Get the Shiny Hair You’ve Always Wanted With These 9 Tips
Want great hair? We asked health professionals, a celeb stylist and industry-insiders for their top shiny hair tips.
Get your best shiny hair
If there’s one thing that unites women when it comes to hair, it’s our quest for shine and vibrancy. But the forces can be against us. Our hair is at its best in the first two decades of our lives when hair shafts are at their strongest, says Edmonton dermatologist Dr. Janice Liao. However, constant physical and chemical assaults cause hair to weaken.
Says Greg Wlodarczyk, a trichologist (trichologists specialize in the hair and scalp) in Mississauga, Ont.: “Most women will see their hair become frizzier and less manageable due to chemical treatments such as colouring, straightening, perms and frequent washing with harsh shampoos that strip the hair of natural oils.”
Regardless of whether you have coloured your hair, oil production starts to slow down in your 30s, which adds to dryness and dullness, says Terry Ritcey, director of education for Redken Canada. And, adds Liao, as women enter their 40s and 50s and reach menopause, hair may start to thin out due to lower estrogen levels. At this time, hair can become brittle and lose its elasticity, making it harder to style. Not only that, when hair turns grey, its texture visibly changes, and can become coarse.
Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to help keep your hair’s youthful appearance. Here’s what the insiders recommend to maintain shiny hair.
Take a “less is more” approach to colouring and bleaching
Demi-permanent hair colour doesn’t contain ammonia, and is also recommended when you choose to go grey. “This type of product allows you to gracefully grow out your colour. Since there is less colour deposit, there will be less demarcation of regrowth,” says Ritcey. However, it may not be an option if you have a lot of grey hair (more than 50 percent) and want to cover it, in which case you’ll need permanent colour. Find out which celebrity blonde you can pull off, according to skin type.
People with fine or oily hair may want to reach for the shampoo every day or after a workout, but if you have dry or very thick hair, try washing every second or third day, says Eric Del Monaco, official hair artist and colourist for L’Oréal Paris. “Over-washing can strip away essential oils from the scalp, causing it to become dry and irritated, resulting in dull-looking hair.” According to Liao, over-shampooing alone won’t damage your hair, but if your hair is already damaged, it could make it worse. If you’re using the wrong shampoo for your scalp, you could also be doing more harm than good.
Do you need to “repeat,” as many product labels instruct? Del Monaco says one shampoo per wash should suffice-and will make your shampoo purchase last twice as long-but if you have very oily hair or use a lot of hairstyling products, you may want to suds up twice in one go. Here’s how to go 5 days without washing your hair.
Use conditioner before shampoo
To extend the life of your hair colour treatment, and increase hydration, try this trick from Toronto-based celebrity hairstylist Jie Matar: Apply a coat of conditioner to wet unwashed hair, work it through, then shampoo your hair and rinse with cool water (which is less harsh on the scalp than hot water). “Your hair sucks in the moisture by starting with a layer of conditioner,” he says. “It seals the cuticle.” You also need to stop believing these 6 myths about conditioner.
Use heat-protection products
Blow-drying is a moisture sapper, says Ritcey. Apply heat-styling products to your hair before blow-drying and try to keep the setting on medium, not high. Consider investing in an ionic blow-dryer, which works faster and causes less damage than regular dryers.
Give your hair an intensive weekly conditioning treatment or mask
You can get good results with this homemade recipe, says Matar: Mix two eggs and a whole, mashed avocado, and apply to wet hair. Cover hair with a shower cap and wrap in a hot, wet towel. Leave in for two to three hours, then rinse and shampoo as you normally would.
Protect hair from the drying effects of the sun
Use UV-protection hair products or wear a hat if your hair is brittle or colour-treated. “The sun is going to make brittle hair worse,” says Ritcey.
Get regular trims every six weeks
It’s still great advice. “A haircut can bring life back to hair by removing the very driest and most damaged area-the ends,” says Ritcey. “This gives it more lift and bounce, and will usually make the hair feel thicker.” Try these all-natural tips to get your healthiest hair, ever.
Pick up a brush
Remember that old adage about giving your hair 100 strokes with a brush to keep it beautiful? There’s some truth to that. Brushing brings hair’s natural oils from the roots to the ends, acting as a natural moisturizer, and it’s also a great massage for the scalp, says Ritcey. “Getting the blood circulating helps to provide a better environment for the hair follicle to live in,” he says. “Healthy hair thrives in a healthy scalp situation.”Here’s more on how to properly care for your scalp.