You wouldn’t know it from your average shampoo ad, but hair’s natural gloss doesn’t necessarily have to do with hair health. For those with curls & coils, our crown tends to show less shine simply because of the shape of each hair strand.
So, curlies, take a breath: Your hair doesn’t need to gleam to be in top condition. That said, there’s nothing wrong with glossing up your curls to achieve the luminous look you’re going for.
If you want to discover how to make hair shiny but not greasy, you’ve come to the right place. Below, we explore some common reasons for dryness & dullness in natural textures & spill some expert tips on how to help curls & coils shine on.
How to Make Curly Hair Shiny: 3 Tips
A quick Google search for “how to make my hair shiny” can turn up dozens of curly hair products that promise to grant your hair some extra glimmer. But for natural hair, achieving shine starts with the fundamentals: ensuring adequate hydration so your strands can take advantage of any glossing styling products you’ll use later.
With that in mind, here are four tips on how to make hair shinier for the curly crowd.
#1 Choose Your Shampoo With Care
Harsh shampoos can strip the hair’s natural oils, so be sure to cleanse with one that’s gentle & hydrating. For very dry hair, consider switching to a co-wash (a cleansing conditioner specially formulated for hair that’s in need of a moisture boost).
If you’re using products with silicone or other ingredients that cause build-up, a regular clarifying hair treatment can help get rid of that residue. Every few washes, swap out your regular shampoo for a clarifying shampoo, like PATTERN’s Cleansing Shampoo to remove dullness & restore shine.
#2 Don’t Overdo Heat Styling
Heat styling is brilliant for creating masterpieces with your crown & there are so many glamorous blow dried natural hairstyles to try out. However, overdoing it can damage your hair, strip it of its natural oil, & ultimately lead to dryness & lack of luster.1 So, what can you do to protect your hair? Does heat protectant work that well?
To keep your glossy hair protected while using hot tools, remember:
- Before heat styling tools, always apply a high-quality heat protectant spray, such as PATTERN’s Heat Protectant
- Avoid overheating your glossy hair—use low or medium heat settings
- Aim to use your hot tools for special occasions (rather than rely on them in your hair care routine)2
#3 Use a Deep Conditioner Regularly
Because of its naturally dry texture, curly hair can benefit from a nourishing deep conditioning treatment as often as once a week. Fortunately, a deep condition can be done any time you have a half-hour to spare:
- Apply our rich, Intensive Conditioner to wet hair
- Cover with a shower cap
- Leave it on for 30 minutes before rinsing out thoroughly
Alternatively, a hair mask with nourishing ingredients like PATTERN’s Transition Mask can add an extra boost of moisture & restoration to each luscious hair strand. Simply use it in the shower, either before or after shampooing.
Why Does My Natural Texture Look Dull & Dry?
There are two main reasons why curly hair may appear less shiny:
- Curly hair is naturally drier than straight hair because the natural oil produced by the scalp has a harder time traveling down the winding strands.
- The surface area of textured hair is simply less reflective than straight hair. Like any smooth surface, straight hair reflects light, creating the appearance of shine. Curly strands, on the other hand, break light up at each twist & turn in the hair shaft. The more kinks & bends your hair has, the less reflective it is—simple as that!3
So, remember that there’s nothing wrong with textured hair that isn’t as glossy as straight hair.
Plus, products like shine spray can help you gloss up your curls by providing more opportunities to catch the light for a gorgeous luster.
Does Shine Spray Actually Work?
If you want to know how to make your hair shiny, a shine spray is a no-fuss way to add a sheen to any hair type. Lightweight sprays like PATTERN Shine Spray include light-reflecting particles to make your curls gleam without making them greasy, sticky, or heavy.
So, how to choose between a shine spray & an oil? It comes down to your unique hair needs. If your curls are prone to dryness, you may want to opt for an oil. If you have oily hair, a lightweight shine spray may be a better option.
@patternbeauty Protect & preserve your PATTERN when using heat with our Heat Protectant spray. Then, give your finished styled a kiss of luminosity & radiance with our Shine Spray 💛 Use together & explore your PATTERN #ExploreYourPattern #patternbeauty #haircare #curlyhair #traceeellisross #pattern ♬ muerto gang - qubelly🗽
Does Hair Oil Add Shine to Hair?
Wondering how to get shiny hair but not sure whether to choose a shine spray or hair oil? Both can work, but the best solution depends on the porosity & texture of your curls.
Hair oils can add shine & silkiness to some curly hair types. These work by smoothing the hair cuticle & adding definition to curls. The drawback to oils is that they can build up & weigh curls down, especially if you apply too much.
If your hair craves extra moisture, then hair-friendly oils like our Jojoba Oil Blend & Argan Oil Blend may offer the perfect balance between sealing in moisture & adding shine without being heavy or greasy.
Shine Bright Like a Diamond With PATTERN
If you’ve been wondering how to make hair shiny & silky, start by keeping your hair healthy with a curl-friendly hair care routine. A strong, balanced cuticle is the first step to boosting the sheen of naturally healthy hair.
When you want to take your hair to the next level, add a shine spray, serum for curly hair or hair oil from PATTERN to your at-home hair care ritual. Every PATTERN formula was specifically designed especially for naturally curly hair to help you appreciate & celebrate the beauty of your one-of-a-kind curls.
- Lee, Yoonhee et al. “Hair shaft damage from heat and drying time of hair dryer.” Annals of dermatology vol. 23,4 (2011): 455-62. doi:10.5021/ad.2011.23.4.455
- "10 hair care habits that can damage your hair." American Academy of Dermatology Association. https://www.aad.org/public/everyday-care/hair-scalp-care/hair/habits-that-damage-hair
- Jean, Doris. "How to get shiny natural Hair: 8 tips." Curly Girl Says. 10 March, 2021. https://curlygirlysays.com/how-to-get-shiny-natural-hair-8-tips/