Contrary to popular opinion, shiny hair does not start from the minute you wake until you stumble into the shower.
The real truth about shiny hair? It starts with genetics. Hair type texture, length and color set the stage for whether your hair will be easy to polish to a glassy shine or require more challenges.
Why? Thin or fine hair types are often very soft and when it is naturally straight, will be naturally more shiny than coarse or rough tresses.
Hair that is naturally curly, wavy, kinky or a combination of textures does not reflect light as easily as those hair textures which are stick straight. Light, whether sunlight or artificial light is necessary for reflecting shine.
Hair with natural curls, waves or a comb have a shaft that twists and turns. Think about hair shine as you would a flashlight. Imagine trying to shine it through a mass of twisty stairs. It's naturally harder for light to travel down those ringlets and undulating waves and much easier for stick straight strands.
Dark hair reflects light much better than lighter shades although as witnessed by the images of Carrie Underwood and Pamela Anderson, blonde shades, especially those with a combination of light and dark hues, can achieve a eye popping shine. Properly placed lowlights and highlights can take follicles a long way towards added shimmer.
Long hair is often shinier than short hair since there is more length to catch and reflect light. Depending on the shade of hair color you have, you may have an inborn advantage to creating mega wattage for your tresses.
Hairstyles created with lots of layers and chunks will not be naturally as shiny as styles with long sweeps of hair which can more easily catch and reflect the shine.
Ever wonder why celebrities and models often appear on magazine covers with blinding hair shine? Photographers understand how to use special light umbrellas to capture as much as light as possible.
Celebrity hairdressers also understand how to create shine maximizing styles to work with the light, posing angles and fashions to amp up the sparkle.
Even the fashions you wear can assist with instant hair shine. Blondes wearing black often have the advantage of making their hair color and shimmer pop. Some redheads can naturally increase the shine of their hair with jewel tones. Brunettes can max their hair shine with some shades of white.
Other shine secrets of the stars include the following:
Maintain tresses in pristine condition.
Keeping all split ends trimmed off in important since split ends can instantly detract from shine. When hair is full of splits or broken strands the light which creates the shine will be broken and a clean line of shimmer will be lost.
Keep hair color vibrant
Dull hues will make for dull tresses and reduced shine. Although dark roots have become a popular trend in Hollywood, they can reduce the shine potential. Consider this factor when training for maxed up shine.
Another important key for shiny hair is to work with a professional colorist to select hair colors most compatible with your skin and eye tones. If your hair color clashes with your eyes and skin, the shine factor will be diminished.
Condition, condition, condition
Celebrities understand the results of wear and tear from environmental factors such as wind, pollution and excessive sun exposure. Why do you think celebs love to wear hats? It helps to protect their precious follicles.
Celebrities are also famous for undergoing a wide range of conditioning treatments besides the weekly deep conditioning sessions. Jennifer Aniston is known for doing pre-shampoo conditioning, post-shampoo conditioning and always wearing leave-in products.
Cheat with shine enhancing products for every hair care step
Shine aids include leave-in conditioners, color enhancers such as color shampoos, conditioners or temporary color enhancers.
Celebrity Hairdresser to the stars - Ken Paves - recently announced his amazing new Ken Paves Healthy Hair™ Boost Up™ Color Drops™ which can enrich natural or chemically created color. The Color Drops will also instantly add shine.
Other great shine enhancers include shine serums, sprays and related styling options.
Wear hair accessories designed to amp up shine.
Nicole Richie, Paris Hilton and many of the hot young stars understand the value a shimmering metallic or shiny headband will add to their tresses. If your hair is looking a little dull and drab pop on a headband in a shine enhancing accent color.
Avoid shine stealing make-up.
Study a photo of a celebrity with amazing shiny tresses and you may notice their make-up works with and not against their hairstyle. This is a key secret many hair consumers miss when focusing on creating sizzling shine for their style.
Plan accessories carefully.
Avoid snapping on shiny earrings or necklaces which will actually detract from your beautiful locks. Just as fashion colors and styles can make or break you hair, so can the incorrect accessories.
Foil shine killing hair habits
You may have bad hair care habits which are robbing your shine potential without even knowing it.
Some famous hair shine killers include:
A. Poor nutrition. Hair requires proper vitamins and minerals to achieve full health. Healthy hair is shiny hair. Eat a well balanced diet, take your hair vitamins and make sure to maintain a proper protein balance to your daily food plan.
B. Dehydration. Healthy hair needs proper daily hydration. This means water, not soft drinks or energy drinks.
C. Caffeine addiction. Minimize daily caffeine consumption which can cause hair to become dull.
D. Smoking. Kick the nicotine habit which can also block natural shine.
E. Sleep deprivation. Just like skin, hair needs enough sleep for optimum health and sparkle.
F. Over cleansing. Hair needs natural oils to remain shiny. Consider washing hair only 1-2x a week to preserve natural oils.
G. Harsh cleaning products. Use only the best shampoo products your budget can afford. When possible consider diluting your shampoo with lukewarm water to minimize the impact of any harsh shampoo chemicals.
H. Hot water washing. Shampoo only with lukewarm water. If your water supply is harsh, consider installing a water softening filter or use distilled water for your cleansing process. Always finish with a cool/cold water rinse to close the cuticle and encourage natural shine.
I. Lack of oils in diet. Vitamin E and essential fatty acids (EFAs) in diet. Healthy hair springs from a diet rich in oils.
J. Hot tool damage. Blow dryers and irons can strip hair of natural oils and leave hair damaged. Consider air-drying when possible. Always use leave-in conditioners to protect delicate strands.
K. Improper daily styling habits. Avoid combs with knobs on the end which can rip out strands. It is also important to only brush to smooth strands. Do not brush excessively since this can damage strands. Use only a top of the line boar bristle brush which can help to distribute oils properly and enhance shine.
L. Overuse of styling products. If you must use lots of gels, waxes or other styling products, clarify hair on a regular basis. Excess styling products will build up over time and strip natural shine.
M. Damaging natural rinses. Skip the lemon juice, beer - flat or otherwise - and other home remedies. Some can actually diminish shine while others can make hair sticky and more prone to damage since detangling can become a problem.
N. Henna and other chemical hair product abuse. Henna can actually make strands dull and can cause damage. If you must use henna, work with a pro. Avoid perms and chemical texturizers which may damage strands ultimately blocking shine.
Beautiful shiny hair starts at birth with your hair type, texture and color. Other shine amping factors which play into having gorgeous shimmer includes the color, length and ultimate hair style.
While daily hair habits play a major role in keeping the shine, you have to acquire it in the first place. One thing is certain, damaged hair is less likely to radiate that megawatt shimmer. Understand the secrets to shiny hair and you can transform your own tresses into spectacular shine.
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- Revised Publication Date: 03/09/10