Get Shiny Hair in 5 Minutes


I think we can all agree shiny hair is a good thing. But the vitamins, no-heat styling, and virgin hair traditionally required to maintain said shininess? So boring. We live in the 21st century, THE SCIENCE FUTURE. Why should we continue to rely on good habits when there's ammonium acrylate copolymer? I, for one, refuse to let a little thing like daily blow-drying stop me from looking like a holographic Lisa Frank sticker. And with the help of beauty technology, I've accumulated a whole arsenal of cheats I would just love to share! Do you also enjoy chemistry for fun- and hair-related profit? Tell me what you think of my completely non-organic four-step strategy for gleaming follicles:

Step 1: Dump a bunch of dye on your head
But not just any dye...gloss! Specifically, a deposit-only, semipermanent color gloss. These things are great—they're non-damaging, they wash out, and they're guaranteed to make your hair super silky. How? Basically, they coat your strands in a plastic-y film so it looks and feels healthier without, you know, actually being healthier. My hair is even a little thicker after putting on a gloss, and it's definitely smoother. Plus, it washes out after a few weeks as long as you stay close to your current color. You can get this done at a salon—probably the best idea—but if you like to live dangerously, Sebastian Cellophanes are amazing for at-home experiments. I used the Gold Red shade over the weekend, and it worked perfectly, thankyouverymuch.

Step 2: Don't wash it too much, but when you do...
Clarify, clarify, clarify! Acid eats away at oil and gunk, which makes your hair brighter, especially if you use a ton of product, since it's hard to wash that stuff off completely. One caveat: If, like myself, you've recently dyed, don't use a clarifying shampoo—it leeches color. The rest of you, though, should feel free to use René Furterer's excellent Fioravanti Shine Enhancing Shampoo any time.

But even if you color, there are in-shower luster-izing options available. By far the best shampoo and conditioner combo I've ever tried for sheer silkiness is the Schwarzkopf BC Oil Miracle line. I have no idea what evil magic is in there, but I still freak out (with joy!) every time I use it.

Step 3: Get your liquids and gels on
Is your hair by any chance towel-dried? You should put some serum on! For maximum sheen at minimum spend, there's just One Serum To Rule Them All: John Frieda Frizz Ease Thermal Protection Serum. For the most part, the serum you use will depend on your hair type, texture, hatred of silicone (in that case, check out DevaCurl Mirror Curls), and general pump- versus squeeze-bottle preferences. But as a generalist? Nobody does it better than John Frieda.

Step 4: Spray some stuff on it
There's never a bad time for one last sparkle coat. Shine spray is awesome because you can use it literally any time. Your hair doesn't need to be clean, kempt, it doesn't even need to be there at all—pretty sure it would work just as well on Vin Diesel's scalp as it does on my ends. Right now I'm using Biolage Shine Shake because it's pink, moisturizing, and light enough for fine hair, but Emily swears by Redken Shine Flash, and usually TIGI Bed Head Headrush is my go-to because the mist is really fine, so you'll never end up looking like Greasylocks.

—Lacey Gattis

Aymeline photographed by Emily Weiss.

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  • Rachel Baynard

    I am totally running to buy the Schwarzkopf BC Oil Miracle. Thanks for all the recommendations! My hair is as dry as the Sahara from over processing and could use this stuff! Another trick I use is the Bumble and Bumble Shine Spray...miracle in a bottle, that stuff.

  • Lara

    What a coincidence, just yesterday I was googling 'shiny hair', what food to eat to have shiny hair, which supplements to take, products, etc. Thanks so much Lacey! Just a quick question: Do we know Katja Rahlwes' eyeshadow brand and colour? I think I need it :)

  • anne

    And for those that want to keep it nice and natural I recommend a good pure bristle brush and ACV rinses (they are genius! just need to get over the smell), for a deeper treatment oils (cocunut, argan, EVOO, whatever you like best).

  • Lauper

    Henna also does wonders. They have "neutral" henna that doesn't deposit any colour. Imagine the results from an eight hour hair mask... Thats basically what it is.

    • cassandra_dee

      Would this present any of the same problems as colored henna for future highlighting/coloring? Does the cuticle soak up dye/bleach differently even henna didn't deposit any color?

    • Louise

      I used henna and it did NOTHING and its also a huge commitment, You wont be able to dye your hair for a while and if you do it may be more difficult or more expensive.

  • Laura

    I second the Rene Furterer's Fioravanti Vinegar. That stuff is magical.

    • Teckie

      I bought this off of Amazon after reading this article. I've really loved the results.

  • Alyssa Gapske

    Tresseme Smooth Anti-frizz shine spray. I've used it on all of my friends and it works so well. I've used it on wet hair, dry hair, before styling and after styling and it NEVER weighs my hair down. Love.

