Make Your Hair Shine

Real Simple

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Patricia Heal

Treat Your Hair Right
Glossy hair equals healthy, well-moisturized hair, according to the experts. Consider using an effective weekly or monthly treatment (depending on your needs) to hydrate strands and keep them smooth and reflective.

Deep Conditioners
These concentrated treatments contain rich oil-based moisturizers to help alleviate dryness and seal the cuticles, says Charles Dujic.
Best for: Hair that is styled with heat more than three times a week.
Hassle Factor: Low. Use once a week in lieu of a daily conditioner; leave on for 20 minutes, then rinse.
Expert Pick: Shu Uemura Moisture Velvet Nourishing Treatment for Dry Hair, $60.

Hair Masks
A richer option, masks fill in weak areas on the hair shafts with proteins to create more even and shinier surfaces.
Best for: Chemically treated hair.
Hassle Factor: Moderate. Apply a mask twice a week.
Expert Pick: Kérastase Resistance Ciment Anti-Usure, $36.

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At-Home Glosses
The best formulas condition hair with oils and silicones and coat it with a reflective glaze that gradually washes out.
Best for: Brittle, beat-up hair.
Hassle Factor: Low. Once a month, let sit for up to five minutes.
Expert Pick: Frédéric Fekkai Salon Glaze, $28.

Professional Deep Treatments
An in-salon service combines the oils of a deep conditioner, the proteins of a mask, and the silicones of a glaze to boost hair's health and brilliance. Once the mix is applied, you sit under a dryer to help the ingredients penetrate.
Best for: Extremely damaged hair.
Hassle Factor: Moderate. The service takes about 20 minutes (plus travel time). If you want to skip the visit, the Warren-Tricomi Salon has developed a similar at-home version.
Expert Pick: Try Warren-Tricomi Repair Green Walnut Masque, $38.

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Patricia Heal

Give It Instant Polish

To get glossy hair immediately, style with a shine-enhancing product. These cover hair with a temporary sheen, and many contain lightweight moisturizers to treat minimal damage. A general rule: The thicker your hair, the thicker your product should be.

Shine Sprays
Best for: Fine hair. Whether it's straight or wavy, fine hair requires only a featherlight misting of silicone. Anything heavier can weigh it down.
The Trick: Instead of spraying onto hair, pump some into your hand, rub your palms together, then run your hands down the surface of your hair. Concentrate on the ends, where hair is drier and duller, says Nelson Vercher, a hairstylist at the Rita Hazan salon, in New York City.
Expert Pick: Mop Glisten Spray Gloss, $18.

Hair Creams
Best for: Medium to thick hair of any texture.
The Trick: After towel-drying, apply a nickel-size amount to damp hair (use twice that amount on thick hair). For added polish, rub a dime-size dab between your hands, then over dry hair.
Expert Pick: John Frieda Collection Frizz-Ease Secret Weapon Flawless Finishing Creme, $6.

Serums
Best for: Thick, curly hair. A serum's syrup-like texture glides easily around curls, controlling frizz and errant hairs to create a smooth, light-reflecting surface.
The Trick: Start with wet hair and distribute a nickel-size amount from roots to ends. This will keep curls soft and prevent frizz.
Expert Pick: Phyto Phytolisse Finishing Serum, $30.

Shine Gels
Best for: Coarse, very thick hair types.
The Trick: A gel with the consistency of jam coats hair effectively; it delivers light hold and dramatic shine. For added moisture, layer it on top of a leave-in conditioner.
Expert Pick: Barex Hairgomine Smooth Styling Gel, $26.

Tip: For a shine fix without products, use a natural-bristle brush, which distributes the scalp's natural oils down the hair shafts, adding luster.

 

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