Despite what Marcia Brady led you to believe, brushing your hair 100 times before bed is not the answer to shiny hair. Light-catching sheen first starts with the overall health of your hair, but how you care for it and the products you use to nourish, protect, and condition it play a big part, too. Here, we broke down 10 different ways for you to achieve the shiny hair of your dreams.
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1. Flatiron Your Hair
Ever notice how straight hair looks almost incandescent when it catches the light? That extra-glossy effect isn't an illusion, says dermatologist Jeannette Graf. "Flat-ironing helps ruffled hair cuticles lie flat, which creates more surface area to reflect light," she explains. Just be sure not to fry your strands: Only iron bone-dry hair, use a gliding motion, and choose ceramic plates to protect against excessive heat.
2. Add Contrast
Hair that's both light and dark reads shinier to the eye than a flat field of one shade, says colorist and salon owner James Corbett. If your base is dark, ask your colorist for thin ribbons of a lighter hue; if you're a blonde, consider low-lights. At home, try Clairol Perfect 10 by Nice 'N Easy ($5; target.com), a single-process treatment that delivers three subtle tones of a single shade.
3. Eat a Caesar Salad
And don't pluck out the anchovies! According to dermatologist Nicholas Perricone, L-cysteine, found in egg yolks, optimizes the production of keratin, a protein critical for growth (healthy hair = lustrous hair). The omegas in olive oil and anchovies also boost the hydration of hair from the inside out.
4. Step Away From the Glitter
We all love a little bling, but dousing hair with shine products that contain mica can rough up the hair shaft and work against your natural gleam. Instead, look for gloss-boosting ingredients like argan oil, found in Moroccanoil's cult-classic little brown bottle, Moroccanoil Treatment ($34; sephora.com).
5. Wash Wisely
Not all hair colors are created equal, which means you should wash, rinse, and repeat accordingly. Lighter hair is porous and more susceptible to buildup, so it's shiniest when it's cleanest, says Clairol Global Creative Director Marcy Cona. Those with brunette or deep auburn strands are at their glossiest with well-conditioned second-day hair.
6. Look for a Cuticle-Sealer
Similar to the logic behind the flatiron, your hair is smoother and shinier when you seal the cuticle. Look for a product like Color Wow's Dream Coat ($28; colorwowhair.com), which cloaks each strand of hair in a waterproof formula that is resistant to frizz and flyaway-causing humidity. Best part: It lasts up to three shampoos.
7. Go Brazilian
Imagine getting a blowout and having it last 12 weeks. Sound too good to be true? Well, maybe, but the Brazilian Blowout, also known as a keratin treatment, comes close. This 90-minutes-and-up salon process, which involves ironing a smoothing complex onto the hair's surface, can enhance shine and combat frizz for as long as three months. To preserve results, use a sulfate-free shampoo, like Brazilian Blowout Açai Anti-Frizz Shampoo ($34; walgreens.com).
8. Feed Your Scalp
Shiny hair is nourished hair, and hardy strands start at the roots. "I have my clients break open vitamin E capsules and rub the gel directly on the hairline," says Softsheen-Carson stylist Johnny Wright, who works with First Lady Michelle Obama. The antioxidant increases circulation, which stimulates growth. An even easier option: using a vitamin E serum (available at drugstores).
9. Use the Right Shampoo
Try a shampoo with a gentle cleanser that still removes dirt and impurities but won't strip your strands of the moisture needed to maintain a glossy sheen. To do that, celebrity hairstylist Jen Atkin formulated her OUAI CLEAN Shampoo ($28; sephora.com) free of sulfates, and made with keratin to rebuild the hair shaft and moisture-boosting ingredients.
10. Find the Right Brush
Aggressive tugs with nylon bristles can actually increase breakage. Instead, use natural bristles-they distribute the oils in hair, making it glossier. Try the pro-beloved Mason Pearson Brush ($230; nordstrom.com), made with boar bristles.