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 stylist, Stefani Padilla, 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.
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 colour in it, delivers the ultimate shine,” says colourist, Will Francis. “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.
Minimise heat styling
Heat styling can wear away hair’s cuticles, so it becomes dry, frizzy and breakage-prone. Padilla advises giving your hairdryer and flat iron a rest in favour of air-drying, at least a day or two a week.
Invest in an ionic hairdryer
Of course, there will be occasions when you want a bouncy blow-dry. 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. 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.
Blow-dry like a pro
Remember, it’s not just about the tool, but how you use it. Be sure to hold the hairdryer a few centimetres away from your head to moderate heat damage. “Always blow dry from root to end – in the direction of the cuticle,” says celebrity colourist, Michael Canalé. “Keep the brush moving while doing so. The continuous, fluid motion smooths and flattens the cuticle, resulting in shiny hair.”
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 realise is that pollution and UV rays also damage hair. The right formula can shield against heat and environmental damage. A nourishing oil “is great because it protects hair from thermal stress, UV, colour fade and environmental aggressors. I always use it on my clients,” says Francis.
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 a nutrient-rich jojoba oil infused with shine-boosting rosemary, protective Ayahuasca plant essence, and moisturising vitamin E.
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. Other omega-rich foods include walnuts, flaxseeds (and oil), avocado and tofu.
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.
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 sulphates, which can strip the hair as well as open the cuticle. “The key to shine is to keep cuticle closed and protected,” she says.
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 build up and any other follicle-clogging bacteria that dulls the hair,” explains Canalé.
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. The natural oils in these formulas lock in moisture and make hair shiny.
Channel your inner Marcia 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 moisturiser,” 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.
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