Despite the winds and pouring rain, hair stylists, colourists and their supporters trekked out to The Warehouse Event Venue in Downsview Park, Toronto this week for the annual L’Oréal Professionnel Color Trophy Canada semi-finals. In the competition, select hair professionals from across Canada perform their craft in one of five semi-final events (B.C., the Prairies, Quebec, Ontario and the Maritimes) for a spot in the finals in June.
While the audience gorged on ravioli, beef sliders and mushroom risotto appetizers, the presentation began with several hair demonstrations by some of the leading L’Oréal Professionnel stylists, who cut and styled hair onstage for everyone to see. The intensity and enthusiasm of some of the models left us giggling in our seats, but many of the hairstyles were quite unique—including sewn-in braids, a knotted style with a halo of frizzed curls around the neck, an asymmetrical bob and a ropey faux-hawk warrior-princess look. The hair colours, which were completed before the show, were multi-dimensional and included soft ombrés and subtle highlights, plus some gorgeous red hues.
After the demos, the semi-finalists came onstage in three categories: Color Trophy (Women’s), Men’s Color and Next Generation (in which no member of the team has ever competed in the event). Each team, with a model, colourist, stylist and make-up artist, had already completed their look earlier that day and undergone scrutiny by a panel of judges. Hands-down the best look of the night (in our humble opinion) went to the top-scoring Next Generation colour and style. It featured a white-blond crop with wavy curls dusted in a pastel hue above the forehead and a buzz cut along the lower half of the head.
Out of the 37 teams, 13 were selected to move on to the finals, which will take place June 9 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. At the event, an additional category of 10 competitors—for The L’Oréal Masters Award—will have 30 minutes in front of the audience to complete an editorial hairstyle on a randomly selected model. The Color Trophy winners receive prizes such as a trip to Paris to compete in the Haute Coiffure Française competition and a cover of Canadian Hairdresser for the top look.