Hair Glossing – Everything You Need To Know About Shiny Hair Treatment

Hair trends come and go, but the one we can all follow is hair shine. We’ve seen smart toners that help refine color and shine-boosting products that promise instantly shiny hair, but hair glosses combine the two to create salon-fresh lengths that feel ridiculously soft and look ridiculously soft. Dear even if you are weeks late for your appointment. The best part? A hair gloss benefits everyone, regardless of hair type, texture, color or condition.

What is a lip gloss?

Tinted hair glosses are basically semi-permanent colors with larger dye molecules that sit on the outermost layer of the hair shaft. You can also achieve light glosses that simply nourish and restore shine without changing the tone.

Although glosses and glazes work very similarly, it is the color saturation that differs. “A glaze offers a lighter touch with less color deposit,” says Josh Wood, colorist extraordinaire and pioneer of at-home hair glosses.

You’ll often find vibrant, Glasto-ready shades such as cobalt or rosy rose in glaze form. These work best on blondes or those with lightened hair.

How does a hair gloss work?

It’s all in the size of the molecule and the nourishing ingredients that go with it. Because the semi-permanent dye molecules in tinted hair glosses are larger and sit on top of the hair, it does the tough job of covering up any signs of breakage, brittleness or dryness in the hair cuticle.

“It’s like a top coat for nail polish. (The molecules) cling to the outside of the hair, so when you dry your hair, the color on the outside is incredibly lustrous and shiny” Modern hair glosses are also infused with conditioning ingredients like shea butter and plant oils.

What is the difference between at-home and in-salon lip gloss treatments?

Most reputable salons offer shine treatments as an add-on. Having it done by an expert means they can tailor the tinted gloss to correct or enhance your hair color.

Additionally, some in-salon shine treatments use professional products that provide longer lasting shine. ‘Redken ShadesEQ Gloss lasts up to 20 washes. It’s the perfect product for clients who don’t want to fully commit to coloring their hair or for clients who are new to coloring,” says Paul Binghamcolorist at Larry King Lounges.

Elsewhere, you can book the Wella Shinefinity treatment (from £20) as a quick 10-minute shine or a longer, bespoke, damage-free color touch-up.

Filippo Fortis/Imaxtree

Who should use a hair gloss?

The beauty of hair glosses is that they benefit all hair types and conditions. You can even use tints on untreated hair to add dimension or opt for sheer gloss for high-definition shine.

There’s just one caveat: smoother hair types will naturally see more obvious shine. “Curly, wavy and frizzy hair types don’t have a lot of surface area for a gloss to reflect as much light,” says Aveda UK’s Technique and Texture Educator, Leah Hill.

“But that doesn’t mean the hair isn’t healthy. Due to the ingredients in a gloss, wavy, curly and curly hair will definitely benefit from it. You will feel like the hair has been deeply revitalized and it will enhance your color.

hair shine

Matteo Valle/Imaxtree

How to use a homemade gloss?

First, cleanse your hair thoroughly to remove any buildup of oils and impurities. Then, apply the shine product in sections from root to tip (put on gloves to avoid stubborn stains). Some shine treatments are loaded with moisturizing ingredients so you can go without conditioner.

Josh Wood highly recommends using a comb to evenly distribute the product, especially if using a tinted gloss on lightened hair as there is a risk of unevenness. “If you have long hair or are blonder at the ends than at the roots, start with the darker sections because they’re less porous,” Wood advises.

The application on wet hair will facilitate the distribution of the product (therefore promises a more homogeneous coverage). Most products recommend leaving it on for up to 20-30 minutes for best results. If you have very dark hair, applying to dry strands or leaving it on longer will help intensify the color payoff.

hair shine

Filippo Fortis/Imaxtree

How long do the results last?

It depends on how often you shampoo, but most homemade glosses last about 6-10 washes. Salon shine treatments will make your hair shine for about 6-8 weeks.

How often should you use hair gloss?

Hairdresser and T3 ambassador Laura Polco recommends using an at-home shine treatment once a month to maintain your color between salon appointments or to revive dull locks. Heat also tends to dull your color over time, so if you’re loyal to your curling iron, it’s worth incorporating a fortnightly gloss.

hair shine

Filippo Fortis/Imaxtree

Which gloss to choose?

Thanks to brands like Glaze, Josh Wood, and Aveda, there are myriad lip gloss products at your fingertips. Here’s how to choose the right shade for your hair.

All hair colors, including untreated hair:

Light hair glosses are basically hair woke up like this in a bottle. It gives all the shine and softness without depositing color. It’s the tinted moisturizer of hair glosses, leaving you with brighter, healthier locks.


Josh Wood’s Smokey Brunette Gloss helps neutralize red or orange tones while Chocolate Brunette gives dark hair a nice richness that looks a little flat. Meanwhile, deep auburn hues such as Cherry Glaze Frosting are great for creating depth and enhancing sienna undertones in black hair color.


Cool lilac shades such as Aveda Color Renewal in Cool Blonde and Wella Color Fresh Mask in Pearl Blonde counter the brassiness and keep blonde hair fresh. Want a subtle change? Try Josh Wood Peach Blush Hair Glaze for a summer vibe.


Red has never been more popular (thanks Sophie T!) but it’s a color that fades faster than you can say “Jessica Rabbit”. Boost the glow of your red with Wella Color Fresh Mask in Copper Glow or opt for the Josh Wood range of glosses dedicated to red hair. Both work on natural redheads too.

Are there any long-term benefits to glossing hair?

Yes! Whether you opt for an at-home or in-salon gloss, regular treatments will help restore moisture, strength and of course shine. “They condition and care for the hair while adding color,” says Wood.

Can tinted glosses be used to cover greys?

In short, no. ‘You need permanent hair color (to cover gray hair). You need something that opens up the hair cuticle to allow the molecule to flow inside the hair,” says Wood. What is that box However, give your hair some extra oomph if you decide to lean into the money.

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David R. Brewer