Working out how to get shiny hair can sometimes seem like an impossible task. If you’ve ever lusted after the lustrous locks of celebrities or found the promise of quick hair-shine-enhancing fixes lacking, take a look at our tips for how to get shiny hair. Shiny hair is something that can be achieved by all hair types. Working with clients in our salon over the years, we’ve been able to achieve shiny hair with even the driest of hair types. Quick fixes are tempting and often give a temporary fix. However, sometimes they leave hair feeling drier and more lacklustre. We believe in building long-lasting shine for hair and with the right approach, you can have healthy, shiny hair all the time.
How to Get Shiny Hair
OK, so here’s the first thing you need to know about shiny hair. Hair is shiny when the cuticle, the outer layer of hair, is smooth. Basically, light bounces off the smooth surface of the hair and that’s what leaves hair looking shiny. But the thing with the cuticle is that it’s made up of lots of tiny scales and when hair becomes dry, the scales can lift. The disrupts the smooth surface of the hair and that’s when hair can start to look dull and lose its shine. Ever wondered what makes your hair dry? Well, there’s a long list. We’ve listed a few below. It’s by no means a complete list and some of it you will already be aware of but it’s always good to remind ourselves, right?
Causes of Dry Hair
- Getting into hot water: Washing hair in hot water can leave it feeling dry.
- Heated styling: With heat, you can style and shape hair but it can also leave hair feeling a little parched.
- Sun, wind, rain all conspire to dehydrate hair.
- Nutritional deficiencies can have an impact on the quality of your hair and how well hydrated it is.
- We love a splash about in the pool but chlorine and, of course, seawater can dry out your hair.
- Colour treatments work by opening the cuticle. The consequence? Yes, you guessed it! It can leave hair vulnerable to moisture loss and dryness.
- Overbrushing, over-styling and generally touching your hair too much can result in damage to the hair and dryness.
When you go through this list you can start to see the level of the challenge. We don’t want you to feel disheartened though! No, there’s plenty you can do to get shiny hair and with a few tweaks to you hair care routine you can absolutely get your shine on! So without further ado, here are our top tips for how to get shiny hair…
Shiny Hair Tips: 8 Ways to Shine Hair
Get into the Right Lather
- Choose a shampoo that’s right for your hair type. We know that sounds obvious but with so many varieties of shampoo on the market, it’s not always easy to choose the right one. It’s important to add the right amount of moisture to the hair. Too much moisture and fine hair can become overloaded, too little and dry hair will be parched. We keep it simple. Revive and Shine Shampoo is for all hair types, including fine and normal. Anyone with coarse, thick or naturally dry hair types should opt for extra moisture with Hydrate and Shine Shampoo.
Don’t get into Hot Water
- When washing your hair make sure the water temperature is on a warm setting, not hot. Remember, heat is drying for hair whether it’s from the tap, central heating or your hairdryer. So avoiding excessive heat. Rinsing hair in warm water is gentle and more kind to hair.
Treat your Hair like a Delicate Fabric
- If you think about your hair like your favourite silk scarf or cashmere sweater it’s a good place to start. Chances are you wouldn’t chuck either in the washing machine or tumble dryer, for that matter! Hair, like cashmere and silk, loves gentle handling. A firm but gentle approach works best when washing and drying the hair. That’s because when hair is wet, it’s most vulnerable to breakage and, for maximum shine, we need to keep the cuticle smooth and unbroken. Gently washing hair, with a gentle shampoo in warm water is the best way of preventing breakage when it’s wet. When drying the hair, gently pat the water out of the hair with a towel. If you are gentle with the hair any towel will do but microfibre towels are a great option for soaking up the water and they have a smooth surface which is more gentle on the hair.
The Importance of the Scalp
- When we think about shiny hair, it’s easy just to focus on the hair but actually the scalp plays an important role in hair shine. The reason for this is twofold. First up the scalp’s job is to grow hair. The scalp is made up of lots of follicles. Those follicles need to be clean and free of dirt for healthy hair growth. Secondly, the scalp produces an oil called sebum. This clever oil is responsible for adding moisture to the hair. However, if we overstimulate the scalp by scrubbing it too vigorously, it’s possible that the scalp will produce too much sebum and this becomes problematic. The excess sebum can make hair oily at the roots, hampering shine. The oil attracts dirt from the atmosphere, leaving hair looking dull and clogging up the follicles which can impact healthy hair growth. So the answer is to apply a firm but gentle massage technique when washing hair for maximum shine. No scrubbing, no rubbing, just a gentle circular massage using fingertips to gently wash the scalp.
Be Conditioner Curious
- Ok sorry to be cryptic! But here’s what we mean by being conditioner curious. You probably already know that if you want shiny hair you have to use a conditioner every time you wash your hair. We absolutely agree. Conditioner is essential after every wash. However, not all conditioners are made equal. Bear with me and I’ll explain. So we talked earlier in this piece about the importance of a smooth cuticle and how a smooth cuticle reflects light, resulting in shiny hair. We’ve also talked about how dry hair can look dull and lack shine. By adding moisture to the core of the hair, we can improve the overall health and texture of the hair. If the hair is retaining moisture at the core and the cuticle is smooth it locks in that moisture and reflects light for that perfect shine. This is the job of your conditioner. Now, the formulation of your conditioner is a factor in how well it does that job. So if your conditioner is not delivering, it’s time to get conditioner curious and take a look at the ingredients.
