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If you’ve been on a seemingly lifelong quest for healthier hair or more vibrant color, chances are you’ve tried many treatment options out there, from professional dye sessions and at-home kits to hair masks and serums.

One trend you might be intrigued by is hair gloss. Here, we’ll break down the reasons why it might be a worthwhile treatment for your locks.

A hair gloss treatment is a semi-permanent hair treatment that adds shine.

Hair gloss is different from hair dye in that it can help with the health of your hair. It adds shine, whereas dye can lead to dry, damaged hair if you don’t supplement it with protective products.

This is because dye pretty much just stains your hair, while gloss helps with shine and can help even, darken, or brighten your existing color.

Hair glosses contain ingredients, like behentrimonium chloride and amodimethicone, that add shine and softness to hair.

Hair gloss can also help combat sun damage in the form of brassiness, and it can add volume and texture due to the cuticle being raised when a coloring treatment is applied.

In researching new hair products to try, chances are you’ve stumbled on mentions of both hair gloss and hair glaze, and you may be wondering if they’re the same thing.

While they’re both products that can boost your hair’s color, shine and overall appearance, they do have some minor differences that may make you choose one over the other.

One of the biggest differences is that gloss treatments are often performed in salons, while glaze treatments are more of a short-term solution similar to a deep conditioning treatment that can be done at home.

A glaze will typically only last a week, but the good news is it doesn’t contain harmful chemicals, like ammonia or peroxide.

If you’re considering a hair gloss treatment, it’s important to compare the two options to find what best suits your hair’s needs:

  • Clear gloss. Clear gloss treatments are used primarily to add and boost shine, whether you’ve colored your hair or not.
  • Color gloss. Color gloss, meanwhile, adds shine in addition to refreshing or changing your color hue to combat and prevent dullness.

As with traditional hair color treatments, you can give yourself a hair gloss treatment by either going to a professional or buying a kit to use at home.

Just like with a dye treatment, going to a professional will produce more striking results. The drawback there, however, is that it will be more expensive and may result in repeated visits, as results tend to last about 4 weeks.

At-home treatments are likely to last for less time, but it’s cheaper to do yourself. For a similar shine effect, an at-home hack is to use coconut or olive oil in place of a hair gloss.

Cost is another key factor to consider when weighing the pros and cons of hair gloss treatments.

A professional in-salon treatment may cost around $50 to $100, while a store-bought kit typically goes for $10 to $30.

The cost may also depend on where you live — it’s likely that a hair gloss treatment at a salon in a city with a high cost of living, such as New York City, will be more expensive than one in an area with a lower cost of living.

Again, though, a salon treatment is likely to last longer than a DIY one.

While anyone can use a hair gloss treatment, it’s most beneficial for those with dull or damaged hair, or those looking to add subtle color or correct old color.

In addition to boosting your hair health, gloss can help existing hair color. It does this by keeping the color from fading and succumbing to damaging effects, like dryness and scalp irritation.

If you’re getting a hair gloss treatment from a professional at a hair salon, you can expect the process to last around 20 to 40 minutes.

Your stylist will likely wash your hair first, as the gloss should be applied to damp hair from root to tip. They’ll then allow it to penetrate your hair for 15 to 20 minutes before washing it out.

If you’re doing a treatment at home, you should follow the instructions on the box or bottle, which will likely be similar to what a professional would do: shampooing first, applying to damp hair, and rinsing out after a specific amount of time.

At-home hair gloss treatments

L’Oreal Paris Le Color Gloss One Step Toning Gloss is a good option for all hair types, no matter if your locks are curly, textured, or color treated. It’s also easy to apply, paraben free, and infused with coconut oil to keep your hair soft and damage-free.

Bumble and Bumble Color Gloss Luminous Hair Shine comes in both clear and colored options, making it a good option to add shine — even if you’ve never colored your hair.

dpHUE Gloss+ Semi-Permanent Hair Color & Deep Conditioner comes in clear and a wide range of hair colors. In addition to boosting your color with paraben-free ingredients, the gloss is also a deep conditioning treatment that can give your hair some much-needed TLC while you treat it.

A professional salon hair gloss treatment will typically last about 4 to 6 weeks, whereas an at-home treatment will last you anywhere from 1 to 4 weeks.

If you’re using clear gloss for shine, an at-home treatment may be the way to go. But, if you’re boosting your color, you’ll likely want longer-lasting results to reduce the frequency of application.

A hair gloss can be a worthwhile treatment for anyone looking to boost hair shine and color while avoiding damage from harsh chemicals often found in hair dyes.

Depending on whether you’re looking for a color or shine boost and how long you’re willing to go between treatments, you can determine if a professional salon treatment or an at-home kit is the way to go to achieve vibrant, shiny locks.


Emilia Benton is a freelance writer and editor based in Houston, Texas. She’s also a nine-time marathoner, avid baker, and frequent traveler.