Hair Raising Innovations

2018-05-ReflectionsmayThis month Jonathan reviews the latest products making waves in the hair industry. We also find out about one of the teams hidden talents.

Reboot your look in less time

L’Oréal has just brought out a new product called Instant Highlights which I think is going to be promising. The game-changing hair dye technique lets you nab A-list highlights in under 60 minutes. Yes - you heard me correctly. The pro heat lightening system is designed to give up to six levels of lift in half the time. If the thought of an impending three hour plus salon visit fills you with dread, you are not alone. Forty per cent of women agree that, although financially, they can afford to have their hair dyed, time wise they're short on capital, with one in five avoiding salon trips altogether. With traditional highlights you must wait around 45 minutes for the lightening cream to develop, but L'Oréal's new system means that your hair will lighten in 15-30 seconds.

I have to admit I was intrigued when I first heard about L'Oréal's latest invention but, being the ultimate pessimist, I thought it would be like instant coffee; fast but, in reality, disappointingly bitter. The actual concept is more express highlights than instant highlights and that’s music to my ears. The demand for speedy services is higher than ever, due to our fast-paced lifestyles. So, here's the deal - it won't replace your full head of highlights (because the whole point is not to take an entire day), It’s a few highlights, (up to 15 packs) which would be a scattering along the hairline or a few throughout the top section.

The three-part system, (lightening cream, foils and heated iron) is designed specifically for this service and can't be used for other hair dye techniques. The lightening cream, when applied, develops on your hair to lift the colour just like ordinary highlights would. This effect is then boosted when the heated iron is applied, meaning the whole process is much faster. The foils keep everything controlled and even, so the lightening effect is consistent.

Sceptical as I am of anyone claiming to have reinvented a tried and tested colour technique, I was pleasantly surprised by the results. Instant Highlights is designed to be a speedy service, so this isn't your regular 'full head of highlights' treatment. 

Who would this suit? Well, if you have left the kids tied up on the back terrace with the washing and are looking for something to give you a quick lift that doesn't involve surgery or cava, then this could be for you. A lunchtime lift, if you like! In 90 minutes you could be in, coloured and blown to perfection, just in time to untie the kids before social services get wind of it.

Those drawn to the low-maintenance appeal of Balayage will love this, as will those who are new to hair colour or are looking for a new colour switch-up. Remember, it is still a weak bleaching agent, so it needs to be treated with respect. Bleach is not known for its conditioning properties!

Let’s make up

She’s a dark horse, that Ariela, hiding her little light under her bushel. Obviously, she is SXXT hot with nails, we all know that already with all that amazing nail art which she turns out daily, requiring infinite patience and skill. Well, this month I discovered that she ain’t half bad with a bit of mascara and lippie. Yep, she just dropped it into conversation like it was nothing. So, me being me, I set her straight to work and was gobsmacked when she managed to make Katerina - aka Dr Zhivago’s daughter - look like a person. Considering she had been on the lash for two days straight this was no small feat. To say her skin was dehydrated would be an understatement. The result can only be described as magical. At one point I didn’t know if she was using a blusher brush or a magic wand. I now have just got to convince her to start doing more of it in the salon. Watch this space.

Maximize your moisture

Cure dry hair in the convenience of your home, and you can thank me after! I have been playing with Redken’s NEW All Soft Mega superfood-infused haircare system, which was specifically designed to soften, nourish and replenish severely dry hair and I have to say I really like it.

It is massively moisturising and has the capability to revive even the driest of manes. I actually really love this range on naturally curly hair. Infused with a nourishing superfood mix of sacha inchi extract, aloe vera gel, cactus extract, and Redken’s exclusive ROOT-CORE-TIP (RCT) Protein Complex to treat hair from the root to the core to the tip, dry, coarse and unmanageable hair can now be touchably soft, smooth and full of shine. The only thing with it is you must be careful with the amount that you use and please, please, please make sure you give it a really good rinse.

This range is not for everyone, I will tell you now. Yes, it is moisturising but so much so that it could be guilty of weighing the hair down. This is, of course, fine if your hair looks like it has been dragged through a hedge backwards, but if you’re the kind of person who needs a little volume in your life, then give this a miss. You could end up looking like Neil from the Young Ones.

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