13 Stylist-Approved Tricks for Having the Shiniest Hair Ever

Updated: Mar. 30, 2021

Want gorgeously glossy locks? Here's what hair experts say you should be doing.

woman washing hair

Rinse with cold water

Perhaps you’ve heard that cold water helps constrict pores. Well, it has a similar effect on your hair. According to Stefani Padilla, stylist and founder of La Tierra Sagrada, cold water seals and smooths the hair cuticle, locking in moisture and adding shine. After using shampoo and conditioner, finish with a blast of cold water.

stylist working on woman's hair, looking in mirror
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Give gloss a try (at the salon)

At your salon appointment, ask your stylist for a gloss treatment. “A clear gloss, with a little gold color in it, delivers the ultimate shine,” says Will Francis, colorist at Sally Hershberger in New York City. “I like to leave it on for at least ten minutes.” The way the light reflects off hair post-gloss makes it look super lustrous. (These are hairstyle terms to know before your next salon visit.)

blowdryer on sheet

Minimize heat styling

Heat styling can wear away hair’s cuticles, so it becomes dry, frizzy, and breakage-prone. Padilla advises giving your blow-dryer and flat iron a rest in favor of air-drying, at least a day or two a week. Can’t cut back? Don’t miss these tips for people who use heat on their hair every day.

woman blowdrying hair
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Invest in an ionic blow-dryer

Of course, there will be occasions when you want a bouncy blowout. So it’s important to invest in the right type of tool—specifically an ionic blow-dryer, which dries the hair faster than alternatives and helps reduce static. (Try the Revlon Salon 360 AC Dryer.) One major blow-dry mistake that may be sabotaging your style? Ignoring the nozzle attachment. It’s there for a reason and that’s namely to smooth strands and enhance shine.

stylist drying hair with round brush

Blow-dry like a pro

Remember, it’s not just about the tool, but how you use it. Be sure to hold the blow-dryer a few inches away from your head to moderate heat damage. “Always blow dry from root to end—in the direction of the cuticle,” says Michael Canalé, celebrity colorist and creator of the hair care line, Canalé. “Keep the brush moving while doing so. The continuous, fluid motion smooths and flattens the cuticle, resulting in shiny hair.” Try these tricks to make your blowout last for days.

woman putting moisturizer on hands

Opt for protective products

When it comes to heat-styling, you already know that protecting your tresses is a must. But what you might not realize is that pollution and UV rays also damage hair. The right formula can shield against heat and environmental damage. “Sally Hershberger 24K Golden Touch Nourishing Dry Oil is great because it protects hair from thermal stress, UV, color fade, and environmental aggressors. I always use it on my clients,” says Francis. Don’t let your strands get scorched in the heat—read up on the must-try tricks for healthy hair all summer long.

oil in pretty glass vials
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Slather on some oil

Restore radiance with a nourishing oil. Use it as a weekly treatment (massage into scalp and strands) or smooth a few drops daily on the ends to enhance hydration and sheen. Padilla recommends using a lightweight oil, like La Tierra Sagrada Jojoba Oil—a nutrient-rich jojoba oil infused with shine-boosting rosemary, protective Ayahuasca plant essence, and moisturizing vitamin E.

two fish with lemons and rosemary

Up your omega intake

Certain nutrients are shown to improve hair health—chief among them omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. “Your body needs these to produce lustrous locks, from the inside out,” says Padilla. Load up on fish, like mackerel and sardines. Don’t love seafood? Consider a fish oil capsule, like HUM Omg! Omega the Great. Other omega-rich foods include walnuts, flaxseeds (and oil), avocado, and tofu.

woman shampooing hair

Shampoo less frequently

You’ve certainly heard this before, but it bears repeating… stylists are begging you to stop shampooing your hair every day. Washing less actually preserves shine by allowing natural oils to do their job, according to Francis. Try to limit cleansing to two or three times a week, and make sure you know how to properly wash your hair.

stylist shampooing woman's hair

Use a clarifying shampoo—in moderation

Clarifying hair is important to avoid build up, which can deplete the shine. Want squeaky clean strands? Consider adding a clarifying shampoo into your rotation once a month (but not weekly as it can dry out your tresses). When it comes to picking the right formula, Padilla recommends steering clear of chemicals and sulfates, which can strip the hair as well as open the cuticle. “The key to shine is to keep cuticle closed and protected,” she says. Try: SheaMoisture Sacha Inchi Oil Omega 369 Rescue + Repair Clarifying Shampoo.

apple cider vinegar and apples
Yulia von Eisenstein/Shutterstock

DIY an apple cider vinegar rinse

Another in-shower, shine-booster is a weekly apple cider vinegar rinse—it’s basically a DIY version of a clarifying shampoo. Combine two tablespoons apple cider vinegar with one cup water. After shampooing, saturate strands. Rinse thoroughly, and follow with conditioner on the ends only. “The citric acid in the apple cider vinegar dissolves root buildup and any other follicle-clogging bacteria that dulls the hair,” explains Canalé. (Here are the many other ways apple cider vinegar benefits your health.)

woman with moisturizer

Try a weekly treatment

Topical hydration is so important to maintain hair’s natural gleam. “I suggest my clients use a treatment or mask once a week, as a self-care ritual to heal and preserve hair health,” says Padilla. To use, simply massage into the scalp and pull through dry hair. For maximum hydration, keep it on overnight and wash out in the morning. Try a mask like Maui Moisture Strength & Anti-breakage + Agave Hair Mask. The natural oils in these formulas lock in moisture and make hair shiny. (Love to DIY? Try these at-home hair treatments.)

woman brushing hair

Brush daily

Channel your inner Marsha Brady. Well, not quite. While you don’t need to brush your strands 100 times, Padilla does suggest daily brushing. “Brushing pulls natural oils from the scalp down into the hair, which acts as a natural moisturizer,” she says. Be sure to choose a brush with natural or boar bristles, which are a gentler and less damaging alternative to metal and synthetic. Many stylists will tell you that Mason Pearson sets the standard. And while that may be true, there are also plenty of wall-friendly picks that work just as well. Try: Donna Narrow Boar Bristle Brush or Spornette DeVille Boar Bristle Oval Cushion Hair Brush.

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