Glossing Treatments: High in Shine, Low in Commitment

All Things Hair | 24 August 2016
my hair is falling out female blonde hair

Shiny hair, always on top of our wish list.

A hair gloss treatment, as the name suggests, is great for adding shine to dull, tired hair. Typically lasting between three to four weeks, there are many advantages to glossing, as it not only adds a multi-dimensional shine, it also refreshes faded lengths and ends, helps maintain colored hair as well as enhance it into a richer shade.

Hair Gloss Treatments: What They Are, How They Work

hair gloss treatments wavy blonde hair
Gloss helps tone out any brassiness in blonde hair. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

A hair gloss session is a semi-permanent service typically carried out in a salon or, for the confident, at home. At a salon, glossing treatments are usually done after the hair has been dyed, especially for highlights, as they can tone out your hair color if it comes out a little too bright or brassy. Highlighted locks can act a little differently than permanently-colored hair as it can get over-bleached, fading into more obvious yellow or red tones, but this can be neutralized with a gloss: It can be used as a color corrector to achieve the desired shade, making sure the hair color is the very best it can be. It also lays on top of the hair strand and helps protect the shade, keeping the pigments from leeching out.

What’s more, hair gloss treatments make for the perfect post-holiday treatment. They’re recommended as an after-pool solution for those whose tresses have been in contact with chlorine and other chemicals. It helps repair and restore processed, porous hair to its original luster by deeply conditioning (and filling!) each individual strand, leaving your tresses feeling silky soft, with a shiny-looking finish.

How does a hair gloss treatment get my hair shiny?

As for the science behind this process, the treatment works to rectify the effects of permanent color on hair. Color processing opens the hair cuticles and strips hair of its natural pigments, replacing it with new color pigments from the dye. This can be very damaging on hair, as the entire process can weaken the cuticle and leave hair porous. Since they are acidic in nature, glosses work to fill the hair and tightly close the cuticles, subsequently smoothing the surface of your strands. It also acts as a protective shield as it grips onto the hair strands, locking in color. In turn, this smooth surface reflects a great deal more light, giving a shiny appearance.

Going the D.I.Y. route

A very popular in-salon service, what’s great about a hair gloss treatment is that it can also be carried out at home. The semi-permanent gloss is transparent and should be applied to clean, damp to wet hair. Simply wash hair with a lower-sulfate system to preserve hair’s natural shine (we like Suave Professionals Keratin Infusion Color Care Smoothing Shampoo and Color Care Smoothing Conditioner), then divide into sections.

hair gloss treatments DIY mask
D.I.Y.-friendly: Glossing is a shine treatment that can be done at home.

Starting with the back bottom sections, apply the gloss onto your scalp and comb it through from roots to tips, ensuring it is evenly applied. Continue with this method, working through all sections until your entire head is coated. Leave for 15 to 20 minutes. Afterwards, rinse the hair gently but thoroughly—you’ll now notice that your hair will look and feel more silky and conditioned, with that telltale “glossy” finish. A leave-in gloss spray can also help maintain this shine and vibrancy—we love the luminosity and softness we get from spraying on Nexxus New York Salon Care Color Assure Glossing Tonic before styling.

Remember that gloss typically washes out after about four weeks and does not impede future hair coloring. A hair gloss treatment therefore is a non-committal change that’s definitely worth trying out, whether in a salon or at home.