7 Fail-Safe Ways To Crush Insanely Shiny Hair, According To Experts

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Written by Georgia Gould

Updated: March 14, 2024

Shiny Hair In Content
image via @rob.levi

No matter your hair length, texture, color or style, there’s one thing all of us want for our hair: shine.

Come on now, who doesn’t want shinier, healthier-looking hair? Literally no one.

The hashtag #shinyhair currently has an extraordinary 2.5 billion (not million, BILLION) hits on TikTok which just goes to show how desirable glossy locks really are. 

But here’s the thing. Shiny hair does not come easy for everyone.

If you have super smooth, straight hair that errs towards the darker side, then you’re lucky because your hair will radiate shine much better than textured, curly or fair locks. And the reason is simple: flat, dark surfaces reflect light better than uneven or lighter surfaces. It’s called physics. 

Even the darkest, straightest locks, however, need help. Because busy lives get in the way and things like pollution, sun damage, stress and poor hair care choices work hard to kill your hair’s mojo, roughing up the cuticles so they suck up all the light and make your hair look dull as, rather than dazzlingly divine. Sigh.

The good news is that helping you get the best from your hair without too much hassle or tons of drastic life changes is literally the air that we breathe. So, if you’re looking for seven of the best tips for shiny hair, keep on scrolling.

1. Go Easy With The Heat Styling 

Damage from heat styling is one of the most common causes of dull, meh-looking hair. For starters, heated tongs and straighteners strip natural oils and water from your hair, making it dry and susceptible to damage. And then there’s your poor keratin. 

As you know, your hair is primarily made up of a protein called keratin. Well, keratin basically hates heat. Any kind of heat, in fact. Sun, hot water, the works.

According to experts at Dyson, however, temperatures above 300oF are particularly terrible as they melt keratin and completely alter its molecular structure. This leads to weakened locks and long-term damage. Not cool, right? Ha, literally not cool at all.


No heat, just bouncy, beachy waves. ✨ Try the heatless halo method with our NEW BT21 meets Kitsch Satin Heatless Curling Set! #BT21 #new #hair #skincare #heatlesscurls #beauty #selfcare #bedding #fyp #viral @Samantha’s Beauty Confessions

♬ original sound – Kitsch LLC

The good news is that, while straighteners and curling tongs can reach the heady heights of 400 degrees, hairdryers don’t get much hotter than about 195 degrees. Drying your hair, therefore, is still going to cause damage, but it’ll be way less intense than the super hot stuff.

Our top tips for heat styling with minimal damage:

  • Always apply some kind of heat protection product before using heated appliances. We love Amika Blockade Heat Defense Serum. 
  • For sexy curls, try hot rollers instead of tongs – they don’t get quite as hot. 
  • Invest in a heatless curling headband for awesome beachy waves. Try The Satin Kitsch Heatless Curling Set which is super easy to use. And gives great results.
  • Can’t live without your tongs and/or straightening irons? Then at the very least, turn that temperature dial down. If you have fine hair you can easily get away with temperatures of around 200 degrees.
  • Wash your hair less frequently. Less washing = less drying and heat styling. You do the math.

2. Reassess Your Daily Routine 

Dull hair can also be caused by a cruddy hair care routine so if you’re looking for a major shine upgrade, you might want to think hard about your shampoo and conditioner game.

Oil and dirt absorb light rather than reflect it, so the first rule here is to ensure you don’t let either of these take control of your hair. Otherwise you can kiss shiny hair goodbye. If you have oily hair or like to use a lot of styling product, invest in a really good cleansing shampoo.

They’re a really good way to thoroughly cleanse your scalp and rid your hair of dulling impurities. But be careful as they can strip your hair if you use them too often. The sweet spot is probably once a week.

For all other hair washing occasions, we recommend sticking with gentle shampoos and conditioners that are free of too many chemical nasties, but instead nourish your hair and boost moisture to leave you with plenty of healthy shine.

When hair is well moisturized, the cuticles lie flatter and your hair looks instantly glossier as a result. Great ingredients to look out for are argan, marula, coconut and camelia oils, as well as biotin, glycerin, vitamin E, avocado and provitamin B5 (aka panthenol).

