Ah, the elusive "good hair day"...we've all experienced the spirit-lifting feeling of good hair, yet this often happens far less often than we would like. Gorgeous silky, hair is guaranteed when you leave the salon, but these results aren’t always so easy to achieve on your own. You're probably wondering how can you replicate this covetable hairstyle at home, sans stylist?
We know it can feel like achieving shiny hair is equal parts good luck and genetics, however, you actually have more control over your hair than you might think. Sure, living in a dry, windy climate and having hair that's naturally curly may mean that a little more handiwork is required, but by simply incorporating a few tricks into your routine and adapting good hair habits, you can achieve the shiny, healthy hair you've always dreamed of.
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What are the causes of dull hair
For many of us, dealing with dull hair seems like a constant battle. Since everything from color treating your hair to heat styling causes damage and brittleness, which in turn, makes your hair appear lackluster, we often find ourselves in a vicious cycle where we continue to perpetuate a cycle of damage in order to make our hair looks shinier in the short term. So what exactly can you do to achieve glossy hair while also helping to foster good hair health and long-term shine? We've got the 7 easy tips to shiny hair below.
7 easy ways to get shiny hair
There's no such thing as too much shine, so whether you want an instant fix or are looking for hair that is healthier and therefore, shinier for the long haul, these tips are just what you need.
1. Do an apple cider vinegar rinse
After washing your hair, mix apple cider vinegar and water together and pour it on your scalp. Let the solution sit for one to two minutes at least, but you can let it sit for up to ten minutes before rinsing. It works by flattening your hair's cuticle which in turn, makes your hair look shinier. It also helps to remove buildup on the scalp to help clarify your roots without drying out your hair. Plus, its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties make it great for combating everything from dandruff to fungus.
If your hair is curly or textured, apple cider vinegar can also help enhance your natural definition, minimizing frizz and unruliness whilst adding a layer of enviable gloss.
2. Use argan oil in place of a shimmering spray
Did you know shimmering sprays actually cause damage to your hair in the long term? Although they coat your hair and give you an instant boost of shine, they actually rough up the cuticles of your hair resulting in breakage and dryness over time.
Many conventional shine serums and sprays are filled with alcohols, parabens, sulfates, and other toxic ingredients which are bad for your hair and your health overall. Instead, stick to a natural oil that actually nourishes your strands at the oil such as Argan oil. Argan oil, like coconut oil and castor oil, will give you the shine you want while also improving the health of your hair. Talk about a win-win!
We recommend applying shine-boosting products both at the beginning and at the end of your heat styling routine. Just run a small amount of Argan oil through your hair in order to smooth out any annoying flyaways and make it look extra shiny and glamorous. Be sure to concentrate on the ends of your hair as this area tends to be the driest. Keep in mind that too much Argan oil can leave your hair looking greasy, so be careful not to apply excessive amounts, especially around your roots.
3. Extend the time between washes + blast your hair with cold water
Blast your hair with cold water after you're done shampooing and conditioning your hair. This will help seal the cuticle to minimize frizz. Finish off by patting down your hair with a towel but avoid rubbing as this can aggravate the cuticle. Better yet, use an old cotton t-shirt or a microfiber towel to absorb excess moisture; not only is it gentler on the hair, but it will also help prevent breakage!
Keep in mind that although blasting your hair with cold water is helpful, it cannot combat the damage caused by excessive hair washing and excessive heat so try to preserve your hairstyle as best as you can so you can extend the time between washes. Too much heat and over washing your hair can actually strip away the natural oils that make it shiny and silky, leaving your hair dry, brittle and damaged. To prevent this, try washing it every other day and use a dry shampoo in between washes to preserve your hairstyle and absorb any excess oil sitting at the roots.
Another great way to maintain your hairstyle is to sleep on a satin pillowcase. While this may seem unrelated at first, it actually helps to prevent frizz and follicle damage and keeps your hair looking better, longer. Satin doesn’t rough up hair cuticles as much as a typical cotton pillowcase, making it a much better option so that you can keep your hair looking fabulous every day!
Other ways to boost the shine and keep your hair healthy? Try to cut down on bleaching your hair as these chemicals can be incredibly harsh and diminish the hair's ability to retain moisture, giving it a lifeless appearance.
