Glass hair followed behind the K-beauty glass skin trend to become one of the most popular hair trends of the past few years. Recently it’s also been termed “liquid hair” and the term “liquid brunette” has been trending as a way to get a Hailey Bieber-esque combination of shiny hair and layered highlights.
Classic glass hair seems to re-emerge time and time again for its healthy, shiny look. If you’ve tried to get the look and haven’t quite gotten there, this guide will help you out with a step-by-step process to get the smoothest, shiniest hair of your life.
What does Glass Hair look like?
Glass hair gets its name from the reflective, mirror-like shine it gives smooth (and often straightened) hair. This look is all about a dramatic high-shine finish that looks healthy, shiny, and soft.
Can you get Glass Hair with damaged hair?
If your hair is very damaged, it’s best to repair your hair and restore some of your hair’s natural shine. This will give you a good base for high-shine results later. Using hot tools will also create more damage so you’ll want to give these a break for now.
How do I get Glass Hair?
Getting glass hair isn’t as hard as it looks, and if you’re a newbie to hairstyling this is a great look to try out.
1. Wash your hair with a hydrating shampoo
Moisture is key to glass hair as shine will be hard to get out of dull or dry strands. If you have dry hair, use a moisturizing shampoo. If you already have oily hair, don’t worry about adding too much moisture. You will want to add as much moisture as is needed to get rid of frizz to provide a hydrated frizz-free base.
2. Use a hair gloss
Hair gloss is one of the underrated hair products that can do wonders for just about any hair type. If you’re ever wondering how celebrity hair stylists get their clients’ hair so shiny, this is the secret. Apply a hair gloss in the shower to your mid-lengths and ends, wait a few minutes (or as directed on the bottle) and rinse out for smooth and glossy hair. This will make your hair shinier however you decide to style it afterwards.
I love the Kerastase Chroma Absolu hair gloss a week's worth of shine
4. Apply a heat protectant (bonus points if it’s has anti-frizz properties!)
Using heat protectant is important for protecting your hair from heat damage, but there are products specifically formulated to take down the frizz and amp up the shine. Color Wow Dreamcoat Supernatural Spray is a wildly popular anti-frizz and shine spray that you apply generously to your lengths before blow drying.
5. Blow dry
I always blow dry my hair smooth before using a straightener. Wouldn’t air drying do the trick too? Not quite. When you blow dry your hair smooth, you’re creating less work for the straightener which means less time that the high heat of the straightener needs to be applied to your hair.
6. Use a flat iron
The straighter your hair is the better it will be able to reflect light and the shinier it will be. Glass hair is meant to be straightened to get the full effect of that glossy, mirror-like shine (although if you choose not to use a flat iron, your hair will already be super shiny which looks great no matter how you’re doing your hair.)
7. Finish with a shine spray
By this point your hair is probably already reflective and shiny and if so, we love that for you. But if you’re not quite ready to walk out the door or want to give your hair that extra boost, use a shine spray. Shine sprays give your hair a polished finish and make hair look healthier and more reflective. If you have fine hair, make sure to use a lightweight shine spray so you don’t weigh your hair down.
This shine spray by Kevin Murphy has gorgeous sparkle
You can also use a hairspray as a final step to keep your glass hair locked in.
How to get Glass Hair without heat
If you don’t want to use heat but you still want that high-shine look, I get you. Shiny hair is the ultimate sign of healthy hair and if you want to embrace your curls or you’re on a hot tool detox, you can still achieve glossy hair.
There are lots of shine serums that are made for different hair types which can get you the look in one step.
Best Shine Serums
Best Overall: Kerastase Elixir Ultime L’Huile Original Hair Oil
Kerastase never lets me down and this oil is no exception. With a few pumps you can get crazy shiny hair by applying to damp or dry hair. You can use it many ways (pre-shampoo, before you blow dry your hair, or to finish) but my favorite way to use it is to apply it at the end for an extra dose of shine.
Best for Curly Hair: Oribe Curl Gloss
Oribe’s Curl Gloss adds glossiness and structure to curls and waves without adding any crunch. It also leaves hair softer and more moisturized.
Best for Fine Hair: Kenra Platinum Silkening Gloss
The Kenra Silkening Gloss is one of my go-to products for shiny, hydrated ends and glossy hair. It’s a lightweight formula. I use only a couple of pumps throughout my hair and my hair looks shinier and feels softer. I’m 50-50 on the scent of synthetic strawberries, but others seem to love it.
Best for Dry Hair: John Frieda Frizz Ease Extra Strength Hair Serum
John Frieda has a ton of great anti-frizz products (their spray is a dupe for Color Wow Dreamcoat), and this serum for thick and coarse hair adds shine whether its used on wet or dry hair.