How is your hair these days? If it’s anything like mine then it is dry at the ends, full of static with a dull overtone. Not much to shout about really. So I have been researching how to get shiny, beautiful hair and with the tips I have picked up for myself, I decided to share them with our gorgeous readers.
Here’s the science bit; hair has cuticles that should lie smooth and flat on the outside of the hair. Viewed under a microscope, they would look like scales but their purpose is to shield the inner parts of each hair strand. Aside from protecting the inner layers of the hair, the cuticle also controls how much water and chemicals can enter the hair. The shiny luster found on the hair of many people can be attributed to their hair cuticle cells. So if you have dull hair, it’s typically something to do with these little things! Now the tips bit, first up the do’s:
What to DO to get Shiny Hair
1. Smooth down your hair with silicone. Products with silicones in them work by lying on top of the hair shaft to seal the cuticle and create a barrier between styling tools and hair, therefore reducing friction and limiting heat damage. Remember not to use too much of the product however, as it can make your hair look greasy and weigh it down. Try John Frieda Frizz-Ease Thermal Protection Serum for £5.89.
2. Rinse with cold water after you have shampooed your hair. Why? Because rinsing hair with cold water closes the cuticle, leaving a smooth, shiny surface. If, like me, you hate freezing cold water on your head then compromise by blasting with your hair with cold air after you have towel dried and this will give you a similar smoothing effect. You’ll find that most dryers have a cold setting as well as warm and hot.
3. Swap brushes. Try swapping your plastic brush for one that has natural bristles (boar is best if you can find it), which will redistribute oils throughout hair as you brush, thus boosting shine. Natural bristles are also less likely to break hairs and help to control static, flyaway hair. Try the Sibel Classic 100% Pure Boar Bristle Brush for £10.99.
4. Go ionic. There are a new type of hair drying tools that use negative ions which add shine and moisture to your hair as you dry it. Check out the Remington Pro Ionic Hair Dryer for $26.99.
5. If you want to shine then align! Apparently, when the light hits each individual strand of hair, it bounces back in certain directions. Therefore, if all the strands are lying, or aligned the same way, the resulting reflection will come back to the eye in the same direction, which will look like one crisp band of shine. This is fine if you have straight hair but curly hair is more difficult to get shiny. However, big, smooth, structured curls reflect more light than lots of little ringlets. To get big curls, try the Babyliss Pro Porcelain One Inch Ceramic Spring Curling Iron for £28.12 (not including delivery).
What NOT TO DO to get Shiny hair
6. Never vigorously towel dry your hair, it is at its most vulnerable when its wet. Prone to tangling and breakage, the best way to dry your hair is to blot it to get most of the water out, then leave to air dry until almost dry, finally give it a quick a blast from your blower.
7. Using hot styling appliances are the ruin of shiny hair so try and keep them for special occasions or at a minimum. The high temperatures damage the natural oils in your hair that help to keep it shiny. If you can’t go without your styling appliances then always, as my granny used to say – use protection! Try the TRESemmé Thermal Creations Heat Tamer Spray for £6.29, it contains that magical ingredient that hair loves – silicon.
8. Beware of product residue. Yes we have just been talking about great products for your hair and if you use a lot of heat styling tools then you will need to use some but, if you use them frequently and not wash and rinse properly, they can leave a dull residue. Make sure your hair is squeaky clean when you have finished at the sink.
9. Sun damage is inevitable as the UV radiation wreaks havoc on natural hair lipids like 18-methyl eicosanoic acid (18- MEA is essential for shiny hair as it targets and repairs each hair, attaching itself to the damaged areas whilst restoring the surface). Without these lipids, hair dulls quickly. If you love the sun like me, wear a hat or use a leave-in conditioner. Try L’Oreal Professionnel Serie Expert Solar Sublime Advanced Protection Conditioning Spray for £12.70.
10. Colouring products and dyes can actually add shine to your hair in the beginning, but over time, continued use will damage it because it breaks down the inner structure of hair protein. Try to make sure that when you colour your hair you only redo the roots.