You might be wondering how to make your hair shiny like glass? Well, like glass skin, it’s mostly about hydration and a well-thought-out, consistent routine. There is no miracle glass hair product, but it doesn’t take as many haircare buys as you’d think to nail this finish. During the pandemic most of us upped our haircare game, adding in scalp treatments, moisturising masks and smoothing serums, so tapping into the glass hair trend might not be as difficult as you think.
Before you even pick up a shine-boosting serum and a pair of straighteners, make sure your hair has been trimmed. “Split ends spread, the more there are the more they multiply,” warns London-based session stylist Linnéa Nordberg. Not only will a sharp edge maximise the look, but it will also improve the overall health of your hair, minimising dryness, breakage and encouraging growth. We’ve asked some of our favourite hair stylists, including Mark and Linnéa to help outline the four key steps you need to achieve glass hair.
What is Glass Hair?
“It’s hair that has a mirror-like shine,” says Alisha Dobson, hairstylist and colourist at Bleach London. “It’s incredibly healthy, glossy looking hair with zero fly always and it’s not just for straight looks, but polished curls and coils too.” For your hair to be glassy, it needs to be healthy. We’re talking hydrated, freshly trimmed, and protected from heat and harsh chemicals. Scalp health also important. “I recommend all my clients take care of their scalp in the same way they take care of their skin,” says Mark. That means cleansing, exfoliating, and moisturising your scalp. While it sounds like a chore, a healthy scalp leads to healthy hair and encourage growth.
How To Make Your Hair Shiny Like Glass
While it takes eight steps to get glass skin, most of us can achieve a glass-like shine with our hair in four. Keeping your hair healthy and hydrated is fundamental, but there’s also a knack to straightening your hair if you want to dial up the shine.
Step 1: Prep Your Hair
The first step to achieving glass hair is creating a clean canvas. Rinsing your hair of any impurities and excess sebum means your products will be more effective as the hair shaft will be able to absorb them better. When washing your hair don’t forget to pay your scalp some attention by massaging it to increase blood circulation or even using an exfoliant to get rid of the dead skin cells at the top to allow hair strands to go through undisturbed promoting hair growth. We recommend Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Happi Scalp Scrub, £30 and Living Proof Scalp Care Revitalizing Treatment, £27. The latter has a handy nozzle to help massage the formula into your roots. You only need to use a scalp scrub once a week max to slough away excess oil, dry skin and leftover product. Alisha’s go-to products for this step are Dizziak Hydration Wash, £20 and Dizziak Deep Conditioner, £22.
Step 2: Treat & Hydrate
Using regular treatments is key when it comes to maintaining strong, healthy hair. “Treatments are a must,” says Alisha. “Rotate between moisture, protein and bond-building hair treatments to maximise results.” Some of our favourites include Olaplex No.0 Intensive Bond Building Hair Treatment, £28 followed by the iconic No.3 Hair Perfector, and Aveda Damage Remedy Intensive Restructuring Treatment, £34. In case you’re tempted to double down with your usual conditioner, Linnéa has this to say about masks: “they’re formulated to be left on for longer than conditioners, allowing them to work deeper into the hair and strengthen it.”
Hair oils and serums can also act as conditioning treatments. “Look to them as leave-in treatments. Oils are nice for thicker hair, while finer hair might benefit from a serum which would be lighter,” says Linnea. “If you have thick, dry or curly hair you might want to use a leave-in conditioner too.”
Step 3: Flat iron Your Hair
Let’s take it back a step before you switch on your straighteners and spritz your hair with heat protectant – we love Philip B Thermal Protectant Spray, £32. This is a necessary step as excessive heat can cause a lot of damage to the hair shaft and it can result in excess frizz, which won’t sit well with the sleek look you are trying to attain.
While heated styling and healthy hair rarely sit well together, to achieve the straight and sleek look a flat iron is your best bet. Alisha recommends blow drying your hair first with the nozzle on the hairdryer as this will direct the airflow, give you more precision and boost your shine. “Blow drying first will help smooth your hair out from root to top and means you won’t need to use your straighteners as much,” adds Linnéa.
When flat ironing your hair, divide it into sections, this gives you extra control and ensures you capture every strand of hair. Before you press each section, it’s worth brushing your hair to smooth it out and boost shine. Linnea’s method is to: “hold the hair smooth in front of your straighteners, mist with a light hairspray, and then straighten it.” This gives you to extra control and ensures the heat get through most of the hair. In terms of tools, we recommend T3 Lucea 25mm Professional Straightening & Styling Flat Iron, £119 and Handle Paddle Hairbrush, £55.
Step 4: Seal & Smooth
Once you have finished straightening your hair, you want to make sure that the results last, come rain or shine. We suggest using a hair oil, spray or even wax. For a glossy and sleek finish, Alisha has an insider trick up her sleeve: “for the parting flyaway, spray hairspray onto a large blusher brush and lay those baby hairs to rest.” If you don’t like the feel of too many products in your hair, look to Oribe Superfine Hairspray, £38. It’s feather-light and doesn’t leave your hair with a gritty feeling. In terms of serums, you can’t go wrong with IGK Hair Crybaby Anti-Frizz Smoothing Serum, £22. Linnea places an emphasis on styling the hair to achieve the look saying: “To achieve glass hair well, you need to focus on the details when styling. I like it with a straight, neat parting with all baby hairs flyaways smoothed.”
If you’re keen to channel the smooth, glass-like finish long-term, Alisha recommends investing in a silk pillowcase or Slip Slip Pure Silk Hair Wrap, £70. “A silk pillowcase can really extend the life of your hairstyle,” she adds. To add additional shine, rub some oil (like Augustinus Bader The Hair Oil, £39 or Charlotte Mensah Manketti Hair Oil, £48) on your hands and run your hands through your hair loosely.
Well, we’ve answered the question of how to make hair shiny like glass and there’s no denying that it’s a very beautiful hair trend. I mean, who wouldn’t want their hair glassy, silky smooth? It’s also relatively easy to achieve as most of the products and tools are probably already in your bathroom cabinet. Tapping into the trend does force you to give your hair some extra TLC, which is only a good thing, especially if you’re a shampoo-and-go kind of person. The downside is that it takes time to section, straighten, and smooth your hair. If your hair is damaged or feeling fragile, I’d swerve this trend as the extra heated styling could cause more harm than good.
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