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13 Best Hair Glosses for Shiny Hair at Home

The Glowsly editors independently research and hand-pick the best products. We may receive commissions on purchases made from the affiliate links.

It’s been a while since you’ve been to your preferred hair stylist or colorist, and your hair is starting to look a little dull or faded. But you don’t have time to make an appointment. So, what do you do? You get your hands on an at-home hair gloss treatment and breathe new life into your hair!

A good hair gloss can help to preserve the look of color-treated hair so that your color isn’t faded or the wrong tone. Meanwhile, many hair glosses are designed to boost moisture and hydration, as well as prevent frizz. And in some cases, you can find options that even work to reverse the look of damage, like split ends. So, if your hair has seen better days but your schedule doesn’t have an opening for a hair appointment, these at-home hair glosses are the next best thing to tide you over ‘til you can get in a stylist’s chair.

In this article:

Our Picks for the Best Hair Glosses

Below, we have compiled a list of the best hair glosses you can try at home, no matter your budget, hair type, or skills.

1
Best Overall
Alterna My Hair My Canvas Glow For It Universal Gloss
Alterna Ulta.com
$26

While some hair glosses simply add shine, the Alterna pick pulls double duty as a heat protectant as well. Made with a vegan formula, it can protect your tresses at temperatures of up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

Plus, this powerful formula is designed to combat frizz, improve shine, and even recondition the hair by sealing the cuticle. It’s laboratory tested to help protect your strands from environmental pollutants. And as if that’s not enough, it features hydrating polysaccharides and antioxidants to help neutralize free radicals – making it one of the best hair glosses in our book. Buy it at Ulta or Amazon!

Key Features

  • Size: 2.5 oz.
  • Formula: Liquid
  • Key Ingredients: Polysaccharides, antioxidants
  • Application: Apply to damp hair
  • Cruelty-Free/Vegan: No/Yes

Pros

  • Also doubles as a heat protectant for temps up to 450F
  • Contains hydrating ingredients to boost shine as well as repair and seal hair
  • Free from harsh ingredients, like parabens, phthalates, synthetic color, and formaldehyde

Cons

  • Expensive, considering the size
  • Fragrance may be too intense for some

2
Best Drugstore
L’Oréal Le Color Gloss One Step Toning Gloss
L’Oréal Ulta.com
$14.99

You shouldn’t have to break the bank to have nice hair. And thankfully, you can still find a fantastic gloss that’s kind to your wallet. The L’Oréal toning gloss is one of the best hair glosses that provides a one-step wash-in solution to boost shine. While there are multiple colors available if you want to refresh a box color, the clear gloss is ideal for anyone who simply wants their tresses to shine.

You’ll like that this is a simple in-shower solution that’s safe for all hair types and textures to use. Simply use after shampooing. Meanwhile, this pick is safe for color-treated hair and is free from harsh nasties, like ammonia, mineral oil, parabens, and sulfates. Buy it at Ulta or Amazon!

Key Features

  • Size: 4 oz.
  • Formula: Oil
  • Key Ingredients: Coconut oil
  • Application: Apply to clean dry hair
  • Cruelty-Free/Vegan: No/Yes

Pros

  • Affordable gloss that’s easy to use
  • No-mix formula is relatively goof-proof
  • Large quantity, given the price

Cons

  • Application process can be time-consuming since hair must be clean but dry before applying
  • Lacks any stand-out ingredients in formula

3
Best Splurge
Kérastase Chroma Absolu High Shine Gloss Treatment for Color-Treated Hair
Kérastase Sephora.com
$53

If money is no object and your only focus is on bringing out the best in your hair, the Kérastase hair gloss should be at the top of your shortlist. While this pick is intended for color-treated hair, you’ll like that this gloss is specifically designed to repair hair while still being safe for all hair types.