We have some favourite moisture-adding, cuticle-smoothing ingredients that we recommend you look out for in your conditioner:
- Pro Vitamin B5 – clinically proven to penetrate the cuticle to add moisture, we think this is the ultimate ingredient for hair. We love it so much we include in our shampoos, conditioners, hair mask and styling products.
- Glycerin – the perfect partner to pro vitamin B5, glycerin actually attracts moisture to hair. Again, we use it in our shampoos, conditioners hair mask, expertly blended with pro vitamin b5 to give the perfect moisture balance to all hair types.
- Cetearyl Alcohol – if you see this ingredient in your conditioner you may be alarmed. Don’t be. This alcohol is anything but damaging for hair. You’ll see it in good quality skincare and with good reason. It’s a natural fat that moisturises and conditions the skin and hair. What that means for hair is that it conditions and smooths the cuticle. Remember, we want those cuticles to be as smooth as possible for maximum shine! 🙂
- Tocopherol- otherwise known as Vitamin E, tocopherol is another ingredient found in good quality skincare. It smooths and conditions hair along with fighting environmental damage.
- Avocado – this nutritional powerhouse is not just good to eat. Packed with fatty acids, it conditions and smooths the cuticle; it contains oleic acid which helps the hair retain moisture. Essential for shine.
Get Proactive with Moisture
- So here’s the thing. We are always going to do things that will be drying for hair. Life is for living after all! So if you are styling your hair, and for many of us, that means applying heat to hair with a hairdryer, think about what you can do to counterbalance the drying effects of the heat. Leave in conditioners, for example, are a great way of adding moisture to the hair before styling. They help to counterbalance the drying effects of heat and protect hair from the effects of styling. You can also do things such as turning down the heat on the hairdryer or trying styling techniques that require minimal use of the hairdryer. Take a look at our video for adding volume to fine hair for some inspiration.
Regular Deep Conditioning
- Hair, just like our skin, craves regular moisture. Putting a deep conditioner at the heart of your hair care routine is one of the best ways of ensuring your hair shines brightly. It has the same job as a conditioner but it’s more intense. Hence the name, deep conditioner. Above, we talked about getting proactive with moisture and, quite frankly, because of modern lifestyles and the amount of stuff we put our hair through, its important to give hair a deep condition once a week, every week. This is your best weapon in combatting dry hair and, of course, adding hair shine.
Stop Touching your Hair!!!!
- Maybe we need to clarify here. We don’t mean you have to stop touching your hair completely. But if you feel that shiny hair is something you might never achieve, take some time out to think about how often you touch your hair during the day. Probably more than you think. There are those who absent-mindedly twirl their hair, the hair putter-uppers and then take it down again (sometimes several times a day) the over-brushers and the styling perfectionists who don’t know when to stop to mention but a few. Actually, when you do stop to think about it, it really is amazing how many times we touch our hair. When we touch our hair with our hands, it puts dirt in the hair. Dirt leaves hair looking dull. When we overbrush our hair or spend too much time styling it, it can lift the cuticle and, again, without a smooth cuticle there is no shine. You get the picture, touching our hair less frequently can help reduce dirt and damage and help us to keep the hair looking shiny.
Why not try our 8 steps for how to get shiny hair for a month and see how you get on? We are confident that most people will see a difference in their own hair after a couple of weeks. After a month, just wait and see how many comments you get about how great your hair is looking. We believe that with a good routine and by following the steps above everyone can improve the condition and texture of the hair to maximise hair shine.
Over the years, we’ve talked to and helped a lot of customers with dry hair concerns. We write about how all aspects of healthy hair, from tackling frizz to getting rid of split ends and share salon tips and techniques for looking after all hair types. We’ve suggested some further reading below but please take a look at our Healthy Hair Blog to find more articles.
The way we style and care for our hair is not the only factor in how healthy or shiny our hair is. Good nutrition is important. If you want to delve deeper into how you can improve your healthy hair diet, take a look at our blog, Healthy Hair: Choose the Best Foods for Hair Growth.
Colour treatments have a big impact on reducing moisture in the hair, particularly if you bleach your hair. If you are a bleached beauty and want to regain your shine, you might want to take a look at our blog, How to take care of Bleached Hair.
Want to find our more about leave in conditioners and how they can help you in your quest for shiny hair? We give you the heads up in our blog on Leave in Hair Conditioners.
For further reading on dry hair, Salon Know How: How to Moisturise Dry Hair is a must-read.
Ogario London is a salon developed, natural hair care range. As a niche brand, we are passionate about our products and delivering the best results is at the heart of what we do. So, if you have any questions about our products would like advice on the best products for your hair type, or have another question about how to look after your hair, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org
With regular weekly treatments from the ultimate hair mask for dry hair, Restore and Shine Hair Masque you can have seriously luscious locks!
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