How to Add Shine to Your Hair

4 Secrets to Sleek and Shiny Strands


The holidays call for sleeker, shinier strands, and Allure has all the tips for getting your high-gloss hairstyle right.

You know that a sleek blowout makes your hair reflect light better. You may even own a really good shine spray. But chances are your hair never gets as amazingly, bafflingly shiny as, say, Lauren Conrad's. (And if it does, please don't brag about it.) You can bet she's not just misting on a shine spray and calling it a day. Quite the contrary: the top hairstylists behind each head of hair that you see on the red carpet or in a shampoo commercial have made a science out of creating youthful, natural-seeming, and oftentimes blinding shine. Here are a few of my favorite tricks top hairstylists really use that you can actually do at home.

Related: 4 Ways to Volumize Without Blow-Drying Your Hair

Start building shine in the shower. Nope, that doesn't just mean using a shine-enhancing shampoo. Hairstylist Nathaniel Hawkins suggests rinsing apple cider vinegar through your hair at the very end of your shower. "It's acidic, so it seals the cuticle," he explains. Pour the regular grocery store kind into a spray bottle and stash it in the shower.

Prep damp hair with a leave-in conditioner. It'll make your hair smoother. And when your hair is smoother, it looks shinier. Lauren Conrad's hairstylist, Kristin Ess, uses Healthy Sexy Hair Soy Tri-Wheat Leave In Conditioner ($17) to help create shine. "It's lightweight and it closes the cuticle, which makes hair look shiny," she says. "I buy it by the gallon." Mist it on damp hair, or use a paddle brush to distribute it evenly.

Try switching your shine spray for hair spray. Hairstylist Sarah Potempa, who's worked with celebs like Anne Hathaway, suggests using a lightweight hair spray to boost shine in the most natural-seeming way. First, she mists a nylon-and-boar-bristle paddle brush with a flexible, water-based hair spray (one that lists water, not alcohol, high up on the ingredient list). Then she brushes one section of dry hair twice: First from the middle to the ends, and then from the roots all the way down. The technique keeps the roots from looking stiff or dirty. And that's important, because Potempa mists the brush with more hair spray every time she moves on to a fresh section. "It's a really great way for creating a polished, Veronica Lake look," she says. "It makes the hair shiny and gets rid of frizz."

Use the right brush. There's a reason every hairstylist owns a brush with boar and nylon bristles, such as the Mason Pearson: The nylon bristles grip hair (which helps add volume) and the boar bristles leave it sleek and shiny.

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