Our Best Tips For Getting The Shiniest Hair Of Your Life

Super shiny hair. It's a goal for so many of us. To have locks that glimmer in the sunshine to the point it's literally blinding to everyone we walk past. Okay, not literally of course, but having people do a double take because of all that shine would be pretty neat. The most common cause of dull hair is damaged hair, since it's least likely to shine at its unhealthiest. "Our outer layer of the hair has cuticles, which are like tiles on a roof. The more uneven and curled up at the edges they become, the more the light will be absorbed into the hair, making it appear dull," hairstylist Tina Outen explained to Real Simple.


But how the heck do we actually make shiny hair happen? How do we bring all the shine to our locks while banishing dull strands to the abyss? Well, it turns out there are a few different ways to get your locks to be their best.

Put the shampoo bottle down

It may sound counterintuitive, but if you don't have the shiny locks of your dreams yet, one of the first things you can do is stop shampooing it so much. Though we often associate shiny hair with being well-washed hair, "shampoo washes away your natural oils, leaving the inner layer unprotected," hair stylist Tonya Le told Insider. Therefore, too much shampooing can actually result in your hair looking duller, because it's lacking in natural moisture. 


It can even make your hair susceptible to more damage. "The process of moving shampoo or conditioner around in your hair can damage the hair cuticle (the outer layer)," Perry Romanowski, a cosmetic chemist, explained to Today. "When the hair dries, it doesn't lay perfectly flat, so that makes hair look dull, makes it harder to comb and increases the chances of getting split hair."

So how often should you actually be shampooing your hair? Well, everyone is different. But, as a general rule of thumb, hairstylist and Salon 120 co-founder Kasey Bertucci suggests washing your hair every two to three days is the best way to keep it healthy.

Make sure you're using the right products

Having super shiny hair isn't just about making sure you're not over-shampooing your locks, though. Equally as important is making sure you have all the right products for your hair, both in and out of the shower. "Shiny hair is healthy hair, so if your hair has no shine, it could mean your hair is not moisturized," Tonya Le told Insider. With that in mind, you'll want to try a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner to get the shiny tresses of your dreams — so that every time you wash your hair, it's not being totally stripped of its natural oils. 


Aveda global artistic director Ian Michael Black told Evalectric that clarifying shampoo followed up with a deep conditioner is sure to bring some shine back. A sulfate-free shampoo is also recommended by a number of hair experts to try and slow down the process of stripping natural oils from the locks.

But shine doesn't start and end with what you use to wash your hair. You could actually get more shine on your locks by choosing a range of different products designed to restore moisture. That could include anything from hair oils to blow dry lotions. "[They will] help restore the hair cuticles by making them more soft, manageable and, most important, luscious," Le explained.

Try a leave-in treatment (and don't go too heavy on the conditioner)

Those with dark hair will probably notice their locks look most shiny after a good conditioning. As we already know, making sure your locks are properly moisturized is a key way to bring all that glisten to the surface (no matter what color it is), so a good conditioner should be top of your list. But don't be fooled into thinking you need to slap on something super heavy in order to bring the shine, because that can actually have the opposite effect. As Mark Townsend told Real Simple, too much conditioner, double conditioning, or even a wash off conditioner that's just too overwhelming for your strands can actually end up making your hair super dull. Not what we want.


Instead, he suggested reaching for a leave-in treatment and avoiding the urge to double condition in the shower. There are a whole bunch you could try to see what works for you, from leave-in conditioning oils, to lotions, to sprays. An oil in particular should help bring back some shine, as oils naturally reflect the light. You'll want to apply a small amount of oil to the ends of your hair (where it usually needs it the most) around twice a week. Then give it a short hit with a hairdryer on a moderate temperature, which should help bring out that shine.

Swap to a natural bristle hairbrush

Speaking of hair oil, another way to evenly distribute it through your locks is to swap from a synthetic brush to a natural bristle hairbrush. Salon deZEN founder Maria Elizabeth suggested using a boar bristle brush, which has a number of major hair benefits. "[It] will close the hair cuticle, which will help create more shine," she explained to Real Simple.


But natural bristle hairbrushes don't only have their uses when it comes to applying hair treatments. The bristles on boar bristle brushes are grouped together much closer than on most synthetic brushes, so they can more easily grab any dirt and remove it from your strands. That's why they're so commonly used to make hair extra shiny and improve the overall health of each strand. 

Natural bristles are also much better at smoothing the hair's cuticles down and preventing knots and tangles, which can dull the locks. They've also been known to carry natural oils from the scalp down the hair shaft better than synthetic brushes, meaning all those healthy oils can moisturize each strand from the root downward. And we know what that means ... shine!


Avoid heat as much as you can

It goes without saying that damaged hair isn't usually shiny hair. And one of the main causes of damaged hair is too much exposure to heat. "Damage is the number one cause of dull hair," celebrity hairstylist Mark Townsend told Real Simple. "When strands get damaged, particularly from heat or harsh chemicals, they begin to break and won't reflect light properly. The most important thing for shiny hair is that the hair cuticle is closed and smooth so it can reflect the light."


