13 Ways To Get Shiny Hair, According To An Expert

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Written by Rachel Miller

Updated: January 8, 2024

Creating a year-round regimen for consistently shiny hair involves understanding that there’s no single answer. Shiny hair is influenced by multiple factors such as your specific hair type, tailored haircare routines, and the overall health of your hair. To effectively tackle dull hair, it’s crucial to pinpoint its root causes. Dull hair can be attributed to a variety of reasons, including inadequate hydration, overuse of styling products, harsh environmental conditions, damage from heat styling, insufficient vitamins and minerals, and flawed hair straightening or perming techniques. While this might seem complex, the encouraging news is that there are innovative and individualized methods to address each of these challenges.

With all of that in mind, here are our 13 best tips to get shiny hair.

#1. Cold Water Rinse

Rinsing your hair with cold water post-wash might sound a little chilling, but it’s a secret weapon for sealing moisture within your hair cuticles, thereby delivering smoother and shinier hair. Consider it a quick and easy shine-boosting technique: the moment your hair washing is done, switch the water temperature to as cold as you can bear. Let the cold water flow through your strands for a minute or two. The cold sensation instantly tightens hair cuticles, permitting them to reflect more light, resulting in glossier locks. The simple addition of a cold water rinse to your regular washing routine can proffer more radiant, healthy hair effortlessly.

#2. Balanced Diet

Ever considered your plate to be the transformational tool for your dull hair? Just like your body, hair craves nourishment to be its shinest and healthiest. Eating foods rich in vital vitamins and nutrients turns out to be an underestimated hair care routine. Tuck into a delicious serving of fish, brimming with omega-3 fatty acids, or juicy avocados packed with vitamin E, to feed your hair the healthy fats and proteins it craves. A diet balanced with these hair-loving foods doesn’t just satiate your appetite, but paves the way to a mane of glossy hair you’ve always dreamed of.

#3. Regular Trimming

Scissors become your new best friend for achieving gleaming locks. Why, you might ask? Regular trimming eliminates split ends, halting further damage in its tracks. A course of action you’ll find quite beneficial is scheduling a trim every six to eight weeks. This not only keeps your hair looking well-kept, but also makes its surface smooth. A smoother surface is a master reflector of light, hence making your mane dazzle with shine. So, don’t keep putting off those haircuts. Embrace them as an essential part of your journey towards shiny, healthy hair.

#4. Natural Hair Masks

Consider embracing the profound benefits of natural hair masks in your pursuit of glossy hair. Feast your eyes on nature’s bounty, like the humble honey or the versatile banana, both packed with nourishing properties just waiting to give your hair a shine boost. For instance, mashing up a ripe banana and mixing it well with a spoonful of honey, before applying it to your hair, works wonders in restoring moisture and adding a beautiful glow. Leave this sweet remedy on for about 30 minutes before rinsing it off and prepare to be dazzled by your soft, shiny locks. Harnessing nature’s healing hands, these simple remedies effectively nourish the hair, enriching its texture and effusing it with a healthy gleam.

#5. Avoid Heat Styling

The quest for perfect curls and sleek tresses often leads us into the treacherous path of heat styling. Alas, those coveted looks come at the price of damaging your hair cuticle, paving the way for dull and frizzy hair. Instead, why not try heatless methods? Braiding damp hair before bedtime, or employing flexi rods can result in gorgeous waves and curls, without the destructive heat. If you must use heat tools, remember to always prep your hair with a heat protectant. Moreover, maintaining a lower temperature setting can mitigate damage. It’s a delicate balance between beauty and care, but your glossy locks are indeed worth the effort.

#6. Use a Microfiber Towel

Embrace the wonders of a microfiber towel in your hair care routine. Unlike conventional towels, the soft fibers of a microfiber towel absorb water efficiently, accelerating drying time while preventing breakage and frizz. It’s gentle on your locks, preserving your hair cuticles instead of roughing them up. To maximize benefits, wring out excess water from your hair, then wrap the towel around your head, lightly pressing to soak up moisture. Resisting the urge to rub, let the microfiber work its magic. Transitioning from your regular towel to a microfiber one can significantly improve your hair’s health and shine.

