How to Nail The Glass Hair Trend, Even With Dry and Damaged Hair

We’ve seen a whole slew of trends that are pretty damaging to our hair recently like the super tight micro braids and crimped hair of the ‘90s.

Thanks to the runways, TikTok, and social media, our healthy hair goals are being taken to a whole new level. Enter “glass hair,” which is basically when hair is so insanely shiny that it appears to reflect light almost like glass. This particular look requires a bit of prep-work but I promise you that it is easier than you might think! There is no denying that “glass hair” is one of the biggest trends this year, but how can you achieve this look if you have dry and damaged hair?

The first step (and most crucial) is repairing some of that damage with the help of treatments that target breakage at the source. Figuring out how to mend those ends can be tricky if you don’t know where to start or what all of the ingredients actually do. Think of amino acids as the building blocks that make up the proteins in our hair. Over time those amino acids can break down causing gaps in the hair’s fiber structure and weakened bonds. Reparative protein treatments work by filling in those gaps that prevent moisture retention and shine. These are some of our favorite products packed with keratin, biotin, and amino acids.

Briogeo Rice Water Treatment
Think of the TikTok famous rice water trend, but on steroids and way less complicated to use. Rice protein, Vitamin B, and algae extract will strengthen the cuticle, restore nourishment, and boost shine with this weekly treatment.

K18 Leave-in Hair Mask
This leave-in mask has made a huge splash in the beauty world since launching in the US primarily due to how quickly it strengthens brittle hair seemingly past the point of no return. Stylist Alifia Young told us her number one tip is to “start with a clean canvas! Product buildup can impede the peptide’s ability to fully penetrate the hair. Using a detoxifying shampoo before your first use of K18 will allow for the best results.”

Applying a hair mask an hour before showering has become a fixture of my Sundays and honestly my hair has never looked better. If you overdo it on the protein treatments your hair can start to feel like straw, so make sure you have a balance in your routine! These are two of the moisturizing masks that I swear by.

Alterna Hair Restructuring Bond Repair Masque
Infused with literal caviar extract rich with omega-3 fatty acids, the formula is designed to reconstruct and lock in moisture all the way down to the cuticle. I found that I didn’t need much of this buttery mask for a detangled, fresh post-shower look.

Dae Monsoon Moisture Mask
This hydrating mask formulated with prickly pear seed oil left my hair so insanely smooth that it might be one of the best masks I’ve ever tested (and trust me, I’ve tried a lot). The day before you style your hair for the glassy look try this mask for perfectly prepped hair.

The key difference between dull, damaged hair and the glossy, healthy hair of your dreams is moisture. Sure, slathering globs of conditioner on your hair in the shower will give it some hydration. But if your hair cannot retain the moisture, then all that conditioner may not be helping as much as you think. Colorist Melissa Dwyer tells us “any good hair routine should include a hydrating shampoo and conditioning combo.” Beyond having a solid mask, it is important to build up the rest of your in-shower hair routine.

Fekkai Super Strength Bundle
Dwyer goes on to suggest that this shampoo and conditioner “will leave the hair with lasting nourishment from root to end. They instantly shine the hair helping create the glass hair trend we are seeing all over the internet.”

Garnier Fructis Glass Hair Water
This silicone and sulfate free lamellar rinse is activated by massaging the liquid through your hair for 10 seconds in the shower. You’ll see your frizz take a back seat to serious shine all thanks to this super affordable at-home hair gloss.

Amika Flash Instant Shine Mask
“It’s a 60-second treatment that you can use after conditioner right in the shower that will give you a kick of shine when you dry your hair.” Somewhere between a mask and a gloss, the amino acids will penetrate deep within the hair without leaving a greasy residue.

No treatment can simply turn back time and mend split ends; that piece of hair with 10 frayed ends won’t magically become whole again. Treatments can strengthen the hair and promote a healthy barrier from preventable breakage. Just like our skin, our hair has a natural barrier that helps keep the good stuff in (like moisture) and the bad stuff out. “When you highlight or heat style your hair, you are stripping your hair of its natural barrier that keeps it shiny and moist.” – Aoife McCarthy, Stylist and amika pro educator.

We all know that the high heat from hot tools isn’t doing our hair any good, but that doesn’t mean we have to break up with them all together. To achieve the look go in with a smooth blowout before going in with a flat iron and straightening the hair in small sections.

Kérastase Extentioniste Thermique Blow Dry Primer
Amino acids reinforce and protect the internal structure of the hair fiber while the ceramides enhance shine as you dry your hair. A little goes a long way with this lightweight formula!

dpHUE Color Fresh Thermal Protection Spray
With protection up to 450 degrees you’ll want to mist the product over your hair before using any heat tools. It is a particularly great option for people with color treated hair, formulated to reduce the color from fading due to high heat.

The secret sauce to all that shine is a really good oil. Right after I hop out of the shower I massage oil on my scalp and through all of my hair, paying a little extra attention to the ends. Finding a lightweight formula that won’t leave behind a greasy feeling can be tricky, so I’ve rounded up a few of my favorites for you. After styling the hair with the flat iron I like to go back in and apply a bit more hair oil if I am going for the full-on “glass hair” look.

Davines This is an Oil Non Oil
After my hairstylist Brett Calkins at Rob Peetoom used this on my hair it quickly became one of my holy-grail products. Suitable for all hair types, it reduces frizz and leaves your hair silky smooth without weighing it down. What I really like about this oil is how buildable it is, you can apply more product throughout the day for continued shine!

Olaplex Nº.7 Bonding Oil
Vibrant and sleek hair is easy to achieve with just a dime size amount of this highly concentrated oil with a cult-like following. The brand’s signature ingredient, bis-aminopropyl diglycol, bonds the hair fibers back together and protects your ends from heat damage.

Kérastase Elixir Ultime Original Hair Oil
Truly a multi-use product that you can apply pre-wash for an extra cleanse, before styling for extra protection, or as a finishing touch for incredible shine while minimizing frizz. It is formulated with marula, argan, and camellia oil to increase the absorption of all those antioxidants and essential fatty acids your hair needs for optimal health.

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With love,

FWO