Banishing Bad Hair Days since 1997!™

Hair: Make It Shine!


Major hair care manufacturers know that nothing will capture instant attention faster than an image of a beautiful head of gleaming, glistening, shiny tresses in a television commercial, displayed larger than life on a large billboard or on the cover of a major magazine. (Photo copyright Clairol - all rights reserved).

Unfortunately the average consumer doesn’t realize that those shiny haired beauties required a hidden horde of hairstylists, photographers and tons of hot tools to create. In fact, once had the privilege to interview a former Pantene hair model who explained that it took hours or prep time and lots of flat irons to get her hair to the appropriate shine levels required for use in those famous shiny hair commercials.

Is it possible to have gorgeous shine if you aren’t scheduled to appear on a billboard anytime soon? Or what if you don’t have access to a team of expert stylists?

While there are some instant silicone infused serums, polymer rich conditioners and other instant shine formulas available, they can offer only a temporary fix. Due to their very nature, many instant shine formulas can’t sustain - healthy shine.

Naturally shiny hair results from a number of factors that include proper nutrition and vitamin supplementation along with daily exercise, enough sleep, stress reduction habits and drinking enough water. Other factors directly related to your hair’s shine potential include the overall condition of your hair, the texture, the color and the products you use.

Shiniest Hair Candidates

Perfectly straight, healthy, moisture enriched hair that is a dark color is the best candidate for industrial strength shimmer and shine. Curly or wavy light colored hair that is overly dry or damaged has a poor shine potential. (Photo copyright Clairol - all rights reserved).

Why? Shine is created when light is reflected across the hair cuticles. Naturally stick straight virgin hair has more reflective cuticle layers, and as a rule, it tends to have a nice layer of natural hair oil produced by the hair follicle’s sebaceous gland. Vibrant dark hair offers a strong and continual shine path.

The best reflection occurs when the cuticles have a healthy coating of sebum, which is natural hair oil. Dull hair that doesn’t shine is usually lacking in the necessary moisture to reflect light. Hair that is deficient in moisture and natural oils will absorb the light rather than reflect it.

Hair that is curly or wavy produces less glimmer. Curls and waves don’t reflect shine as well because they break up the smooth outer surface of the cuticle and prevent light from shining without interruption.

Shine Busters

Hair that has a compromised natural sebum mantle may experience the most difficulty generating a solid shine. Why is sebum so important for high wattage? Sebum not only provides natural shimmer potential, it also protects against moisture loss from the cuticles. (Photo copyright Clairol - all rights reserved).

Sebum can be damaged or completely striped from the hair due to a wide range of internal and external factors including hormonal imbalances, prescription drug effects, harsh shampoo formulas, chemical processing, improper use of hot styling tools, weather and the environment. Hair with a damaged level of sebum can become damaged in a variety of way while containing altered cuticles. The end result is hair that is dry, dull, drab and doesn’t shine.

A hidden shine stealer can also be located in your faucet. Mineral loaded hard water can build up on the unsuspecting cuticles. If you have tried everything to increase your shine with limited results, consider that your water may be causing your lifeless hair. When in doubt try using bottled water for a few days for your final rinse. Let the results speak for themselves.

Flipping On The Shine Switch

Do you wish to recapture the luster and shine of your natural hair before you were tempted to indulge in damaging chemicals, blow dryers and excessive styling tools? You can recapture the glowing beauty of shiny healthy hair in no time by starting from the inside out. (Photo copyright Clairol - all rights reserved).

Follow these simple tips and you should notice an improvement.

  1. Shampoo only as often as necessary with a moisture enhancing formula designed for your hair type and texture. Strive to maintain your hair’s natural oil mantle. Avoid drying sulfates when possible.
  2. Pamper and rehydrate strands with regularly scheduled deep conditioning treatments. Choose from award-winning shine building formulas like Phytokarite Intensive Treatment, Phytocitrus Mask or similar deep conditioning formulas. Condition according to your hair’s texture, type and requirements.
  3. Always do a final rinse with a cool to cold-water spray to naturally smooth hair cuticles and enhance shine potential.
  4. Gently pat hair dry. Never pull or rub with coarse towels.
  5. Apply a conditioning detangling rinse or leave-in conditioner like Phyto 7 or Phyto 9.
  6. Use a heat protectant product like a leave-in conditioner or heat protection spray or cream before blow drying or using hot styling tools. Direct air flow down the hair shaft to close and enhance shine potential.
  7. Protect hair from surf, sand, sun and other damaging environmental factors.
  8. Whip up regular hot oil treatments at home. Experiment with different gently heated oils like jojoba, peach kernel, extra virgin olive, sesame or sweet almond. Add a few drops of shine enhancing natural oils such as chamomile for light colored hair and rosemary for dark color hair along with lubricating lavender, geranium and sandalwood, apply to damp or dry hair and wrap in a plastic shower or other type of heat cap. Layer with warm towels and let simmer for 30 minutes of more.
  9. Minimize use of heated styling tools or switch to ion options. Ionic energy promotes negatively charged ions to neutralize positive charges. Thus, the static electricity that causes dull flyaway frizzies and interferes with styling is neutralized too! Hair stays super shiny and healthy-looking.
  10. If you color at home, select products that advertise special shine-enhancing formulas like those from L’Oreal and Clairol.
  11. Use a leave-in conditioner like Phyto 7 or 9 to help detangle and condition damp hair at the same time.
  12. When possible opt for a 100% all natural boar’s brush like those from Kent, Conair, Ambassador or Mason Pearson to give hair more sleekness and shine.
  13. Add instant shine to dull highlighted or colored hair with a clear vegetable glaze, professional style serum products or salon gloss treatments.
  14. Minimize the amount of styling products that you use to avoid dimming natural shine. When appropriate use a clarifying shampoo to remove build-up.
  15. Experiment with natural hair rinses like beer and apple cider vinegar. Both rinses are designed to remove shampoo and product build-up on the cuticle.

Remember that the secret to any great head of healthy hair is a great cut, healthy lifestyle, proper vitamins, nutrition and hair pampering. Creating sizzling shine takes some thought and effort but it is definitely worth it. So go out there and shine on.

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