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Insider DIY, How to Secrets to a Shiny Blow Dry

Step by Step How To Tutorial for a Shiny Blow Dry

Don’t tell anyone, but shiny hair doesn’t necessarily mean healthy hair. I know, mind blowing . . . Counterintuitive, right? The secret to shiny hair is simple, make it reflective. There are a few easy things to do every time you want shiny hair, and should help to make your hair more reflective and shinier.

The Shampoo

Let’s start at the very beginning, and I mean the absolute beginning with the shampoo. To make sure you get as much moisture into your hair as possible, we need to find the right shampoo and conditioner. This is the first phase, and creates the foundation for the rest of our blow dry.

The Cuticle of a Hair Strand under a microscope

Try and imagine how the cuticle of a hair looks under a microscope. It’s made from hundreds of tiny tiles (cuticle in the image above), just like the roof of a house. Now imagine, if those tiles aren’t lying flat, the rain can’t flow down. It’s exactly the same with your hair,  when the hair is damaged, the tiles won’t lie flat. When a tile is curled up any light beams are reflected upward into the sky, and likewise the light will be reflected upward from your hair leaving it looking dull and lifeless, and also more prone to tangles. A good conditioner will cause the cuticle to lie flatter.

Towel Drying Hair

Towel Drying Your Hair

So now you’ve washed and conditioned your hair, and we have all those tiny tiles lying where we want them, but it’s still soaking wet. The last thing we want to do is make those roof tiles sit up again. So you have to be super gentle when you go through the process of removing any excess moisture. You know in the movies when the hero comes out of the shower, drying his hair as hard as he can? That’s exactly what you shouldn’t be doing. We want smooth, shiny hair, not messed up tangled hair. The key here is to blot your hair with a fluffy absorbent towel, never ever rub your hair. Barb Quinn has seen so much damaged hair from improper drying techniques that she has written an entire article on getting towel drying done right.

Blow drying her hair

Blow Drying

OK, so that bits done, now we have to remove the excess moisture. This is important for two reasons, first, it’ll be faster to dry your hair, and two, most importantly; it won’t dilute the products you use. There’s not much point in putting a product in your soaking wet hair, it just gets wasted.

I know, I said remove excess water, but this isn’t an excuse to blast dry the hair any old way. Remember how the roof tiles need to let the water slide? It’s exactly the same with air. The air flow from the dryer needs to flow DOWN THE HAIR, making sure the air flow is always coming from above. This is the key, the more we encourage a smother hair shaft, the shinier the hair will turn out.

There is a reason why hair stylists section their clients’ hair when blow drying, it provides more control with the brush as well as tension, heat and airflow. Here’s how to achieve smooth, shiny results, just like you get in the salon.

  • Divide your head into four quadrants and use large clips to hold each section in place as you blow dry.
  • Begin blow drying at the nape of the neck and work your way upward. Never take a section that’s wider than your brush. Their depth should be about 1″ to 1 1/2″, depending on the density of your hair.
  • Hold the brush in your writing hand and the blow dryer in the other one, keeping them about 1/2″ apart.
  • Position the dryer parallel to the brush, never put the nozzle directly on the brush, as it will burn the blower motor out, damage the brush’s bristles and burn the hair.

paddle brush

Applying Product

Apply your product, maybe something moisturizing, and let’s start drying. But which brush? We need to encourage shiny hair, so feel your brush against your skin. Is it sharp or soft? Typically a rounder brush is quite sharp. It needs to grip the hair for lift, so it has to be. Now think about something like a paddle brush. Usually a paddle brush will have a bigger surface area and softer bristles. This makes it quick and smooth and less likely to rough up those little tiles.

Try and work methodically through the drying, heat the hair in the brush and when it’s dry allow it to cool. Imagine the hair is like wax, when it’s hot it’ll do what you want, and when it’s cold it stay where you left it, even if you don’t necessarily want it there.

Hairstyle Blog contributing author Samuel Ryde
Contributing author Samuel Ryde knows whereof he speaks with years of service to clients as Senior Stylist at Ena Salon in London. You can follow Samuel on Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Got a question, war story or comment about this topic? Click on the "Leave Your Comments" link at the very bottom of this article. Some of my best ideas for future articles come from reading reader comments. I'd love to hear from you!

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How Do I Get Shiny Hair?

Shiny hair

Shiny Hair is Made Simple With the Right Products

You’ve seen those ads where the models get shiny hair so glossy you swear you could see your reflection in it! How do you get shiny hair like this? For shine or lack of it, there are a lot of contributing factors like water, hair texture, products, the amount of damage and your styling habits that contribute to shiny hair or not. Some people are lucky to have beautiful shiny hair without doing anything extra, it’s “natural”. Others have to “force” the shine with the products or styling techniques they use.