Along with boosting shine, it also works to strengthen your hair and seal the cuticle, thanks to the use of lactic acid. It’s a great solution for anyone struggling with split ends, breakage, and, of course, color fading. Along with lactic acid, the introduction of amino and tartaric acid works to fully penetrate your hair shaft to help minimize the signs of damage. Buy it at Sephora!

Key Features

  • Size: 7.1 oz.
  • Formula: Liquid
  • Key Ingredients: Amino acid, lactic acid, tartaric acid
  • Application: Apply to damp hair, leave for 1 to 2 minutes, rinse thoroughly
  • Cruelty-Free/Vegan: No/No

Pros

  • Large quantity can help to justify the price
  • Specifically designed to maintain color-treated hair
  • Works on all hair types

Cons

  • The high price tag may be a hard sell for many people

4
Best Multi-Purpose
dpHUE Color Boosting Gloss + Deep Conditioning Treatment
dpHUE Nordstrom.com
$35

Products that can pull double-duty are always a fan favorite, as they can help to reduce the clutter in your bathroom cabinets as well as justify a slightly higher price tag. And if you’re looking for a multi-purpose solution that incorporates shinier hair as a goal, then this pick from dpHUE is one of the best hair glosses that we can recommend.

It not only infuses shine but also can also help your hair color last longer if you buy it in an actual color. Meanwhile, this gloss also doubles as a deep conditioning treatment to infuse your strands with much-needed hydration. Regardless of whether you pick the clear gloss or a color version, they can be used on natural and color-treated hair. Buy it at Nordstrom, Sephora, Ulta, or Amazon!

Key Features

  • Size: 6.5 oz.
  • Formula: Foam
  • Key Ingredients: Cetearyl alcohol, propylene glycol, behentrimonium chloride, datem
  • Application: Apply to clean damp hair, leave for 3 to 20 minutes, rinse thoroughly
  • Cruelty-Free/Vegan: Yes/Yes

Pros

  • Can be used on both natural and color-treated hair
  • Doubles as a deep conditioning treatment
  • Vegan formula, free from parabens, sulfates, phthalates, and gluten

Cons

  • Scent may not appeal to everyone
  • If purchased in color, the match may not be accurate

5
Best for Frizzy Hair
IGK EXPENSIVE Hi-Shine Gloss Treatment
IGK Sephora.com
$32

Sometimes frizz can make even the healthiest of hair look like it’s seen better days. The IGK gloss treatment is one of the best picks, which essentially adds a high-shine top coat to your hair and infuses it with moisture, thanks to the addition of amla oil in the formula.

This vegan product is great for all hair types and is also meant to help prevent color fading. While amla oil adds shine, sunflower seed oil works to hydrate your hair and control frizz. And sea kelp extract serves to not only infuse shine but also prevent environmental factors from damaging your hair. Buy it at Sephora, Ulta, or Amazon!

Key Features

  • Size: 4.2 oz.
  • Formula: Oil
  • Key Ingredients: Amla oil, sunflower seed oil, sea kelp extract
  • Application: Apply to clean wet hair, leave in for 2 to 3 minutes, rinse
  • Cruelty-Free/Vegan: Yes/Yes

Pros

  • Safe for all hair types and color-treated hair
  • Amla oil and sunflower oil boost shine and aid in hydration
  • Sea kelp extract works to protect hair from environmental stressors

Cons

  • As the name implies, this is pricey, given the size
  • Color-treated hair may need additional products mixed in to reap the most benefits

6
Best 2-in-1 Formula
Hally Fluffy G, Foamy Glazey Hair Gloss
Hally Ulta.com
$15

By now, you’ve probably noticed that quite a few glosses are also designed to tone color-treated hair. And the Hally pick is designed not just to add much-needed shine but also to fix brassy blonde hues. You’ll like that it’s a foam formula that can be easier to apply than most hair glosses, which tend to have a runnier formula.

