Spending the afternoon or morning in the hairdressers chair is the epitome of indulgence. From the stacks of glossy mags to tea on tap, it’s the ultimate excuse to unplug, unwind and get lost in the process. As someone who lives for beauty products / treatments and launches, the fact that I will avoid said chair for as long as possible is something of an oddity. From the age of 14 years old, when my once golden hair became a slightly dirty blonde, I’ve been a slave to the bleach. Over the last 16 years I’ve been white blonde, brunette and everything in between, but one thing I’ve learnt is that there’s no such thing as speedy highlights. But, there’s a new way to colour your hair and I was lucky enough to be one of the first to try it.
Setting aside 3 hours (I kid you not), a purse-full of car park change and polite conversation is my idea of a waste of a day. When ombre became one of the biggest trends in hair, I couldn’t have been more excited. A new process that allows roots to be acceptable and you only have to have half your hair coloured? Where do I sign? Bah humbug, I know, but the truth is I’ve never found a hairdresser that really understands me. When it comes to personal health or beauty, finding The One is not to be sniffed at. Whether it’s a massage therapist who knows that late night scrolling makes your shoulders tight or a facialist who gets that your goal is have J-Lo smooth skin. They just get you. My hairdressers tend to nod along to my Pinterest pics and magazine tear-outs and do whatever the hell they want to regardless.
But, I don’t want this to be the case – I want to join the millions of women who love having their hair done. I want to look forward to it, book in the next appointment and flick my blow dried tresses with pride. OK, a tad too far but you get the idea. So, when I discovered there was a new way to colour your hair at Neville’s hair salon (you can read all about my love for Neville’s HERE), it was a match made in hair heaven. Laid, back, speedy and with the most incredible menu to boot (you’ll always win me over with food), it’s not your average hair salon. And the cherry on top? They’re one of the only salon’s to roll out this exclusive treatment with L’Oreal and asked me to be the first person to try it….
WHAT IS IT?
If you’ve ever had your hair highlighted you’ll know the foil life struggle. They pull, you look weird and you hope to god you don’t bump into anyone you know. We’ve all been there and sadly the new way to colour your hair with Instant Highlights is no different except you will only have to endure the mild humiliation for half the time.
With four different styles to choose from, there’s three stages you can expect…
- A lightening cream applied to 5-15 pieces of hair
- L’Oreal specific foils encase the hair sections. The foils have to remain flat and cannot be folded or bent in anyway.
- A specially formulated heated iron glides along the foils at 140 degrees to accelerate the colour process. The temperature is regulated every 0.2 seconds and features a separator to prevent the plates from touching the hair and to help the iron glide along the section and conduct heat safely and evenly.
The hair is then washed as normal with the option of a toner to be applied (which I did).
HOW DOES IT WORK?
The more heat that’s applied to the hair, the lighter the result but my hair took to the cream so quickly, it didn’t need much heat at all. The term ‘it takes a village’ has never been so true as four stylists armed themselves with foils and descended around my head. It may have rivalled an A-listers Oscar prep but as a time-sensitive treatment it’s all hands on deck. As soon as those foils are on, it’s all systems go to apply the heat as quickly as possible.
What I loved about this new way to colour your hair, aside from the speedy delivery is the protection it gives the hair. As I prepare for the wedding, my mission is to get my hair and skin in the best possible condition which, traditionally doesn’t go hand in hand with hair colouring. But the Instant Highlights doesn’t just contain essential oils to reduce the risk of heat-induced sensitivity, it also has L’Oreal Professionnel’s protective Smartbond treatment to prevent damage and leave hair softer and stronger. And those sexy foils? They’re thicker than the norm to prevent exposing each of the sections of hair to too much heat.
BUT DOES IT ACTUALLY WORK?
Hell yes! After just 40 minutes my hair was at least two shades lighter, blended beautifully to give a natural, sunkissed finish. Gone were the straw-like lengths I typically have to bare after a quick hair colour – it was easy to brush, soft, shiny and bouncy. With a few lighter strands around my face, I could almost believe I’d spent the last week on a sun soaked beach and not in a rainy Belgravia salon. It almost made me wish I worked in an office again just so I could experience the novelty of a lunch hour hair colour! As the new treatment on the block, it may be the new way to colour your hair but something tells me this one will be around long after the bleach has faded.
BOOK L’OREAL’S INSTANT HIGHLIGHTS HERE