The 5 Rules of Metallic Hair Color

According to the trend experts at Matrix, there’s a gorgeous shift to a new look in hair color. More sophisticated than vivid hair color, but with more impact than pastel hair color, metallic hair color is the chic girl’s solution to unconventional hair color. Here are five rules for acing the metallic hair color trend, according to Matrix pros.

Pick your Shade Wisely
With metallic hair color, as with any hair color, the basic rules of shade selection apply. The color should flatter the wearer’s skin tone and eye color. People with cool undertones in their skin will be enhanced by metallic hair colors on the cool side of the spectrum, like silvery and platinum tones. Those with warm undertones should opt for warm metallic hair colors like gold, bronze or copper tones. One exception is people with neutral skin tones. These folks can go either way—cool hair color or warm hair color are equally flattering.

Shine Above All
The star of any metallic hair color design is hair shine. The right formula and the right hair color products go a long way to producing gleaming hair, but they won’t do any good if hair isn’t healthy, lustrous and strong. Using a bond-repair product like Matrix Bond in hair color formulas will retain the integrity of hair—it will repair the structural bonds that are damaged during the coloring process.

Metallic Balayage is Everything
Balayage is the modern way to highlight hair—it’s a technique that involves hand-painting the surface of the hair with lightener or hair color to approximate a natural, sun-kissed effect. According to Matrix Celebrity Stylist and balayage pioneer George Papanikolas, balayage highlights are narrow at the top of the head and gradually widen as they progress down the strand—this V-shape gives them a natural look. Balayaging hair with metallic shades like rose gold or silver creates that same, sunlit look, using a more sophisticated hair color palette. Metallic balayage highlights can be added to a conventional-toned base or incorporated into an all-over metallic hair color effect.

Leave It to a Pro
On the hair color sophistication scale, metallic hair color design is pretty advanced. Shade selection, formulation and color placement can all go terribly wrong if not done by someone with skill and experience. So, advises Papanikolas, it’s best to leave metallic hair color to a hair color professional. “He or she will be able to create a look that’s elegant and sophisticated,” he says, “in shades that are perfect for your hair and your complexion.”

Handle it With Care
It’s smart to maximize any hair color investment by coddling that hair color at home. Matrix Artistic Director Robert Santana recommends using natural origin sulfate- and paraben-free shampoos and conditioners like Biolage R.A.W. Color that are expressly designed for color-treated hair. “These very ‘clean’ formulas with no artificial ingredients leave colored hair feeling soft and velvety, and they won’t strip away the hair color,” he explains.

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