12 Ways To Make Your Hair Look Healthier

Photographed by BriAnne Wills.
In an interesting turn of events, instead of the typical “I woke up like this” style we’ve all been crazy for, the latest trend in hair is actually doing it. We’re talking shiny, heathy, shampoo-commercial strands instead of the beachy, messy texture we spent so long perfecting.

But all that mattifying dry shampoo and heat-styling have done a number on our hair over the years. To get the maximum shine with the least amount of fuss, we spoke with dermatologist Francesca Fusco, MD, and celebrity hairstylist and Dove hair-care ambassador Mark Townsend. They told us everything we’re doing that is actually keeping the shine out of our strands — and how to get it back, ASAP.

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Not Cleansing Properly
While the trend as of late has been to shampoo less often, Dr. Fusco says that not cleansing your hair properly (she recommends every day) could be the cause of lackluster strands. “Cleaning your hair is like cleaning your face — it’s something that has to be done regularly, because the residue from styling products can make it look dull,” she says.

Clear Scalp & Hair
24/7 Total Care Shampoo, $4.99, available at Amazon.
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Skipping Conditioner
According to Townsend, “Every hairstyle starts in the shower.” As long as you use the right shampoo and conditioner for your hair type, you’ll have a great base for your style. But, Townsend adds, many people skip conditioner because they’re afraid it will weigh down their hair, and instead end up with dull or frizzy strands. “If your hair gets wet, you have to use conditioner. That’s what closes the cuticle," he says. "If you leave the cuticle open after it’s wet and shampooed, it’s going to be so much more work to seal it and get that shine."

Quench Absolute Conditioner, $5.39, available at Drugstore.com.
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Washing With “Hard” Water
Depending on where you live, water can be very mineralized, which can cause buildup in your hair. In order to avoid this, Dr. Fusco recommends installing a filter on your shower, especially if you live in an area that’s known for hard water. She particularly likes Raindrops because it's easy to use.

Shower Head with Filter, $120, available at Raindrops901.
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Skimping On Clarifying Shampoo
Townsend agrees that product buildup is one of the biggest causes of lack of shine, especially when it comes to blondes. He recommends using a good clarifying shampoo once every two weeks to strip the hair of leftover styling oils and serums. We like John Frieda’s Sheer Blonde Lightening Shampoo.

John Frieda
Sheer Blonde Go Blonder Lightening Shampoo, $3, available at Ulta.
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Using The Wrong Brush
Plastic-bristle brushes don’t help up the shine factor as much as boar-bristle brushes do. The natural fibers of the bristles help to smooth down the hair cuticles. So, go ahead and swap out your brush: If you don’t want to splurge on the classic Mason Pearson, Sonia Kashuk’s brush is a great alternative.

Sonia Kashuk
Hair Brush, $15.79, available at Target.
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Letting Your Damaged Scalp Ruin Your Strands, Too
Most people don’t make the connection between scalp health and hair, but they should. “As skin cells on your scalp flake off, they migrate down your hair shaft,” says Dr. Fusco. For a quick fix this winter, get a humidifier to fight the dryness in your room, or search for a shampoo that contains zinc pyrithione, which helps hydrate the scalp.

Anti-Dandruff Shampoo, $22, available at L'Occitane.
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Not Exfoliating Your Scalp — Yes, You Should Be
Just like you do with your face, you've got to exfoliate your scalp to get rid of all those dead skin cells. We love this version from Alterna, but you can also go the DIY route, says Dr. Fusco. Take a tablespoon of sugar and mix it in with your shampoo — the sugar will dissolve completely (and exfoliate any dead skin cells) without leaving a mess.

Caviar Clinical Exfoliating Scalp Facial, $36, available at Sephora.
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Overdoing It With Texture Products
While we’re all used to relying (at times, too heavily) on a good ol' bottle of dry shampoo to get us through the rough days, overusing matte products isn’t a good thing when it comes to shine. Instead, Townsend suggests opting for a lightweight, dry oil to add sleekness to your hair quickly without weighing it down.

Gold Lust Nourishing Hair Oil, $49, available at Bergdorf Goodman.
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Using Your Shine Product Incorrectly
Not sure why you end up with greasy, borderline wet hair every time you use a shine product? Well, you’re probably using it wrong. Townsend says to make sure to hold the bottle 10 inches away from your head, since it’s such a wet product. Or, use this trick: “I like to spray it in my hands, then run my hands through the hair from the ends to the roots. This way, you can distribute the shine throughout and get a little bit of piece-y-ness, but you control it,” he says.

Shine Flash 02, $18, available at Ulta.
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Eating An Imbalanced Diet
What you eat can also play a part in how shiny your hair is — if your diet lacks proteins and omega oils, your body won’t have the proper nutrients it needs in order for your hair to truly shine. Dr. Fusco recommends trying to find ways to add protein to your diet (which doesn’t need to be from just meat), due to the fact that the ingredient makes up a large part of your hair shaft. Also try to add oils, such as olive oil. For an easy cheat, take a supplement each day such as Nature’s Bounty Hair, Skin & Nails Gummies — a well-balanced mix of nutrients.

Nature's Bounty
Hair, Skin & Nails Gummies, $7.99, available at Walgreens.
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Sleeping On The Wrong Pillowcase
Even the simple act of sleeping at night could steal the shine out of your hair — if you’re doing it on the wrong pillowcases, that is. Cotton pillowcases actually absorb moisture, so make sure you have one that is either sateen or Supima cotton. Townsend recommends Calvin Klein’s Pima Cotton Pillowcases.

Calvin Klein
Florence Stitch Pima Cotton Standard Pillowcases, $75, available at Macy's.
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Giving All The Love To Your Bottom Layer
One of the most common mistakes we make during at-home blowouts is starting with the bottom layer of hair, and working our way up to the top. When we finally get there, our arms are tired and we’re in a rush to get out the door. Since the top layer is what everyone sees (and where all the shine is), Townsend says to switch it up — do the top layer first. Then, you can pin it back and breeze through the bottom layer — which will be hidden anyway.

Harry Josh
Pro Styling Clips, $15, available at Dermstore.
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