This is one of the best options for those focused on getting the most bang for their buck since the brand promises three uses per bottle. Along with boosting color, this pick is designed to remove frizz, add hydration and shine, and restore body to dull, listless hair. Besides, it can easily be used in the shower. Buy it at Ulta!

Key Features

  • Size: 3.4 oz.
  • Formula: Foam
  • Key Ingredients: Propylene glycol, decyl glucoside, lauryl glucoside, disodium cocoyl glutamate
  • Application: Apply to damp hair before shampooing, leave for 10 minutes, rinse, and then shampoo and condition as usual
  • Cruelty-Free/Vegan: Yes/Yes

Pros

  • Works to boost shine and tone color-treated hair
  • Get 3 applications per bottle
  • Foam formula may be easier for people to apply versus regular liquid formulas

Cons

  • Some people might experience slight burning sensation
  • May dry out some hair types

7
Best for Mess-Free Application
Rita Hazan True Color Ultimate Shine Gloss
Rita Hazan Revolve.com
$26

A common complaint with hair glosses is that they can be annoying to apply to your hair. Most options feature a liquid formula, which translates to drips, messes, and even the risk of eye injury if you’re not careful. Thankfully, the Rita Hazan gloss is a foam formula that makes life much easier.

It’s formulated with panthenol and pro vitamin B5 to help condition and hydrate your hair. Meanwhile, silk proteins work to improve shine. Just note that this is specifically meant to boost shine for color-treated hair – especially brown tones. Shop for it at Revolve, Net-a-Porter, or Amazon!

Key Features

  • Size: 5 oz.
  • Formula: Foam
  • Key Ingredients: Panthenol, pro vitamin B5, silk protein
  • Application: Apply to clean damp hair, leave in up to 3 minutes, rinse and continue to conditioning step
  • Cruelty-Free/Vegan: Yes/Yes

Pros

  • Designed to boost shine and vibrance for color-treated brown hair
  • Foam formula aids in easy application
  • Free from sulfates, parabens, SLS, and SLES

Cons

  • Not an option for virgin or other color-treated hues

8
Best Lightweight
Kenra Professional Platinum Silkening Gloss
Kenra Professional Ulta.com
$22.99

Traditionally, most hair glosses are intended to be applied to the hair and then rinsed out. And while effective, this might not be a solution for someone who’s trying to run out the door and notices that their hair looks dull. Thankfully, the Kenra Professional pick is designed to be a lightweight formula that can quickly be used to infuse shine without the need for a trip to the shower.

Better still, it’s multifunctional as you can also use it on your skin. While it can be applied to damp or dry hair, the brand recommends using it on dry hair and following with a blow dryer or flat iron to get the most shine. And it still works to control flyaways and prevent humidity from creating frizz. Buy it at Ulta or Amazon!

Key Features

  • Size: 2.2 oz.
  • Formula: Liquid
  • Key Ingredients: Cyclopentasiloxane, dimethicone
  • Application: Apply to damp or dry hair, follow with heat styling for optimal shine
  • Cruelty-Free/Vegan: Yes/No

Pros

  • Multifunctional formula that can be used on hair or skin
  • Lightweight enough to be used on dry hair without making it heavy
  • Can be paired with heat styling for optimal shine

Cons

  • Scent may be cloying for some people
  • People with fine hair may find that the oil is too heavy

9
Best Fast-Acting
Drybar Liquid Glass Instant Glossing Rinse
Drybar Sephora.com
$34

If you’re short on time, a product that promises to infuse shine and banish frizz in as little as 10 seconds is pretty alluring. The Drybar glossing rinse offers exactly that promise. This product is meant to be used in the shower and is safe for all hair types. The reverse micellar technology works to replenish your hair’s lipid layer, while the amino acid complex fills in gaps.

Meanwhile, neroli oil helps to create a high shine topcoat. Note that there is a bit of a fragrance with this pick that leverages natural scents, such as ginger, mint, and sandalwood. Buy it at Sephora or Ulta!

