Flare Was There: L'Oréal Color Trophy

We get an up-close look at the world of competitive hairstyling

Beneath a misty veil and the spotlights’ beams, 18 competitors race to create an award-worthy masterpiece. Their materials? Hair. The mist? Hairspray. Welcome to the world of competitive hairstyling.

Though the contest may sound unlikely, as witnessed from our front row seats at the Palais des Congrès in Montreal, it’s very serious. The L’Oréal Color Trophy, now celebrating its 15th anniversary, brings together the top talents from salons across the country for what could be considered the couture of hair.

This year was no exception, especially given the new partnership with top Canadian designers, including Denis Gagnon, Paul Hardy and Izma. For the presentation segment of the show, the designers were paired with a member of L’Oréal Professionnel’s Canadian Artistic Committee to interpret the theme of “primitive beauty.” The results, gravity-defying texture and vivid orange-red hues, were nothing short of spectacular.

The awe-inducing creations continued throughout the night. During the competitive portion of the evening, where we saw stunning styles that were four hours in the making. The big winner of the night was Quebec’s Le Salon Sugar, which took home Editor’s Choice, Best Photo Photo Entry, Regional Winner Quebec plus the top prize, the Color Trophy.

The night ended with the international artistic presentation, featuring hairstyling heavyweight Christophe Gaillet, who has been styling strands around the globe for 20 years, and has collaborated with Lanvin, Balenciaga, Nina Ricci and more. We saw the mane genius transform a colossal poufy updo into the perfect evening bob in mere minutes. As the over-the-top spectacle came to a close, we left feeling primed and pumped for this week’s couture shows in Paris.