Shiny hair is synonymous with health, youth and vitality. (And did we mention it’s incredibly sexy, too?) If you’re friendly with your hairdryer, flat iron or colourist, you may think shiny hair is out of your reach. But follow these tips and you’ll be on your way to luscious, glossy locks, fast!
The Products You Need
- Know your hair type: For fine hair, use spray volumizers with shine “ you don’t want to weigh down your delicate hair. Gel or cream products work well on normal hair. If your hair is thick or coarse, try a pomade.
- Remove build-up: If you have very oily hair, use a clarifying shampoo once or twice a week. This is also a good idea if you use more than one product on your hair daily, as product build-up can dull shine. Make your own clarifying shampoo by adding a tablespoon of baking powder to your everyday shampoo.
- Add moisture: Leave your conditioner in for at least 30 seconds, even if it is an instant conditioner. Use a hair masque or deep conditioning treatment once a week (twice a week if your hair is coloured or permed).
- Go easy on the styling products: Using too many styling products can coat your hair and make it look dull. If you can get away with it, try to use just one. Experiment and see if you really need a volumizing spray, styling mousse, hair-straightening gloss and hairspray!
Washing Your Hair
- How often to wash your hair: How frequently you need to shampoo depends on your hair type and habits. Very fine hair may need a wash every day, especially if you use more than one styling product, as build-up can reduce shine. However, some hair types benefit from letting the natural oils build up (and also giving strands a break from the blow dryer and flat iron). Experiment to see what suits your hair best.
- Be gentle: When you towel-dry your hair, blot it like you’re handling an expensive antique”don’t scrub like you’re towelling off your dog. The key to shiny hair is a smooth cuticle, so don’t rough up your tresses.
- Sleep well: Investing in satin pillowcases will decrease the friction of your hair against your pillow and reduce frizz.
- Cool down: After blow-drying, switch your hairdryer to the cool setting and give your hair a blast of cold air”this seals the cuticle for a smoother, shinier finish.
- Check your water: If you have hard water, it can leave your hair rough. Consider purchasing a water softener for your home, or even a filter that fits on top of your shower nozzle.
- Brush carefully: Use a natural boar bristle brush for super shine. Boar bristle brushes will smooth your cuticles and evenly distribute your hair’s natural oils.
- Protect your hair: Invest in products with built-in heat protection to help counteract any appliances you use on your hair. Just be careful of product overload.
- Go natural: If you’re spending a quiet Saturday at home, let your hair dry naturally. The more you damage your hair with heat, the less it will shine.
Colouring Your Hair
- Go dark: Dark hair reflects light much better than lighter shades. But if you combine your blonde hair with dark and light strands (think low lights as well as highlights), you can have as much shine as your brunette sisters.
Home Remedies for Shiny Hair
- Homemade hair rinse: If you’re blonde, add one or two tablespoons of lemon juice to your final rinse. Apple cider vinegar works for brown or red hair.
- Homemade hair masque: Mash up a cup of whole strawberries with a spoonful of mayonnaise. Spread this on your hair while it is damp (not soaking wet), and then cover your hair with a shower cap and a warm towel. After a few minutes, gently wash the mixture out.
- Watch your diet: A good diet is important for shiny hair. Make sure you get enough protein, and also eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, almonds and avocados.