“What care do you usually use?” Does this sentence from your hairdresser sound at all familiar to you? You know exactly what he's actually saying is: "Do you use any care at all? It doesn't look like it..." With a guilty conscience, you vow to improve: From now on, use conditioner after every wash and a mask at least once a week to make your hair shinier - right? Jain! In this article, let's take a look at the hair universe and find out what type of care is required for which hair and when you can safely do without it. We will also describe to you in detail how you can get shiny hair naturally.
So beautifully glossy: 6 tips for naturally shiny hair
Photos by KoolShooters and Robert Felgentreu
Make damaged hair shinier
Hair becomes brittle and dull the more often it is exposed to stress that damages its structure. These can be environmental influences such as wind, sun, chlorine and salt water. But regular styling such as blow-drying, coloring and straightening also puts strain on the hair and affects its surface structure. The more damaged the hair, the more porous its surface . And the more porous the surface, the more care is required to make the hair shine again. Once damaged, hair fibers cannot simply be made “healthy” again, as they are not living structures.¹ The damage is irreversible.
Get out of the vicious circle
You can temporarily limit the damage with conditioners and hair masks. However, intervening in the hair structure with cosmetic products only gives porous hair shine in the short term . Ironically, shampoos and conditioners care much better for healthy or only slightly damaged hair than for severely damaged, bleached hair.² This is due to the silicones contained in many conventional cosmetics, which can be more easily absorbed by an undamaged hair surface. In the long term, these products have little effect on damaged hair and only put more strain on it, requiring increasingly intensive care - a vicious circle.
Healthy hair shines on its own
Our advice is therefore: expose your hair to as few damaging factors as possible, neither cosmetic nor environmental. Untreated, not over-cared for hair is the best prevention against hair damage and the greatest guarantee for shiny hair, because healthy hair naturally shines beautifully . If you're used to styling and caring for your hair, it may take some effort at first, but it's worth it and easier than you might think.
Shiny hair: In 6 natural steps
Step 1: Gentle hair wash
Although the main task of a shampoo is to rid our hair of oil and dirt , when we buy it we are often guided by factors that have little to do with the cleansing aspect. Shampoos that promise “stronger hair”, “more shine” or “extra volume” sound tempting, but all shampoos interfere with the condition of the hair surface. If this is damaged, the shampoo penetrates directly into the inner layer of the hair, which makes gentle hair washing particularly necessary:
Better natural : Use natural cosmetic shampoos with mild surfactants to protect the hair fiber and not dry out the scalp.
Solid instead of liquid : Solid shampoo in the form of shampoo bars (not to be confused with hair soap) is in no way inferior to the liquid alternative. They require fewer preservatives because they do not contain water, are packaged more sustainably and are more economical due to their higher concentration.
In case you're a little confused: We've broken down the differences between hair soap and shampoo bars for you in this article: Tangible cleanliness: hair soap versus shampoo bars .
Dose the amount well : It is sufficient to gently massage the shampoo into the scalp and distribute the rest to the lengths and ends. It is easy to use too much, especially with solid shampoo, as it is highly concentrated.
Neither too hot nor too cold : It is best to use lukewarm water to wash your hair.
Rinse thoroughly : Rinse shampoo and conditioner thoroughly after washing your hair so that no residue remains.
As little as possible , as often as necessary: Do not wash your hair too often and only when it is really necessary.
Step 2: Use conditioner and hair treatment wisely
Whether you should regularly use conditioners and hair treatments when caring for your hair depends entirely on the structure and health of your hair. Healthy, untreated and naturally supple hair usually needs neither one nor the other. In this case, it can even have a negative effect, as conventional conditioners, like shampoos, contain between 10 and 30 ingredients.³ This not only weighs down fine hair unnecessarily and can make it look limp and greasy. It is also harmful to the environment as plastic is added to many cosmetic products . Shampoos and conditioners often contain liquid polymers, also known as liquid plastic, which are hardly or not at all biodegradable. For the sake of your healthy hair and the environment, we advise you to use conditioners etc. carefully. Ultimately, all of these substances end up not only on the hair and scalp, but also in the wastewater.
You can find out what options there are for designing your daily care with cosmetics without microplastics in this article: " Cosmetics without microplastics: How to avoid the beauty plastic trap ."
The situation is different if your hair is severely damaged or you have frizzy or dyed hair . The use of conditioners makes sense here to make brittle hair easier to comb and to avoid additional damage such as hair breakage. Alternatively, you can use our ultra-light FIVE hair oil with just two naturally based ingredients , which gives the hair silky shine and suppleness.
Acid rinse as an alternative to conditioner
Have you ever noticed that after washing your hair with the same shampoo, your hair feels different in different places? This is due to the lime content of the water . You are certainly familiar with the annoying limescale deposits that build up in the sink or on the shower walls. The same thing happens when you wash your hair with hard (i.e. hard) water. They feel strawy and sticky and appear dull. Then you quickly use the conditioner to make your hair feel smooth and shiny again. But there is also a natural “descaler” called acid rinse . It balances the pH value of the hair and scalp and closes the cuticle roughened by the lime, which increases shine.
The acidic rinse is so easy : Mix 1 liter of water with 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar or 1 tablespoon of lemon (smells nicer) in a bottle. Shake well and rinse the hair, which has already been freed of shampoo residue, at the very end of the wash.
Step 3: Dry and comb hair gently
Did you know that wet hair is much more sensitive than dry hair ? The swelling of the hair fiber when washing has an impact on the hair structure and makes it more susceptible to external influences such as combing or heat. In addition, chemical ingredients in some shampoos can stress the hair and make it even more sensitive. You should also be careful when drying your hair with a towel, as even a stretch of more than 30% can cause hair breakage . In order not to damage the hair when drying and combing, you should therefore follow the following steps:
Towel dry : After washing, gently squeeze the hair with your hands. Then gently pat dry with a soft towel to remove excess water or simply wrap it in the towel.