Each strand of hair has an outside layer of overlapping scales called the cuticle, similar to shingles on a roof. When the cuticle of the hair is lying flat, light will hit the hair, reflect back and create shiny hair. When the cuticle is open or lifted, as it is in damaged hair, the light hits the hair strand and the light is absorbed, producing no shine, no reflection of light.  You will not get shiny hair when the cuticle is lifted or damaged and the light is absorbed.

Color damage, other chemical damage, heat styling, sun and wind can all contribute to a raised cuticle. Sometimes you just may need to use the proper shampoo and/or conditioning treatments to get shiny hair.

A good rule to follow is to use moisturizing products in the winter months due to lack of moisture in the air and dry heat on in the homes.  A product I like for adding moisture to the hair, especially in winter is Biolage Hydrathérapie Hydra Seal Leave In Crème.

Get Shiny Hair

Protein products are also good to use to get shiny hair.  Protein products are used to restore strength in the damaged or fragile hair. Redken Extreme CAT Protein Treatment is a protein product I highly recommend for those of you with fragile hair.

Get Shiny Hair

Some hair color and hair color gloss treatments will also seal the cuticle and promote shiny hair. One of my favorite professional color gloss treatments is Redkens Shades E Q, Equalizing Conditioning Color Gloss advertised as “the color that thinks it’s a conditioner”.

A cool water rinse after shampooing will help to seal the cuticle for additional shine. A bad habit people can get into that also prevents shine is rubbing the hair dry with a towel – it raises the cuticle and promotes tangles – towel blot it instead!

Use of the correct hair care products during styling will sometimes weigh down the hair cuticle and disguise the condition of the hair and produce added shine.

Barb Quinn on Google+  

Got a question, war story or comment about this topic? Click on the "Leave Your Comments" link at the very bottom of this article. Some of my best ideas for future articles come from reading reader comments. I'd love to hear from you!

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Style Hair With More Shine and Less Damage?

Round Styling Brush

Style Hair with Tourmaline Ceramic Technology

Just when you think nothing more can be done to improve the way we style hair, out comes the next new thing!  I swear life just keeps getting better and better . . . or at least that was what I THOUGHT!

Don’t believe everything you read. I just read an article the other day in American Salon Magazine, that noted a new product that has just “gotten better with age.” The Cricket Company, who has the most popular line of thermal round styling brushes, has just gone the next step to improve their product.

I’m not sure, but it would be a good guess that they invented the ‘thermal round brush,” when they first came out with their collection in 1989. I used their brushes probably as my #1 way to style hair for almost everyone back at that time. I still have a collection and still use a selected few now and then.

When they first came out with the thermal round brush, it featured anti-static bristles and an aluminum barrel that would retain heat. We used these brushes to create every look from big soft curls to smoothed out hair with lots of body.  It was an instant ‘hit’ with hairdressers for a quick and easy way to style hair what ever length. Round thermal brushes of all sizes, flew off the shelves as the next new tool!

Cricket Company’s round thermal brush, “has just gotten better,” per American Salon Magazine anyways. Their brushes “now include tourmaline ceramic technology to leave hair shiny and moisturized and prevent damage.”

Well, great I thought, this is something new I can share with my readers! Maybe we should all go out and update our stash of Cricket’s Technique Thermal Round Brushes for the new improved, better for our hair type model.  Well . . . not so fast!

I went to Cricket’s website to get more information about those “new brushes,” but was only more confused.  I found nothing that was “new” and the descriptions left me with questions. So, long story short, I spoke with a gal from marketing, who supposedly was the person who could answer my questions.

I asked the obvious question to me, I didn’t understand which brush had the ‘new’ technology? Was it the bristles or the barrel or both that were infused with this new technology etc. etc. etc.

Sad but true her answer was:  “There are no “new” round thermal brushes with the tourmaline ceramic technology. Our brushes have always had that technology. I just told the person from American Salon that it was new, because there are a lot of people in the business who haven’t tried them yet, you know, it’s such a transient business, but we do have the most highly used brushes!”

If you haven’t tried any tools that contain the tourmaline ceramic technology, they really do make a difference to the look, feel and health of your hair. It helps prevent damage and leaves hair shinier and more moisturized.

Oh yeah, and the folks at Cricket Co. have also included an “antimicrobial agent into the plastic” of their new brushes, so I guess there is something new about it after all.

Barb Quinn on Google+  

Got a question, war story or comment about this topic? Click on the "Leave Your Comments" link at the very bottom of this article. Some of my best ideas for future articles come from reading reader comments. I'd love to hear from you!

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