I Tried a Metal Detox and I *Still* Can’t Get Over How Soft My Hair Feels

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Let me start by saying that my hair hates moisture. As a low porosity gal, my curls take a while to soak up products. And as a beauty writer, I’m constantly trying out new things to keep the moisture at bay. Basically, there’s a lot of trial and error involved with my hair and sometimes all of that testing means more frizz, dryness and dullness. Which is why I jumped at the chance to try a metal detox treatment, which is supposed to bring back shine, moisture and softness to my natural hair.

Now, I know what you’re thinking right about now, what the heck is a metal detox? “A metal detox is L’Oréal Professionnel’s innovative pre-treatment designed to be used with all color services and color brands,” explains Min Kim, a celebrity colorist at Butterfly Studio and L’Oréal Professionnel Global ambassador. “It prevents breakage by neutralizing metals with glicoamine, which is a molecule that’s small enough to penetrate inside the hair fiber. As a result, your hair color lasts longer, hair is shinier and [your strands] are less likely to break.”

Yup, we all have metal in our hair. "The amount varies depending on where you live, your hair porosity and what type of water [quality] you have, which tends to affect your hair color as well,” says Kim. “Basically, if your water passes through pipes, you are definitely depositing metals into your hair, which can lead to breakage and unreliable color results.”

After talking to Kim, there was no doubt in my mind that my hair was filled with metal. As I sat on the salon chair, looking at my tangled, dry curls staring back at me, I had high hopes for the detox.

metal detox treatment neutralizer spray
L’Oréal Professionnel Dream Salon

First, Kim applied the metal neutralizer spray all over my hair. She worked through every section until my hair was completely damp. This pre-treatment prepares and protects strands before any coloring (i.e. single process, gloss or balayage). As the name implies, the spray neutralizes the metal in your hair and begins the detoxifying process. Once it was distributed all over, she ran a detangler brush through and I moved on to the next step: the hair gloss.

metal detox treatment hair gloss
L’Oréal Professionnel Dream Salon

This temporary color treatment, specifically the Clear Dialight Gloss, is known to work wonders for shine and boost color. Combined with the neutralizer spray, the gloss was better able to seep through my strands without any barriers. The combo kept my hair protected for the washing stage.

metal detox treatment cleansing cream shampoo
L’Oréal Professionnel Dream Salon

After the gloss sat in my hair for ten minutes, Kim rinsed and applied the cleansing cream shampoo. Kim suggests using a quarter-sized amount on damp hair (and adding another dollop if you don’t wash your hair as frequently). The sulfate-free formula gently cleansed and removed any metals from my locks. As she worked the shampoo into my hair, my scalp started to feel more refreshed and hydrated. Even after rinsing, my strands didn’t feel dry or brittle.

When it comes to hair masks, I know I can rely on them to work wonders in bringing life back to my curls and this anti-deposit protector mask definitely delivered. The whole collection shares the same goal of removing the metals from your hair, but the mask takes things a step further and prevents new metal particles from sticking to your strands. Similar to the shampoo, Kim recommends using a quarter-sized amount of the mask before rinsing and detangling.

And the kicker? Every product in the line has a subtle yet calming scent of vanilla and jasmine. It’s not overpowering and doesn’t leave a chemically trail behind.

metal detox treatment hair
L’Oréal Professionnel Dream Salon

After another rinse, I returned to the salon chair in awe. If I was skeptical about metal detoxes before, all of that went out the window because my hair looked different. You couldn’t deny the shine and the comb really glided through my strands without any effort. My curl pattern and natural hue were refreshed. My hair also felt so much lighter now that it wasn’t weighed down by all the styling products and metals. Honestly, where has metal detoxing been all my life?

metal detox treatment steampod
L’Oréal Professionnel Dream Salon

To complete the treatment, my hair was dried with a blow dryer before going through a Steampod, which looks like a regular flat iron but uses steam to dry and set your strands. “The power of steam and the detachable comb are what leaves your hair healthier looking and super shiny,” Kim adds. “Also, the comb helps reduce the number of passes you need to make through the lengths.” As a curly gal who rarely uses heat (#teamairdry), this method puts my worries of causing excessive damage to rest (and I may have become a new fan of the hair steaming craze).

metal detox treatment results
L’Oréal Professionnel Dream Salon

Once Kim finished, I didn’t know what to thank her for first. The color? The shine? The length? When I ran my own fingers through my silky strands, I was blown away by the softness. Boy, I never knew my hair could feel this smooth. I was ready to star in my very own L’Oréal hair commercial. The way my hair glistened and moved effortlessly was a far cry from the usual static and lackluster strands I walked into the salon with.

You would think a treatment labelled “detox” would strip everything away, but it did the complete opposite. It added back so much life and movement to my hair. No more dryness or dullness here. I foresee super soft and shiny hair from here on out (especially since I now have the collection and my very own Steampod at home).

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Beauty & Cultures Editor, Ultimate Fangirl, NY Native

Chelsea Candelario is a Beauty & Cultures Editor at PureWow. She has been covering beauty, culture, fashion and entertainment for over a decade. You'll find her searching the...