Many of us put our hair through a lot, which often results in damage and subsequently loss of shine. Hot styling tools, hair colouring, tight topknots, chemical styling — you name it, we’ve probably done it. Over time, this can lead to our hair looking dull, frayed, and less defined. To combat this and help to repair damage, deep conditioning treatments and masks are typically first port of call. But second to that, to get the shine and vibrancy of hair colour back are glaze, gloss, and shine treatments.
Many gloss and shine treatments were first offered in salons (and are still popular in-salon treatments), often as an add-on when getting your hair dyed, but now, there are also plenty of at-home versions of the treatment, too. For people who are unable to get to a salon (particularly during lockdown and quarantine periods), these at-home shine treatments can add a new lease of life to your hair (think: healthy, glossy, vibrant) in a matter of minutes.
So, what is a gloss, glaze, or shine treatment exactly? They pretty much all do the same thing — add noticeable shine to your hair — though they do have a few small differences. A gloss treatment is semipermanent treatment that adds vibrancy back into coloured hair, evens out tone or brassiness in your hair, as well as adding shine. “If you have highlighted hair, what you’re trying to do is eliminate either yellow or orange tones. If your hair is generally looking washed out, you want to either enhance the colour or add a bit of warmth in there,” said Jack Howard, balayage expert and educator at Paul Edmonds salon in London. “So, essentially, you either want to enhance your colour or neutralise tones through it.” Most gloss treatments are done in the salon, but there are now a few at-home treatments now, which often last four to six weeks.
A glaze treatment is similar to a gloss but doesn’t last as long; it tends to sit on the hair rather than penetrate your strands, which is why it’s more of a quick fix.
And finally, a shine treatment is, you guessed it, all about the shine. Shine treatments have nothing to do with colour; they simply perform best at making your hair look its best self — whether that’s springing curls back to life or giving you sleek, smooth strands.
If you’re nervous to try out a gloss or glaze treatment, Howard suggested trying a few other less-committal steps first. “First stop, maybe try a coloured shampoo, or a clear gloss to add vibrancy and shine. If that’s not working for you or you want to go a step further, then move onto a coloured gloss,” he said.
Interested in trying a gloss, glaze, or shine treatment at-home but not sure where to start? We’ve rounded up some of our favourites ahead.