Shiny Hair to Rule the World!

Photo: Rebecca Greenfield

A top executive once asked my friend about my best quality.

My friend: “She has really great hair.”

Executive:Seriously, that’s what you have to say about her?”

My friend: “She’s amazing–but she has REALLY great hair.”

I’m not mad about that at all.

Super-shiny hair makes me feel super-amazing. Shiny hair is happy hair. It’s not showy. It exudes health and strength. And I want everyone to have it. Doesn’t matter if your hair is long or short, straight or curly, when you’re touched by that magic ray of light that gleams like a spotlight—it’s your day and anything is possible.

At the office, my nickname used to be The Hair Mask Fairy.

When I would notice a staffer with dry ends, I’d slip a hair mask onto their desk. Supportive or diabolically Conde Nasty? I care about hair so my intent was to be a good hair Samaritan. What would you do if your boss dropped a hair mask on your desk? You tell me.

My grandmother Yaya’s shiny hair secret was washing hers with egg whites. I’m less into slavish high-maintenance routines, more into taking the time to nourish something beautiful that we all possess. Some of us have finer or thicker hair, dryer or oilier. But the point is every woman deserves her crown.

EVERY DAY: I shampoo with a light shampoo like Redken Micellar which is made from Micellar water–the same thing you use to remove makeup, it leaves your hair feeling so clean–and condition just the ends. I have oily roots. I’m jealous of those who can go every other day! Shine is a balance of clean and oil. Too much oil, it’s the wrong kind of shine and hair loses its lightness and aliveness. Too dry, and hair looks stripped rather than rich.

2 X A WEEK I use a topcoat 2x a week in lieu of conditioner. It does exactly what a nail topcoat does. Adds gloss and protects.

ONCE A WEEK: I use a hair mask like Brigeo, from scalp to ends. I do this in the tub so it has time to penetrate and I listen to a podcast or do emails. (Apple 7 and higher can withstand a dunk which alleviates any toaster-in-the-tub electrocution anxieties.) I also rub a dime of  Wella oil  on the strands and ends, never the roots. I use others, but this one is a steady. A male Japanese hair stylist gave it me—he rarely spoke, but he didn’t have to, he had the shiniest, healthiest hair ever.

AT THE SALON: I don’t do a single process. Carrie McCard, my colorist at Rita Hazan, paints my individual whites to preserve the overall quality, health, and shine of my hair. I get a clear gloss every time I go for a touch up.

ALWAYS: Prep hair with protective product when using heating tools.

These things are all as natural as breathing to me now. When you find the right oils and masks, ones that smell as amazing as they are effective, it’s a transporting moment. You’ll welcome the ritual. Personally, I feel like hair is one of the best places to carry a scent. Sometimes only you can smell it; it’s so subtle when your hair moves and releases a waft.  If you’re with someone new and you hope they like you as much you might like them, good smelling hair is intoxicating and money in the bank. If you’re with someone familiar, good smelling hair makes them want to bury their faces in it and fall in love with you all over again.

So here are a few of my latest obsessions that will help you shine on today…