Key Features

  • Size: 8 oz.
  • Formula: Liquid
  • Key Ingredients: Micellar complex, amino acid complex, neroli oil
  • Application: Apply to clean damp hair, leave on 10 minutes, rinse
  • Cruelty-Free/Vegan: Yes/Yes

Pros

  • Safe for all hair types
  • Designed to repair lipid layer of hair shaft
  • Works in just 10 seconds

Cons

  • People with fine hair may feel that this weighs it down
  • May cause dryness for some peopl

10
Best Serum
Color Wow Pop + Lock Frizz Control + Glossing Serum
Color Wow Sephora.com
$20

Versatility is always helpful – especially if you’re the type who finds yourself constantly running out the door at the last minute. Color Wow is a brand that’s made a name for itself with effective hair care products. Their Pop + Lock Frizz Control + Glossing Serum is one of the best hair glosses for people that are short on time.

This product can be used on wet or dry hair and can work as a heat protectant as well as shield your tresses from UV damage. Along with a high shine finish, a proprietary hydrating complex helps to boost hair moisture, while a serum blend works to smooth, seal, and add gloss to your hair. And the inclusion of ethylhexyl salicylate works to protect your hair from UV damage. Shop for it at Sephora or Amazon!

Key Features

  • Size: 1.8 oz.
  • Formula: Serum, glitter
  • Key Ingredients: Ethylhexyl salicylate, proprietary hydrating complex, serum blend
  • Application: Apply on wet or dry hair, focusing on lower lengths and ends
  • Cruelty-Free/Vegan: Yes/Yes

Pros

  • Can be used on wet or dry hair
  • Works to prevent frizz and adds hydration
  • Also protects hair from UV damage

Cons

  • Formula contains glitter to boost shine
  • Gel-like texture may be too heavy for some hair types

11
Best 2-Step
Kristin Ess Hair Signature Hair Gloss
Kristin Ess Hair Ulta.com
$9.80

One-step glosses are a common option. But sometimes, if you want something done right, you need to be willing to take your time. And when you’re ready to treat your hair like a prized possession, the Kristin Ess Hair kit is a solid choice.

Available in multiple colors – including clear – it’s safe for all hair types, including color-treated strands. The vegan formula is designed to boost color between salon visits and lasts three to four weeks. And an antioxidant complex works to smooth and soften your hair for better manageability. Note that the two-step process is because you get gloss and an activator. Buy it at Ulta or Amazon!

Key Features

  • Size: 2 oz.
  • Formula: Liquid
  • Key Ingredients: Antioxidant complex
  • Application: Mix bottles 1 and 2, apply to dry hair, wait 10 – 20 minutes, rinse, shampoo & condition
  • Cruelty-Free/Vegan: Yes/Yes

Pros

  • Designed to boost shine and prolong color
  • Vegan formula with antioxidant complex to smooth and soften hair
  • Lasts 3-4 weeks

Cons

  • 2-step application process
  • When picking colors, may alter current color of hair

12
Best for Dry Hair
Joico K-PAK Color Therapy Luster Lock
Joico Ulta.com
$24.50

Dry hair tends to naturally look dull, even if it’s not damaged. Joico’s K-PAL treatment is designed to give thirsty strands more of what they need – moisture. The infusion of keratin, argan oil and African manketti oil all work to help boost your hair’s moisture while preserving color on color-treated hair.

Meanwhile, the brand relies on a smart release technology liposome delivery system to infuse hair-friendly ingredients, such as arginine and rosehip oil. Note that this is specifically designed with color-treated hair in mind. This pick can also work to reduce breakage on color-treated hair. Buy it on Ulta or Amazon!