Please don't ! Towel drying does not mean roughly rubbing your hair with a towel. This strains damp hair and can lead to hair breakage.
Easier to comb : Distribute 2 to 3 drops of our light FIVE hair oil into towel-dried hair lengths and ends to make combing easier and prevent hair breakage. Not only does it make it beautifully supple, but it also brings shine to the hair.
Comb properly : Use a wide-tooth comb or your fingers to gently detangle wet hair. To avoid knots, work your way up gradually: first detangle the ends of your hair, then the middle to the ends, and finally the roots to the ends.
Wonder weapon for brush lovers : The Tangle Teezer . Although it's not a masterpiece of design art, its flexible bristles of different lengths effortlessly detangle both wet and dry hair and reduce split ends.
Step 4: Avoid heat when styling your hair
Hairdryer, straightening iron, curling iron - does your bathroom look like you're in a hairdressing salon? In general, when it comes to styling and hair health, the less the better. Over time, excessive heat can dry out the hair and rob it of its shine. To avoid heat-related damage, you should always air dry your hair and keep the use of styling tools to a minimum.
If you still want to use it because otherwise you feel like Struwwelpeter himself or you can't wait for your hair to air dry due to time constraints: set the temperature to the lowest possible level and use a hairdryer with a diffuser attachment. This dries the hair more indirectly than with a normal hairdryer and, when used correctly, gives it a lot of volume - two birds with one stone.
Step 5: Dye your hair with plant dyes
Hair coloring is not only a popular way to hide unwanted gray strands, but also to give your hair more shine. This can be done in the traditional way with the help of chemical hair color or naturally with plant color. The latter is not only gentler on the environment , but also on your hair.⁵
Excursus: Why does hair shine?
In general, the smoother the cuticle layer of the hair, the more shine . When hair is damaged, the cuticle layer is open and makes it appear dull. In very curly or curly hair, the cuticle layer is also less tight due to the curvature and therefore shimmers less than straight hair.2 The color also influences the glossy factor: dark hair, whether natural or dyed, shines more intensely than, for example, blonde or gray hair Hair.
Back to the topic of hair coloring: Artificial color pigments break down the outer cuticle layer and settle inside the hair. Vegetable pigments have exactly the opposite effect: they form a colored protective film around the hair without destroying it. Because of the stress, chemically colored hair is more likely to suffer from hair breakage and increased hair loss, which means that the hair thins out in the long term. They also require more intensive care to repair the cuticle layer damaged by bleaching. Vegetable-colored hair, on the other hand, receives a stronger structure and natural shine thanks to the color coating. Plant dyes are also much gentler on the scalp.
Advantages and disadvantages of herbal hair colors
- Thicker hair
- Shiny hair
- Less itching
- Gray hair coverage is only possible to a limited extent
- Hair cannot be lightened
- Odor that takes getting used to
- No chemical recoloring possible
Step 6: Sun protection for your hair
Summer, sun, sunscreen – it makes sense that we should protect our skin from UV radiation in the summer months. But what about the hair on the head, which is also affected by direct sunlight? Maybe you've already guessed: Just because we don't get sunburn on our hair doesn't mean that our hair doesn't suffer from too much sun. Just like skin, hair is damaged by the sun if it is not protected. This happens because the hair structure changes due to the sun . The amino acids that combine to form keratin, which is the main component of the hair fiber, are destroyed.
The hair becomes strawy, brittle, breaks and loses its shine . The color can also change, as blonde and gray hair in particular bleaches in the sun. Instead of a natural beach blonde, however, the result is a rather unnatural yellow cast. In addition to the sun, other environmental influences such as chlorine and salt water also contribute to your hair suffering. This is what you can do to protect your hair from the sun etc.:
- Protect your hair by wearing a hat or scarf on sunny days.
- Wash your hair thoroughly with clean water after swimming
- Use a sunscreen spray on your hair
Conclusion: Healthy hair = shiny hair
Healthy hair is the best way to have shiny hair because it shines on its own. In contrast, too much care, combined with chemical treatments and excessive heat, can damage the hair and rob it of its shine. Instead of investing a lot of money in expensive styling tools and countless products that promise shiny hair, invest a little time and patience in gentle, natural hair care . Don't forget: A healthy diet also plays a crucial role in skin and hair health as it provides valuable nutrients. We'll soon tell you what these are and what foods they can be found in here in our blog. Stay tuned!
1. Cruz, CF; Costa, C.; Gomes, A.C.; Matamá, T.; Cavaco-Paulo, A. Human Hair and the Impact of Cosmetic Procedures: A Review on Cleansing and Shape-Modulating Cosmetics , Cosmetics 2016, 3, 26.
2. Robbins, CR Chemical and Physical Behavior of Human Hair , 4th ed.; Springer-Verlag: Heidelberg, Germany, 2012.
3. Cruz, CF; Costa, C.; Gomes, A.C.; Matamá, T.; Cavaco-Paulo, A. Human Hair and the Impact of Cosmetic Procedures: A Review on Cleansing and Shape-Modulating Cosmetics , Cosmetics 2016, 3, 26.
4. Rodney Dawber, Hair: Its structure and response to cosmetic preparations , Clinics in Dermatology, Volume 14, Issue 1, 1996, Pages 105-112.
5. UKEssays, Natural Hair Dye Vs Chemical Hair Dye Damage , 2018.