver and bronze hair tends to be reserved for holidays, festive parties and festivals since the offering has been so temporary and, well, glitzy. Until now. L'Oréal Professionnel has launched The Metals by Majirel, a permanent hair colour collection of five shades used in three different in-colour services nationwide.
The shades include Silver Star (a deep ash), perfect for that pastel grey look; Crystal Ash (an iridescent shade); Ash Gold to create a shimmering champagne gold; Pink Ash for a wash of iridescent pink and Hi-Lilac to neutralise yellow and leave a soft, shimmering lilac on the hair.
As for the services, you can opt for a Metal Root Shadow, where the golden colour is smudged on the roots to give lift. Metalights, where shimmering highlights are woven through the hair or Supernova Root Smudge, to create dark metallic roots that soften out to the mid lengths and ends.
Since I have naturally warm hair that's highlighted, I chose the Ash Gold colour and opted for the Metalights service. Now I'm not going to lie, I was sceptical as to whether a permanent colour could truly look metallic and last. Here's my take.
I headed to the Paul Edmonds salon in London and met with Jack Howard (he's responsible for bringing the balayage technique over to the UK from L.A.). Since my hair already had some highlights, he strategically placed some more blonde pieces to give my hair a little lift in the depths of winter. Unless your hair is already blonde, the hair needs to be pre-lightened before the metal colour is layered on top. For anyone who doesn't know what balayage is, it's a freehand technique where the colourist paints the pre-lightener onto the hair and places it between a sort of cling film to develop.
Foils used in normal highlights accelerate the lightening effect, and since balayage is subtler, the clear film allows the colourist to easily see how the colour is lifting.
So why metallic colour and why now? "We have seen a shift in salon clients being more open to experimenting with colour, and metallic colour is a great option, as you can achieve a soft and subtle effect—almost like a glaze—or go for something bold and iridescent like all-over silver, so it makes it accessible irrespective of your age," says Howard.
When I asked whether my hair would look truly metallic, he warned me that the Ash Gold isn't going to give a full-on metallic finish, that real shimmer shows up much more on white blonde hair that has a wash of the Silver Star shade over it.
Once my hair was lightened, I was taken to the back where The Metals by Majirel was applied. This process takes a little while, so if they ask you if you want your feet up or if you want the massager on the chair turned on, say yes.
Next my hair was blow-dried and I was able to see the fully finished effect. Howard was right. It wasn't in-your-face shimmer, but boy, did my hair look shiny. The way The Metals by Majirel has been formulated is to ensure as much light reflection as possible, so you end up with more of a glaze of colour with a seriously glossy finish. Having blonde highlights, my hair rarely looks this shiny. In fact, it glimmered so much that my nan, my boyfriend and my colleagues all commented on the shine. And that gloss lasted wash after wash.
So my thoughts on the service: If you're opting for the Silver Star shade, you can expect more of a true metallic finish, otherwise you're looking at a shiny, glossy result instead. My strands look metallic on closer inspection, but from afar, my hair just looked seriously shiny, which is no bad thing. If you want an in-your-face metallic effect, then there are better temporary options out there, but if you want the glossiest hair of your life, then this is the way to go.
Majirel Metals and Metallic services are available exclusively to L'Oréal Professionnel salons. Head to lorealprofessionnel.co.uk/salonlocator to find your nearest salon and price.