Shiny, glass-like strands are something we all aim to achieve. With many factors, both in the environment and our beauty routines, that can dull shine, it can be hard to achieve the glossy locks we all long for, and even harder to maintain them when we have them.
To help you not only get the gloss but keep it, we spoke to the experts at Wella on how to hold on to your hair's shine.
What causes dull hair?
"Dull hair can be caused by a multitude of reasons from chemical and heat damage, pollution, dirt, and debris, even an overload of products" says Scott Evans, commercial education manager at Wella.
"Level of shine can be affected by natural hair texture" clarifies Scott. "Shine is caused by light reflectivity off the hairs surface. The flatter the surface the better the shine. Therefore, straighter hair looks shiner whereas curly hair tends to have less visible shine. The tighter the curl formation hair can sometimes look matt or dull, this is because light cannot reflect as easily off the surface".
One common cause of decreased shine, Scott explains that oil can dull shine. "Pollution, dirt and debris can easily attach itself to this resulting in hair looking dull. It can also make the hair clump together reducing the amount of surface that light can reflect off. Therefore, greasy hair doesn’t look very fetching".
He explains that there are three main causes of oily hair:
- Misuse of products - applying conditioner or oils directly to the scalp which overloads the roots that already product natural oils.
- Under cleansing or not cleansing enough - the scalp needs regular cleansing to keep it healthy and balanced. "I would recommend cleansing hair either every day or every other day" recommends Scott.
- An imbalance of your scalp microbiology - an imbalance in scalp bacteria can result in a multitude of problems, such as excessively oily scalps.
To keep the scalp and hair balanced and cleansed, Scott recommends the Wella professionals Invigo Senso Calm shampoo, "designed to cleanse away dirt, oil and product build-up while supporting the natural balance of the scalp" or the Wella professionals Elements Renewing Shampoo which "helps lift away build-up and restore a healthy look and feel to your hair and scalp".
"Moisture is key to good hair health" explains Scott. "If hair is dehydrated it can look dull and lifeless" he stresses. "Moisture loss can be caused by a multitude of factors such as heated styling, extreme heat and UV exposure, chemical damage, and environment" he adds, explaining that hair absorbs and emits moisture from the environment, meaning it is effected by humidity and weather. "If the hairs surface has been damaged by any or all the factors above the hair loses its ability to naturally do this and needs support in absorbing moisture but not releasing it" he adds.
"Very similar to our skin, hair needs hydration to plum and smooth it. Hair is made up of a mix of water and protein along with other key elements. So, a good hair care regime will incorporate a mix of the two". He recommends a hydrating conditioner such as the Wella Professionals Invigo Nurti-enrich Deep Nourishing Conditioner, "the ultra-nourishing formula instantly moisturises hair for improved health and vitality. The formula is infused with Oleic Acid, Panthenol and Vitamin E, that deeply hydrate strands and protect hair from further stress whilst Goji Berry adds a potent nutritive dose of vitamins, minerals, and peptides".
If your hair is dry or damaged, Scott recommends taking steps to reduce this such as reducing heat styling or using a styling tool such as ghd that operates at the optimum head for strands. When blow-drying hair, he recommends using a medium heat or "using a professional dryer that controls optimal heat drying and styling like the ghd Helios, designed to improve drying and increase shine without damaging hair fibres". "I would recommend using heat protection such as Wella EIMI Thermal Image Heat Protection Spray with Wella Professionals Oil Reflections Illuminating oil on wet hair before blow drying and after to smooth, hydrate and nourish strands. This can also be added throughout the day to maintain hydration and shine" he adds.
Scott explains that colouring the hair can affect shine, but only when used incorrectly or due to over processing. To care for coloured hair, he recommends using the Wella Professionals Colormotion+ range, "designed to cleanse and rid hair of colour dulling impurities whilst protecting colour radiance and shine, conditioning, hydrating, and smoothing the hair surface, plus strengthening the hairs internal bonds with plex bond building technology".
How to prevent hair from losing shine
"Keeping hair clean and regularly hydrated is key" says Scott. He advises following a simple but effective regime of cleanse, condition and protect daily or every other day as the first step in enhancing hair shine and health. "I would also recommend a weekly treatment mask to elevate total hair look and feel. A great shine enhancing treatment is Wella Professionals Oil Reflections luminous Reboost Mask, designed to nourish hair fibres, smooth the hairs surface, and restore glass like shine"
"Hair masks are a great way to increase and enhance shine. they are packed with rich active ingredients that will transform hair and increase shine. I would recommend utilising a mask at home once a week. Use this time as a part of your self-care regime" says Scott.
Scott also recommends using a leave-in spray to enhance your hair's shine. "My two favourite shine-enhancing products are Wella Professionals Oil Reflections Smoothing Oil and Wella Professionals EIMI Oil Spritz, fantastic for adding shine, definition and silkiness to hair.
Arguably one of the most important steps for boosting shine, Scott says "100% heat protection is key to protecting the hairs surface from heated styling damage and supports moisture retention and shine to the hair".
Designed to be gentle on both the hair and skin, a silk pillowcase such as the Slip Silk Pillowcase reduces friction on the hair, preventing pulling and helping to maintain softness and shine in your strands.