The Best Hair Glosses To Refresh Your Color At Home
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When your hair color starts to fade or look dull, it’s a great opportunity to use an at-home hair gloss for a quick and easy refresh. According to Jonathan Colombini, a celebrity hairstylist and colorist with L’Oreal Paris, hair glosses “will absolutely keep your color looking its best between services,” he tells The Zoe Report. To find the best hair gloss for you, Colombini says to choose the shade that’s as close as possible to your root color, whether you dye your hair or not.
“The main purpose of a home gloss should be shine, UV protection, and color preservation,” adds Rex Jimieson, a colorist at Maxine Salon in Chicago. While Colombini is all for giving yourself a gloss, Jimieson tells The Zoe Report that it’s best to work with a professional for permanent color, and to stick to using clear glosses at home that don’t contain “demi-permanent” color technology. “Avoid anything where you mix two items together (nothing that contains peroxide or developer). As a professional color specialist, I do not recommend coloring your hair at home, only treatments.” He also stresses, “Always follow the manufacturer's directions precisely!”
Though many people use hair glosses to extend their in-salon dye job, both experts say that anyone can benefit from using one. “I have many clients with virgin hair that LOVE to use an at-home gloss, so it really is for everyone,” Colombini says. “Glosses are meant to refresh your hair color, [whether] artificial color or natural; it does not matter.”
Whether you want a clear or tinted gloss, try to choose one that contains nourishing ingredients that will enhance your hair’s softness and shine. As a final word of advice, Colombini suggests pairing your gloss with sulfate- and paraben-free shampoos and conditioners to keep your color looking its best.
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1. The Overall Best Gloss To Boost Color
Offered in a wide range of shades, L’Oreal Paris Le Color Gloss works to boost shine, enhance color, and neutralize any unwanted undertones. It’s free of ammonia, parabens, phthalates, and sulfates, and made with a coconut-infused, deep-conditioning base to keep your hair feeling smooth and soft. The effect should last for about 10 days, and it doesn’t require any mixing or blending (remember, that’s a plus in Jimieson’s book). You can apply this in the shower in one simple step.
- Available shades: Black, Rich Brunette, Cool Brunette, Auburn, Copper, Honey Blonde, Cool Blonde, Clear
2. Runner Up
Also offered in a great range of shades (though it is more expensive than the L’Oreal option), this ready-to-use, no-mix gloss is another excellent choice for at-home use. Made without peroxide or ammonia, it helps boost your color and tone highlights, while also leaving your hair looking shiny and vibrant. This comes in a handy pump-top bottle, so it feels especially convenient to use.
- Available shades: Black, Dark Brown, Medium Brown, Light Brown, Auburn, Copper, Strawberry, Dark Blonde, Medium Blonde, Light Blonde, Sheer
3. The Best Clear Gloss For Shine
Both of the glosses above come in clear options, but at just $9, you can’t do much better than the John Frieda Luminous Glaze Brilliant Gloss if you’re looking to give your hair a boost of shine. This ammonia- and peroxide-free gloss is designed to be used in the shower each time you wash your hair (the brand suggests a minimum of three times a week); or, use it on dry hair weekly as a 20-minute deep-conditioning treatment. Formulated with what John Frieda calls “pore menders,” this will also help make your hair feel smooth and strong.
4. The Best Purple Hair Gloss For Blondes
For blondes, Colombini recommends using a purple gloss to counteract any unwanted brassy undertones. Shu Uemura Color Lustre Cool Blonde Hair Gloss fits the bill perfectly: Use it every two to three times you wash your hair for best results. Made with nourishing linseed and rose hip oils to moisturize your hair, this is ideal for anyone who wants a cooler shade of blonde, whether you have highlights or full-on platinum hair.
A note from Colombini: “Steer on the side of caution with the purple as you don’t want to turn your hair silver or ashy with the gloss. Be your own judge on how often to use according to what your hair is telling you.”
5. Best Splurge
When in doubt, Jimieson suggests splurging on the Oribe Glaze For Beautiful Color, which he calls “an exceptional, mistake-proof treatment that will protect, and add lasting shine, to your hair.” He explains that “it contains flower extracts for their antioxidant effect, quinoa to prevent color fading, and Brazil nut for smoothness, softness, and high shine.” Use this once a week after shampooing in place of your regular conditioner to brighten up your highlights, enhance your color’s vibrancy, and leave your hair looking (and feeling) soft as silk.
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Similarly to the Oribe glaze, this amika hair mask is intended to be used in place of regular conditioner (though if you have dry or thick hair, you can use it after conditioner for even more nourishment). It’s made with moisturizing flaxseed, smoothing amino acids, and other hydrating ingredients that’ll make your hair look glossy after just 60 seconds. The pointed-tip nozzle makes application a breeze, too.
Jonathan Colombini, L’Oreal Paris celebrity hairstylist and colorist
Rex Jimieson, a colorist at Maxine Salon in Chicago