While I love the look of second-day hair, there is something so satisfying about running your fingers through super-silky locks. Be it the tangle-free feel or the way it glistens mid-flip, I just can’t get enough of shiny hair. Unfortunately, due to my frequent use of hot tools, my hair tends to read more lackluster than glossy, or at least it did before I found these shiny-hair DIYs.
On my quest for shiny tresses, I’ll admit I fell prey to a hair myth or two (a cold-water rinse will only make you cold), but that didn’t deter me from my goal: glossy locks à la Gwyneth Paltrow. While I have yet to reach Goop status, I did find a slew of hacks that turned my dehydrated strands into glistening tresses. From olive oil scalp treatments to shine serums made with products you likely have in your kitchen, I’ve compiled the best do-it-yourself shine solutions that rival the salon.
Meet the Expert
- Moon Ruiz is the cofounder of hair and makeup styling studio LUNITA Beauty Co. in New York.
- Mark Townsend is a celebrity stylist and advisor to hair product company Collective Laboratories.
- Brigette Hill is a trichologist and scalp therapist.
Keep scrolling for some of the best hair masks for shinier, silkier strands.
“Scalp health is hair health. It’s very important to treat the scalp to see a difference in the look and feel of your hair," says Ruiz. To perform an olive oil scalp treatment, pour one to two tablespoons of olive oil on damp hair, massage thoroughly, let sit for one to two hours (depending on your level of damage), and rinse out to reveal super-soft strands. Used once per week on dry strands should be enough to make a difference.
Mayonnaise may not sound like the most appealing hair mask, but when we heard Blake Lively used it as a means to preserve her shiny tresses, we had to give it a try. Before shampooing your hair, apply a healthy dose of mayonnaise to your ends; the idea is that this protects your strands from soap and hard water, ensuring hydrated shiny locks. This works particularly well on curly, dry hair (or strands prone to breakage) and can be used once per week.
Whatever type of mask you choose, be sure to work it into the hair and scalp. "Massaging the scalp will help the natural oils move down the hair shaft, helping to seal the cuticle and fight frizz," says Townsend.
Coconut oil contains lauric acid, a moisturizing medium-chain fatty acid that penetrates hair and reduces protein loss, making it a great at-home hair treatment for added strength and shine. Which, incidentally, can also help with frizz, notes Townsend. "Frizz is caused by hair damage and humidity so keeping the cuticle sealed is very important," he says. For this mask, simply apply coconut oil from your roots to ends, combing through the hair so the oil is equally dispersed. After the coconut oil has rested for your desired time (one hour, or overnight if you want major shine), rinse and repeat until all the oil is gone. This treatment can be used once per week or a couple of times per week.
This might be the messiest DIY on the list, but according to one Byrdie editor, it is a monthly must. Eggs are a great source of protein and fatty acids, and they're full of amino acids that can promote hair growth. Be sure to let your mask sit for 30 minutes, and then rinse and enjoy smooth, healthy tresses. Stick to once per month for this treatment.
To avoid a runny hair mask, beat one or two eggs depending on your hair length, and combine them with your everyday conditioner.
While not as instantaneous as other shiny-hair DIYs, regularly rinsing your hair with bottled mineral water might deliver soft strands. Shampoo and condition as usual, rinse with bottled water, et voilà! Alternately, skip a day of shampooing and just go the water-rinse route, says Townsend. "Skip daily shampooing when you can because shampoos will strip away moisture from the hair and scalp," he notes. This treatment can be used daily.
Tea Tree Oil
"Tea tree oil is perfect. It’s an antifungal, keeps dandruff away, and keeps sebum (oil) at bay," says Ruiz. Add a few drops to damp hair, and massage into the scalp and through the ends. Keep in for around 30 minutes and wash as usual (and try this once every two weeks for hair and scalp health).
"Castor oil is another great scalp ingredient to help with hair growth. Though, it does take a long time to notice the growth difference," says Ruiz, who notes its soothing and detoxifying properties. For a castor oil mask, use high-quality oil and distribute it evenly through strands before washing out. The moisturizing effects are especially beneficial for dryer hair and skin in the winter months.
As Hill notes, it's important to know what you're putting on your hair and scalp—so don't try anything new without first consulting an expert. "I oppose using food-based products to treat scalp and hair conditions that have not been properly identified," Hill says. "Certain oils and foods can exacerbate bacterial or fungal induced scalp conditions. If you have non-problematic healthy scalp and hair and are looking to increase shine, hydration, or strength, it is safe to be creative and experiment with food-based ingredients. If there are any scalp or hair concerns it is best to seek guidance from a trichologist, dermatologist, or hair care expert before reaching into the pantry."
Black Tea Rinse
A spray bottle full of tea and a wide-toothed comb can work wonders, says Hill.
"Black teas are rich in vitamins and antioxidants, which are required to retain smoothness and keep the cuticle closed to deliver shiny strands," Hill says.
Hill says to begin by making an equivalent of three to five cups of tea. "The finer the hair the less tea needed the thicker and denser the hair the more brewed tea will be needed," she says. "Allow the bags or leaves to steep longer than you would if you were preparing to drink."
Once your hair is shampooed and prior to conditioning, saturate hair fibers with the tea solution. Use fingers and comb to evenly distribute the solution throughout the hair, and cover with a shower cap for seven to ten minutes. Rinse with lukewarm water, condition, and style. Use this treatment once a week on any hair type.
Gavazzoni Dias MF. Hair cosmetics: an overview. Int J Trichology. 2015;7(1):2-15. doi:10.4103/0974-7753.153450
Nakamura T, Yamamura H, Park K, et al. Naturally occurring hair growth peptide: water-soluble chicken egg yolk peptides stimulate hair growth through induction of vascular endothelial growth factor production. J Med Food. 2018;21(7):701-708. doi:10.1089/jmf.2017.4101