Spending hours in the salon is now an outdated concept, thanks to a breakthrough new highlighting technique.
Calling all those who have ever visited a salon for a colour change: how many hours do you think you’ve spent in that same squeaky swivel chair with your head weighed down by foil? Days? Weeks, even? It doesn’t bear thinking about.
It’s no wonder, then, that we’re on the hunt for hair-colouring techniques that don’t require us to book the whole day off work. Google searches for speedy colouring techniques having increased by a huge 518% over the past four years, with balayage (still) the most popular technique.
But now, there’s a new highlighting method on the beauty circuit – and it’s a fast-track to the Chrissy Teigen-esque hair you’ve always wanted.
Introducing L’Oréal Professionnel Instant Highlights, an express highlighting genius with the ability to lighten your hair in as little as 15 minutes. Yes, you read that correctly – perfectly highlighted hair in about the same time it takes to catch up on yesterday’s missed tweets.
The novel technology harnesses a three-part system which allows your hairstylist to lighten and lift your hair up to six levels. The best part? It’s all done in seconds thanks to the Instant Highlights Lightening Cream, the Instant Highlights Aluminium Foil, and the Instant Highlights Heating Iron. When passed over the treated section of hair like a pair of straighteners, this more-or-less-magic tool completely transforms the colour.
According to Adam Reed, Editorial Ambassador for L’Oréal Professionnel, the approach – which is perfect for highlight-shy brunettes or those who want low-maintenance balayage – is like nothing we’ve ever seen before.
“This is all about innovation – a new type of faster colour service,” he says. “The new tool literally lifts the hair up to 6 levels in seconds, so can cut your highlights time by half. It’s quick, easy and the result is amazing.”
Read on for what happened when Stylist’s editorial assistant, Moya Lothian-McLean, booked in for L’Oréal Professionnel Instant Highlights
For 22 years I’ve been too petrified to colour my hair - my mother drilled that into me. Visions of bleach breakage always swam before my eyes when I even entertained the thought of experimenting with my thick, dark curls (above).
But as you get older, you get more reckless, so when offered an opportunity to experiment with a cutting-edge new colour treatment that promised to be over within 15 minutes and not inflict any long term damage on my locks, I jumped at the chance.
First of all, the technology involved in the innovative and unique process is incredible. Once Anna, my colourist at Daniel Galvin (and the first person in the UK with her very own Instant Highlights tool), had applied the bleach, she simply had to glide the special tongs down the length of my hair to render it instantly blonde - and that’s nothing short of mind-blowing considering the many hours some of us waste away in the salon chair, totally laden with foils.
Rather cleverly, the lightness is controlled by the amount of times you sweep, so Anna could multi-tone in a matter of minutes. She told me that it’s a game changer - and she is absolutely right.
“At first I was scared of the tool,” she admitted when I asked for her honest opinion. “Heat and bleach goes against everything I’ve been taught. But the results are just unbelievable.”
Once she’d applied L’Oréal Professionnel Smartbond - a strength treatment that is suggested to follow colouring to leave your hair feeling like silk - I toned and washed and soon began to see the blonde peeking through.
But it was during drying that the subtle blonde balayage she’d applied finally revealed itself, contouring my face and adding gorgeous levels and dimension to my curls.
Honestly? My hair has never looked better and I keep catching sight of my reflection and marvelling at the shine. Thanks to my coarse texture, the L’Oréal Professionnel Instant Highlights took a little longer than 15 minutes.
The colouring itself takes around 10 minutes maximum, then it’s on to the treating, toning, washing and blow-drying. But there’s no doubt I was out of the salon hours earlier than I would have been otherwise, especially with this mop.
The verdict? Brilliant. I’ll definitely be back.
Instant Highlights is available exclusively to L’Oréal Professionnel salons & Headmasters nationwide. Find your nearest salon here.
Main image: Wayne Tippetts/REX Shutterstock