Adding Polish to Dull Hair
The biggest difference between the average woman’s hair and the hair you see in the fashion and beauty magazines is the way it shines. Those magazine images always feature long locks of shiny hair that seem to glow with a light all of its own. It can leave you feeling that you’ll never have hair that looks like that. Well, the first thing to remember is that unless you are a model and regularly have your hair photographed under professionally-set lighting, the level of shine and glow seen in magazine photos is not likely to become part of your daily life.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t make your hair appear shinier and healthier. It means that you have to remember which are real and which are special effects. Dull hair looks less healthy, and absorbs light rather than reflecting it. It can also make the color appear lifeless and leave you feeling that your hair is unappealing, when in fact it can be beautiful with just a few simple tips.
There are many causes of dull-looking hair – chemical damage, heat styling damage, improper styling techniques, and even environmental soils and stresses. Fortunately, there are a lot of tricks and tips to make the hair look shiny again. Here are some simple ways to make your hair look shinier:
We know from previous discussion that heat and moisture affect the shape of the hair shaft and that heat can cause the hair shaft to swell and the cuticle to open up. An open cuticle reflects light less effectively and can leave the hair looking especially dull.
Yet one of the easiest ways to restore shine to the hair is by rinsing it in cool water. You don’t need to endure a cold shower to get the benefits, either. Simply remember at the end of your shower to switch the water to cold and chill your hair under the spray. The cold water helps the hair shaft contract and the cuticle close up. This leaves the hair looking smoother, shinier and more light-reflective.
Just remember not to undo the benefits of the cold rinse by roughing up the hair while drying it. Squeeze the hair in the folds of a towel to remove excess water, and pat the hair at the scalp.
There are also natural products that can be used to give the hair a little added “oomph” when it comes to shining the hair. The cold water rinse is great, but there are other simple techniques that can make a big difference as well. One such trick is to use vinegar as a finishing rinse after shampooing and conditioning the hair.
You can add ½-1 cup of white vinegar to a gallon of cool water and pour that over your freshly washed and conditioned hair before you leave the shower. The vinegar is acidic, and works to counter the slight alkalinity of the shampoo and conditioner products. This helps to tighten the cuticle layer of the hair and makes the hair look shinier and healthier in the process.
The correct shampoo for your hair goals is another key element to making the hair appear shinier. Dry hair tends to appear dull, so be sure to use a shampoo that will add moisture and clean gently. Follow it up with a moisture rich conditioner and you can soon see dramatic results in the healthy look of your hair. Fortunately, modern advances in hair care products has brought us a wide range of shampoos from many makers that are geared toward improving shine by smoothing the cuticle layer and helping to maintain a smooth and silky look in the hair.