How To: Get Seriously Shiny Hair

{Image from Allure magazine}

I am a sucker for shiny, illustrious hair. You know the kind. Hair so shiny you can almost see your reflection in it. I think it’s the epitome of hair health. If hair is shiny it’s healthy, or so it would appear. In my quest to possess shiny and healthy hair I’ve learned a few things over the years. There are some simple ways to obtain shampoo commercial worthy hair of your very own.

Prep and prime. Prior to showering or washing your hair, I would advise that you brush it out. This will not only eliminate snarls and tangles but it will stimulate your scalp and help remove any dirt or flakes. The brushing will also help take the oils from your scalp down to where it is needed most, your ends.

Lather up. Just like with facial cleansers, shampoos are not created equal. On the days you shampoo {and yes your colorist will back me up on this, you shouldn’t be washing daily} reach for one that is opaque in color. Bonus, if it shimmers in the light. You want a conditioning shampoo with added hydrating ingredients {opaque} and light reflectors {sparkle}. You want your hair to be soft and silky; look for shampoos that fit the bill.

Soften strands. I love me some conditioner. With my hair I go through a lot of it, so I prefer liter sizes whenever possible. When it comes to conditioner there are two things to remember. One, you should always follow up your shampoo with a conditioner, they are meant to go together. Like chocolate and peanut butter. Two, you can’t just squirt it on all over and rinse it out immediately. Conditioner is lovely, but it can weigh down the roots and make them appear greasy. Aim to apply your conditioner from your ears down, or gather your hair up like you are putting it into a ponytail. That’s where you need to focus your conditioning efforts, ear level to tips. If you’re one of those lucky girls that can get away with conditioning your scalp as well, Mazel {and I’m jealous}. But for those of us with a lot of hair, or hair that is prone to be oily, conditioning at the roots will only weigh hair down. Give your conditioner time to penetrate, I like to put my conditioner in and then shave my legs or pumice my feet {all about efficiency}.

Slippery when wet. Your hair is never more fragile than when it is wet. I remember watching in horror as girls would tear through their wet hair with brushes after swim class. No. No. No! Brushes will cause your wet, delicate strands to snag and snap. Broken off hair is ragged, damaged, and unhealthy looking. If your hair is ragged it cannot reflect light, period. So please, I beg of you, brush only when your hair is dry. Use a wide tooth plastic comb or 80’s pick {yeah I still have one, or two} to unfurl post shower tangles.

Color me shiny. I’m going to make this really simple. If your hair is color treated and darker in color, it will reflect light more easily and appear shinier than those with lighter or bleached locks *sigh* Color actually goes in and helps fill in the hair cuticle, making it lying flat and thereby reflecting more light and shine. It’s the same principle behind using a flat iron for sleek and glossy strands. Something to think about.

The cut. Having a rather thick head of hair, with lots of it, I’ve seen many a cutting instrument in my day. None I fear more than the razor. These tools used to “thin out” the hair, and give it layered looks, do more harm than good. Razors leave the hair cuticle frayed, and as you just read jagged and ragged hair equals dry and lacking in luster. Plus, razors can set your hair up to becoming more damaged as time marches on. If your hairstylist approaches you with a razor, politely decline. Good, sharp scissors can give you the layers you crave without the damage.

Au naturel. I know this may not be easy, but try and give your hair a break whenever possible. If you can get away with not heat styling, go for it. Your hair will thank you. If you want waves try braiding your hair while it’s damp with leave in conditioner. If you want volume, try putting all your hair on top of your head {a la I Dream of Jeannie style} with an 80’s hair scrunchie to avoid dents go to bed, and wake up with voluminous locks. I blow dry my hair myself maybe once a year, and my stylists do it whenever I get my hair cut or colored. It’s not a noble pursuit in hair health, it’s simply because I am limited in my hair abilities.

Go glazed. Whether you color your hair or not, everyone can benefit from a glossing treatment. Your hair colorist will apply a semi-permanent clear treatment to fill in the hair cuticle and really bump up the shine. The effects of which vary depending on how often you wash your hair {and with what}, but it should last for 4-6 weeks. Glosses are usually applied after hair color or highlights as they help to preserve your color, but you can go for a treatment in between color visits. Drugstore at home glossing treatments are also a good option, I really like John Frieda Luminous Color Glaze Clear Shine.

Sparkle and shine. Lightweight styling serums and shine sprays are important tools to have in your arsenal if you want ridiculously shiny hair. Following the conditioner application method {midshaft to ends} to avoid looking greasy and combing through to really boost your hair’s radiance. Use a light hand; you can always apply more if needed.

What are some of your favorite shiny hair tips?

{Image from Glamour Magazine}

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7 Responses to How To: Get Seriously Shiny Hair

  1. KathyM says:

    You do have really shinny hair BreB, thanks for the tips :)

  2. Jen says:

    Now this is my kind of post! My hair usually looks dull and dry so I need all the help that I can get!

  3. […] and condition as usual seeing how my hair is already wet. No matter your shampooing preference, shiny and healthy hair will always be in […]

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    […] waiting game can feel like an eternity. Don’t despair, with the right foods, supplements, and proper hair care you can boost your […]

  6. This amazing! so many great tips! I never knew that you should not brush your hair when wet. I never thought about using a glaze, that is great idea to try out sometime.

  7. Jennifer says:

    I have very unruly, thick coarse hair that frizzes out no matter what. After endless searching, I have found my holy grail and it’s 100% natural and cheap. Instead of the hair care aisle, go to your nearest grocery store, and purchase some extra virgin coconut oil. After you wash and condition your hair and it’s still damp, put about a quarter size amount of coconut oil in your palm (if it’s not melted when you put it in your hand, rub it around a bit and the heat from your hand should melt it) and then sparingly add to hair focusing of course on the mid-to-bottom of hair shaft. If you apply it to your roots, you will be a grease ball, so trust me, keep it on the lower regions and don’t use a ton. It may take a few times to know the exact amount of coconut oil you need so you don’t overdo it, but when you get it right, you won’t believe how soft and shiny your hair is. You have to give it a try!

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