The best way to get shiny hair

Fungyi’s Fanatic About Hair Shine:

Contrary to conditioners that simply use wetness to temporarily stick the cuticle scales together (similar to how a wet piece of paper can be stuck to a wall), I`ve read somewhere that there is something out there that actually glues cuticle scales close with a much stronger and permanent adhesive force. Would this be something like Redken Shades EQ, or a salon gloss?

Thanks in advance for your consideration in answering this question. I love your site. Never has FRUSTRATION that comes from ambiguous, nonsensical and plain-weird marketing language (resulting in indecision!) been eradicated SO satisfyingly.

I am on a mad quest to get the shiniest hair possible. You know those little locks of real human hair showing as samples for dye products? And you know how they are SO shiny, it`s as though they were coated with lacquer? Well, if I had my way, I`d have hair as shiny as that (don’t ask why). And if I REALLY had my way, I’d impregnate my hair with polyurethane under 100psi of pressure; that way, it would be shiny permanently!

The Right Brain Rejects Redkin EQ:

We wish we had some way to seal your hair in plastic too, Fungyi, but that technology hasn’t been invented yet. And unfortunately, wasting your money on special salon glosses won’t help much either. Basically they provide a temporary coating on your hair to help hold the cuticle down – any good conditioner or silicone serum will do the same thing.

But you do raise a good question about what keeps your hair’s cuticles locked in place. It’s actually a natural glue-like chemical called 18-MEA that is sandwiched in between the layers of your cuticle cells. Daily wear and tear on your hair degrades the 18-MEA and makes your cuticles loosen and fall off. Look for an upcoming post on hair biology that explains that process in greater detail. But for now, keep using a good conditioner, don’t expose your hair to any coloring or straightening chemicals, and be gentle when combing and brushing.