You know those moments in life when you're caught off guard because you envisioned something in your head, and the reality turns out to be the complete opposite?
Well, that's exactly what happened to me when I attended the 2013 L'Oréal Color Trophy hairdressing finale at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre last month.
Admittedly, I didn't know much about the event before I accepted the invitation to attend on behalf of beautyeditor. I thought I would go into a room, a few hairdressers would be circling around hair models in their chairs, everyone would vote and then boom! The winner would be chosen. A few cocktails afterwards, and I'd be on my way.
Um... can I just exclaim how WRONG I was? And I should have known. This is L'Oréal we're talking about. Go big or go home.
The Color Trophy is one of Canada's top hairdressing competitions, where the best hairstylists from across the country gather to show off their creativity and extravagance live on stage, with the winner being crowned at the end of the night. Usually, it's held in Quebec, but this was the first time the show came to Toronto.
When I arrived, the excitement was palpable. I knew I had underestimated things simply by the way people were buzzing about the entrance. Everyone, it seemed, was done up in a dazzling array of colour, glitter and sparkles—from hair to eyeshadow to outfits!
I was greeted by the sweet PR girls from 1Milk2Sugars, and then taken backstage for a hair touch-up by Luis, the L'Oréal Professionnel hairstylist. That's where I had my first glimpse at the hair models, who were rocking some serious hair art. Can you believe these hairstyles?
My 'do was much more tame in comparison. Luis gave me a little extra volume to give my hair some more ‘oomph.’
The best part about this extra volume is it hides my roots!
Later, I joined the rest of the media ladies at the champagne reception—and it wasn't just any regular champagne, we're talking Moët! While getting to know a few of the players in the game, I couldn't help but notice how eccentric the attendees were. I shouldn't have been surprised, of course; they're hairstylists and being creative is what they do!
As I was sipping my Moët, I was really happy that heels and a dress are my mandate for most events, because if I had come in anything less, I may have been laughed out of the building. The amount of styling, priming and detail put into the event reflected the exact same amount of work that the guests and hairstylists had put into their hair and matching outfits. Check out the stylish crowd:
After mingling (and ogling), we were ushered into a hall with a huge glittering stage and dozens of dinner tables. It was like a wedding reception for a very prominent guest.
My table: right next to the stage.
Look how happy I am at the very cool press table!
The spectacular show started with the Masters Competition Finale. Eight finalists had 30 minutes to showcase their talents by styling a model's hair, whom they had never seen before. The models all came out in metallic hooded cloaks, revealing long, luscious brown hair that had probably never known a bad colour job. We were transfixed watching the masters do their work (no scissors!) and crowded around the stage to see the transformation.
The stylist closest to our table, Toronto-based Brennan Demelo (whose name you may recognize from a few beautyeditor vids!), had a rock-star attitude and a hairstyle to go with it. He totally shocked. For the next 25 minutes, he ravaged his model's hair, going through a formula of teasing and hairspraying. Her hair was unrecognizable at the end and stood triumphantly up on top of her head. Brennan dropped the hairspray and strutted off stage. It was impressive for sure, but I couldn't help but feel bad for the girl, knowing what she'd have to go through later on. "I hope they give her a bag of detangler" was one of the comments from my table. Ha!
In the end, Silas Tsang, co-owner of Blushes salon in Ottawa, was crowned the winner.
Next up, we got a sneak peek at fall trends from L'Oréal Professionnel's international ambassador Eric Zemmour. He wowed the crowd by taking a model's long blonde hair and chopping it into a beautiful bob—in just 10 minutes.
After a runway show of over-the-top hairstyle designs, Guylaine Martel Artistes Coiffeurs won the esteemed Color Trophy title:
And here's what I got from watching these hairstylists in action. They're not only good—they're visionaries. They see more than just hair. To them, hair is a canvas, a chance to take an idea and not only think outside the box, but completely reinvent the box. And they're rewarded for it.
Attending this event took me out of my comfort zone of layered, blown-out hair, and for a brief moment I thought to myself, "Well, if they can do it, maybe I should let my hairstylists go wild on me too!"
On a sidenote, I left the event with a gift bag containing L'Oréal Profesionnel's new Mythic Oil haircare line.
I have very damaged hair—a long story I'll tell you someday!—and am cautious with the products I put in my hair. But I decided to give the Mythic Oil original Nourishing Oil a try. Honestly, I am in love. Combined with my Kérastase leave-in conditioner, it actually makes my coarse hair feel soft, and I'm able to style it easier now as well.
So overall, a wildly fun night. But aren't the nights you weren't expecting anything from always the best ones?
Have you ever been to an event like this?
Do you let your hair people be creative or do you always reign 'em in?
Have you tried the Mythic Oil range yet?