Beauty standards may vary, but one thing is consistent: nothing says “healthy, gorgeous hair” like shine. Out of curiosity, I did a quick Google search for “how to get shinier hair,” just to see how common this beauty debacle really is, and how many different tips and tricks were recommended to deal with it. As expected, I was greeted (and frankly, very overwhelmed) with almost four million results. It seems like there’s no shortage of recommendations — everything from fancy products to DIY, at-home attempts, to clearly Photoshopped magic cures that promised instant model hair. But in an effort to simplify, I wanted to narrow down the tips to the easiest ones possible; how could I guarantee that I'd get beautiful, shiny hair, without having to go overboard on switching up my beauty (and morning) routine?
Whether you have tightly wound coils or pin-straight locks, your inner health and beauty regimen are best reflected through the shine of your hair. But for some of us, it doesn’t necessarily come naturally — I may rarely heat style my wavy hair, but my dry ends need some additional TLC when it comes to achieving their optimal shine levels. Lucky for me (and those aforementioned very dry ends), getting shiny hair just requires a little tweaking of your beauty regimen, simpler styling, and the right finishing touches. Here are our top ten tips for getting the shiny, beautiful hair you’ve been looking for.
Photo by @karlibobarley
Healthy, shiny hair always starts with the right hair care routine. It's always a smart practice to look for hair products that are free of sulfates and parabens, since they have been known to over-strip your hair and make it look dull. But sometimes you need specialized care to really get that shine you’ve been looking for. So ensure that you’re putting your best foot (and well, scalp) forward every morning with these different tips for achieving shiny hair.
A common cause of dull-looking hair is excessive build-up of styling products, oil or dead skin cells on your scalp. Give yourself a fresh foundation by using a clarifying shampoo (or anything labeled as a shampoo for oily hair) — usually once or twice a month should be enough to maintain your scalp health, but adjust accordingly depending on your oil levels and hair texture. If you have noticeably oily hair and scalp, it could also be worth it to work on maintaining a healthy scalp balance by using oily hair products as a part of your daily routine (finding the right dry shampoo also helps). And for additional tips on making the most of a scalp detox, check out our blog post “What is Clarifying Shampoo and Why Should You Use It?”
Dryness is another culprit keeping you from having the shiniest hair possible. And when your hair comes out of the shower feeling tangled and dry, and therefore more difficult to brush, it increases the likelihood that brushing will cause breakage, damage and dullness. Make sure that the moisturizing conditioner you’re using is formulated to add necessary hydration to your strands, which will lessen your chances of causing shine-inhibiting breakage when brushing and styling.
Once or twice a week, it’s time to treat yourself (and your hair). Mix in an ultra-nourishing hair mask instead of your normal moisturizing conditioner to really maximize shine. And for an added boost, leave that hair mask in overnight. This weekly treatment can turn into a mini, at-home spa experience: take the time to really let the mask work its magic (usually around 10-15 minutes before rinsing), and consider pairing this time with a moisturizing face mask or body scrub. If you have to spend a few extra minutes boosting the shine of your hair, why not take care of the rest of your body, too?
Photo by @karlibobarley
While I can’t recommend taking a fully cold shower (unless for some reason you’re looking to base your morning routine on the characters from the Disney movie Holes), finishing with a cold rinse can help lock in shine. Cold water makes the cuticle of your hair lie flat, keeping it moisturized and shiny.
