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Last updated: June 30, 2021

How Metals In Hair Cause Breakage

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Metals In Hair Causing Breakage? Here’s Your Solution

We’ve all seen it…a perfectly finished foiling service that suddenly goes up in smoke—literally. Or gently pulling a foil, only to pull the section of hair WITH it…yep, major breakage. Why does this happen, and what is the solution? The culprit is likely metals in the hair, and we’ve got suggestions for how to prevent reactions between metals and haircolor!


The Problem: Metals In Hair

There’s nothing worse than being caught by surprise during a color service. Metals inside the hair fiber are often the cause of unexpected results during color services. How does this happen?


  • Over time, metals erode in pipes in our homes and salons, causing metal particles to mix with water.
  • Wash after wash, these metal particles accumulate in the hair fiber.


“As a colorist, metal in the water has been a huge issue and a big frustration for years,” said Sebastian Langman-Kirtley (@sebastiancolorist), a balayage expert. “It affects over 75% of my clientele.”


And just because a client doesn’t have hard water doesn’t mean she doesn’t have metals in her hair. The accumulation of metals CAN be present in hard water, but even the cleanest of water can be charged with metals.


So when a client comes in with metal in her hair fiber, here’s what happens:

  • Metal particles come into contact with oxidants in lightener and color.
  • This creates a negative chemical reaction, leading to breakage and unreliable color results.



“Among all metals present, the most dangerous is copper,” said Leila Hercouet, L’Oréal Professionnel Senior Research Associate. “It forms clusters in the hair fiber, and can also infiltrate the structure of the hair fibers, the proteins, and binds to them. Now, when color or lightening agents penetrate, they react with these two forms of copper and create microexplosions in the hair that cause breakage.”


SCARY, right? While breakage is the worst case, metals can also cause uneven and unreliable color results, and nobody likes splotchy haircolor. So what do you do?



The Solution: Metal Detox

To guarantee reliable color and prevent breakage from metals in the hair, you have to neutralize the metals before you start a chemical service.


L’Oréal Professionnel worked with a leading Greek university for the past seven years to understand the impact of metal in hair and find a solution. The team analyzed more than 2,000 strands of hair from all over the world. The solution they discovered offers more reliable color and less breakage: Glicoamine.


Glicoamine is the only active agent small enough to trap and neutralize metals inside the hair fiber, which prevents metals from interacting with oxidants. Other agents can address metal particles on the outside of the hair fiber, but that isn’t enough to prevent breakage. Because glicoamine is small enough to neutralize metals, the result is 87% less breakage and 100% reliable color results.



To put glicoamine to work, L’Oréal Professionnel created a three-step, professional protocol to neutralize metal during color and lightening services called the Metal Detox system (BONUS: This three-step system can be used with ANY lightener or haircolor brand).


Shop The Metal Detox Series at SalonCentric: Click Here



Metal Detox Steps

1. Pre-Treatment: Neutralize metal before the service.

  • Spray on dry hair section by section, focusing on the lengths.
  • Let the spray air-dry while you mix color or lightener.
  • Begin the color service—no rinsing or added processing time needed.


2. Shampoo: Gently remove metal.

  • After color or lightener has processed, apply Shampoo evenly on wet hair.
  • Lather until you get a rich foam, then rinse.


3. Conditioner/Mask: Protect the hair fiber from new metal particles.

  • Choose whether to use the Conditioner, Mask or both. For fine or thinning hair, the Conditioner alone can be used. For medium to thick hair, use the Mask. For medium to thick hair that requires even more TLC, use both the Conditioner and Mask.
  • Apply evenly on towel-dried hair after rinsing Shampoo. Allow the Conditioner to process for 1 minute, or the Mask to process for at least 1 minute, up to 15 minutes. If using both, apply Conditioner first, rinse, then apply the Mask.
  • Rinse thoroughly and style as desired.


“Something I really like is that Metal Detox does not add additional time to my service,” said Washington Nunnes (@wnunnes), expert colorist. “It also has no impact on the texture of my lightener or on my color formulas. This is crucial for pros.”


“Metal Detox is just WOW!” – @kflondon


How To Charge For Metal Detox

Offering game-changing technology can absolutely increase your service prices and drive profits. Here are two ways you can charge for the 3-step, in-salon Metal Detox treatment:


In-Salon Service: Whether you offer Metal Detox as an optional add-on or build it into every color service, make sure you charge properly.

  • Recommended price per service: $30-$40
  • 1 set of Metal Detox has 35 applications = Potential $1,060 in profit


At-Home Retail Offering: Prescribe your clients the Shampoo and Mask to use at-home and maintain their results.

  • Shampoo: Stylist’s price = $16 / Client’s price = $32
  • Mask: Stylist’s price = $22.50 / Client’s price = $45
  • Selling both retail products to 35 clients = $1,347.50


Total Profit from Metal Detox:

In-Salon Service Profit = 1,060.00

Retail To 35 Clients = $1,347.50

TOTAL = $2,407.50


“The tonal clarity & hair strength is amazing!” – @sebastiancolorist


See how Metal Detox can help you and your clients!

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