10 Easy Ways to Get Shiny, Healthy Hair
1. Say yes to hair serum
Shine serums are available that have been specially formulated to give frizzy or unruly hair a sleek sheen. Find some great options at your local drugstore, beauty supply store, or hair salon. These products moisturize your hair with a light concentration of oils or silicone, says Shorter. To apply, “use a pea-sized amount to start,” she advises. “Start at the bottom of your hair and work your way up, rubbing it into wet hair with your hands.” It’s important not to use too much serum, because it can weigh hair down, but if you feel you need more moisture, go ahead and add a bit more.
2. Use a leave-in conditioner
Regular conditioners are great, but if you really want to pump up the shine, Shorter recommends adding a leave-in conditioner to your routine. These come in both spray-on and lotion forms. Apply them the same way you do shine serum (see tip No. 1).
3. Wash with cool water
Beware of hot water! It can dry out your hair and leave it dull. Instead, after shampooing and conditioning, rinse with cool water. “It closes the cuticle,” explains Shorter. “And that allows light to reflect off the hair, producing lots of shine.”
4. Be smart about blow-drying
As you’re blow-drying your hair, direct the dryer’s nozzle down the hair shafts as you hold each section of hair with a round brush. Finish by pressing the “cool” button on your hair dryer – the cool air produces a reflective effect similar to that of a cool-water rinse after shampooing.
5. Spray on the shine
When your hair is dry, finish your look with a spray-on shine product. Shorter recommends spray mists made by Ojon and Pantene. Whether it comes in a pump bottle or aerosol can, a shine spray can be misted onto dry hair – no matter what texture it is – to give it an extra glistening effect.
6. Use a leave-in conditioner
A flatiron can help straighten hair, which usually looks shinier than wavy hair. But avoid overusing a flatiron – all that heat-styling can be drying! Shorter recommends a new type of flatiron made by Bio Ionic, with silicone built into the plates rather than the typical ceramic or metal. “The heated silicone glides right over the hair and straightens it in one pass,” says Shorter. “I’ve found that silicone cuts the straightening time in half, which means less damage.”
7. Get a glossing treatment
If you really want to get your shine on, consider having a professional glossing treatment. These are often performed after a hair-coloring treatment, but you can get one without the dye job. “It’s designed to give you richer hair color with more depth, but it doesn’t actually have any pigment to it,” says Shorter. A glossing is usually temporary, lasting about four to six shampoos, and glossing kits are available at some drugstores, so you can even try it out without hitting the salon.
8. Hydrate your body
Drinking plenty of water will ensure that your hair is properly moisturized from the inside out. About eight glasses a day is ideal. Keep a bottle by your side and sip from it often!
9. Eat nutritious foods
Shorter recommends getting your daily recommended allowances of vitamins A and E for shiny, healthy hair. Also, be sure you’re eating plenty of protein, which promotes hair growth. “Eggs and nuts are excellent sources of protein,” Shorter says.
10. Avoid harsh chemicals
Shiny hair is healthy hair – so don’t abuse it! Limit your hair’s exposure to harsh chemicals, like the chlorine in pools, and lye-based hair-relaxing creams. Use heat-styling as infrequently as you can get away with, and avoid products that contain alcohol, which can dry out your hair and strip its shine.