Glitterage: What Is It And How To Get The Look | Hair.com

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Glitterage: What Is It And How To Get The Look

18 July 2018
photo of woman's hair with glitterage
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Emily Arata

Senior Editor, Hair.com

As an employee of L’Oréal, Emily works with celebrity stylists to make finding the right cut, color, or style easier than ever before. She's previously written for Allure, Elite Daily, and First We Feast.

Is there anything better than glitter? Sparkly, multifaceted paillettes can transform the simplest cocktail dress or hair accessory into a party-ready smash hit. If you’ve ever wanted to add glitter to your hair for a special event, you’re in luck: Glitterage, the art of applying sparkle to hair, can get you there.

During festival season, we saw glitterage pop up all over social media. It’s a low risk, high reward way to make your ‘do feel extra special for a fancy occasion. As an added bonus, it looks killer on social media (we see you, sparkle-enhancing apps).

Read on to find out how to make glitterage hair color work for you.

What is glitterage?

Glitterage is named for the popular hair color technique balayage, a French-inspired method of freehand painting color onto hair. It leaves behind natural-looking, beautifully blended color that grows out without a ton of touchup effort. Unlike hair color, glitterage is usually accomplished with the aid of temporary styling product that already contains glitter—usually gel or putty, but some formulas also come in an aerosol formula.

Using a specialty brush, your pro can apply glitter in bright streaks throughout your hair. If you have a naturally dark base with rose gold highlights, applying glitter to the lightest pieces will have the most striking visual impact. We can all appreciate a dramatic hair moment, right?

When your concert is over and the night is done, all you need to do is step into the shower to rid yourself of your fantastical glitter hair. No commitment, no problem!

What’s the best way to apply glitterage?

If you’ve invested time and money achieving the perfect hair color with the help of your stylist, your first move should be to give them a call. Don’t risk staining or damaging your dreamy honey blonde for a few hours of fun!

Once you have your stylist’s blessing to go ahead and glitter, there are a wide range of product options at your fingertips. We love Unicorn Snot Holographic Glitter Gel, which is available in five colors for face, body, and hair. Brite Organix’s Glitter Up and Urban Outftters Disco Shimmer Hair + Body Glitter Gel are also quality picks.

If this is your first time working with hair glitter, we’d recommend pulling your hair into a braid or updo that you’ll keep in all day. Gels can leave your hair texture harder than you’re used to, so a defined style will help you resist the temptation to run your fingers through the glittery sections.

Using a brush or a gloved hand (glitter may stick to your bare fingers), apply the glitter gel to the lightest sections of your hair. Aim for concentration in the areas you choose rather than attempting to cover your entire head with glitter. When in doubt, be sure you’re following the directions printed on your glitter gel’s packaging.

To wash the glitter out of your hair, any salon shampoo and conditioner will do (we love Matrix Exquisite Oil Micro-Oil Shampoo and Conditioner). Take your time and gently massage your scalp, making sure to rinse your hair until the water runs clear. You may discover a few flakes of glitter scattered across your bathtub in the days following your glitterage experiment, but it’s a small price to pay for feeling like a glamazon.

If you’re interested in customized festival hair recommendations, use our salon locator to book an appointment with a stylist near you.

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