That unassuming little tool does a very important job, concentrating and controlling airflow to speed drying and keep hair from whipping around. “Aiming the nozzle down the hair shaft increases shine,” New York City salon owner Ryan Darius says.
Shampoos and conditioners with silicones lock down the cuticle, preventing flyaways and fuzzinessand amping up shine. And “theyre lighter than oil-based products, which can leave hair greasy,” says Jet Rhys, a salon owner in San Diego, who suggests giving hair a quick cold-water rinse before stepping out of the shower to close down the cuticle even more.
To eliminate product buildup without stripping hair, try this homemade remedy once a month: Add 1 tablespoon baking soda to 2 tablespoons shampoo, then wash and condition as usual. “Sodium bicarbonate, a natural cleanser and deodorizer, removes stubborn residue,” says Mario Russo, a salon owner in Boston and Vermont.
Shine sprays and serums swathe hair in silicone. Sprays (ideal for fine to medium hair types) and serums (better for thick, coarse curls) both should be used sparingly, from midshaft to ends only, and right before blow-drying or ironing. “Heat bonds the silicone to hair, creating a natural-looking sheen,” says Nathaniel Hawkins, TRESemme celebrity stylist.
“They reflect more light than pale, cool colors do,” says Kyle White, a senior colorist at the Oscar Blandi Salon in New York City. He recommends warming up your hue when it starts to look dull with color-enhancing shampoos and conditioners, like those by ArTec and Oscar Blandi, which deposit moisturizing color polymers and easily wash out. For a longer-lasting boost, be sure to ask your colorist about demi-permanent dyes, which “contain special color molecules that lodge into the cuticle layer of the hair to create shine while delivering a hint of color,” explains Ben Stewart, color director at Cutler/Redken Salons in New York City.
Natural boar bristles are not only easier on hair than synthetic onesand thus less apt to cause damagebut also best for boosting shine. “Boar-bristle brushes align your strands to create a more reflective surface,” says Gretta Monahan, celebrity hairstylist for Dove and a salon owner in Boston. They also attract dulling dust and dirt, lifting them away, and do a really good job of carrying conditioning scalp oils to your ends. And you dont have to spend a fortune on oneyou can find an inexpensive boar-bristle brush for less than $10 at most beauty-supply stores.
“Gently kneading the scalp at least once a day tones the tiny muscles and nerves that are attached to each hair follicle and stimulates circulation to the scalp, fostering stronger hair,” says Philip Kingsley, a New York City–based scalp expert. “Try massaging your head once you turn off the lightfor healthier hair and a more relaxing sleep.”