Wash, rinse, repeat

You’ll be surprised to learn that washing and rinsing your hair properly has a huge effect on how shiny it is.

For hair to really shine, it needs to be able to reflect light. And to reflect light, hair needs to be free from grime and residue. The first step towards this is to thoroughly wash your hair. If you don’t wash your hair daily or every second day, it’s recommended to wash, rinse and repeat.

Read more: 10 beauty terms everyone should know

Rinsing properly is almost as important as washing. Any product residue leftover on your hair will stand in the way of your shiny mane. Rinse until the water runs clear and you can’t feel any residue on your hair.

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Don’t bother rinsing with cold water for extra shine – there’s a long-standing myth that cold water seals your hair cuticles to improve shine, but there’s no merit to that.

Treat time

Hair treatments and masks are formulated to deliver ingredients like keratin and lipids to your hair. They generally need to be left on for a little longer in order to work properly, and should be applied every three to four washes.


Regular conditioning is key. Conditioner delivers moisture and other beneficial ingredients to the outer layers of the hair, helping to seal everything in. This is a vital step for ensuring shiny, healthy-looking hair.


Many hair dryers and stylers are ionised, which encourages shine. Blow-drying and heat styling in general will add shine – just ensure that you always use a heat protection product before your start. That way you won’t end up with heat damaged hair in a few months.

Read more: Beauty hacks to save you time every morning

Finishing products

Hair serums and oils can be applied to damp or dry hair. They have multiple benefits, one of which includes adding shine. Apply a couple of drops of product to the lengths and ends of your hair, work it in thoroughly and then brush through if necessary.

Help from the pros

If you have significantly dry or damaged hair, you’ll likely need some professional help to get it super smooth and shiny.

The best way to go about it is to speak to your stylist about the right professional treatment and home care suggestions for your hair. Different hair types need different courses of action, so enquire about whether your hair needs keratin, lipids, moisture, etc.

Give it the snip

You may also seriously want to consider a haircut. Getting rid of split ends and breakage greatly improves the overall look of your hair. You don’t necessarily have to take off massive lengths if the thought intimidates you – often split ends can just be trimmed off the ends and layers.