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How to get soft, shiny hair

14.02.2022 | Haircare

The shine of your strands is a literal reflection of the health of your hair which can be impacted on a daily basis from a range of influences - from the water we wash with to how we dry and style. 

That sought after sheen comes when the overlapping plate-like layers of the cuticle (outer layer) of the hair are laying flat against the cortex or centre of each strand. This prevents the hair from appearing frizzy or tangled,  reflecting more light, which is why softness and silky shine often come hand in hand.   


Damage is the main cause of dull and coarse hair as the cuticle stops reflecting light and can ripple out into other concerns such as frizziness and flatness. Product build up can also create a dimmer on natural shine, whilst dehydration and lack of moisture makes hair dry and brittle. 

Water temperature / hardness

Our washing routine can impact shine status  on multiple layers - from temperature to products used. 

Using hot water opens the cuticles which can be beneficial to absorbing product and cleaning the hair but also leaving it  vulnerable to damage and tangling. A blast of cold water at the end of a wash is also said to close the cuticles allowing them to reflect light and strands shine bright. 

Likewise, the hardness of water in your area can create a film across hair strands making them lacklustre. Clarifying shampoos and exfoliating treatments can help to clear this. 

Shampoo & Products

If dryness is a contributing concern to the softness of hair, lean towards moisture and hydration orientated products. Washing too often can also strip natural oils leaving it dry and dehydrated. 

Product can build up on hair, combined with dead skin cells around the scalp. This forms a barrier of dullness requiring exfoliation to bring back the brightness.


We’re familiar with the impact of heat appliances on our locks but there are some tips which mean you don’t need to bin your blow dryer. Experts recommend roughly blow drying on a high heat until nearly dry, using finger tips only, then dropping to a medium heat. To finish, you can bring in a styling brush.

TIP: If your blow dryer has a cool setting, then use this as the very last function to set your style for longer. The coolness closes the cuticle of the hair which, when open, is what causes tangling and frizz.  

Brushes and Combs

We recommend using a comb when the hair is wet to gently detangle, working up from the tips to the root to avoid damage and breakage from tugging. Using a round brush when blow drying can boost shine as it creates tension in the strands. 

Towel/Air Drying 

Air drying is arguably the preference when drying your locks as it doesn’t cause damage from heat of appliances or the friction from towel drying. If using a towel, pat the hair rather than rough rubbing.


A diet rich in natural fats and oils is great for your skin and will also help to bring a glossy shine all the way to the tips of your hair. This can be incorporated into your diet through Omega-3 supplements and foods such as nuts, avocados and fish.  


Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating Hair Treatment

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A lightweight serum that helps to hydrate, reduce frizz and brittleness to improve shine, whilst helping to protect hair from the impact caused by environmental pollution.

Hyaluronic Acid can help rehydrate after over washing, use of high water temperatures, using heated tools or humidity which can cause frizziness.  

Glycolic Acid Exfoliating Scalp Scrub

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 (cleanse the scalp, healthy hair starts the root..)

A gentle exfoliating scrub formulated with both chemical and physical exfoliators to help remove product buildup and dead cells and leave hair looking healthy and shiny. 

PCA Bond Repair Hair Treatment

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PCA (Pyrrolidone Carboxylic Acid) Bond Repair Hair Treatment helps to repair, protect and strengthen damaged hair bonds to leave strands softer, less frizzy and stronger, with improved shine and bounce.

For assistance in seeking your shine, contact the askINKEY team here