The hunt towards shiny hair doesn’t stop once you towel-dry your locks! Even if you’ve followed all of the recommendations of in-shower care, there’s no quicker way to dull your hair down than by blasting it with an ultra-hot blow-dryer or using the wrong styling products (or increasing the chances of breakage by roughly drying it with a cotton towel). Here are some easy things to look out for to maximize your shine:
I experienced unexplained hair loss and dullness last year (and was very confused why), until my doctor explained I probably wasn’t getting enough protein in my diet. After working protein powder, fish and spinach into my diet, I’m happy to say that my strands are looking thicker and shinier than ever. If you want to get shiny hair, you should try to eat specific healthy foods that have been known to help boost hair health and shine. You’ll need adequate protein, iron and vitamins like D and B12 to ensure your hair and scalp health are in balance — foods like salmon, spinach, bananas and brown rice are rich in the nutrients required to have your hair looking its best. If you don’t want a complete diet overhaul, try to focus on the most nutritionally-rich foods to have your hair looking its best. Or, try adding one green smoothie a day to your diet for an easy way to get in all your vegetables without much effort.
I recommend hair oil for a variety of reasons, but frizz-control and shine are definitely at the top of the list. You can use them two ways, depending on your hair type, texture and oil levels: either as a leave-in after towel drying your hair, to help your hair air-dry or style smoothly, or as a finishing layer after your hair has been styled. Try different formulas to see what works for you: I use a more nourishing hair oilwhen I’m letting my hair air-dry (which helps lock my curls in place), and a lighter finishing oil when I need to touch up my strands during the day.
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Heat protection is key for beautiful and healthy hair! Stylist, @hairbyolya from @bomanesalon walks us through her blow-dry routine and how to protect your locks while giving yourself an at-home blowout. Have a go-to hair routine you would like to share with us? Tag us @davinesnorthamerica for a chance to be re-posted💕 Products Used: OI All in One Milk OI Oil
When choosing which Davines products went with different zodiac signs, choosing shine spray for Leos was an obvious choice. And it’s easy to see why — both command attention and bring a little boost of personality to the table (and your hair). That’s why I’d recommend using a shine spray for a flawless finish: after blow-drying and styling your hair, use this spray to make your hair look glossy, shiny and frizz-free, without adding any additional weight. If you’re looking for a slightly more subtle shimmer, using a texturizing spray for fine hair is another great way to add volume and shine. These products work to both seal in your style (even if it’s just natural waves or freshly-straightened hair) and add a beautiful touch of shine at the end.
We covered this in a post about how to fight frizzy hair, but it definitely bears repeating: lower the heat when you can, but always style smarter with the right products! When you need to blow-dry, remember to finish with a quick run on the cool setting — just like in the shower, this will help to seal the cuticle of your hair, locking in moisture and making it look shinier. And as a partner to any heat styling, remember to use heat protectant products to minimize the chance of dullness-causing damage and breakage.
Just like with styling and heat products, the brushes and combs you use can have an effect on how healthy and shiny your hair looks. If you’re using a brush that’s too rough on your hair, the act of tugging can increase breakage, meaning your hair looks duller. Try using a brush made with natural bristles, like boar, instead. These work to evenly distribute oils throughout your hair and scalp, meaning glossier, shinier hair for you. And as a general good practice, brush gently from the bottom, working your way up.
I can’t be the only person that’s dreaming of that first visit back once salons re-open… even if you’ve mastered your beauty and haircare routine, it’s nice to occasionally take your style to the next level with a professional gloss treatment. Used either on its own or as the “grand finale” to a color session, a gloss is applied to give a beautiful, reflective shine to your hair. I like to get it as a supplement to my professional color treatment, because the gloss boosts shine and the new color reflects on my freshly-dyed hair. So while I almost always leave my stylist’s chair feeling amazing, the shine I get from a gloss treatment really takes things to the next level.
Dealing with dull hair is basically a universal experience — even the most glamorous among us have had to deal with breakage, frizz, and a lack of shine at some point. Never fear, healthy, shiny hair is well within your reach! Using the right moisturizing hair products, smarter styling, and easy swaps like a healthier diet and cold water rinse will all help to take your hair from dull and damaged to lustrous and shiny. And if you have any additional tips for shinier hair that have worked for you, be sure to share them in the comments! The Shiny Hair Club always has room for new techniques and members.
By Lauren Hannel, staff contributor
cover photo by Karli Moceri