Woman with long brunette hair

How to get shiny hair - 10 easy steps & FAQs answered

Give Kim Kardashian a run for her money with these steps to shinier hair

Let’s face it, we ALL want hair that is shiny and glistens in the sunshine. Well it’s time to make your dreams come true with our gloss-boosting guide.

How do you make your hair shiny? 10 steps

1. Eat right

Like beauty, great hair starts from within. L-cysteine is an amino acid that helps your body make keratin, a protein critical for glossy hair growth. You normally make enough of this, but stress or illness can give your body’s L-cysteine levels a battering.
Super proof your shine with a diet rich in eggs, soy, walnuts, and sunflower seeds, and grains such as barley, oat bran, durum wheat and spelt – all packed with lock-friendly L-cysteine

2. Oil up

Look for a natural gloss-booster such as argan oil ¬– it’s rich with vitamins A, C and E, as well as being loaded with antioxidants, omega-6 fatty acids and linoleic acid (studies show it may even help boost cell renewal). Many oils hiding in your kitchen cupboard will help nourish hair too – try olive, coconut, or avocado oil. Warm your chosen hair oil in your palms and then massage into your scalp right down to the tips of your hair, and let it work its magic for an hour or so. Don’t forget to opt for a natural shampoo when rinsing it out.. Et voila! Shiny hair.

3. Supplement your diet

Hair care supplements can help support thicker and healthier looking hair. For example, Vitamin B6 activates the metabolism of proteins found in hair follicles and omega-3 nourishes follicles to support growth. Ensuring you have enough iron in your diet can also help ensure you hair doesn’t look dull and prevents hair follicle breakages.

4. Get your ACV

Letting products build up on hair over time can lead to flat, dull, and lifeless hair. Add to this that many chemical shampoos and products disrupt your hair’s natural pH levels, affecting hair cuticles and the scalp’s condition, and you’ll agree we need to hit the reboot button! One of the easiest ways to strip things back to how Mother Nature intended is by using Apple Cider Vinegar, which is high in “good acid” and has a pH level close to that of our natural healthy hair. Make a cleaning spritz by mixing equal amounts of Apple Cider Vinegar and water to use after shampooing. Leave it on for at least three minutes – the time it takes the vinegar to break down the bad stuff, so it’s easily rinsed away.

5. Rinse hair with cold water

Time for an experiment. After washing your hands, and you have used hot water to rinse, do you notice that they can feel dry and rough? Try doing the same but rinse with cold water - do you find they remain soft? Cue everyone running to the nearest sink.

It’s the same for your hair. If you don’t fancy a cold shower, (which in the winter months who would?) that’s fine, have a hot one but brave the cold when it comes to rinsing your hair. Cool water seals cuticles, keeping the hair shaft laying down, which leads to shinier, healthy looking hair.2

6. Get rid of excess product build-up

Excessive shampooing (including dry shampoo) can get rid of hairs natural oils, which we need to help it look healthy and strong. There are many ways that you can get rid of excess product build up in your hair, there are clarifying shampoos or you can go to your own kitchen cupboard. Yes, bear with us. Baking soda is a natural way to remove product build up.
  • Method 1: Measure out a regular amount of shampoo and mix it with a tablespoon of baking soda. Wash and rinse your hair like you would normally (preferably with cold water)
  • Method 2: Rub baking soda directly onto your wet hair and scalp. (Be sure to perform a patch test prior to use on your hair and scalp)

7. Moisturise your hair!

Use a natural, daily, and lightweight conditioner or an occasional natural hair mask to really give the hair the moisture it needs and deserves. Go for a product that is rich in nutrient oils such as avocado or olive oil. Nutrient oils smooth out cracks in the hair follicle. We should take care of cracks, as these can lead to frizz and dullness.

8. Pick the right hairbrush

Yes, that is right, choosing the right hairbrush does make a difference. Aggressive and continuous tugging on your hair with nylon bristles can lead to more breakages. Using natural bristles are better, as they are gentler on your hair and can help in distributing the oils from root to tip, making it glossier.1

9. Stay hydrated

Stay hydrated and drink plenty of water. When you are dehydrated, your hair will suffer, and you can tell as it will look dry and limp. Staying hydrated helps to keep your hair looking healthy.

If you struggle drinking the recommended 8 glasses of water a day, there are alternatives such as eating water-heavy fruits and vegetables such as watermelon, cucumber etc.

10. Protect your hair when out and about

External factors such as extreme temperatures, the sun and environmental factors can have a negative impact on your hair. Protect your hair from damage and keep it looking healthy and shiny.

Next time you want to take advantage of the hot sun and top up the Vitamin D, grab a hat! Alternatively, when you go swimming, wear a swimming cap to protect your hair from that nasty chlorine.4

Now get out there and let your hair do the talking!

Shiny hair - FAQs

What causes shiny hair?

Each hair has a cuticle, which like a mirror reflects a certain ratio of light. When hair appears shiny, this is the reflection of light through the cuticle. When light hits the cuticle, it goes through it, absorbing the colour of your hair, and then reflecting back. Also, the more layers, the higher the ratio of light can be reflected, causing more intense shine.5

Is it good if your hair is shiny?

People often think that shiny hair is a sign of it being healthy. Is this the case? There are other signs of healthy hair, but shiny hair could very well indicate that cuticles are doing their job, and that natural oil is present but also being distributed through your hair.6

Is shiny hair genetic?

Having good hair genes can play a vital role in having shiny, glossy hair. Yes, some lucky people are born with it including hair that is naturally healthy, straight or a darker hue.7 Handpicked content: Does your hair need a detox? Shop Hair Care

Last updated: 12 November 2020

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Haircare