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Our Head of Content shares her complete L'Oreal Professionnel Metal Detox review.

Hard Water Was Wrecking My Hair: This Detoxifying Trio Brought It Back to Life

Are minerals and heavy metals in your water affecting your hair? One writer tries L’Oréal Professionnel Serie Metal Detox to see if it’s the solution to her hard water woes.
L’Oreal Professionnel Metal Detox Shampoo, Hair Mask and Oil Review
Ashley Niedringhaus

I live in New York City, which means I’m no stranger to hard water. I can handle a lot of New York’s famously hard things—like finding an apartment with a washer and dryer and hailing a cab in the rain—but the hard water is something I’m not down to deal with. So, when I was given the opportunity to try the L’Oréal Professionnel Metal Detox system courtesy of the brand, I seized it—even if the New Yorker in me was skeptical of its detoxing abilities.

The thing about hard water is that it can really mess with your hair. The minerals and heavy metals in it can cause your hair to become dry, brittle, brassy, and dull. Another not-great side effect: It can leave your scalp feeling itchy and flaky. After dealing with postpartum hair loss and breakage last year, I was not jazzed about returning to that dark place because of my zip code.

My chest-length long hair is very thick, and the weight of my locks turns my naturally soft waves into a chaotic mess of frizz, for which I usually turn to my plethora of anti-frizz products.

Keep reading for my full review of the line and learn why, for the first time in my life, I am looking forward to wash day.

What Does L'Oréal Metal Detox Do?

With its dulling, color-fading effects, hard water can make good hair days hard to come by. (A friend of mine once resorted to shampooing with bottled water before a big event because she was desperate to escape the havoc hard water was wreaking on her hair.) L’Oréal Professionnel Metal Detox is here to help—no bottled water needed.

This multi-step system is designed to detoxify hair and neutralize metals trapped inside the hair fiber to protect the vibrancy of your hair color while maintaining the softness and nourishment you love. Ahead, learn more about the products that make up this collection and discover how they can help revive the appearance of your tired tresses.

L'Oréal Professionnel Metal Detox Anti-Porosity Filler Pre-Shampoo Treatment

When I asked a coworker with healthy-looking, long hair what her secret was, she said she adds a pre-shampoo treatment to her wash day routine. The thought of fending off breakage and having stronger hair was enough to make me eager to give it a shot. And trying the Metal Detox collection gave me the perfect opportunity to put a pre-shampoo (or, as my coworker cheekily referred to it, “pre-poo”) to the test. This particular treatment claims to offer approximately 96% less breakage and 72 hours of hydration and smoothness.

L'Oréal Professionnel Metal Detox Anti-Metal Cleansing Cream Shampoo

This OMG-worthy shampoo envelops hair in a nourishing lather and provides a gentle cleanse that leaves your hair stronger, 2x shinier*, and with 87% less breakage.** The formula’s highly conditioning sulfate-free technology also helps your salon color stay vibrant and last longer. Plus, it’s suitable for all hair types and textures—making it a thoughtful addition to your guest bathroom if you have hard water.

*Instrumental test: Metal Detox pre-treatment + technical procedure + shampoo + mask.

** No impact on lift, and optimized color uptake.

L'Oréal Professionnel Metal Detox Protecting Mask

Remember that postpartum hair loss I mentioned? After seeing my naturally thick locks shed and break for the first time ever, I really began to see my haircare routine as an opportunity for self-care. Enter: The L'Oréal Professionnel Metal Detox Mask. It protects the hair fiber from particle deposits. Hair is instantly smoother, softer, and more nourished. It’s also sulfate-free, color-safe, and suitable for all hair types. This mask is the perfect follow-up to the Metal Detox Shampoo to really double down on detoxifying your hair from damaging metals.

L'Oréal Professionnel Metal Detox Protecting Concentrated Oil

I’ve dabbled with hair oils over the years but never stuck with anything consistently. The biggest (and most pleasant) surprise for me was how quickly this oil absorbed into my post-blowout hair. When I styled soft waves in my hair, I noticed they were a little bouncier—and felt more nourished. Pro tip: you can also use the oil before you style for added shine and heat protection up to 450oF.

L'Oréal Professionnel Metal Detox Anti-Metal High Protection Cream

For intense moisture and strength—plus heat and UV protection—spread the L'Oréal Professionnel Anti-Metal High Protection Cream evenly from mid-lengths to ends before styling. Concentrated with 1% glicoamine, this high-protection leave-in cream removes metal* in hair and protects it from new particle deposits to stop breakage and color shift. Although color improvement isn’t a factor for me because I’m currently sporting my natural color, my waves were left more defined after air drying.

*Instrumental test after 10 applications.

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Serie Metal Detox to see if it’s the solution to her hard water woes.

My L'Oréal Professionnel Metal Detox Review

I’ve spent the last year(ish) transitioning my hair from highlighted bright blonde to its natural light brown shade. When I began using this system, I had a tiny bit of color left at the ends. My stylist would use a hair gloss to neutralize it, making the difference in shades barely noticeable. So, while I’m not running to the salon for regular color as I had been before, it’s important to call out how color-friendly this regimen is for those who color their hair.

Now that the pre-shampoo has entered the line, it’s become a go-to in my routine. It’s recommended to divide your hair into two sections and work two to four pumps in per side. My hair is thick, and I find that working two pumps per side creates a lather, which I work into my length and ends. When it comes to pre-shampoos, they’re a mix of leave-in or rinse out. This one is a leave-in.

After using the pre-shampoo, I dispense a quarter-size dollop of the shampoo once every two or three days, and I love how it instantly lathers into a rich foam. After shampooing my hair, I give it a good, worry-free rinse because I know the creamy cleanser will continue detoxifying my hair from the hard water. Then, I gently squeeze out the excess water from the ends of my long hair.

When I have time for a hair mask, I scoop out a small amount of this mask and use the rich cream to coat my hair from mid-shaft downward, concentrating on my extra-dry ends. Three to five minutes later, I like to use a cool rinse to wash it out. I won’t lie: I have become mildly obsessed with how smooth my hair is immediately after rinsing out the product.

The Anti-Metal High Protection Cream comes in handy on days I don’t use the mask: I love the time-saving nature of the product. My shower routine is faster since the cream does all the conditioning I need post-shower. ​I initially applied two pumps to my towel-dried hair, but it felt like way too much for my thick, long locks—one pump or a little less is just right for me.

When I use the cream, I start by raking it from my mid-lengths to ends, moving any leftover product upward but avoiding my roots. The biggest improvement has been in my brittle, broken ends that desperately need a trim. They are much smoother, and overall, the cream helps with the frizz factor when I air-dry my hair.

I finish my look with the oil, and two pumps are enough to give my mid-shaft and ends additional frizz protection and a boost of just-from-the-salon shine. At the advice of the brand, I warm the oil in my hands before applying it, which I find helps give me an even distribution.

Before the shampoo, conditioning mask, and leave-in cream entered my routine, I would use seven to 10 spritzes of a lightweight defrizzing oil on my damp hair before brushing out the tangles. Now, my hair only needs three to four spritzes of this innovative oil.

Overall, my hair, like my mood on wash day, is light and bouncy. And that friend who used bottled water to wash her hair? I already ordered her a set of Metal Detox.

Next Up: Hard Water Vs. Soft Water: How Each Can Affect Your Hair

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