Unless you're a fan of heatless curls (which we all totally should be, by the way) chances are your hair is regularly subjected to serious heat, and that could be why it's not as shiny as it could be. One of the best ways to avoid heat damage is to literally cut down on how much you use. Instead of blow-drying every day, try letting your hair air dry at least once a week. Or why not ditch your curlers for an overnight braid?

If you absolutely have to hit the heat hard (we understand), make sure your hair is properly protected to slow the damage process. Heat protectant sprays can be a total Godsend before using heat tools, as they create a barrier between the intense heat and your locks. Just remember heat protectant products can't work miracles, so the only real way to beat the heat is to avoid it as much as possible.


Move quickly when you do use heat

Not only should you be avoiding the heat as much as possible to keep your hair in good condition (and shiny as a result), but you should also cut down on styling time. Prolonged periods of heat applied to your hair will only cause more breakage and will dull your locks at the same time.


To get that shine on, try cutting down on your heat styling time by moving a little faster with the tools. "Most women move too slowly and press too hard, searing the hair," celebrity stylist Kevin Mancuso revealed to Evalectric. But how exactly do we speed things up? "Use a smooth gliding motion where you work quickly to prevent hair damage, but not so quickly that you have to go back and do sections again. It's all about finding that sweet spot in terms of speed," he shared. 

Another way to shorten time working on your hair is to towel dry your locks as much as possible before turning on the blow-dryer, or by making sure you're solely focused on what you're doing and not distracted. That may mean a little less scrolling Instagram while you're tending to your locks. Trust us, it'll be worth it.


Try to blow dry the right way

As well as speeding things up, there's a special technique you can use when you absolutely have no choice but to blow-dry your hair. The shine-encouraging technique? Start by setting the device to a moderate heat level (we know, we tend to leave ours on high too, but trust us on this one). Then, hold the device just a few inches from your hair and go all the way from root to tip, brushing your hair (hopefully with your natural bristle brush) at the same time. 


Only ever go in this natural downward direction if you can, as anything else is more likely to pull at your locks. That can easily cause knots, tangles, and breakages that will all work against the hair's shine. This method is also known to encourage luster, because repeatedly brushing your hair in this direction helps to flatten the cuticle, which is what results in super shiny locks.

Always remember to wash your locks properly

Of course, we don't have to tell you that the easiest and quickest way to get shiny hair is to give it a wash — especially if you have blonde locks, as light hair looks its most shiny right after a good wash. But the big stipulation is that you have to know how to wash your hair the right way to get the best results.


To start, give your hair a good rinse with no product on. Then, add the shampoo. We'd recommend a blob around the size of a quarter to avoid product build-up. Lather that up, starting at the roots while gently massaging the product in. The best part? You don't even need to work it through to the ends — mainly focus on the scalp. Next up, rinse it and make sure you get all the shampoo out of your hair. It's then time to apply conditioner. To avoid a greasy scalp, avoid the roots this time, as it's usually the ends of the hair that can get the driest. You'll want to let that soak in for a few minutes (we'd recommend around three), then rinse it off. 

Another reason your hair will probably perk up after a proper wash? If you've not been doing it properly for a while, Tonya Le told Insider, that can actually lead to a build-up of shampoo residue. That dulls the hair, and will leave it limp, lifeless, and shineless.


You could try blasting your hair with cold water, too

There's an extra step you could add into your haircare routine to encourage shine that you may well have heard of before. After applying your conditioner, try washing it off using cold water instead of hot. We know, we thought it was a myth too, but it turns out there really is some science behind the concept of a cold water blast. "Humidity from the hot water will open up the cuticle and allow the nutrients from the conditioner to soak into the cuticle and nourish hair," hair stylist Tina Outen explained to Real Simple. "[The cold water blast will] close the cuticle, sealing the nutrients in and allowing the hair to reflect light." Who knew?


One thing we'd recommend, though is giving this one a go when you're in the bathtub or only washing your hair, not taking a full shower. Otherwise, you'll probably have to grin and bear the cold for at least a minute, which won't be overly pleasant.

Eggs can be shiny hair's best friend

Eggs. Hear us out on this one. Though they may not be the most expected product for bringing the shine to your locks, they actually have some major benefits when it comes to making your hair super shiny. That's because egg yolk is full of fat which will soften the hair, while egg whites are rich in protein to strengthen hair. Hair masks made using egg have been known to not only bring some shine to the hair, but also stimulate follicles for overall healthier locks.


There are a wide range of different egg-infused hair masks out there to try. One of the most popular to provide deep conditioning? An egg, olive oil, and apple cider vinegar mask. Start by breaking one egg into a bowl and mixing it together with a tablespoon of olive oil. Then add half a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, blend it all together, and apply it to the hair. Leave that on for 20 minutes. When it's time to wash it off, use your healthy hair shampoo and conditioner washing routine to clean your tresses. All you have to do then is say hello to shinier hair. Simple!