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Condition and shine: Polishing up your crowning glory

12 MAY 2008

What woman doesn't want shiny hair? Yet getting it is surprisingly simple – just keep it smooth. Shine is created by a reflection of light off the surface of the hair. The smoother the surface, the less the light is interrupted and the greater the shine. Which is why straighteners are so popular – straight hair reflects light the best. And the darker the hair, the glossier the reflection.

 

The key to smoothness is keeping the cuticle surface of each hair flat. Cuticles are layers of overlapping cells that form the shield around each hair keeping moisture and protein in. If they're roughened up, moisture and protein seep out so that light penetrates into the interior of hair, instead of bouncing off the surface.

 

So, if you want shiny hair, treat it well so that the cuticle layer remains intact and doesn't allow leakage of the constituents needed to keep hair healthy and strong.

 

* Don't rough dry – it lifts the layers of cuticle which should point downwards

* Always point hairdryers downwards for the same reason

* Always use conditioner to help smooth the cuticle

* Colour hair – it coats hair to provide another, smoother surface. Beware of bleach, however, as this penetrates hair, swelling it from the inside and pushing the scales of the cuticle outwards

*Use serums and shine sprays that coat the outside of hair to provide a reflective surface

 




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