Creams, blowouts, deep conditioning treatments – all of these promise soft strands with high shine, but the efficacy of each can be unpredictable for some hair types and textures. If you’re looking for a way to add some extra shine to your strands and nothing else seems to be working, a clear hair gloss might be for you. Semi-permanent and considered less damaging than dye, a clear gloss can bring luster back to your locks and is easily applied in the comfort of your own home.

Dyeing hair

What is Hair Gloss?

Hair gloss is a semi-permanent chemical treatment that adds shine to dull or damaged hair and can be easily applied at home. Salon formulas tend to last around four weeks, but at-home users tend to reapply about once or twice a month, as needed. Glosses come in clear and tinted varieties, which should be considered before applying to your tresses. Clear formulas are intended only to add shine to dull hair, while tinted gloss is meant to help lock in color treatments or enhance existing hues.

Benefits of Gloss

Hair gloss is considered to be a safer and less-damaging alternative to hair dye. Because gloss doesn’t need to lift the hair’s cuticle, it's typically free of harsh ammonia, which means it won’t damage or dry the hair in the same way as even a semi-permanent dye might. A clear gloss deposits no color at all and works only to condition and protect hair strands, which results in a shiny finish with less frizz and fewer flyaways by using its acidic properties to seal the cuticle, allowing for more light reflection. Finally, clear gloss is a no-brainer for boosting hair health at home since it's essentially foolproof, offering a quick option for conditioning hair while delivering shine.

How to DIY

To apply a semi-permanent clear gloss to your hair at home, start by purchasing your brand of choice, many of which can be found at any beauty supply store and most drugstores. Once you’ve got your gloss, mix well in a bowl using an application brush. Separate the hair into workable sections and apply the clear gloss to each one at a time, starting at the roots and working all the way to the tips. Take care to ensure that all hairs are evenly coated in your gloss treatment and leave on the hair for around 20 minutes, or as long as specified by your particular product (as with any at-home treatment, be sure to read all instructions that come with your product to prevent damage or unwanted results.) Once ready, shampoo strands with a gentle, sulfate-free formula, condition thoroughly and allow to dry completely, or style as you prefer.