Dull hair tends to lack moisture, shine, and body. It can be caused by many factors, like using the wrong products, not getting enough nutrients in your diet, or overusing harsh chemicals or techniques.
Fortunately, there are ways to perk up dull-looking hair. By introducing some new techniques and home remedies and by using the right kinds of products, it’s possible to turn your lifeless locks into hair that’s healthier, glossier, and easier to style.
Not sure where to start? No problem. We asked the experts to share their tips on how to make dull hair shine.
What causes dull hair?
Dull hair tends to have certain characteristics: It typically lacks luster, has a rough or coarse feeling, and might look frizzy or heavy. Dull hair happens for a variety of reasons, including improper hair care techniques a diet that’s lacking in key nutrients too much sunlight or heat styling over-processing with harsh chemicals environmental conditions, such as dry or cold air using too much product or the wrong products Plus, many pregnant women report hair emergencies like dull, brittle hair. The good news is that it’s usually temporary and due to hormonal changes.
Remedies for dull hair
Almost everyone deals with dull and lackluster hair at some point. The weather, your diet, and your overall sense of well-being can all influence the health and vitality of your hair.
The following six remedies from experts are especially helpful for ditching dull-looking locks and ensuring your hair looks its healthiest, no matter what.
1. Clarify your hair with baking soda
“Hair can become dull over time because it has buildup and residue on it from using products,” said Gina Rivera, founder of Phenix Salon Suites. Rivera said that when this happens, it’s important to clarify your hair. So, what does a clarifying treatment do? Essentially, it helps you get rid of product buildup, hard water residue, and any pollution that’s collected on your hair and scalp. When your hair and scalp are exposed to these elements, they can accumulate and block the natural flow of oils and nutrients to the hair shaft. When this happens, it can weaken your hair and make it look dull and lifeless. By removing the residue from products and the environment, clarifying treatments can help unclog the hair follicles and ensure that your hair is getting the nutrients and natural oils it needs to shine and thrive. You can use a clarifying shampoo, or you can try a home treatment like the one outlined below. Rivera suggests using this baking soda remedy two to three times per month if you have thick, coarse hair. If you have finer hair, you can wait longer between treatments.
How to use:
Add 2 to 4 tbsp. baking soda to a cup or shallow bowl. (Use 2 tbsp. for shorter hair and 4 tbsp. for longer hair.) Mix in water until the baking soda turns into a paste.
Massage the baking soda paste into your roots and scalp, then work toward the ends of your hair.
Make sure to massage the paste into your hair shaft as you go. Use a wide-tooth comb to distribute the paste throughout your hair.
Let the paste sit in your hair for about 5 minutes, then rinse your hair thoroughly and use your favorite conditioner.
2. Revive dry hair with oil
If your hair is feeling dry, celebrity hairstylist Michelle Parkes, owner of Core Salon, suggested amping up the moisture in your conditioner by adding the penetrating power of a therapeutic oil, like coconut oil or Moroccan argan oil. Parkes likes using Cococare 100% Coconut Oil or 100% Natural Moroccan Argan Oil, which you can buy online. Moroccanoil Treatment is another popular product that’s infused with argan and linseed oils to help nourish and strengthen hair. Buy it online.
How to use:
Mix the oil of your choice into your conditioner. How much oil you use depends on the texture of your hair.
Try different amounts until you get the results you want. Apply the conditioner as you normally would.
Leave it on a little longer than regular conditioner so it can soak in, then rinse your hair thoroughly. To infuse extra moisture into your hair, you can try using the oil on its own instead of mixing it with your conditioner.
This may be helpful if your hair is especially dry and frizzy. For a really deep conditioning treatment, Parkes recommended slathering the oil onto your dry hair before bed. “Once your hair looks wet, like you just got out of the shower, wrap it or cover your head with a shower cap, and go to sleep,” she said. “You’ll be amazed at the results when you wash your hair in the morning.”
3. Add shine with a spray
If you’re looking for a way to boost your hair’s shine quickly, Parkes suggested using a hair shine spray. These products are formulated to help restore radiance and reduce frizz. You can ask your hairstylist for product recommendations or try Cococare Coconut Oil Hair Shine or Giovanni Shine of the Times Finishing Mist, which you can buy online.
How to use:
Style your hair as you normally would. Lightly spray the product all over your hair. A little goes a long way; if you spray on too much, your hair may look greasy. Use the spray throughout the day to tame flyaways and add more shine.
4. Try supplements
You can also treat dull or dry hair from the inside. That’s why Ona Diaz-Santin, stylist and owner of 5 Salon & Spa, recommended taking a vitamin and mineral supplement, such as Viviscal, Viviscal contains biotin, naturally occurring silica and other key vitamins and minerals that support hair health.
5. Pay attention to heating tools
Heat styling tools can damage your hair, especially if it’s fine. It’s easy to burn fine hair if you set the temperature of your heating tools too high, Rivera warned. “Too much heat is never a good idea,” she said.
According to one study Trusted Source, using a hair dryer causes more surface damage to your hair than natural drying does. You can reduce the risk of heat damage by holding the hairdryer at least 6 inches from your head and keeping the hair dryer moving.
