Isn’t there nothing like the smell of newly colored hair? In my situation, after a complete head of highlights, my hair feels and looks brighter, shinier, blonder, and more spectacular than before.
But three weeks later, I’m back where I started. When I glance in the mirror, I’ll be perplexed as to where my beautiful, lustrous hair color has vanished. My roots haven’t taken over yet, but the color has gone, the luster has vanished, and my hair in general appears, dare I say, drab.
Sure, there are purple shampoos that assist to remove brassiness, but I’ve always found that brassiness isn’t often the issue.
Until recently, I assumed that was just something I had to accept (much like how fake tan will always get crusty if you don’t exfoliate thoroughly). However, I have discovered a new category of hair products that genuinely prevent color loss.
Enter hair glaze (sometimes known as “hair gloss” depending on the product). It’s a brilliant hair treatment that not only restores your color to its original “just out of the salon” radiance, but also adds megawatt shine and, in some circumstances, a completely new touch of color.
We talked to celebrity hairdresser Michael Sparks and professional colorist George Waldron about how hair glosses (and glazes) work.
What exactly is a hair glaze?
A hair glaze, according to Sparks, is a non-permanent hair color treatment that adds shine and can help reduce flyaways and frizz. “Hair glaze differs from hair color in that it contains neither ammonia or peroxide,” he explains.
“As a result, hair glaze lasts approximately one week, gradually fades out of the hair, and is [suitable for people who do not want to commit to] a long-term commitment with the color.” Hair glaze also keeps hair cuticles from tangling, making it an excellent choice for coarse, difficult-to-manage hair.
We understand. Doesn’t it seem too wonderful to be true? I can confirm that it is not. I discovered the hair glaze treatment while testing out Kevin Murphy’s brightening hair glazes for blondes, which were initially designed to keep models’ hair from getting heavy and drab during photoshoots.
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What exactly is a hair gloss?
Hair glosses are temporary tints that do not permeate the hair shaft. Furthermore, unlike permanent hair color, they do not leave a line of demarcation.
“It’s a terrific tool for introducing someone to non-committal hair color or simply enhancing what someone has naturally—for example, a redhead who wants a bit more copper or a brunette who has lost its sheen,” he adds.
Though they aren’t as effective as keratin treatments, Waldron notes that they have the advantage of resting on the top of the hair shaft, which can assist to reduce frizz. Hair gloss, unlike hair glaze, is normally done by a professional in a salon since the color must be put into the cuticle of the hair.
“Hair glosses may be used to enhance the natural tones of your hair as well as serve to equally tone down undesirable warmth, integrate grays, or just add more shine,” explains Sparks.
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Which Should You Try: Hair Glaze or Hair Gloss?
Glosses usually last four to six weeks, depending on how frequently you shampoo and other environmental circumstances. “Sweating and sun exposure can also limit their lifespan,” Waldron recommends.
However, both experts believe that if you want to take the gloss way, you should go to your colorist, unless, according to Waldron, you want a clear gloss for some shine.
“While drugstore glosses are accessible, they’re less regulated and include more chemicals—nothing there’s worse than having an at-home $30 color treatment turn into a $500 color correction,” Sparks says. Enough of it.