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Grove's guide to shiny, glossy hair.

Last Updated: April 9, 2021

You don’t need harsh chemicals to get shiny hair. Here are 10 ways to get shiny hair, plus our top product recommendations for healthy, glossy locks.

Can you think of anyone who doesn't want shiny, healthy hair? Seems everyone covets glossy tresses, but achieving shiny hair isn't quite as instantaneous as the endless parade of lustrously locked influencers would have you believe.

Lucky for you, we’ve combed through lots of research and compiled these 10 ways to gloss up your hair — plus hair products that our staff and customers have taken a shine to.

What is Grove Collaborative?

From natural household to personal care, everything at Grove is healthier for you and the planet — and works! We recommend monthly shipments and product refills that you can edit or move at any time. No monthly fees or commitments required.

What are the most common causes of dull hair?

Experts agree that your hair will react to substances you put both in and on your body. Because hair consists of a cuticle that, when nice and smooth, reflects light, keeping that cuticle healthy is key. When the cuticle is damaged, rough, and dry, light doesn't reflect very well — and thus the hair appears dull.

Shiny, healthy hair is partly an inside job. Neglecting your diet and letting your body become dehydrated will visibly affect your skin tone, scalp condition, and definitely your hair, leaving it dull and dry.

The other part of the equation has to do with what you put on your hair. Harsh chemicals in products like hair color, alcohol-based hairspray, and dry shampoo leave behind residue that coats and tears up the hair's cuticle, dampening its light-reflecting ability and leaving it lackluster.

So let's fix all that, shall we?

Is shiny hair bad for you?

With all the attention that harmful hair product chemicals (and their effects) are getting, it’s understandable that some people are questioning the benefits of shiny hair. The glossy hair that you’ve seen all over social media may indeed be borne from harsh chemicals. But, rest assured, getting naturally shiny hair is possible, and it's our job at Grove to show you how to do it.

10 tips & tricks to get glossy, shiny hair

We've culled 10 expert tips for getting shinier hair in natural ways that are good for you. Here are the top tips and tricks, plus a list of our favorite clean hair products that are just a click away.

1. Don't overwash your hair

Once you've given up the outdated habit of daily shampooing — try every other day or even every two to three days for the healthiest hair — you'll find the natural oils from your scalp help your hair look shiny. Brush with a quality hairbrush to distribute those natural oils, and your hair will look lustrous, not greasy.

2. Use protective products

Though it seems counterintuitive, a clarifying shampoo will help remove buildup of products and oils, leaving hair naturally shiny clean. Just don't overuse it.

Try a conditioner with coconut oil and/or natural silica, such as that found in bamboo.

  • Soapbox offers great hair products made from bamboo.

If you blow-dry, straighten, or curl your hair, apply a protective spray to coat your hair before you apply heat.

  • Innersense makes a great prep spray that'll keep your hair protected.

Many more protective applications are out there — just take a look through Grove's selection of natural, shine-enhancing hair products.

3. Bathe your locks in cold water

The jury is still out on this, but we do find a cool rinse not only good for one's energy and alertness, but also for sealing the hair cuticle, resulting in more natural shine.

4. Try heat-free styling & an ionic hair dryer

We get it: It's tough to break the habit of frying your hair into the coveted I-totally-woke-up-like-this beachy waves. Even lowering the heat setting and lessening the number of times per week you sear your strands will make a big difference. Acceptance is the first step.

May we also suggest investing in a quality hair dryer? We, too, had to say goodbye to the $14.99 drugstore dryer — the one with two settings: molten lava and Dante's Inferno. But oh, my. Once you step up the quality of your blow dryer, watch your hair shine.

  • Ionic hair dryers use negatively charged ions to break down water molecules. These dryers use lower temps, dry your hair faster, and leave your hair soft and mostly frizz-free.
  • Ceramic hair dryers have heat-regulators inside, which automatically temper the heat from warm to cool, taking less time to dry your hair causing less heat-related damage.

5. Try a nourishing oil

Every now and again, set aside an hour for some radical self care for your hair. Warm up some nourishing oil, such as coconut or olive oil, and rub it into your scalp and hair. Wrap your head in a towel, relax for 30 minutes, then shampoo — or just rinse — with warm water for a special treat for your hair and your spirit.