To further limit any damage, go easy with how often you use heat styling tools and turn down the heat setting whenever possible.
Rivera recommended using heat styling tools that use infrared technology because they heat the hair from the inside to the outside, locking in moisture.
6. Use a humidifier
Indoor heating can cause your hair to look especially dull and lifeless during the colder months. Dry indoor air can also exacerbate some health conditions like the common cold, allergies, and dry skin.
To combat the drying effect of indoor heat, hair care experts recommend using a humidifier. By adding moisture to the air, a humidifier may help prevent your hair from losing moisture and looking dull and dry.
Other helpful tips for adding life to your hair
Sleep on satin. One simple change you can make involves swapping out your current pillow covering for a satin pillowcase. Diaz-Santin said that sleeping on satin causes less friction, which leaves your hair looking smoother and healthier.
Use the right bristles. Michael Canalé, a celebrity hair colorist, recommends using a hairbrush that has boar bristles, not metal ones. According to Canalé, boar bristles can close the hair cuticle and create more shine.
Try a little sunflower oil. Diaz-Santin said that sunflower oil is a great source of vitamins and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Plus, it penetrates easily into the scalp. You may want to try moisturizing your hair and scalp with a small amount of sunflower oil the next time you wash your hair.
Limit chemical treatments. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends spacing out treatments like coloring, perming, and relaxing. Try to stretch the time between touch-ups to at least 8 weeks, especially in the drier winter months. And you should wait at least 2 weeks between different types of treatments, such as relaxing and coloring.
The bottom line!
Many factors can cause dull hair. Product buildup, environmental factors, and over-styling can all contribute to hair that looks dry and lifeless. Fortunately, there are ways to add more shine and natural luster to your hair. Using basic home remedies, trying shine-boosting products, and nourishing your hair from the inside may all help. Avoiding too much heat and spacing out chemical treatments can be beneficial too. If you don’t notice any improvement in the shine or health of your hair, make an appointment with a hairstylist. They can help you determine the best products and remedies for your hair type.
Enhance the Radiance of Your Lackluster Hair with These 6 Tips:
Hydrate Your Strands:
- Begin by ensuring your hair is well-hydrated. Dryness can contribute to dullness, so use a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner to keep your locks nourished.
Regular Deep Conditioning:
- Incorporate deep conditioning treatments into your routine. These treatments provide intense hydration and help restore the shine to your hair.
Shine-Boosting Hair Masks:
- Treat your hair to shine-boosting masks. Look for ingredients like honey, avocado, or argan oil, which are known for their ability to add luster to dull hair.
Avoid Excessive Heat Styling:
- Limit the use of heat styling tools, as excessive heat can strip your hair of its natural oils, leading to dullness. If you must use heat, always use a heat protectant.
Rinse with Cold Water:
- Finish your shower with a cold water rinse. Cold water helps to seal the hair cuticles, promoting a smoother surface and enhancing shine.
- Schedule regular trims to get rid of split ends, which can make your hair look dull. Keeping your ends healthy contributes to an overall more vibrant appearance.
Incorporate these tips into your hair care routine to revive the shine and bring back the luster to your dull hair.
What makes hair super shiny?
Several factors contribute to making hair super shiny:
Healthy Hair Cuticles:
- The outer layer of each hair strand, known as the cuticle, plays a crucial role in light reflection. When the cuticles are smooth and lie flat, they reflect more light, resulting in shinier hair.
- Well-hydrated hair is naturally more reflective. Using moisturizing shampoos, conditioners, and treatments helps to maintain the moisture balance, preventing dullness.
- The scalp produces natural oils, such as sebum, which can add shine to the hair. Regular but not excessive washing helps distribute these oils along the hair shaft.
Regular Deep Conditioning:
- Deep conditioning treatments nourish and hydrate the hair, promoting a smoother surface and enhancing shine. Ingredients like argan oil, shea butter, and keratin can contribute to this effect.
Avoiding Heat Damage:
- Excessive use of heat styling tools can damage the hair cuticles, leading to dullness. When using heat, it’s crucial to apply a heat protectant and use the lowest effective heat setting.
Cold Water Rinses:
- Finishing your hair wash with a cold water rinse helps seal the cuticles, creating a smoother surface that reflects light, resulting in increased shine.
Using Shine-Enhancing Products:
- Certain hair care products are specifically formulated to enhance shine. These may include shine serums, glossing sprays, or leave-in conditioners with light-reflecting properties.
Healthy Diet and Hydration:
- A balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals contributes to overall hair health. Staying hydrated ensures that your body can produce healthy hair with a natural shine.
Avoiding Harsh Chemicals:
- Overprocessing hair with harsh chemicals, such as excessive bleaching or using strong dyes, can compromise the hair’s structure and reduce its natural shine.
- Regular trims help maintain the health of your hair and prevent split ends, which can make hair look dull. Removing damaged ends contributes to an overall shinier appearance.
Combining these practices in your hair care routine can help achieve and maintain super shiny, healthy-looking hair. Keep in mind that individual hair types may respond differently, so it’s essential to tailor your routine to your specific needs.