Longing for the lustrous hair seen plastered on magazine advertisements and primetime television spots? Shiny hair adds natural dimension and highlighting while enhancing radiance, so your #hairgoals are logical. But, you don’t have to be an A-lister to get glossy hair.
First, a short background on what makes hair pop: naturally shiny hair is often associated with scalp, follicle and cellular health. Truthfully, straight hair shines more because the cuticle lies flat, creating a better surface to reflect light. If your locks aren’t ultra-glossy, it’s not necessarily because your scalp is lacking the proper nutrients.
Keep in mind, however, if you abuse hot styling tools or color your hair often, you may be losing sheen due to damage. Or, you may have the opposite problem – too much grease due to overproduction of oil or misuse of hair products. The primary goal is to produce gloss, not grease. Follow these easy haircare steps for shiny, healthy hair:
- Use sulfate-free shampoos: Shampoos that “lather-up” may make you feel squeaky clean, but they aren’t good for your hair. These harsh cleansers strip your scalp of its natural oils, drying strands out and increasing overall dullness. In addition to minimizing shine, sulfates create additional frizz and pouf for individuals with hard-to-manage hair.
- Deep condition regularly: Hair masks do wonders for gloomy ‘dos. Unlike conditioners used regularly after shampooing, a hair mask is a deep conditioning treatment that can be applied once per week. While highly beneficial, deep conditioning treatments contain high levels of butters, oils and silicones that weigh hair down if used too often. We’re not sure what’s worse, dry or flat hair, so moderation is key.
- Rinse with cool water: While not the most comfortable feeling after a comforting hot shower, we recommend rinsing your hair out with cool water for a few seconds as the final step in your washing routine. While warm water opens the hair cuticle up to absorb shampoo and conditioner, cold water closes the cuticle and seals moisture in. Make sure you aren’t rinsing with ice-cold water that constricts the blood capillaries on your scalp, which could limit proper blood flow needed for hair growth. You can also use the “cool shot” setting on your blow-dryer to create a similar effect.
- Use silicone products: Silicone gets a bad reputation due to its association with household plastic materials. But, the mineral offers many haircare benefits, including heat protection, easy de-tangling and added luster. Unlike gels and sprays that stiffen locks, silicone-based serums absorb well to encourage radiance well after application. In addition to creating shinier hair, silicone sprays and creams keep frizz-prone locks manageable in humid climates. Keep in mind, overusing silicone haircare products can make hair look limp or lifeless, so a pea-sized amount is more than enough.