The Best Products For Shiny, Lustrous Hair

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Just as natural makeup enhances your inherent beauty rather than covering it up, shine-boosting hair products encourage your hair’s inner luster to burst forth. “Shine comes from light reflecting off of a smooth surface, just as a calm lake will reflect light better than a rough rock,” Trey Gillen, creative director of education at SACHAJUAN, tells The Zoe Report. In this scenario, strong, hydrated hair is the lake, and damaged hair is the rock. It follows, then, that the best products for shiny hair focus on repairing your hair — by nourishing frayed ends, rebuilding damaged follicles, sealing the cuticles, and protecting it from heat and environmental aggressors — while also offering styling benefits.

Cleanliness is key to shine, too. According to Naeemah Lafond, global artistic director at amika, “product buildup and dirt can leave a dull cast over the hair.” So in addition to using a good shampoo, weekly scalp rinses can work wonders to clarify your scalp, balance its pH level, and promote long-lasting shine. And as long as you’re choosing the right product for your hair type and texture, these products shouldn’t weigh down your hair or contribute to more buildup.

Whether oil, serum, cream, or tool, the best products for shiny hair will return your hair to its truest, glossiest form.


Best Serum

Gillen likes this SACHAJUAN Shine Serum for its headlining ingredient, panthenol, which intensely moisturizes dry hair. That boost of hydration “helps seal down the hair cuticle for reflection and an amazing shine,” Gillen says. This leave-in serum is great for taming unwanted frizz and flyaways, too, and protecting hair from heat styling tools as well. Concentrate it at the ends of your hair, especially if you have split ends — this helps seal them, and can prevent them from fraying more.


Best Rinse

Apple cider vinegar rinses are classic remedies for balancing your scalp’s pH level and ridding it of oil, dandruff, and product buildup, which can make your hair look shinier as a result. While you could certainly opt for the apple cider vinegar in your kitchen cabinet, this ACV rinse from Beekman 1802 is a more luxe, less pungent option. It’s Gillen’s rinse of choice, too. The formula is infused with lactic acid-rich goat milk, which helps purge your scalp of any gunk that may be contributing to dullness. Spritz it onto your roots, massage it onto your scalp, and rinse it out after a minute or two.


Best Mask

Lafond recommends this amika Flash Instant Shine Mask especially for the rushed or impatient among us, as it “can take hair from dreary and lackluster to healthy and radiant in just 60 seconds.” In here, an amino acid complex helps smooth the hair cuticle, hydrolyzed flax seed works to nourish dry strands, and a sun-protecting UV filter helps maintains your color’s vibrancy. Apply it post-shampoo, wait a literal minute, then rinse it out. Use it in lieu of your conditioner, since this is smoothing and softening enough on its own.


Best Oil

Verb Ghost Oil works a bit like a lubricant for dry, dull hair. A blend of moringa seed oil, bamboo extract, and vitamin F work to nourish and strengthen damaged follicles and improve your hair’s moisture retention for long-lasting hydration (and its resulting shine). It’s totally weightless — hence the “ghost” in the title — so it works on all hair types, including fine and damaged, and it won’t interrupt curl patterns either. Use it as a heat protectant, to prevent unwanted frizz if you’re air drying, or on an as-needed basis to keep your hair smooth throughout the day.


Best Deep Conditioner

For a more intensive conditioning treatment, consider this one from SACHAJUAN — another one of Gillen’s go-to products. A potent combination of hydrolyzed wheat protein and red algae helps rebuild damaged hair — and, as we’ve learned today, strong hair is shiny hair. This lightweight, non-gloopy formula is especially useful for fine hair, but there are tons more more deep conditioners on the market to choose from. Apply your conditioning treatment of choice at least once a week, or more if it’s damaged.


Best Treatment

With thousands of glowing Amazon reviews and several awards under its belt, Moroccanoil Treatment is one of the most beloved hair products of all time. A simple formula comprising dimethicone, argan oil, and linseed extract (plus the brand’s signature scent) works to smooth, detangle, condition, style, protect, and instantly boost your hair’s manageability and shine. A multitasker’s dream.


Best Cream

Infused with amino acids, keratin, and antioxidants, this Oribe Supershine Moisturizing Crème works overtime as a leave-in deep conditioning treatment. While it works behind the scenes to strengthen and replenish, it’ll give your hair a high-gloss finish and tons of body and movement in the interim. The consistency is a bit rich, so it works best for people with thick, coarse, or curly hair.


Best Brush

Using the right products is the first step on your glossy-hair journey. The second — and equally important — is using the right tools. Lafond says she loves using a boar bristle brush on her blow-dry clients, since “the bristles buff and smooth the cuticles of the hair, creating a blowout with a natural radiance.” This is the one my own stylist recommended, and I’ve come to think of it as my (not secret anymore) secret weapon. A few strokes gets my hair Marcia Brady-caliber soft and shiny — no tugging or pulling necessary, no matter how bird’s-nest-esque it’s looking that day — and it’s super gentle on both my scalp and hair. Game changer.


Trey Gillen, creative director of education at SACHAJUAN

Naeemah Lafond, global artistic director at amika