The good news is that it is not difficult to convert dull-looking hair into bouncy, shiny hair. The most important steps? Hydrate, condition and cleanse. And of course, make sure you are using the correct products for your hair texture — ones that will not weigh it down or dry it out.
If you have a curly do, you might find it difficult to achieve a mirror-like shine. This is not because your hair is not healthy — rather, it is because uneven surfaces reflect light less uniformly than flat surfaces.
Still, no matter what your hair type, following the advice below will help you keep your strands looking as glossy and healthy as possible.
Our Top Tips for Achieving Shiny Hair
Hydrate Your Hair
If your strands are moisturised, your cuticles will be smooth and shiny — as opposed to the damaged, rough and dull cuticles present in dry hair. Furthermore, hydrated hair is elastic, meaning it does not break as easily. Lots of broken hairs can give you the appearance of dull and frizzy hair, since hair that is all different lengths tends to stick out in odd places. So, keep your hair hydrated — and restore shine — with an intensive pre-shampoo moisturising treatment once a week.
Wash Your Hair Daily
Contrary to popular belief, shampooing does not dry out your hair - it moisturises it. Remember, it is water and not oil that keeps your hair hydrated. The correct shampoo for your hair type should draw in water while cleansing at the same time.
Clean hair also reflects light better than dirty hair, which is covered in dust particles. Look at how much grease and oil can be wiped off of your face when you cleanse at night. The same applies to your hair.
Use the Right Shampoo and Conditioner
Choose the correct shampoo and conditioner for your hair type. Your shampoo should always be based on your hair texture, while your conditioner should take your hair’s length and level of processing into account. For example, if your hair is fine but long and processed, you will need a lighter shampoo and a heavier conditioner.
The most common cause of dull hair is product residue after shampooing and conditioning. If you think you have rinsed enough, rinse again!
Condition your hair after every shampoo.
Shiny hair is hair that reflects light. You may have noticed that smooth surfaces are shinier and reflect light better than uneven surfaces. Well, this is true of your hair’s surface too. Conditioners immediately smooth your hair’s cuticle (outer layer) and allow light to easily bounce off of it.
Don’t Condition Your Roots
Only apply conditioner to your mid-lengths and ends. Applying it to your roots can make your hair look dull and flat.
Towel Dry Gently
While conditioners smooth your hair’s cuticles, rubbing your hair vigorously with a towel afterwards will roughen and raise them again. Squeeze excess moisture out gently instead.
Use the Right Styling Products
Make sure you are using styling products that complement your hair texture. Heavy, oil-based serums can make fine hair appear dull and dirty, while lighter products will not be smoothing enough for coarse hair. Also, look for products that contain ‘glossers’ and/or ‘laminates’. These add lustre and brightness to your hair with ingredients such as silicones.
Go Easy on Styling Products
Don’t overload your hair with styling products. You only need enough to smooth and set your style — too much will leave your hair greasy and drab.
Take Care of Your Ends
Uneven or messy ends can look dull even when cleansed and conditioned. This, again, is due to poor light reflection. Try a smoother, less layered style if you wish to achieve more shine, and make sure you snip off split ends.
Careful With Heat
High heat settings on your hair dryer or tongs can dehydrate your hair and frazzle your cuticles. Use a heat protective spray or serum to help keep your strands smooth and protected.