Key Features

  • Size: 1.7 oz.
  • Formula: Gel
  • Key Ingredients: Argan oil, keratin, African manketti oil
  • Application: Apply to clean, wet hair, leave for 2 to 5 minutes, rinse
  • Cruelty-Free/Vegan: Yes/No

Pros

  • Formulated to hydrate and boost the look of color-treated hair
  • Moisture-rich ingredients, like rosehip oil, vitamin E, and argan oil
  • Can be used as a pre-poo treatment

Cons

  • Expensive, considering the amount of product you receive

13
Best Kit
Madison Reed Color Reviving Gloss
Madison Reed Ulta.com
$30

Madison Reed has become a fan favorite for salon-quality at-home color. And it’s no surprise that the brand would also offer a stellar at-home hair gloss solution. Their Color Reviving Gloss is designed with color as a priority but also comes in a clear variant that’s safe for all color-treated and virgin hair.

You’ll like that this kit comes with one to two applications, depending on your hair’s length, and is designed to last from six to eight shampoos. Keratin works to strengthen your hair and boost elasticity, while argan oil boosts shine and imparts moisture. Meanwhile, ginseng root extract works to soften hair and minimize the appearance of split ends. Buy it at Ulta or Amazon!

Key Features

  • Size: 4 oz.
  • Formula: Gel
  • Key Ingredients: Keratin, argan oil, ginseng root extract
  • Application: Apply to dry hair, leave for 20 to 35 minutes, rinse, shampoo & condition
  • Cruelty-Free/Vegan: Yes/No

Pros

  • Safe for use on virgin or color-treated hair
  • Works to minimize the look of damage on the hair
  • Depending on hair length, can get up to 2 applications per kit

Cons

  • If opting for a color gloss, color match may not be accurate


What to Look for in the Best Hair Gloss for You?

By now, you’ve noticed that – for the most part – there are a few types of hair glosses that usually fall into one of two categories. Some are designed to revitalize color-treated hair between appointments. And others are intended solely to deposit a gloss to make your hair look healthier.

Deciding which option is best for you is going to depend on your goals, as well as your comfort level with at-home hair treatment applications. Keep the following factors in mind as you shop for a good hair gloss treatment.

Color vs. Clear

Your first criterion is to decide if you want a gloss that deposits color or one that simply adds shine. In most cases, you’re not going to pick a color gloss unless your hair is color-treated. And if it is color-treated, you’ll want to ensure that the gloss you select is as close of a match to your current hair color as possible because it’s depositing color (although in less concentration than a full dye or rinse process).

A common complaint we found when researching products for our round-up was that the color match isn’t always accurate. And that means that applying the wrong color gloss will leave you with final results that aren’t what you intended. If you’re genuinely concerned about picking the wrong color, leave color gloss applications to the pros and schedule an appointment with your colorist ASAP.

Alternatively, a clear hair gloss is always a safer bet, as it’s not depositing any color. This is ideal for both virgin – or hair that’s never been colored – and color-treated hair. So, even on color-treated hair, it will simply be shinier.

Formula

Your next step is to determine which formula is best for you. When we reference formulas, we’re focused more on product consistency. While many hair glosses tend to have a runnier liquid texture, it’s possible to find foam, serum, and even gel-like textures.

Although liquid is the most widely chosen option, foams can be ideal if you’re concerned about mess. Meanwhile, serums have a thicker consistency, which makes them easier to apply as well. However, the drawback with serums is that sometimes they can be too heavy for fine or thin hair types.

Purpose

The core purpose of a hair gloss is to infuse shine and – if it’s a color gloss – boost color vibrance. But as you saw in our round-up, many hair glosses pull double, even triple duty. For example, it’s not uncommon to find that glosses can also reduce the appearance of damage, help minimize frizz, and, of course, add moisture. Depending on which concerns are a problem for your tresses, there’s a gloss out there that can fix it.

Application Process

The formula and application process tend to go hand in hand. Most hair glosses rely on an in-shower application method. This means that you’ll usually shampoo your hair first, apply the hair gloss, and then rinse it out before continuing to the conditioner or styling step.

