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How To Get Supersonic Anne Hathaway Hair Shine

How To Get Supersonic Anne Hathaway Hair Shine

A HairTalk visitor recently asked me how to achieve the shimmering shine beaming from the bobbed strands of actress Anne Hathaway.

Many may wonder if it's possible to achieve the same shimmer as Anne, who's a big star and with the best hair colorists and stylists in the biz on her speed dial.

The answer?  Yes, especially if you understand all the ins and out of how Anne's hair was coiffed to showcase a megawatt shine.

Lets Start At The Beginning - Basics Of Hair Shine

Although is is very likely that Anne Hathaway's supersonic shine came through from the talented hands of a hairstylist using the best products, there are some basic shine factors to consider when it comes to hair.

Note: Check out the difference in Anne's shine factors between the short straight bob (left) and the long textured hairstyle on the right.

The basic hair shine factors are:

1.  Brunette hair reflects shine much better than any other hair color.  A medium to dark chocolate is the ideal hair color for creating a blinding shimmer.

2.  Straight hair that is medium in thickness is also ideal for amping up the shimmer.  Naturally wavy, curly or textured hair breaks up the light as it hits the strands causing the shine to become diffused.

3.  Hair which is not too long or too short will reflect shine best.  This is because there is enough hair surface, but not too much, for the shine to manifest from.

4.  Hair which is healthy, or has been cleansed and styled to maximize the best qualities of the hair will shine more than hair which is damaged, dry or full of breaks and split ends.

5.  The combination of a medium to dark base with well placed highlights and low lights will create a beautiful contrast which draws light and shimmer.

6.  Good lighting and professional photography also can add lots of shimmer.  Inside lighting will tend to make hair appear shinier than outside sunlight.

Sometimes when you see a celebrity which a head full of shimmering tresses they may indeed have healthy hair, but they may also have a great hairdresser, lighting expert and photographer to bump up the shine several notches.

How to achieve shine

If you are starting our your shiny hair quest with brunette, straight, medium thick, healthy hair then the key is to use the right cleansing methods, styling products and tools to create shimmering strands.  Listed below are some well-known steps to create shine on hair which has natural shine advantages (brunette, straight, medium thick, healthy, chin to shoulder length):

1.  Cleanse in lukewarm water with products designed specifically for your hair type, texture and current condition.  You might also consider using an alternative cleansing method to further encourage that look of healthy shine.  This might include using a Diluted Shampoo product (DS) or a Conditioner Only (CO) Wash, a low poo or maybe a no poo or Water Only (WO) rinse.

2.  Rinse all shampoo completely from hair.  If a shampoo or cleansing residue is allowed to remain it can leave hair dull and block natural shine.

3.  Apply a rinse-out conditioner appropriate to your hair type, texture and current condition from the top of the ears down to the ends focusing the conditioner on the damaged parts.  Detangle gently with fingers or a wide tooth comb.

4.  Make sure the rinse-out conditioner is rinsed out with lukewarm water.

5.  Finish with a final rinse of cool or cold water which will close the cuticle of the hair and encourage moisture to be sealed inside the cuticle and encourage natural shine.

6.  Towel blot - do not rub.  Rubbing hair will rough up the cuticle and will diminish natural shine.

7.  Apply a shine enhancing leave-in conditioner appropriate for your hair type, texture and condition.  Add in the appropriate styling products such as a defrisant and/or a straightening balm.  Remember, straight hair shines more than textured hair.

8.  Separate hair into 8 horizontal sections.  Blow dry with a dryer set on medium to low speed, medium to low heat to avoid over heating strands, which makes them dry and less likely to shine.  Work on one section of the hair at a time with a 100% boar bristle brush and the dryer.

9.  When hair is completely dry, apply 1-2 drops of shine serum or shine spray into the palms of the hands and lightly finger pick the strands.  Avoid using too much serum which can leave hair oily.

While it's possible to use a hot iron to achieve perfectly sleek strands, if you can avoid using one or only using it briefly, that prevents any possible heat damage which can take away from a high watt shine.

How to achieve shine on shine challenged hair

Some factors to consider for shine challenged hair:

1.  If your hair doesn't shine easily because it's dry, damaged or contains rips and splits, you may need to undertake a systemic deep conditioning regime that will help hair recover from dryness and damage.  Have all split ends and damaged sections removed.

2.  If your hair is naturally curly, wavy, coily or kinky, achieving the same kind of hair shimmer as Anne Hathaway is tricky.  Does this mean your hair can't shine?  No.  What it does mean is that you have to amp up the hydration of your hair to make sure that your natural texture is well-formed, bouncy and each clump of texture has its own natural shine.  You can also use a bit of shine serum to help the shimmer along.

3.  If your hair is white blonde, light blonde or even some colors of red, you may also have to work harder at achieving a similar Anne Hathaway shine.

4.  You can achieve maximum shine by wearing your hair straight, with highlights and/or lowlights that play up dimension and shine and with the proper shine enhancing hair products.

5.  There are a range of hair care products which can help dull hair achieve more shine including glosses, glazes and even by adding demi-perm hair color to a drab hue.


While shiny hair might not sound like a complicated topic, it can actually involve a wide range of variables which may or may not be manipulated to achieve the ultimate shimmering strands.

And yes, a great photographer and killer lighting will help amp up the shimmer on any hair.

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