Have you ever turned green with envy when you spotted a woman with gorgeous gleaming hair? Most of us have. But rather than wishing those shiny tresses were yours, here’s a better idea. Learn the secrets of women with high-gloss hair, and you can amp up the luster of your own locks.
1. Women with shiny hair don’t play rough. To create silky shine, treat your hair like fine silk. Use only a wide-tooth comb to detangle wet hair. When you step out of the shower, blot -- don’t rub -- your hair with a towel. Cut down on brushing to avoid fraying strands. “Use the minimum number of brush strokes it takes to achieve or refresh your style,” says Jeni Thomas, a Pantene research scientist on hair and scalp health. Look for a brush that has seamless bristles. “These bristles won’t inflict damage the way bristles with rough surfaces can,” says Thomas.
2. Women with shiny hair use heat tools with care. Protect your hair from being damaged by the high heat of blow-dryers, curling irons and flat irons by coating towel-dried strands with a thermal-protectant product. Always use the nozzle attachment on your dryer. “The coils on dryers are so hot you can literally fry your hair if you place the dryer right against your hair,” says Giovanni Mele, artistic director and owner of Philadelphia’s Giovanni & Pileggi salon. “Without a nozzle, you’re delivering heat and air in all directions, and that can leave your hair frizzy rather than smooth and shiny.” If you’ve been using the same hot tools for the last decade, consider an upgrade. New technology, such as ceramic flat irons and ionic dryers, speeds styling time and reduces the static electricity that causes flyaways and dullness.
3. Women with shiny hair keep their tresses well-hydrated. Shine happens when light bounces off hair’s smooth reflective surface, which means you want your hair to be less like straw and more like ice. Moisturizing shampoos gently remove dirt and product buildup -- which can lead to dull, brittle hair -- and deposit feather-light oils and protein to boost luster. Look for ingredients like dimethicone and aloe vera; they smooth the cuticle and seal water inside the shaft.
4. Women with shiny hair are consistent about conditioning. You don’t need to shampoo your hair daily, but every time you wet it in the shower, applying a conditioner to the ends is essential to keep strands soft and smooth. Once or twice a week, apply a moisturizing mask, then don a shower cap and run a blower over your head for two or three minutes. “That heat helps the treatment ingredients penetrate the hair shaft,” says stylist Steve Lococo, co-owner of B2V Salon in West Hollywood. “That’s why salon treatments always include a few minutes under the dryer.”
5. Women with shiny hair choose styling products that add extra sparkle. Whether you like glossing drops, anti-frizz cream, hair spray, nourishing oil or volumizing mousse, you can find a shine-enhancing version of your favorite styling product. Just avoid your roots and be sure to use a very small amount of product. Instead of applying the styling product directly to your hair, try spraying or spreading a bit on your palms instead and then run them lightly over your hair, section by section.