But for hair glosses that can be applied to dry hair or freshly washed damp hair, you can usually continue straight to heat styling if you prefer. Still, it’s important to pay attention to the instructions. Some brands have glosses that must be applied in a specific method or only work best when you follow with some form of heat styling to better infuse the product into your strands.

Single vs. Multi-Step

As a caveat to application processes, also consider whether you’re looking for a quick application that doesn’t require mixing or if you’re okay with a two-step process. These days, you’ll find that most at-home hair glosses promote a quick one-step process. But two-step glosses are still quite common.

Duration

Nothing lasts forever, but depending on your salon scheduling or at-home hair care timeline, some hair glosses may be better options than others. While some brands will describe duration by actual dates (i.e. three to four weeks), others will use maximum shampoos as a guide.

So, depending on how frequently you wash your hair, you’ll have a good idea of how long a gloss will last before you either need to reapply or set an appointment for a legitimate color touch-up.

What to Look for in the Best Hair Gloss for You?
@mikaatbhc

Hair Gloss Treatment FAQs

To make the best out of your at-home hair gloss, here we answer some common questions you may have.

Can Hair Glosses Cover Grays?

Unfortunately, at-home hair glosses usually aren’t designed to cover grays. This is because color glosses don’t usually have sufficient pigment to fully cover grays. However, depending on how much gray hair you have, it’s possible to stain them. But in most cases, you’ll need a regular-strength dye designed to target grays. But if you love your silver hair, a hair gloss can make it look more vibrant.

Can I Use a Hair Gloss If I Don’t Color My Hair?

Absolutely! The nice thing about hair glosses is that you can find plenty of options that are clear – meaning that they don’t deposit color. Instead, they focus on softening the hair, infusing shine and moisture, and often banishing frizz. So, you’ll still get shinier, healthier-looking hair without the hassle of trying to maintain color.

How Does a Hair Gloss Work for Color-Treated Hair?

Along with providing the moisture, shine, and frizz-fighting benefits of a clear gloss, color hair glosses also deposit color. In some cases, they also work to fight issues that plague color-treated hair, such as brassiness or dullness. Because of this, it’s important to pick a color gloss that’s designed for your current hair color. When in doubt, if you want to try a color gloss but are concerned about color shifting, go to a pro.

How Often Should I Gloss My Hair?

With clear gloss, you can usually gloss within the timeline listed on the packaging. So, if a product says the effects last for three to four weeks, you can reasonably re-gloss every month. You should also follow the same guidelines for a color gloss. With color gloss, opt for color-safe shampoo and conditioner between hair gloss applications, and wash your hair with cooler water to prevent fading.

Is At-Home Glossing Safe?

If you’re following the product instructions and picking hair glosses that are compatible with your hair color (for color glosses), there’s no reason why you can’t perform hair gloss treatments at home. But, if you’re concerned about color accuracy, then book an appointment with your colorist.

What’s the Difference between a Hair Gloss and a Hair Glaze?

The terms gloss and glaze are often used interchangeably for color treatments, but they’re not the same thing. A gloss is designed to penetrate your hair’s cuticle to create longer-lasting results of around a month. Meanwhile, a hair glaze doesn’t penetrate the shaft but rather sits on top of it. While it also can create color effects and impart shine, it usually only lasts around a week or two.

How Can I Nail an At-Home Hair Gloss Treatment?

Hands down, following the product instructions is key. Not all hair glosses are created equal. While many are designed to be applied to damp hair immediately following the shampoo step, others can only be applied to dry hair before shampooing or immediately before heat styling. Failing to follow the instructions will lead to frustration and lackluster results.

But more importantly, it’s what you do to your hair between coloring appointments and glossing treatments that will matter most. Focus on hydration by engaging in routine deep conditioning. If your hair is color-treated, avoid harsh shampoos or conditioners that leach color from your hair. And always use a heat protectant when using hot tools, as heat – in addition to rough styling – can all abuse your hair and make it look worse for wear.

Photos via Ulta, Sephora, Instagram