The Best Shiny Hair Hacks, According to Stylists
Wondering how to get shiny hair? Hairstylists share their best hacks for achieving glossy, liquid hair without a visit to the salon.
Who doesn’t want their hair to glisten and gleam? There’s something about glossy hair that just looks amazing—regardless of length, color, or texture. Shiny hair has always been one of our favorite #hairgoals and the “liquid hair” trend is everywhere (with the hashtag #liquidhair earning over 620k views on TikTok). Celebrities like Megan Fox, Dakota Johnson, and more have been praised for their unbelievably shiny hair. So what are their secrets?
Turns out, there are things you can easily do at home to help promote shiny hair. We spoke to professional hairstylists to find out their favorite liquid hair hacks (plus their favorite glossy-hair products). Read on to learn how to get shiny hair, according to experts.
8 Shiny Hair Hacks
Wondering how to get glossy, liquid hair? Stylists share their best shiny hair hacks, below.
1. Perform a Directional Blowout
“The key to adding shine to sleek hairstyles is a directional blowout,” says Emma Fitzgerald, owner and hairstylist at The Salon in Joliet. What is a directional blowout, you ask? It’s when you blowdry your strands from the scalp to ends in small sections, smoothing and sealing the hair. “Imagine a pine cone: If you hold the pine cone with its spikes up and try to blow dry it, it’s going to be a frayed mess. If you hold the pinecone upside down with its spike facing the ground and do a directional blowout, you’re going to smooth those spikes back into place.” To achieve a directional blowout follow these steps:
- Section off a small piece of hair and place your brush underneath the top (right next to your roots)
- Glide the brush down the length of the hair to the ends, following with the blowdryer
- Repeat on the hair strand until it’s completely dry
- Follow the instructions around your head until your hair is totally dry and smooth
2. Use the Cool Shot on the Blow Dryer
If you’re trying to figure out how to get shiny hair, using the cool button on your hairdryer might be the answer. Heat allows the hair cuticle to open (which allows it to be styled a certain way), but cool air closes and seals the cuticle (which leads to a glossy finish). “To properly use the cool shot function, perform a directional blowout,” Fitzgerald explains. “Once hair is dry, use the cool shot to lower the temperature of the hair, seal the cuticle, and bring out the shine.”
The same goes for curly hair. If you’re using a diffuser, flip on the cool shot at the end to seal the cuticles and lock in your liquid hair.
3. Use a Hair Oil
“Many of us are afraid to use oil on our hair, but the reality is most of us need to use oil on our hair from mid-shaft to ends,” says Fitzgerald. “The oils the body naturally produces typically do not travel down far enough to truly hydrate and replenish our ends.” Because of this, it’s best to apply hair oil on the lower part of your strands (not your scalp) to help increase hydration. You can apply it on damp hair as a final step (to lock in any other hydrating products you’ve applied) or on dry hair as a finishing touch for extra shine. You can do this as much as you’d like—once a week or once a day. This goes for all hair textures, from fine and straight to thick and textured. If you want to give your hair a super shiny appearance, try hair slugging with an oil. Apply a generous amount of products to your mid-lengths and ends and leave in overnight. Then, wash it out the next morning for your glossiest hair ever.
4. Look for a Leave-In Conditioner
If you’re chasing shiny hair, hydration is the name of the game—regardless of hair texture. Dry hair looks dull and lackluster, which is why adding a nourishing leave-in product can change your hair game. “Leave-in conditioners are everyone’s best friend,” Fitzgerald says. “Not only do they help to condition and detangle, but they also add shine to the hair by adding moisture.” Use one every time you wash your hair to replenish moisture and add shine.
5. Rinse Your Hair With Cool Water
You’ve heard about the benefits of cold showers for productivity and mental health, but have you heard about it for hair health? Turns out, splashing your locks with cold water can help with shine. That’s because the cold water helps to close and seal the cuticle (similar to the cool shot on the blow dryer). This is especially helpful if you’re letting your hair air dry. “Rinse the hair with cool water after cleansing and conditioning with a product that promotes a smooth surface,” says Janelle Sands, CURLS hairstylist.
6. Regularly Clean and Condition
There’s no one right answer to how often you should wash your hair. However, product buildup, dirt, sweat, oil, and more can all affect your hair’s overall appearance—causing it to look dull and lifeless. “Taking care of your hair by regularly cleansing and conditioning with high-performing products will get you there,” Sands says. Talk to your hairstylist to find out the schedule that works best for your strands, and stick to it. Pro tip: If you’re going multiple days without washing your hair, try to incorporate a scalp detox into your routine at least once a week to break down all of that build-up.
7. Take Hair Supplements
Another way to get shiny hair? Stock up on supplements that encourage healthy hair. Deficiencies in vitamins like biotin (a B vitamin), folate, and vitamin B12 have all been linked to changes in hair appearance and thickness. Research also shows that, due to their role in supporting cellular health, B12 and folate might help support healthy hair follicles. “Fundamentally, healthy hair will shine,” Sands says. Try HUM Nutrition’s Hair Sweet Hair, which contains biotin, folate, and vitamin B12 to help promote healthy hair follicles.
8. Stay Hydrated
Hydrated hair is happy hair, which is why drinking enough water is so important. Of course, drinking water won’t magically give you the hair of your dreams (sorry!), but it can definitely help you move towards your hair goals. If your body is dehydrated, your skin (read: your scalp) and your hair will also become dry. Aim to get at least eight to twelve glasses of water a day to keep your hair healthy and shiny.
The Best Products to Use for Shiny Hair
Fitzgerald and Sands share their top picks to get glossy hair.
- AWAPUHI Wild Ginger Shine Spray ($26): “This is a dry mist that’s applied as a final step to dry hair,” Fitzgerald says. “It’s light enough to use on top of a finishing spray without breaking down the bonds that lock the style in place.”
- Morrocanoil Treatment ($48): “Argan oil is a topical styling oil that leaves hair glistening,” Fitzgerald says. Added bonus: It’s easily absorbed, leaving your hair weightless and shiny.
- Paul Mitchell MarulaOil Rare Oil Treatment Rare ($43): “In its purest form after a cold press, marula oil gives the most medicinal qualities to the hair,” Fitzgerald says. “Marula oil has the power to replenish the hair’s natural shine and restore its healthy state.”
- CURLS Sea Slip Mineral Infused Curl Slime ($15): “An innovative, high-performance product that transforms and delivers a shiny finish,” Sands says.
- CURLS Nourish and Shine Sea Moss Foam ($15): “Goes on lightly, yet delivers curl definition and the most notable sheen,” Sands says.
- PATTERN by Tracee Ellis Ros Styling Cream for Curly & Coily Hair: “Shea butter is extremely moisturizing for the hair and scalp,” Fitzgerald says. “It provides the most benefits for naturally curly hair.”
Products to Avoid for Shiny Hair
Now that you know which products to stock up on, here are which ones to avoid for shiny hair. “Stay away from products that have a high level of alcohol and sulfates as well as dry shampoos,” Fitzgerald says. “These products have a tendency to absorb or neutralize shine-producing oils in the hair.”