#7. Leave-In Conditioner

Unlock the secret of lustrous hair with a powerful ally: leave-in conditioners. A sealant for moisture and a booster for shine, leave-in conditioners work miracles on dull tresses. Skim your local store shelves or snoop online, but remember: steer clear of products laced with sulfates and silicones, which can strip your hair of its natural oils.

Now, let’s talk application. After a thorough wash, remove excess water gently. Then, with a keen eye on the label directions, dollop your leave-in conditioner onto your hair. Remember, product-clogged roots are a no-no, so focus your journey from mid-length to the hair ends. Voila! You’re on the royal road to shinier, healthier hair.

#8. Silk Pillowcases

You may not believe that what you rest your head on at night can affect your hair’s shine. But, sleeping on a silk or satin pillowcase reduces friction between your hair and the fabric, helping to prevent breakage and maintain your hair’s silky gloss. Regular cotton pillowcases can be rough on your hair cuticle. By switching to silk or satin, you’re offering your hair a smoother surface, significantly reducing the chances of damage. An added perk? These luxe fabrics can also prevent skin creases on your face. Head to stores such as Sephora or Amazon to find an array of high-quality silk and satin pillowcases to make your dreams of shiny hair come true.

#9. Brush Properly

Mastering the art of proper brushing is non-negotiable for nurturing your shiny hair ambitions. It’s not just about the act, but also the tool – a boar bristle brush, your hair’s best friend, can be especially beneficial. Soft yet effective, these brushes distribute natural oils from your scalp along the hair strand, boosting overall sheen. Yet, beware the dangers of over-brushing. The habit can result in escalated hair breakage. Remember, a few quality strokes will do. Be gentle and don’t treat it like a race – slow and steady brushing increases circulation in your scalp, providing your strands with the nutrients they crave for that ultimate gloss.

#10. Protect Against Sun Damage

Don’t underestimate the power of the sun when striving for healthy, glossy hair. Prolonged exposure to UV rays can dry out your hair, stripping away its shine. Plus, losing that much-needed moisture renders your hair prone to breakage. However, you don’t have to shy away from the sun completely. Equip your hair with the right kind of armor–hats and UV protectant sprays. They work as your hair’s personal sunblock, deflecting harmful rays, and helping maintain brilliant shine. Pay particular attention to this step in sunny climates and during summer when UV levels spike. Remember, your hair needs sun protection, just like your skin.

#11. Minimize Hair Washing

Washing your hair too often can rob it of essential natural oils, leaving it dull and lifeless. To restore that desirable luster and vitality, resist the urge to lather up daily. For most people, washing two to three times a week is just right. However, if the oiliness persists, or if your lifestyle involves vigorous exercise, dry shampoo can be your savior, prolonging the time between washes and keeping your hair fresh and voluminous. Remember, overwashing doesn’t equal cleaner hair; instead, it disturbs the balance, leaving you with lackluster locks. The key is to find the right balance that suits your hair type and lifestyle.

#12. Use Argan or Coconut Oil

Treating your locks with natural oils like argan or coconut is a surefire way to enhance their luster and moisture content. These oils are your best allies, acting as a double agent—being excellent for pre-wash treatment and equally effective as a finishing touch to styled hair. To apply, spritz a small amount into your hands, rub them together and then work through your hair, concentrating on the ends where it’s usually driest. Be sparing though, too much can leave hair looking greasy. So, next time your hair lacks shine, reach for one of these oils for an instant gloss boost.

#13. Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse

Did you know that apple cider vinegar offers remarkable cleansing properties that can help strip away that dulling product buildup from your hair? By simply mixing a couple of tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with a cup of water, you’ve got yourself a potent homemade hair rinse. Pour this concoction over your locks after shampooing, letting it sit for a few minutes before rinsing thoroughly. You’ll be surprised by the added sheen. However, be cautious with the frequency of use as overdoing it may lead to over-acidification of your hair. Once a week is a good rule of thumb.

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