Here’s how to work metallic-toned tresses, the next big hair trend

Here’s how to work metallic-toned tresses, the next big hair trend

Rock your metalhead

Text: Renée Batchelor Angelyn Kwek

If a killer highlight on the face is your ride-or-die, why not own that shimmery goodness on your crowning glory too? The Buro beauty team takes on the metallic hair trend, and here are our two cents

You've gone through the entire rainbow spectrum of pastel hair colours, and now you're left wondering how else you can go next-level when it comes to your tresses. Enter the metallic hair trend for that visual X-factor, pair it with the ever-popular balayage technique and boom, you're #hairspiration. Of course, nailing the perfect metallic look is no easy feat, but at Mi the Salon where they're leading the trending wave with the cult Korean Gloss treatment, you can expect to get your metals on with a new range of L'Oréal Majirel hues the salon has trotted out.  

Metallic hair by L'Oréal Majirel

And if you're regular hair chameleon, you'd be psyched to know you can customise your colour from the base shade right down to any additional highlights or lowlights plus the finish of the metallic lustre you're feeling (choices go from silvery aluminium to a pink-toned rose chrome). Essentially, no two metallic hair looks will be the same. Obviously, us beauty junkies here at Buro had to roadtest this trend ASAP. For hair science. For trend reports. For the unicorn hair movement.

So are metallic tresses a look you'll be pulling off like a pro? Either as a touch of glitz peeking through or an entire head full of shimmer, we give you the deets on how to do the deed.

My hair was already done in a balayage ombré style two months back, with darker roots and lighter ends. Upon inspecting my hair, and due to time constraints, my stylist decided on applying a second round of bleach to further lighten my hair before applying the Metallic Ash Brown Balayage shade in Deep Mauve on the whole head, so that the colour would show up in a more vibrant manner.

I loved how the colour looked on the charts, but fair warning, you do need to bleach the hair to a pretty light shade of blonde first in order to achieve that effect. The result was an interesting melange of deep mauve, purplish and grey-purple hues on the hair with the lighter bleached strands picking up more of the purple and violet tones, and the unbleached hair taking off a deep purplish mauve cast while remaining quite dark.

Metallic hair by L'Oréal Majirel

Our tried-and-tested verdict: I did like the initial effect but it did not really maintain beyond a few washes for me. Add to that the second round of bleaching kind of made my hair dry and almost crispy looking, resulting in a scramble to use a host of masks to try and resuscitate it (Ouai's Treatment Masque is pretty instantaneous and fabulous).

This is great if you have very resilient and undamaged hair that is able to show off the metallic sheen of this dye. But if your hair is in a less than stellar condition, do make sure you treat it first. — Renée Batchelor, beauty editor

I've got good news if you're old friends with bleach, because for maximum oomph you're going to need your strands pre-lightened in order for the metallic gloss to really show. I went in with my hair already faded back to its bleached base following my last unicorn shade, and even then I had to do a comb-through of 6 per cent peroxide from root to tip to achieve a base that was practically Targaryen white-blond. 

With my dramatically bleached hair though, I could happily take on a gamut of colours so I went for an ombré-balayage cross with lilac at the crown that segues into an ashy grey, topping it all off with the aluminium metallic patina. Credit for this custom mix goes to Priscillia, my assigned stylist, whose eye for the whole 'hairtone-complement-skintone' thing really nailed the colour blend. Walking away from the chair saw me with vibrant, silvery lavender-grey hair that reflects a soft metallic shine when I tilt my head just so, albeit with a drier texture due to the intense level of bleaching required. 

Metallic hair by L'Oréal Majirel

Our tried-and-tested verdict: Prepare to commit, commit, commit. Getting and keeping your metallic lustre takes just a tad more work than the usual cotton candy shades — and by work I mean putting up with not washing your hair for even longer intervals. I give myself two days of dry shampooing before I get the overwhelming urge to pop my head right under the showerhead on full blast, if not the metallic sheen (and your colour, of course) does go pretty fast. In contrast, I used to work an every-other-day wash routine with pastel colours. On top of this, you'll need to shell out for silver shampoo to give the metallic gloss a refresh every now and again.

Also, the dreaded straw-like feel is very real and can be the crimp in your otherwise glorious head of hair. Consider pairing your metallic makeover with a reparative treatment to give your locks a boost in nutrients and moisture so you'll have an overall smooth that helps with accentuating the metallic lustre. — Angelyn Kwek, writer

The metallic balayage treatment (from $160) is available at Mi the Salon, located at Ion Orchard Level 3-19, 6884 7757