  • jyohal

    Never knew this existed! What salons in NYC would you recommend for this treatment?

    • ITGLacey

      All the Aveda salons have really pretty, gentle gloss shades!

  • malteseproverb

    Man, I do all the "right" things to have healthy hair–no heat styling or coloring, washing very infrequently, using coconut oil, using a boar bristle brush only, eating tons of veggies, no sulfates or silicones–and my hair is totally healthy. But it's not shiny! And I've started to think it never will be, UNLESS I do bad things to it (e.g., using silicone and sulfate products, etc.). So everyone go ahead and feel happy about themselves for having bad habits! Go forth and be shiny!

    • ITGLacey


    • anne

      Could have to do with the water quality? Hard water can be a pain beauty wise (and cleaning wise!), I suggest an ACV rinse (or if you really hate the smell lemon rinse instead. It should get rid of the mineral deposits.

      • malteseproverb

        I've heard this, and I've done the simple test to see if my water is hard, but I've had no particular trouble getting dish soap to froth up. An ACV rinse is about the only typical crunchy natural thing I haven't tried though, so maybe I should. Thanks!

    • Wendola

      Try using a ACV rinse on your hair as a conditioner replacement. (e.g. 1 tablespoon of ACV to 1 cup of water) After two weeks of doing this, my hair started appearing very shiny AND I have super damaged hair (no hair cut in 2 years, heat damage, etc), so this is amazing for me. My routine involves a shampoo bar for shampooing and an ACV rinse for conditioner. Works like a charm!

  • Edwina@WINONA,INC.

    Loving the shot of Liu Wen! So very Cher.

  • cassandra_dee

    I am forever plagued by this! Shiny, healthy virgin hair, or less-than healthy hair that's more of my ideal color?

    Hairdressers love my hair. It's bra strap length, straight, and fine, but there's a lot of it. The natural color is that golden-when-I-was-a-kid-but-not-anymore dark blonde (A shade darker than Katja's and maybe a little less ashy). Best of all, it's pretty healthy.

    I LOOOVE being blonde, so I used to punch up my base color with some highlights, but it kept getting lighter and lighter with each appointment, and I was left with damaged ends. I've spent three years easing it out, with a a couple rounds of balayage to blend it into an ombre it grows. I have highlights left in the bottom half that people assume are natural. They're a little dry. Virgin hair is silky smooth.


    Option A: Embrace the color and texture that requires literally no maintenance, and rock the full-on Marcia Brady? No bleach means I could have healthy (i.e. shiny) waist length hair.

    Option B: Embrace the fact that I could be legit blonde, not just dirty blonde, by going only a couple shades lighter, but sacrifice some of the hair health. I also live in NYC, so this is expensive.

    • malteseproverb

      from one 'dark blonde' to another... MARCIA MARCIA MARCIA!

  • kneelbeforetigers

    Is there a better serum recommendation than Frieda? I find it to be so so heavy and weighs down my blowout... help!

    • ztluhcSK.

      I really like Shu Uemura Essence Absolue. It is expensive but lasts for a very long time.

  • larasophia

    great tips! I totally want to try the Schwarzkopf BC Oil Miracle.

  • Lydia

    Not related to glossy hair, but anyone have any suggestions for a lipstick like the one in the first photo? Been seeking a beautiful dark red like that for a long time but can only find more purple-based ones?

  • Lauren

    totally off topic, but is there ANYWAY to find out that shade of red lipstick?!

    • Calamity Jane

      I did a bit of research for you...
      Seems that this shade of red is a mix of two YSL lipsticks: Rouge Pur Couture The Mats ''Rouge Scandale 204'' et ''Grenat Satisfaction 2006''. After comparing their american and the french websites, only three shades are avaible to the american market: 201, 203 and 206 instead of the six created for the french one. The glossy hair was acheived by using Gloss Appeal from Kerastase. Hope that helps!

  • Emma

    Aha don't work

  • A

    Great tips for shiny hair, they're very simple yet effective.

  • jackscht

    plastic plastic plastic......stop putting this crap on your hair. A little coconut oil is all that's needed for beautiful hair.


Sebastian Cellophanes Hair Color Gloss
Rene Furterer
René Furterer Fioravanti Shine Enhancing Shampoo
Schwarzkopf BC Bonacure Oil Miracle Shampoo
John Frieda
Joh Frieda Frizz Ease Thermal Protection Serum
DevaCurl MirrorCurls
Biolage by Matrix
Biolage by Matrix Color Care Shine Shake
TIGI Bed Head
TIGI Bed Head Headrush Shine Mist