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How to Get Shiny Hair (In Seconds)
These easy hacks are your fast-track to liquid lengths.
by : Roberta Schroeder- May 4th, 2023
Instagram: @matildadjerf, @dualipa
Shiny hair has never not been covetable, but right now we seem to be taking our obsession with glossy, liquid-like locks to new extremes. From the runways to social media, blindingly shiny hair is everywhere – a stark contrast from the care-free styles of the lockdown days.
The best way to achieve your shiniest, slinkiest hair? When you ask the internet, the instructions are clear: simply switch your shampoo, marinate your head in a hydrating mask, stop straightening (and blow-drying, while you’re at it), book in for a trim every month, and use as many styling products as you can get your hands on.
Back in reality, we know those ‘healthy hair’ rules aren’t always easy to stick to – I certainly don’t follow them religiously. Early Monday mornings require help from the hairdryer, and a little experimental styling can be truly joy-inducing, especially after two years of topknots and greasy slick backs.
However, refusing to follow the rules with the diligence of an angel doesn’t mean glossy hair – the kind that would make a Hadid weep – is out of your reach.
The solution lies in a few clever quick fixes, all of which can be found on the digital shelves and come in at a price that feels surprisingly sensible. Read on for the shiny hair short-cuts that really, honestly, work – trust me, I’ve tried them all…
How To Get Shiny Hair
1. Lamellar Treatments
My number-one shiny hair hack is something you may have overlooked. Lamellar treatments have been around for a while – Kérastase’s in-salon only K Water was the first – but a few new blockbuster launches have really pushed this smart technology to the fore. Essentially, these liquid conditioners work as a surface shiner, slicking over the outer core of each strand to instantly moisturise and repair any dry or damaged areas. They’re best applied in-shower, and require as little as 10 seconds to do their finest work.
Trust me when I say: the results are remarkable, especially when it comes to reducing frizz and adding a reflective shine you can really see once your lengths are dry. I rely on Kérastase’s Chroma Gloss after a colour treatment, and love Matrix’s Shine Rinse before a big event – the shine is extreme.
OI Liquid Luster, Davines
With more of an oil-rich texture than the others, Davines’ offering packs a hydrating punch on long, thick and coarse hair types. it features the brand’s favourite roucou oil for smoothing, and a fruit acid to instantly seal each air cuticle, enhancing shine once dry.
Chroma Absolu High Shine Gloss Treatment for Color-Treated Hair, Kérastase
Innovation leader Kérastase has moved the needle further with this launch. Chroma Gloss looks like a lamellar treatment – and is applied in the same way – but the acid-based formula actually penetrates through to the hair’s inner cortex, repairing damage from the inside out and leaving colour-treated hair brighter and stronger.
Elvive Wonder Water, L'Oreal
The one that went viral, L’oreal’s Wonder Water really does deliver on its promise to make hair silkier and shinier in just eight seconds. It’s brilliantly affordable – not to mention effective – but be aware of the strawberry-sweet scent: you’ll either love it or hate it.
Shine RInse, Matrix
With a subtler, salon-style scent, Matrix’s lamellar water is sure to impress the masses. It’s effortless to apply, a cinch to rinse out, and even extra-long hair will get 12 uses out of the bottle.
2. Colour Glosses
For something more long-lasting, these innovative at-home toners essentially combine a glossing treatment with a conditioning mask, imparting softness and shine alongside a sheer veil of light-reflecting colour. They won’t change your existing shade completely, but rather tint it, making browns and reds richer and blondes more vibrant.
Colour Renewal Colour and Shine Treatment, Aveda
Aveda’s option is perhaps the quickest way to revive your colour and make dry ends shine. It’s as rich as a nourishing mask, and works in just five minutes. With shades for both warming up and cooling down your tone, it’s an all-round winner.
Huge in the States, Dp Hue makes some seriously cult colour-enhancing treatments. This root-fading, length-brightening treatment comes in a host of shades as well as a clear iteration, which simply adds glassy shine to all tones and types.
Shade Variation Mask, Christophe Robin
With more pigment than most, this is the one to go for if you’re looking to really intensify your hue. It conditions as it colours, and lasts for a good few washes.
3. Shine Serums
A good old serum is still one of the quickest, easiest ways to get shiny hair in seconds. Most are based around silicones, which have a bad rep in ‘clean’ beauty circles, but the fear is largely unwarranted. Silicones are a safe, extremely common cosmetic ingredient that, in hair serums, bring remarkable gloss as well as shielding strands from frizz.
They’re brilliantly effective at adding artificial shine to the surface of the hair – but be wary of any product that promises to work on your hair’s health, because frankly that probably isn’t true. Think of a serum as a top coat for your hair, and you’re on the right track.
Essence Absolue Nourishing Protective Hair Oil, shu uemura
In my humble opinion, this is the best hair serum that will ever exist. Yes, it’s costly, but the bottle will last you six months and, honestly, nothing makes my dry, frizzy hair feel better.
Pop + Lock Frizz Control + Glossing Serum, Colour Wow
For hair that literally shimmers, this is the one to go for. Color Wow’s glossing serum contains a shot of sparkle to make your lengths glisten in the sunlight.
Curl Gloss, Oribe
Lots of finishing serums can leave curly hair lacking definition. Oribe’s brilliant gel-serum hybrid separates your curls while holding their shape and adding a reflective shine.
4. Oil Sprays
If your hair is especially dry or damaged, an oil mist is the best way to add aesthetic shine while simultaneously nourishing parched patches. One with a decent nozzle will deliver a fine, even veil of conditioning oil that sinks into thirsty strands without making your roots look oily. A particularly good move after a straightening session.
Manketti Oil Finishing Mist, Charlotte Mensah
For textured hair, acclaimed stylist Charlotte Mensah knows best: this Finishing Mist is a finer version of her beloved Manketti Oil treatment, hydrating and glossing coils and curls without adding weight.
Shea Butter for Natural Hair Coconut Oil Shine & Hold Mist, Cantu
This is a great choice for second-day curls, adding moisture and definition back into coils and helping you extend the time between wash days.
Shimmer Shine, KEVIN.MURPHY
For literal glitter, head to Kevin Murphy. This decadent spray smoothes flyaways, conditions dry ends and imparts a light-reflecting sparkle that feels so right for big nights out.
A version of this article originally appeared on ELLE UK.
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