An Expert Cheat Sheet for Glossy Hair

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This article first appeared in the Fall 2023 issue of New Beauty. Click here to subscribe

Dull, lifeless hair got you down? Whether you’re combatting damage from heat-styling, hard water or an especially arid climate, you can achieve the slick, frizz-free high gloss hair of your dreams.

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Heat Protectant

A way to prime hair for heat-styling, protectants create a barrier between delicate strands and hot styling tools. Smoothing down the cuticle, they lock in moisture and reduce telltale signs of heat damage, including dullness.

For celebrity hairstylist Johnny Lavoy, glossy hair starts with a good protectant, applied liberally. “For blowouts, I love using the Color Wow Dream Coat to provide slick, humidity- proof shine,” he says. “Apply it generously to your wet hair and then blow-dry for high gloss.”

One to Try:

Color Wow Extra Strength Dream Coat ($28) is lightweight, yet designed to waterproof dry and curly hair types against even the strongest humidity to keep them smooth as glass.

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Hair Cream

A leave-in styling cream that reduces frizz and boosts shine. Think of them like a moisturizer for your hair. For hairstylist Adir Abergel, hair creams are essential for a high gloss look. “When it comes to styling your hair for a sleek look, I like to add hydration right from the start,” he explains. “I build hydration into the hair by cocktailing products like Virtue Un-Frizz Cream with a hair oil.”

One to Try:

Virtue Un-Frizz Cream ($22) packs in moisture to keep frizz at bay all day long through its keratin-powered cream designed to fill the spaces in damaged hair.

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Dry Oil

Despite what the name might suggest, dry oils are still liquids. What makes them “dry” is their fast-absorbing and quick- drying qualities that make them ideal for adding shine and smoothing frizz without weighing down the hair. Lavoy loves dry oil for creating smooth, flyaway-free styles. “To boost shine, I really like the Brazilian Blowout Dry Oil, which is great for smoothing flyaways,” he says. “It’s also super lightweight and not greasy. It can also be applied to both damp and dry hair.”

One to Try:

Brazilian Blowout Dry Oil ($26) is perfect for damaged hair, strengthening as it delivers brilliant shine.

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“Hair Botox”

Funny enough, this has nothing to do with the injectable Botox Cosmetic. Instead, hair filler contains proteins like keratin that “fill” the gaps in color or heat-damaged hair.

Usually an in-salon treatment that can be added to a regular color appointment, “Hair Botox” is like a mega dose of nutrients to restore any damage done. For Abergel, it’s a key part of achieving glossy hair. “High-gloss hair starts at hair health,” he says. “I highly recommend adding a filler treatment like ColorKick to any color services at your professional salon to really kick up the vibrancy and luster in your hair. You can add this service while getting your hair colored or while getting any glossing service.”

One to Try:

Virtue ColorKick Filler, an in-salon service. This one-of-a-kind keratin filler treatment that safely provides damaged hair with the repairing proteins it needs without the harsh chemicals.

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Gloss Mask

A nourishing hair treatment that is meant to be left on for several minutes before rinsing out. Intended to restore dry and damaged hair, gloss masks are typically packed with strengthening peptides, amino acids and luxurious oils. Moroccanoil global ambassador Greg Gilmore says a high-shine hair mask can boost radiance in any hair type. “I love the Moroccanoil Clear Color Depositing Mask because it provides the hair with more shine,” he explains. “This is especially important for textured hair because it tends to not reflect light as much.”

One to Try:

Moroccanoil Color-Depositing Mask in Clear ($30) boosts shine and smooths frizz on all hair colors for a radiant, glossy finish.

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Rice Water

An all-natural hair treatment that leaves strands shiny and straight, rice water is an oil free avenue to gloss. The ancient hair-care ingredient recently got a modern upgrade from INALA, which created a tonic specifically for maintaining a healthy shine in textured hair. The brand’s creative director, Patrice Hale, explains that keeping textured hair straight and shiny has been a tough task in the past. “Straightening textured hair can be tricky, and maintaining shine is even trickier. Our signature Rice Water Complex has been a game changer for silk-pressing textured hair.”

One to Try:

INALA Triple Threat Tonic ($27) is a hydrating, water-based formula that provides healthy shine without heavy oil. It locks in moisture before blow-drying for shinier, silkier, straighter strands.

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