Bangs, bobs, balayage — it’s easy to double-tap hair trends on social media, but committing to a new look in real life can take courage. One recent exception: Glass hair. Similar to glass skin — a.k.a, a dewy, translucent-looking complexion — glass hair consists of strands that are so shiny, they appear to be reflective.
“Super-glossy, shiny glass hair looks have always been the holy grail,” says celebrity stylist and glass hair aficionado, Chris Appleton. “But the extent of the look has amplified and reached new heights recently.” In addition to its shine-appeal, glass hair is incredibly versatile. “Hair that looks so immaculate, expensive, super healthy, and super sexy can spruce up any look.”
The best part: “It’s easy to create if you us the right tools,” assures Appleton. Ready to shine? Read on.
Start in the shower.
Though shampoo ultimately ends up in the drain, the formula can impact on your strands long after you’ve toweled off. For glass hair, “it’s critical to start with a silicone-free, sulfate-free shampoo that leaves nothing on the hair,” Appleton warns.
Basically, avoid shampoo and conditioner containing silicones, oils, and creamy moisturizers. “Formulas containing these ingredients can leave a dulling film on your hair,” Appleton explains. (Additionally, he notes that shampoos and conditioners marketed as “frizz-fighting” often contain these film-forming additives.)
Instead, Appleton suggests a shampoo and conditioner created without many of the dulling ingredients found in many formulas. Try the Color Wow® Color Security Shampoo ($23) and Conditioner ($23), or the Kérastase® Bain Micellar Shampoo ($33), which are both free of sulfates, silicones, and parabens.
Prime for polish.
Once hair is clean and slightly damp, Appleton advises applying a humidity-proofing product to thwart potential frizz. Try the Oribe® Imperméable Spray ($42), which contains moisture-blocking polymers to shield strands from excess moisture.
Alternatively, Appleton loves the Color Wow Dream Coat ($28): “It transforms the hair into glossy, swishy silk,” he says. To use, “spritz the product generously on damp hair, making sure to section out the hair to ensure that the entire head is coated,” Appleton instructs. This step promotes ultra-sleek strands — which can more easily reflect light.
Next, snag a hairdryer with an attachable straightening nozzle (we love the Hot Tools® Black Rose Ionic Salon Dryer, $100), and blow your hair out smooth. (If you struggle with doing your own blowouts, try the Revlon® Surround Dryer ($30), which does the hard work for you by encircling the hair.)
Then, grab a flatiron like the ghd® Glacial Blue Platinum+ Styler ($249) and straighten the hair in “paper-thin horizontal sections, flat ironing from roots to ends,” says celebrity stylist Justine Marjan. She advises using Kitsch® Creaseless Clips ($6) to section the hair as you work through it.
If you really want to seal in the sleekness, she suggests following with a heat-up styling brush (try Drybar® Brush Crush, $215). These hot tools comb through the hair using heat. This can be especially helpful to ensure you didn’t miss any strands with your straightener.
Once you’ve achieved the smooth base, Marjan advises to “spray a brush with [a lightweight product] like Tresemme® Micro Mist Hairspray ($22) and brush through [your] hair for hold.” As a final finishing touch, run a small amount of hair serum or oil — such as OUAI® Hair Oil ($28)— through the ends. “It gives you a silky, glassy finish,” she explains. (Editor’s note: not only will your hair glisten, but it will smell amazing, too.)
Et voila! Impossibly shiny strands. Appleton adds that the aforementioned products can be used on all hair types, including extensions. Ultimately, he says, “the look is all about bringing the hair back to life.”
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