How to get glossy hair at home

When your hair is glossy, there's a perception that you are well and healthy," says leading global colourist, Josh Wood. No wonder then gloss is an ultimate hair goal for so many of us.  

And while you can resort to using trickery to achieve glossy hair in a matter of minutes, think flattering filters, carefully placed lighting and glossy hair touch-up products. It's worth noting these shortcuts to shine aren't benefitting our hair health in the long term. 

For gleam that keeps shining day after day, it pays to put in some root work and consider your longer term hair health. It means switching quick fixes for some pro performance, gloss treatments. "It's also worth considering the needs of your specific hair colour and texture, and checking in on your styling, colouring and conditioning habits," says Josh.

So for glossy hair that shines beyond a two-meter parameter, we asked our expert team to reveal the at-home rules that guarantee you good gloss. And It's on us!

Glossy brown hair, glossy black hair, or glossy blonde here we come.

How to get glossy hair at home


1. Hydrate and regulate

Conditioning is key when it comes to glossy colour, says Josh. If your regular hair-smoothing, post-shampoo product isn’t securing enough shine, switch in a hair mask. It's the  sure way to heighten the hydration levels - particularly if your hair is naturally textured or curly.

"Masks are designed to absorb better, so hair feels conditioned for longer," says Atelier stylist Nicholas Hardwick. With its complex of nourishing perilla oil, shea butter and a protective UV filter, the Josh Wood Colour Gloss is a treatment mask that offers a semi permanent colour refresh and deep condition in one. “This is the best to freshen up my bleached blonde hair. It neutralises all the yellow and makes my hair soft and shiny. I tried a lot of other products, but the Icy Blonde Gloss is perfect and also smells great,” says JWC client Marle S.

Meanwhile, ultra-nourishing Amazonian butters in the Miracle Mask are designed to lock in colour and hydration. Add in once a week for a  5 minute hair-brightening boost, or - to really amp up the shine - replace your conditioner and switch in a mask to your daily routine.

PRO TIP:  To get the most out of your hair mask, cover your hair with a shower cap and leave it on overnight. The heat from your head facilitates a warm environment, encouraging the product to penetrate the hair for maximum shine.


2. Boost your blowdry

Master your blowdrying technique at home! Cue a large barrel brush, a host of hairdryer attachments, and one serious arm workout. When the finish we’re after is serious shine however, attention is key.

Stylist Nicholas Hardwick shares his top tips for the ultimate glossy blow dry...

  • "Once your hair is 90% rough dry all over, section hair into the ‘hot cross bun’ pattern (part from ear to ear then from forehead to nape of neck) to create 4 quarter sections, using a wide tooth comb.
  • Working from the back, divide each quarter in half, using a section clip. Use a nozzle attachment on your hairdryer to give you extra control as you begin smoothing each section in a downward angle.
  • Rotate your brush towards the end as much as possible while drying, use it almost as a buffer for that extra glossy finish. Repeat until you reach the front, and work your brush over bangs, fringes and face-framing layers.
  • Finish with a ‘cold shot’ of air post-blowdry to help seal the hair cuticle and secure shine." 

PRO TIP: A cool rinse after conditioning will also encourage the cuticle layer to close, creating a reflective sheen on the smooth surface of your hair.


 3. Tailor to your texture

Curly, straight, thick, fine, dry, oily - everyone’s hair is unique, and the care we  choose should reflect that. For instance, curly, or naturally textured hair tends to be drier, so responds well to richer, oil-based   products, while using these on fine hair could result in hair looking overloaded and limp. Our hair colour should also be  considered, says Nicholas. 

"Product is key, right from cleansing to the finishing, so find the best suited items for your hair needs and goals, and maintain this routine. A high quality shampoo and conditioner with specific ingredients for your colour will protect and make your colour shine. Plus a weekly hair mask will give your hair some respite from the heat styling, and do allow your hair to air-dry whenever possible. As for products - spray in formulas will give you a lightweight shine, serums are the next step up, while oils are great for upping the lustre levels, but only if your hair type can handle it."

PRO TIP: Using a silk pillowcase or hair wrap is also a great way to prevent moisture loss (and subsequent glossiness) overnight, particularly for coarser hair types.