You could even try doubling up with a regular AND a light leave-in conditioner if your hair feels particularly frazzled. Or give lamellar waters a go.

Lamellar what? Ha, lamellar waters: they’re kind of like watery, liquid conditioners that you use between shampooing and conditioning to moisturize your hair and leave it with the kind of shine dreams are made of. We’re all about L’Oréal Elvive 8 Second Wonder Water, since you asked.

3. Invest In A Shower Filter

Shower Filter
image via @jolieskinco

Do you live in a hard water area where the H20 that pours out of the faucet is high in chlorine, sulfates and heavy metals?

Bad news: these can strip the natural oils from your scalp, causing dryness, dullness and split ends – certainly not the best way to get your glow on. Experts also believe that hard water can react with certain hair styling products, creating a crystallizing effect on your hair and leaving it as far away from glossy as you could possibly imagine.

Thankfully a shower filter can be the answer to all of your shiny hair prayers, protecting your locks from all those dulling nasties and leaving you with healthier, more manageable locks from the minute you hop out of the shower. That’s the kind of hassle-free, shine-enhancing business we can totally get on board with.

4. Try Hair Oiling

Oils are a quick, sure-fire way to achieve a glass-like mane. And, sure, you can apply the tiniest amount of hair oil to dry hair to add instant shine, but if you’re looking for longer-lasting results that actually build shine from the roots, you should try hair oiling.

Hair oiling involves warming an oil like the viral Mielle Rosemary and Mint Scalp Oil between your fingers, then massaging it into your scalp area while your hair is dry. You do this for about two or three minutes then, once you’ve massaged your entire scalp, you smooth the excess oil down the lengths of your hair and leave it overnight. 

What are the benefits of hair oiling? Well, massaging your scalp stimulates blood flow, bringing oxygen and nutrients to the roots to help nourish and detoxify your scalp. Meanwhile, oils are incredible for strengthening the hair while moisturizing and encouraging shine from roots to ends. Try doing it once a week and you can expect to see healthier, more radiant locks in a matter of months.

5. Upgrade Your Hair Brush

Brushing your hair 100 times a day is one of those old wives’ tales that’s just not true – and can actually cause long-term damage if you’re not careful.

However, a good gentle brushing, using a quality boar bristle hair brush, is a great way to spread natural oils from the roots down to the ends of your hair. This not only works to evenly distribute shine but it’s an effective way to help close down the cuticles. 

Of course, choosing the correct hairbrush for the texture of your hair is vital – and we can help out with that, right here – but once you’ve found your perfect partner you can afford to brush your locks two or three times a day.

6. Sleep On A Silk Pillowcase

Silk and satin pillowcases have become a real thing in recent years. And we totally get it.

Not just a faddy marketing ploy, silky smooth pillowcases have been proven to cause less friction against your hair (and your skin, for that matter!), allowing it to kind of glide over your pillow rather than getting roughed up as you toss and turn while you sleep. So what, you may ask? Well, all that smooth sailing sleeping helps prevent breakage and frizz – two of shine’s biggest enemies!


Use a silk pillowcase to protect your hair when sleeping#silk#silkpillowcase#hairtips

♬ original sound – Nicole // Hair care

Silk is also less absorbent than other common bedding fabrics like cotton, linen and flannel which means it doesn’t suck as much moisture nor as many vital oils from your hair.

7. Fake It Till You Make It!

Targeting the underlying health of your hair by reducing damage and nourishing the scalp is the absolute best way to inject true, long-lasting shine and wow factor to your precious locks. However, sometimes you just need some instant gratification. Are we right, or are we right? And that’s when styling and finishing fixes like serums and sprays come into their own.

Like top coats for your hair, serums and shine sprays are pretty unrivalled in the hair glossing department. That’s a strong statement, we know, but it’s true. They also have the added powers of taming frizz, moisturizing your hair and reducing static. As long as you choose wisely. Which is what we’re here for…

The Best Serums For Shiny Hair

The Best Hair Shine Sprays 

You’re welcome!

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