Oils are de rigeur for body, face, and hair, but knowing which ones to use will save you time and money.

  • Coconut oil is the holy grail when it comes to multi-use oils, and considering its many uses, it's remarkably affordable. We recommend organic, food-grade, unrefined, virgin coconut oil. It truly penetrates the hair shaft, leaving it soft and moisturized — and thus shiny. Look for coconut oil as an ingredient in natural hair products. It's one you can really trust.
  • Argan or Moroccan oil is made from argan trees and is full of vitamin E and other nutrients. Just a few drops go a long way and can be used on your hair daily to revitalize and gloss it up. Tree to Tub brand has fabulous Argan oil products.
  • Jojoba oil is as close to our natural sebum as is possible in nature, so it's wonderful as a scalp and hair conditioner. It's a bit pricey, but you only need a few drops, which you can add to other hair products, too. Try Terra Beauty products, which contain both coconut and jojoba oil, along with lavender. Even their packaging is gorgeous.
  • Olive oil is another go-to, so don't relegate it just to pasta. A nourishing, plant-based treat for your hair, organic virgin olive oil contains powerful antioxidants and leaves a protective coating that deeply moisturizes your scalp and hair.

6. Use a flatiron for smooth strands

We say this with a caveat: Pay attention to how your flat iron is heated. Ideally, your iron has a wide range of settings to let you keep its heat as low as possible. And you don't have to spend a fortune: One popular model that rates highly with customers has a whopping 30 heat settings and is under $55.

So go ahead and flatten if you'd like — just do so carefully and with quality products.

7. Be aware of your brush

Please don't tear through your hair with just any old hairbrush! Look for:

  • Wide-paddle brushes, especially for longer, thicker hair, that cover more surface and reduce drying and brushing time.
  • Round brushes with natural bristles that help build volume and keep hair soft.
  • Detangler brushes with pliable, ball-tipped nylon pegs that work beautifully on wet hair, gently detangling and brushing with lots of give.
  • These Beauty By Earth hairbrushes and hair care products will do just the trick!

8. Apply a hair mask

Because masks are everything. Just like facial masks, hair masks are simply super-concentrated treatments that provide whatever your dull, worn-out locks need — from nourishment to hydration to clarifying. Any high quality conditioner can function as a mask simply by leaving it on for 15 minutes or longer.

  • Deep conditioners, like Coconut Oil Jar from Soapbox, are full of extra-special superfoods for your hair.


DIY hair mask

Make your own hair mask with ingredients from your kitchen: Combine ¼ cup apple cider vinegar, 1 raw egg, ¼ cup honey, and 3 tablespoons of melted coconut oil. (Halve the amounts for short hair.) Slather on your hair and scalp, leave on for 20 minutes, then shampoo out.

9. Get a gloss treatment at a salon

Gloss and glaze treatments are generally easier on your hair and health than full-on hair dye, so we're not going to leave them off the experts' list. Glosses and glazes are similar in that they seal the hair with a glaze or gloss — sometimes with a sheer bit of color, sometimes clear — that lasts several weeks. High shine, softness, and healthy-looking hair are the results.

10. Watch your diet and lifestyle

  • Inside out: Staying hydrated and eating plenty of fresh, healthy foods affect every part of your body. Leafy greens, plenty of iron-rich foods, plus vitamin A, C, and omega-3 fatty acids all help to maintain shiny hair and a healthy scalp.
  • Hit snooze: Getting enough quality sleep helps every cell of your body renew and restore itself, including your hair and scalp.
  • Move it: Exercise increases blood flow to all parts of your body, scalp included. It also makes you happier, and a smile makes your whole self shine a little brighter.

Here at Grove Collaborative, we’re big believers in the power of natural products — both for ourselves and for the planet. But we know making the switch can be daunting, especially if you’re accustomed to conventional products and are new to the world of natural, eco-friendly alternatives. That’s why we’ve created Beginner’s Guides to Natural. Each week, we’ll give you a primer on the ins and outs of transitioning to a natural version of a common household item, plus a few of our favorite brands for making the switch. Let’s get to swapping!

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