Here's the Difference Between a Hair Gloss and a Hair Glaze

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The first time someone asked me if I wanted a gloss or a glaze, I thought they were offering me donuts. The answer in that situation is obviously yes to both, but much to the sadness of my sweet tooth, they weren't referencing desserts.

They were referring to my hair, and given that I was at salon, it made sense. In the beauty world, hair glosses and hair glazes are both hair treatments that add shine back to your hair, among other benefits, but they do have some small differences that are important to consider.

Below, find out exactly what both treatments entail, how long they last, as well as hair gloss and hair glaze treatments you can buy and try at home.

The Difference Between Hair Glaze and Hair Gloss
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What Is a Hair Gloss?

Hair glosses and hair glazes sound the same, but they have some pretty big differences. For starters, a hair gloss treatment is usually a service done by a hair professional at a salon. "This treatment adds noticeable shine to the hair, and can also dip into the cuticle to deposit color and prevent your newly-added hair dye from falling dull," explains Goldwell Stylist, Steven Picciano. Most of the time, hair glosses take the form of a treatment or a mask that's applied to the hair for a certain amount of minutes and then rinsed out.

"With a color gloss, we can customize and enhance natural tones, softly blend gray hair, neutralize unwanted warmth, or create the most perfect shades of blonde," he explains. "Most color lines also have a clear as well, so if you love your natural color and just want to build in shine that's possible, too."

Results of salon glosses should stick around for about four weeks. Picciano prefers to use Goldwell Colorance's gloss system, which lasts about four to six weeks, or for about 20 shampoos.

If you're rocking natural or textured strands, Jennifer Lord, hair designer and author of Natural Hollywood, tells us that a gloss will add shine for a polished and finished look. "The benefit of a gloss is that it brings out the shine on natural hair which otherwise absorbs rather than reflects light," she tells InStyle.

The Best At-Home Hair Gloss Treatments

There are a few at-home options that might not last as long, but have a more reasonable price-tag than something you'd find in a salon. Celebrity hairstylist Kristin Ess developed a Signature Gloss Treatment ($14; available in multiple shades, as well as clear, which neutralizes brass, adds shine to the hair, and deep conditions. Another option is Bumble and Bumble's Bb. Color Gloss ($34;, which is applied to dry hair for 20 minutes before shampooing and conditioning.

Lord's favorite at-home gloss treatment for textured hair is Bread Beauty Supply hair oil ($24; "because it's light and smells amazing," and is enriched with kakadu plum to smooth and shine curls.

But if you're looking for an even cheaper and simpler at-home treatment, Lord suggests looking around your kitchen. Oils like coconut or olive can deliver a similar result as a gloss.

What Is a Hair Glaze Treatment?

A hair glaze is shockingly similar to a gloss, explains Leland Hirsch, hair colorist and founder of Celeb Luxury, with one major difference.

"They are both temporary non-committal treatments that will fade on their own," says Hirsch. "The biggest differentiation between a gloss and a glaze is its lifespan. Glazes have no ammonia or peroxide, so will last in the hair up to one week, whereas a gloss can last up to four weeks."

When it comes to natural or textured hair, Lord says the service is typically applied through a rinse. Basically, the glaze is a deposit of color that will sit on top of the hair. "The benefit of glaze is that it has no harmful chemicals and fills in gaps of the potentially damaged hair shaft allowing the hair to feel conditioned and moisturized," says Lord.

In addition to adding shine and color, Hirsch says that glazes can help tame flyaway and reduce frizz. They're basically deep conditioning treatments that multitask, Picciano adds.

The Best At-Home Hair Glaze Treatments

Colorists can use different types of products to give you that glaze-like result — for example, Hirsch uses GemLites ($40; and Viral Colorditioner by Celeb Luxury ($40; While Lord recommends seeing a professional for a glaze for an all-over and even application, there are also other at-home versions of this treatment, like the Living Proof Color Care Whipped Glaze ($29; and Oribe Glaze for Beautiful Color ($58;

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