4. Blowout your hair like a pro
Do you love the look of a salon blowout but hate having to fork out the cash. Well, you can get the same effect yourself at home. However, while a good blowout can definitely boost the shine, keep in mind that excess heat can strip all moisture from your hair; therefore it needs to be protected. Instead of using a blow-drier from the start, towel-dry your hair first and carefully squeeze out any excess water. The key here is to be gentle, so don’t vigorously rub the towel on your hair, as this will rough up the follicles, causing breakage and frizz.
Next, spray a heat protectant spray evenly throughout your damp hair. This will limit the damage done to follicles from heat styling tools. We recommend waiting until your hair is about 80% dry before moving onto the next step to preserve the moisture in your hair.
Once your hair has dried 80% of the way, divide it into sections and pin up the top layers. Use a paddle brush to comb through the individual sections of hair while blow-drying, starting with the bottom layers and finishing with the top. This process may be slower, but it’s necessary to ensure that your hair gets dried evenly and is smoothed in the process.
The trick to this is to point the dryer downwards, blowing air in the direction of the cuticle, moving from root to tip. Be sure to keep the blow dryer moving at all times to avoid concentrating too much heat at one section of your hair and causing unnecessary damage. This will flatten and smooth down the cuticle resulting in shiny hair.
Note, not every blow dryer is built the same. Some can cause more damage than others, so it’s important to know the difference when shopping for one. We recommend using one with an ionic setting, as it will dry your hair quickly without causing too much damage.
Once your hair is smooth and dry, use the blow dryer’s cool setting and blast your hair with the cool air for about one minute in order to give it a little extra shine by sealing the hair cuticle.
5. Flat iron your hair
A flat iron can really help boost your hair's shine. We recommend using a high quality ceramic flat iron, as this will get you the best results. Flat irons typically have a number of heat settings and the one you choose depends on your hair type. A low heat setting is best for fine hair, however, thick hair requires a high heat setting since it is typically coarser.
Before you start, make sure that your hair is almost completely dry, because using an iron on wet hair can damage the strands. Next, once again, divide your hair into small sections, straightening one piece at a time and pinning up the rest to keep it out of the way.
Always brush each lock before you start, as this will prevent any strands from coming out crimped or wavy. Also, don't forget to spray each section with heat protectant!
When straightening, start near the roots and slowly move towards the ends, running the full length of your hair through the iron. Then, go over the same section again with a brush, while following the brush with your flat iron, always making sure you flat iron your hair in a smooth, continuous motion. This creates shinier hair as your hair cuticles lay flat, giving them more surface area to reflect light.
6. Use a hairbrush with natural bristles
By using a hairbrush with natural bristles, you can effectively drag the oils from your scalp through the ends of your hair. Not only will this help prevent oily roots, but it will also give your mid-lengths and ends a boost of shine and natural hydration. Be sure to buy a brush with humanely sourced materials!
Although it's not necessary to abide by the age-old maxim of 100 strokes a night, brushing your hair regularly is important. Along with distributing your hair's natural oils, it also helps stimulate blood flow to the scalp which helps to promote hair growth!
7. Apply an overnight hair mask
Think of all the time you spent caring for your skin; we're willing to bet you often neglect to do the same for your hair. Wash, rinse and repeat. Sounds like a no-brainer, we know, but it’s actually a little more complicated than just the basic shower routine. The first thing you need to consider is the fact that moisture is your hair’s best friend.
You’re going to want to use a deep conditioner or nourishing hair mask once a week to make sure your locks don’t get dry and brittle from the heat styling, and to also avoid excessive frizz and prevent split ends. You can also use coconut oil as a natural leave-in overnight treatment. Simply wash your hair in the morning and reveal glossy, healthier hair with minimal effort.
Apply your hair mask or deep conditioner throughout your hair, comb it throughout your locks and let it sit for 30 minutes before rinsing. Always rinse with cold water, as this causes the hair cuticle to close up, making your hair smooth and silky.
The shampoo or conditioner you use should also be formulated specifically for smoothing, so make sure to check the label before buying. Look for products with aloe or keratin as ingredients, as these encourage optimal hair health and growth.
By the way...
Shiny hair starts on the inside. Make sure you eat a balanced diet full of keratin-rich foods. A protein critical for hair growth and healthy hair, keratin can be found in anchovies, dark green leafy vegetables, and nuts.
By incorporating these tips and following a good routine, you will find that your hair naturally looks shinier over time without you having to do much work at all. Remember, healthy hair is shinier so be sure to take proper care of your strands by using clean products and practicing good hair habits.
Let us know what your favorite shiny hair hack is in the comments below. We love hearing from you!