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Hot styling tools, hair coloring, tight topknots, chemical styling — many of us put our hair through a lot, which often results in damage and loss of shine. Over time, this can lead to hair looking dull, frayed, and less defined. To combat this and help repair damage, deep-conditioning treatments and hair masks are typically first port of call. But second to that are glaze, gloss, and shine treatments.
Many hair gloss treatments were first offered in salons (and are still popular in-salon treatments) as add-ons for hair dyeing, but there are now plenty of at-home versions worth trying. For those without access to a salon, these at-home shine treatments can give your hair a new lease on life (think: healthy, glossy, vibrant) in a matter of minutes.
So, what is a hair gloss or glaze treatment, exactly? Technically speaking, they both pretty much do the same thing — add noticeable shine to your hair — although they do have a few small differences.
A gloss is a semipermanent treatment that adds vibrancy back into colored hair, evens out tone or brassiness, and adds shine. "If you have highlighted hair, what you're trying to do is eliminate either yellow or orange tones," Jack Howard, balayage expert and educator at Paul Edmonds salon in London, says. "If your hair is generally looking washed out, you want to either enhance the color or add a bit of warmth in there. So, essentially, you either want to enhance your color or neutralize tones through it."
Most gloss treatments are done in the salon, but there has been a spike in at-home versions, which often last four to six weeks. "The biggest difference between at-home and in-salon gloss treatments is simply the range of color possibilities," says Steven Picciano, hairstylist and national artist for Goldwell. "The stylist has the ability to create your perfect color, achieving the best possible application. It is much easier for your stylist to apply evenly and saturate well — two things that impact the end result of a color gloss."
A glaze treatment is similar to a gloss, but the results don't last as long; it tends to sit on the hair rather than penetrate your strands, making it more of a quick fix. Interested in trying a gloss or glaze at home but not sure where to start? We rounded up some of our favorites on the market ahead.
— Additional reporting by Anvita Reddy