What Makes Your Hair Shiny?
The external layer of your hair, known as the cuticle, helps retain moisture inside the hair and provides protection to the inner hair structure. A properly sealed cuticle layer reflects light very well, giving your hair a smooth and shiny appearance. A glossy shine is the most visible sign of clean and healthy hair.
When the cuticle layer doesn’t lie flat, your hair absorbs the light rather than reflecting it. Such hair appears dull and lifeless, even when it’s freshly washed and clean.
A loss of hair luster can be caused by excessive brushing, heat-styling, chemical treatments, and prolonged sun exposure. Other factors that influence hair shine include ethnicity, hair color, aging, and the shape of your strands. By understanding why your hair might lack shine, you can more easily find a way to restore its luster and vitality.
Shampoos for Shiny Hair
The right shampoo is a key factor in making your hair appear shiny. Hair shampoos are not able to change the shape of your hair or your hair color, but using the right shampoo can efficiently eliminate many causes of hair dullness.
No shine-boosting shampoo restores lost shine for all hair types. Your stylist should analyze your hair condition in order to determine the root cause of your hair dullness and then suggest the right products to target your specific issues.
1. Remove the Dulling Buildup by Using a Clarifying Shampoo
Dry shampoos, mousses, gels, hairsprays, serums, and other chemical-laden hair products can leave residue in your hair that accumulates over time. Even your regular shampoo and conditioner can leave residue behind, especially if they contain silicones. This overload of products can weigh your hair down, taking the shine and bounce away from your locks.
Ordinary shampoos work to remove dirt and excess oil, yet most standard shampoos are not able to completely remove stubborn build-up from your hair.
If your hair is dull and unmanageable due to product buildup, you need to use a deep cleansing shampoo to get rid of unwanted product residue and restore shine and vitality to your limp hair.
A clarifying shampoo is specially formulated to deeply cleanse the hair and scalp and remove old shampoos, conditioners, and daily styling products.
Chose a sulfate-free formula and use it every two weeks or once a week, depending on how many hair products you use.
Brands (sulfate-free): Moroccanoil Clarifying Shampoo, Paul Mitchell Shampoo Two, Malibu C Un-Do-Goo > pH 9 Shampoo, and Solutions by Great Clips Clarifying Shampoo.
2. Use a Chelating Shampoo to Remove Mineral Deposits from Your Hair
If you live in a hard-water area, your hair probably loses its shine due to the high mineral content in your water. The accumulation of calcium, magnesium, and iron creates deposits onto the surface of your strands, causing the hair to look flat, dull, and frizzy.
Chlorine in swimming pools can also have a damaging effect on your hair, leaving it rough, brittle, and discolored.
To remove the mineral deposits and chlorine that take the luster out of your hair, you need a chelating shampoo.
Chelating shampoos are formulated to remove hard water deposits and pool chemicals from your hair. This type of hair shampoo refreshes your hair, living it clean, shiny, and bouncy. Use a chelating shampoo about once a month and always follow up with a good conditioner.
Brands: Paul Mitchell Shampoo Three, Nothing But Clarifying Shampoo, and Malibu C Hard Water Wellness Shampoo.
3. Use Keratin Shampoos to Bring Shine Back to Your Hair
Frequent coloring, heat styling, backcombing, and chemical straightening can damage your hair, leaving it dry and overly porous. Dullness is an obvious sign of hair damage. Damaged hair cuticles don’t have the ability to reflect light.
If you suffer from hair damage, you need a repairing shampoo designed to strengthen and restore damaged strands and make your hair more manageable and glossier.
Repairing shampoo enriched with hydrolyzed keratin fills the gaps in the hair shaft and temporarily repairs and strengthens damaged hair. Keratin shampoos also seal the cuticle, keeping your hair smooth, frizz-free, and shiny.
Brands: Keratin Enriched Shampoo by BELLISSO, Keratin Shampoo and Conditioner Set by O’GREEN SKIN CARE, and Keratin Protein Smoothing Shampoo by HASK.
4. Keep Cuticles Sealed by Using pH Balanced Shampoos
pH-balanced shampoos have a pH range of 5.5 and 6.5. A shampoo with a higher pH level can cause a pH imbalance and open the cuticle. Such shampoo often contains harsh detergents that can “rough up” the cuticle layer, leading to dry, lifeless, and frizzy hair.
Check the pH level of your shampoo and select one with the correct pH balance. A pH-balanced shampoo keeps the cuticles smooth, giving your hair a shiny and healthy appearance.
Brands: Giovanni 50:50 pH Balanced Hydrating & Clarifying Lightweight Shampoo and BIOLAGE Colorlast Shampoo.
5. Use Moisturizing Shampoos to Make Hair Elastic and Shiny
Washing your hair too frequently, especially if you use harsh shampoos, may damage the protective oily barrier around hair strands, leading to dry and brittle hair. Dehydrated hair tends to appear dull due to the porous surface of the hair shaft.
If you are dealing with dry hair, you can benefit from a moisturizing shampoo. This type of hair shampoo gently cleanses and deeply hydrates dry hair, leaving it stronger, smoother, and shinier.
Brands: R+Co Television Perfect Hair Shampoo, SheaMoisture Curl and Shine Coconut Shampoo for Curly Hair, Gro Healthy Shea & Coconut Moisturizing Shampoo, and Carol’s Daughter Black Vanilla Moisture & Shine Sulfate-Free Shampoo.
6 Tips for Getting Shiny Hair
1. Wash your hair regularly. Clean hair reflects a greater amount of light than unwashed hair.
2. Use a conditioner after every shampoo to add moisture back into your strands and to restore the hair’s natural softness. Conditioners help to get rid of tangles and keep the cuticle smooth.
3. After shampooing, give your hair a final rinse with cool water. The cold water helps to seal the cuticle, leaving your hair looking smoother and shinier.
4. Use a deep conditioner once a week. This is especially important if your hair is very dry or suffers from chemical damage.
5. Consider purchasing an ionic blow-dryer, which is known to reduce drying time, tames static, and increases hair shine.