There are many myths around how to get glossy hair at home, from washing your hair in ice-cold water to brushing it 100 times a day. The truth is, maintaining shiny, healthy hair involves some simple and effective strategies. Explore 10 tips to use this year to restore your hair health and boost your confidence.
What is the Secret to Shiny Hair?
Before delving into tips and tricks, it's important to understand what contributes to shiny hair. The outer layer of your hair, known as the cuticle, plays a crucial role. When the cuticle is smooth and flat, it reflects light, resulting in shiny hair. Various factors, including your hair care routine and lifestyle, impact the condition of the cuticle. The following tips will help you revamp your routine and lifestyle to transform your locks into a glossy mane.
1. Exfoliate Your Scalp
A healthy scalp is essential for attaining shiny hair. Just like your skin, your scalp can accumulate dead skin cells as well as product buildup, both of which can hinder hair health and hair growth. An unhealthy scalp can also lead to oxidative stress, potentially causing hair loss.1 Consider exfoliating your scalp regularly using a gentle scrub or a brush specifically designed for this purpose. This helps remove impurities and promotes a clean, balanced scalp environment for optimal hair growth.
2. Take Your Vitamins
Achieving shiny, healthy locks is not just about what you put on your hair and scalp – it also depends on what you put into your body. There are numerous vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and superfoods that can make a difference in shine. For instance, vitamin A, found in foods like leafy, green vegetables and eggs, encourages the production of sebum, which can improve hair moisture and minimize the risk of breakage. Vitamin C, found abundantly in citrus fruits, protects the hair and the scalp against damaging free radicals while boosting collagen production, which is essential for growth. Other vitamins and minerals to consider include vitamins E and D, biotin, selenium, and zinc.
While following a diverse diet can help you get your fill of important vitamins and minerals, a quality supplement can close the gaps. While Foundation Skincare’s UnTangled Hair Supplement is considered a “hair growth supplement” and is often used by those dealing with hair loss, it does contain a number of nutrients that can increase hair shine and overall health. All of the vitamins and minerals mentioned above are included in the formulation along with marine collagen, which enhances hair shine, strength, and softness, and horsetail extract, which is known to improve the elasticity of the hair fiber. And even if you are using it for hair growth, once your desired fullness is achieved, you can lower your dosage to one tablet per day (instead of the usual two) for hair maintenance. The benefit of using UnTangled is supporting your hair health from the inside out.
3. Avoid Too Much Heat
Excessive heat styling and hot water can take a toll on your hair's health, leading to dryness, breakage, and frizz. Minimize the use of heat-styling tools, such as flat irons and curling wands, and opt for heat-free styling alternatives when possible. In lieu of hot water, choose warm water when washing and rinsing. And if you must use heat, apply a heat protectant to safeguard your hair from unnecessary damage.
4. Use a Good Brush
Choosing the right hairbrush can make a significant difference in achieving shiny locks. Go for a brush with natural bristles, as these help distribute your hair's natural oils from the scalp to the ends, providing a natural shine. You can also consider using a wide-toothed comb to minimize the chance of damaging hair if you come across knots. Brush gently to prevent unnecessary stress on your hair, especially when it's wet and more prone to breakage.
5. Shampoo Less Frequently
While maintaining a clean scalp is imperative, overwashing can strip your hair of its natural oils, leaving it looking dull and lifeless. Consider washing your hair less frequently, allowing your scalp's natural oils to nourish and protect your strands. Some experts recommend only washing your hair when it feels unclean or extra oily to touch.2 In general, straight and thin hair tends to need more frequent washing than curly or wavy hair.
6. Use a Quality Conditioner
While shampoo is great at keeping your hair clean, conditioner makes it softer and ups the shine factor. It also protects hair shafts from damage caused by the chemicals in shampoos, which can be hard on hair cuticles. Additionally, just washed hair can be dry, dull, and hard to brush, which can lead to hair breakage. A conditioner ensures that your comb runs easily through hair, especially if you brush in the shower while the conditioner is still in.
7. Use a Hair Serum
Hair serums can be excellent multitaskers, offering benefits such as frizz control, heat protection, and, of course, added shine. You should apply a small amount of a high-quality hair serum to the ends of your hair to enhance smoothness and impart a glossy finish. Avoid applying too close to the scalp to prevent a greasy appearance.
If you are also looking for a solution for hair loss, consider using Foundation Skincare’s Hair Serum. Its blend of proven ingredients like saw palmetto, niacin, apple stem cells, and peptides known to stimulate hair growth. Unlike other hair serums, this product should be applied to the scalp, but it will not leave hair oily.
8. Add a Gloss with Hair Oil
Natural oils are your hair's best friend when it comes to shine. Incorporate hair oils like argan oil, coconut oil, or jojoba oil into your routine to provide deep nourishment, reduce frizz, and leave your hair looking shiny and feeling strong. There is also some evidence that hair oil can support scalp health and potentially promote growth. Apply a small amount to damp or dry hair for best results.
9. Use a Silk or Satin Pillowcase
Unlike cotton, silk and satin lack friction, which means the materials are gentler on your hair cuticle for a reduced chance of breakage. Cotton also tends to absorb your hair’s natural oil, which can leave hair feeling dry and rough, while silk and satin are less absorbent, allowing your hair to maintain moisture through the night. This leads to softer, more lustrous hair.
10. Apply a Hair Mask
Treat your hair to a deep conditioning treatment with a nourishing hair mask, one of the best treatments for shiny hair. Choose a mask tailored to your hair type and concerns, whether it's hydration, repair, or color protection. Regular use of a hair mask adds an extra layer of moisture, promoting healthier, shinier locks.
Find more tips on how to support hair and skin health with dermatologist-formulated solutions in the FS Journal.