Hair Care

How to Make Your Hair Look Super Shiny and Healthy with 8 Tricks

Want to know how to make your hair shiny? Of course you do – who doesn’t? Possessing shiny, glossy locks is pretty much the holy grail of hair care. In fact, according to a study we carried out, 58% of us feel like we’re on a never-ending quest to combat, dull dry hair. Well, ladies, your search ends here: we’ve got the best tips for shiny hair, helping you to transform your locks into the glossy, lustrous hair you’ve been dreaming of…

We all aspire to that high-voltage, reflective shine; it’s what makes hair look its healthiest best, no matter what color, type or texture. But don’t just lust after lustrous hair. Making hair shiny is easy with a few simple additions to your routine, so here we present 8 of our favorite tips for shiny hair.

After a long summer of salt water, humidity, heat and other stuff that’s *great* for your locks (just kidding) we put together this list of tricks to get your hair in tip-top shape—just in time for the long, dry winter ahead.

1. Know how to wash your hair the right way.

The shampoo bottle may say “lather, rinse, repeat,” but that recipe is definitely not for everyone (or even most people). For the healthiest-looking locks, start by rinsing your hair in the shower. Then, rub a quarter-sized amount of shampoo into your roots (more for long or thick hair) and give yourself a good message; no need to scrub your ends or repeat! Next, rinse your hair and condition it from mid-length to ends, letting it sit for a couple of minutes, then give it another rinse. If you’ve heard that giving your hair a final rinse with cold water will leave it extra-shiny, ignore that: Experts agree that the cold-water-rinse theory is a tall tale. Dry your hair by squeezing it gently with a towel; rubbing it vigorously will cause breakage and strip away all of your glorious shine.

2. Use a clarifying shampoo, but not too often.

Your hair can easily get full of, well, crap, and that makes it look less shiny and way more dull. Between the products we apply (including dry shampoo), the oils we secrete and the dirt and grime we pick up in our everyday lives (ew, thanks, city life) our hair sometimes needs a little extra help in the cleansing department. That’s where clarifying shampoos come in: They strip out all of that unwanted nonsense and leave your hair looking fresh and new. The only catch is they’ll also strip all the good stuff out of your hair if you use them too often, so once a week is probably more than enough. Aveda’s global artistic director, Ian Michael Black, recommends following up a clarifying shampoo sesh with a deep conditioner

Oh, and if you dye your hair? Skip these—they could strip your color.

3. Skip the shimmering sprays and opt for argan oil instead.

While you might think that spritzing on a little shimmering spray is a quick way to gloss up your locks, you could actually be doing more harm than good. According to InStyle, many hair sprays that promise to add a little sparkle to your mane include mica, a mineral that will indeed make you shimmer in the short-term but can also “rough up the hair shaft and work against your natural gleam” over time. Instead, the magazine recommends using products that contain argan oil, which will make your hair look shiny and also improve its texture. Just be sure you start with a small amount—fine hair can quickly start to look oily.

4. Give your scalp a massage with vitamin E.

The next time you’re at Whole Foods, pick up a bottle of vitamin E capsules. At home, snip off the ends of about a dozen capsules, squeeze the oil into a bowl then give yourself pre-shampoo massage with the (admittedly sticky) substance. According to cosmetic and plastic surgeon Dr. Stafford Broumand, vitamin E can help to increase circulation to the scalp (studies have even shown that ingesting vitamin E can increase hair growth) and massaging your locks with the oil can make your hair feel stronger, and look shinier and healthier.

5. Use a natural-bristle hairbrush.

For best results, you’ll need a 100% wild boar-hair brush (sourced humanely, of course). These stiff, rough-feeling brushes will draw natural oils from your roots to the ends of your hair, promoting natural gloss and shine. Plus, they help to increase volume in fine hair—double score!

6. Eat some omega-3 fatty acids.

Grab yourself a bottle of Caesar salad dressing and start eating: Omega-3 fatty acids are found in egg yolks and sardines (both ingredients in a classic Caesar) and they’ll make your hair shine like whoa. Salmon and mackerel also contain large amounts of these healthy fats, so have some fish as a main course with your salad.

7. Try heat-activated products.

If you blow dry, flat iron or curl your hair on the regular, it’s a good idea to protect it. While most styling instruments aren’t going to destroy your hair, heating up your strands can dry them out and leave your hair looking less-than-glossy. Before you fire up that flat iron, talk to your stylist about a protective product that will work for your hair type. Some of our faves include Paul Mitchell’s Heat Seal spray and Nexxus Heat Protexx spray.

8. Give your hair overnight, shine-boosting mask.

Everything looks better after a good night’s rest, including your hair! Coating it with a loving and nourishing mask (and then sleeping with a towel over your pillowcase!) can get your hair looking shiny and healthy in no time. Coconut oil is a great overnight option: Just massage it through your hair from roots to ends, then pull it back in a braid or ponytail to keep it from getting all over your face while you sleep. In the morning, shampoo it out and skip the conditioner.

See you on the glossy side, gals.

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