4. Colour with kindness

A colour refresh is the foolproof way to restore vibrancy, especially when it comes to ageing hair. "Bouncy, healthy, shiny hair is something we naturally experience in our youth," says Josh. "That’s why clients are often set on returning their hair to that vibrant, glossy look - it’s about recapturing youth."
And it's why ammonia is the ingredient your hair could do without. Why? Ammonia works by altering your hair’s PH levels (which naturally lean towards the acidic side), to essentially break open the hair cuticle and let your chosen colour flood in. The problem is, cuticle damage means moisture loss, and regular contact with ammonia will leave your hair feeling dry and looking dull. "Your hair ages, just like skin," Nicholas explains, "but this can be counteracted using products with protective and deep nourishing ingredients." Alternatively skip the ammonia altogether and opt for a shine complex and healthy dose of nourishing quinoa, you'll find all these benefits in our Permanent Colour range that is designed to boost your hair shade and shine. In the words of one Permanent Colour Kit customer, Katherine W, “The results are as good as a salon, at a fraction of the price.”

PRO TIP: One tone doesn’t suit all, and the wrong colour choice can look dull against your skin tone. If in doubt, book in for an expert consultation to ensure you’re dipping into the best colour refresh for you. 

5. The root cause

Great hair starts at the roots, which is why keeping your scalp in check is so important. When left to build up, pollution and dead skin cells can clog the sebaceous glands responsible for producing natural oils, which keep our scalp and hair follicles nourished. So, in the name of shine, add in a weekly exfoliation with either an enzyme-based formula or scrub to lift away any residue build up. A scalp serum teamed with scalp massage once a week is another great way to add in hydration and keep our hair follicles healthy, while drinking enough water will help top up your scalp’s moisture levels and can even help combat irritation and dandruff.

PRO TIP: Mineral-heavy hard water is a common cause of residue build-up on the scalp. Investing in a shower filter, or finishing with a rinse of filtered water will prevent this build up and help hair regain its glossiness.



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Beauty Newbies⚡ So how's everyone feeling about Boris's speech last night? For me there are more questions than answers, unhelpful uncertainty. I'm trying to focus on what is within my control today - work and my kids (who am I kidding?!). Back to beauty. Ever since my postie reassured me that he's happy with the increase in parcel deliveries ("keeps me in a job!"), I have resumed making considered beauty purchases. I'm still practicing #consciousconsumerism and purchasing needed (some needs have changed during lockdown) or replacement items, and of course the odd treat, particularly from new and / or small businesses. Here are some new products I'm using right now: ⚡@elfcosmeticsuk Wow Brow in Taupe - needed because I'm missing my @hdbrows tinting and shaping appointment, inspired by my love of E.L.F's Instant Lift Brown Pencil in the same shade. Rather like Glossier's Boy Brow (none of their shades are right for me) or Benefit's Gimme Brow (not cruelty-free), this is a small brow 'mascara' to brush through brows; it's fibre-building so adds volume and colour. ⚡@joshwoodcolour Shade Shot Gloss in Champagne Blonde - another lockdown beauty purchase, this is needed to distract from the greys emerging around my fringe where my highlights are growing out. ⚡@luneia Radiance Ritual Glow Mask (mini) - more time to mask during lockdown and this exfoliating and moisturising, creamy mask works wonders in just 15 minutes. ⚡@disciplelondon Juicy Mist (won in a competition from the brand) - fresh and revitalising, this adds hydration to post-cleansed skin, leaving skin receptive to serum. ⚡@balancemeskincare Vitamin C Repair Serum (kindly gifted by @rebecca_balanceme) - I try to always use a Vitamin C product in my morning routine and this creamy serum, which is award-winning, makes a lovely addition. Ingredients include glycerin, Vitamin C, hyaluronic and some lovely plant oils, to leave my skin hydrated and over time, brightening it too. #gifted #newbies #elfcosmeticsuk #joshwoodcolour #luneia #luneiamuse #discipleskincare #sortyourskinout #balanceme #lockdownbeauty #crueltyfree #whatheatherloves

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