Tammy’s turmoil: Can you tell me what makes hair really shiny?
The Right Brain’s shimmering reply:
Naturally shiny hair has a cuticle that’s smooth and flat; it’s plumped up with water (about 10 to 15% by weight); and it’s rich in natural oils that keep the whole thing “glued” together.
Unfortunately, you’re stealing shine from your hair everyday and you probably don’t even realize it. If you want good gloss, you should avoid these 12 things that can rob hair of shine. Or as we like to call them, the Dulling Dozen:
1. Flood Damage
Even “harmless” water can be a shine stealer. That’s because too much moisture swells the hair shaft and causes the cuticle to buckle. The more frequently you wet your hair, the less shine you’re likely to have.
2. Shampoo Scrubbing
Scrubbing bubbles seem cute but all that rub a dub dub lifts the cuticle even more. Using a conditioning shampoo can help because the hair shafts won’t snag against each other when you’re lathering up.
3. Careless Under-conditioning
Ok, not everyone needs to condition EVERY time they wash their hair. BUT, if your hair is dry to begin with it’s much more likely to be damaged during and after styling if you skip conditioner. You’re just giving shine away!
4. Death by Towel Drying
So, now your hair is wet. What do you do? Blot, don’t rub! A rough towel can cause an amazing amount of damage on wet hair.
5. The Brush Off
Don’t fall for that old myth that you should brush you hair 100 strokes every night. While brushing does temporarily help by distributing natural oils, in the long run it strips off layers of cuticle and weakens hair.
6. Hot Styling Appliances
Heat is the natural enemy of shine. That’s because high temperatures damage the natural lipids (fancy word for oils) that help keep hair flexible and shiny. If you do decide to heat style, use protection!
7. Protective Product Residue
Yes, you do need to use heat protection but be careful what you wish for. Some leave in creams and gels leave behind a dulling residue.
8. Color My World
Chemical coloring is very damaging because it breaks down the inner structure of hair protein. Even if you use the special conditioner that comes with the coloring kit, your hair never fully recovers.
9. Wave Bye Bye
Permanent waving is another chemical process that’s highly damaging.
10. Twist and Shout
Twisting and playing with your hair is a dangerous habit as far as shine is concerned. That’s because the torsional forces (fancy word for twisting and bending) loosens the cuticles.
11. I Dig A Pony
Wearing your hair in a pony tail may seem like a hassle free style, but if you pull it back too tightly you may be creating micro-fractures in the hair that will reflect light unevenly and cause loss of shine.
12. Here Comes The Sun
And with the sun comes damaging UV radiation that can wreak havoc on natural hair lipids like 18-methyleicosinoic acid. Without these lipids hair dulls quickly. If you can’t stay out of the sun make sure you’re protecting your hair with a good conditioner.