Glossy hair looks healthy and gives you a natural sexiness that always turns heads. Here’s how to get the high-beam effect.
Pumping up your hair’s radiance comes down to smoothing its cuticle. The cuticle is the top layer of each strand and is made up of overlapping scales that resemble shingles on a roof. When the scales lie flat, our hair looks lustrous because its smooth surface reflects light. Not so when the scales are ruffled. At every step of your hairstyling routine, there are opportunities t maximize your sheen – and you’re about to make all the right moves.
In the shower – Much like the sink at a salon (but a lot more comfortable for your neck!) your shower is home base for shine treatments. A clear gloss or glaze – the words are used interchangeably – has a bigger shine payoff than any other product. Apply one all over your hair every time after you shampoo and condition, leave it on for a few minutes, then rinse. It’s like a topcoat, adding ‘intense, instant shine by enveloping each strand in a lightweight silicone film that lasts until you wash it again. Your last in-shower step should be a 30-second blast of cool water to temporarily close your hair’s cuticle. It may be uncomfortable, but it does wonders in sealing frayed ends.
After you towel off – If you let your hair dry naturally, particularly if you wear your hair curly, apply a leave-in conditioner. A leave-in fills your cuticle, smoothing out any potholes, plus it helps define your curls, so light reflects better. Of course, the straighter the hair, the larger the flat surface for light to bounce off and boost your shine. So it you’re about to use a hot tool to get straight – or just more sleek if your hair is already there – lightly coat damp hair with a silicone serum. Heat plus serum equals high-wattage shine. It protects your hair from drying out.
While you style – Choose a round brush with boar bristles, which help distribute your hair’s natural oils to the whole strand. Oil has a natural sheen and it also makes the cuticles lay flat.
Round brush – And always aim the air from your blow – dryer down the hair shaft, from the root toward the tip, so as not to blow air up and under the cuticles, creating a ruffle. When your hair is dry, flatiron it at a medium temp, even if it’s straight. The extra heat gives you more shine than a round brush and a blow-dryer alone. Keep your blowout bouncy b ironing just the top layer of your hair, leaving the volume in play underneath.
In between boosters – To get rid of frizz, which detracts from the overall smoothness of your hair, do an oil treatment once a week, oil repels the humidity that can cause frizziness. Once a month, use a clarifying shampoo. Even products designed to add shine can build up and eventually dull your hair.