There’s something in the water…

Sometimes even the best colourists, working on the healthiest hair, can get colour results that make them go ‘hmm’. There’s something beneath the surface… and L’Oréal Professionnel Paris has the answer

How often does a client sit in your chair and offload about the state of their hair… and their suspicions that it’s water that’s at least partly to blame?

Yup, it’s known and understood by colourists and clients alike that our water can contain microscopic elements that have an impact on our hair. Everything from a surplus of minerals to calcium deposits and chlorine can have an effect, such as making colour fade faster, and making hair look and feel dry.

But what can we do about it? This build-up has been accepted for years as something you have to just deal with.

What if it didn’t have to be this way?

After years of feedback from colourists and stylists and discussions about colour results not matching expectations, L’Oréal Professionnel Paris decided to investigate further. Just how prevalent and damaging is the effect of the water we’re using on our hair? Is there something else going on that’s impacting the services you offer? The hunch proved to be correct – there was something else indeed…

As well as mineral deposits, our water can contain metals due to pipeline erosion, wherever we may live. While this doesn’t pose a problem for people’s health, the research showed excess copper can leave hair more prone to breakage when bleaching or colouring.

“We know metals are a problem when colouring hair, and we’ve known it for a long time. On some clients you can see it – you can see a metallic tinge, a green cast and dull texture of cuticles.” – Chris Williams, RUSH Salons

“My clientele love new innovation and new technology, so they will love to hear about this” – Claire Chell, The Francesco Group

So L’Oréal Professionnel Paris got talking to consumers across the globe, conducting an international study to investigate the levels of metal in hair – and the results were astonishing. It found women all over the world with excessive levels of metals in their hair. The levels vary, depending on the water quality where we live and on hair porosity, but the problem is common. No matter the hair type or texture, no matter the hair habits of the women, the problem kept cropping up. The very nature of hair means it acts like a sponge, so wash after wash, metal particles can accumulate both on and inside the hair fibre.

Hidden Depths

L’Oréal Professionnel Paris scientists in collaboration with Ionnania University in Greece, spent seven years researching the issue. These are the findings you need to know:

 Metal – specifically copper – can have a negative impact on colour results.

Metals inside the hair fibre pose the greatest risk.

Q: Why is copper a problem?

A: When you add an oxidant to the hair during the colour process, the excess copper that may have accumulated over time inside the hair fibre can interact with it and cause mini reactions to occur, which can lead to an unreliable colour uptake and hair breakage. And because it’s within the fibre, there’s no way to tell what exactly is inside the hair until you colour it.

Q: What’s the solution?

A: The joint research between L’Oréal Professionnel Paris and Ioannina University scientists sought to find a magic bullet that could help neutralise these harmful effects. It took seven years and the combined talents of numerous scientists and hairdressers… but they found something remarkable!

Glicoamine, a molecule small enough to penetrate inside the hair fibre, to help neutralise excess copper. This ingredient is the heart of Metal Detox, a new professional range from L’Oréal Professionnel Paris.


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