Forget summer’s beach hair, shine is in. Bronwyn Williams finds out how to get the ultimate glossy locks
2012 saw the rise of the matte hair trend that was roughed up, undone and a little bit grunge. From J.Crew campaigns to red carpet updos, the last few years have been dominated by the dulled-down do, with celebrity hairstylists, It girls and everyone in between going crazy for hair dust and heavy handed on the dry shampoo. But there’s a rumbling in the hair industry, and luscious healthy shine is making its way back into the spotlight.
High-shine hair was a dominant feature on the international spring runways, with designers such as Victoria Beckham (pictured above), DKNY and Christian Siriano sending models down the catwalk with light reflecting locks. Responsible for the resurgence of the pageboy cut, Wella creative director Eugene Souleiman placed wigs on the models at Jeremy Scott that were cropped into brow-grazing helmets and styled to glassy perfection. Brad Lepper, creative director and owner of French Revolver salon, predicts high-shine hair and refined silhouettes will be at the top of his clients’ wish lists this season.
“These bold runway looks are filtering down into real-life trends,” he says. “We’re seeing a lot of smooth, sharp shapes coming through, big bold fringes arcing around the eye (influenced by Souleiman’s pageboy) and smooth and controlled waves which compact the hair down, giving you extreme shine. There’s still a lot of texture, as we’ve seen in summer, but it’s more refined, and even the textural hairstyles have a loose shine as well.”
Hair at Jeremy Scott
Colouring your hair used to go hand in hand with damage, but modern formulations are more gentle, and going dark for winter can actually support your hair health. “The colour pigments in dark shades are softer, so if you go darker it’s going to keep the condition better,” says Brad.
If you’re looking for a colour refresh rather than a dramatic change in shade, glossing will give you both colour enhancement and serious shine. “Glossing is a technique where you get a colour and a treatment, mix the two together and apply it on the hair. The treatment travels with the colour, forcing it deeper into the hair than it would normally go, giving you longer shine and really healthy hair,” says Brad. The effect you get is best described as a demi-permanent colour — a soft natural wash of pigment that fades out gradually over time.
Lightening your hair can dry it out and lead to straw-like strands, but Melanie Barker of Pure Hair explains it’s possible to be blonde and still have shine.
“A lack of moisture can hinder the hair from being shiny, so when it comes to blondes, treatments and heat protectant are your best friend,” she explains. She recommends a weekly treatment mask specially designed for blonde hair and a daily leave-in for an extra moisture boost.
“You can’t go past Joico Blonde Life Brightening Masque; the nourished feeling you are left with is superior,” says Melanie. “It also gives your hair more manageability and a huge decrease in frizziness. Joico’s K-Pak Liquid Reconstructor is an easy leave-in treatment; you simply spray it into clean wet hair, focusing on the ends. This will strengthen the hair and give it extra moisture.”
Hair at Christian Siriano
STYLING FOR THE ULTIMATE SHINE
When it comes to styling a high shine do, preparation is key and having a blow-dryer on hand is essential.
“If you want shine, all products should really be blow-dried into the hair,” says Brad. “The process of heating them up seals them into the hair for better effect.” He recommends priming the hair before switching on the heat. “Just like a makeup primer, a hair primer ensures the hair remains a consistent texture from root to tip, without any oily or dry areas.”
Primer also protects the hair so it’s perfect for use with hot tools. Apply your primer on damp hair, then apply a high-shine serum, or if you have very fine hair, a shine gel.
“American-style gels are different from our classic hair gels as they’re made to be blow-dried into the hair,” says Brad. “They’re great for shine as they seal the hair cuticle up, coating and protecting the hair and allowing it to retain its moisture levels.” For short hair, a pomade is fantastic to give high shine. “Use it sparingly and blow-dry a small amount into already dry hair,” he says.
Using a brush, blow-dry the hair and sweep it from side to side as you go.
“A natural bristle brush will help distribute your natural oils down the length of the hair,” says Brad. Once it’s dry, switch the dryer to cold and blast it for a couple of minutes to smooth down the hair cuticle and ensure the product is locked in.
Brush the hair into place and finish with a shine spray or light oil through the mid lengths and ends. “Most brands do two versions of oil,” says Brad. “Rich is good to blow-dry into the hair, and light is best for finishing.”
Fashion’s revived love affair with healthy locks comes at a perfect time. Many of us walk into the salon at summer’s end with our hair in desperate need of repair. “A massive amount of hair damage in summer comes from sea salt” explains Brad.
“Sulphates really dry out the hair, and by the end of summer your hair is often very dehydrated.” Although you can gloss over the problem with a few styling products, to get true shine you have to fix the damage that has been done. Repairing hair masks are like a first-aid treatment for dry and stressed-out locks, and shampoos and conditioners containing protein will help strengthen and repair the keratin damage from your seasonal maltreatment. “It is so important to be using a salon quality shampoo and conditioner at home,” says Melanie.
Regular weekly at-home treatments will improve your hair over time, but if you need high shine stat then try an in-salon treatment like Kérastase’s Fusio-Dose. The recently relaunched range is now fifteen times stronger than the original product and is custom blended at the basin to suit your specific type of damage.
1. Joico Blonde Life Brightening Masque, $38. 2. Redken Heatcure in-salon treatment, POA. 3. Pureology Hydrate Hydra Whip Masque, $52. 4. Manuka Doctor ApiRevive Restorative Hair Mask, $29.95. 5. De Lorenzo Instant Series The Ends, $26.90.
HAIR HEALTH TIPS
For peak hair health you need to work from the inside out. A diet rich in protein and iron will ensure strong locks, and regular meals of salmon will give you the omega-3 fatty acids you need to keep your scalp in check. Carrots, pumpkin and kumara are high in vitamin A which helps keep hair and scalp hydrated, and a scattering of nuts on your breakfast bowl will give you the vitamin E, zinc and selenium you need.
This article originally appeared in the Autumn 2017 issue of Fashion Quarterly.