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What Is a Hair Gloss and How Do You Use One?

It may be the secret to your most beautiful color-treated strands — here’s what you should know.
May 08, 2023


If you have color-treated hair, you’ve probably tried several different techniques and products to keep your color looking fresh for as long as possible. Considering that coloring your hair can make it feel dry and look dull, it makes sense that you’d want to seek out products and treatments that can help bring your hair back to its former shiny glory. Enter hair glossing. 

Using a hair color gloss can help keep your hair from becoming dull and appearing damaged. Keep reading to learn more about hair gloss treatments, including how to use them, how they differ from hair glazes, and an effective at-home hair gloss
that can help your color look its most vibrant in just 15 minutes.
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What Is a Hair Gloss?

A hair gloss is basically a toning and shining treatment for colored-strands. The intended outcome of using a hair gloss is a longer-lasting and more vibrant hair color, as well as a reduction in split ends, frizzy hair, and overall dryness. Hair gloss treatments can also be used to reduce brassiness or bring out undertones in your hair color.

There are two ways to go about using a hair gloss. You can book an appointment with your colorist or you can use a hair gloss at home. While consulting a professional for your gloss treatment can result in a more customized formula — they typically will mix up a different gloss for each individual client — it can be expensive and time consuming. If you go the at-home route, be sure to triple check your gloss color choice to make sure it’s suited to your current color, otherwise, you risk not getting the results you want.

How to Use Hair Gloss At Home?

If you’re prepared to tackle your glossing needs at home, the L’Oréal Paris Le Color Gloss One Step In-Shower Toning Gloss is the perfect product to help you do that. There’s no mixing or mess involved — here’s how to use it.

Step 1. Wet your hair with warm water (you can do it while in the shower so it’s easy for you or at any given time during your wash day.

Step 2. Apply Le Color Gloss evenly to damp hair, wait up to 15 minutes (at minimum five, but this will depend on how much toning your hair needs).

Step 3. Rinse your hair thoroughly until the water runs clear. Your strands will look toned, neutralized, shiny, and feeling soft. 

The gloss is available in 16 shades, including bronde
and four silver hues, and even has a clear shade that can be used on virgin hair to boost color and shine.
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Who Should Use a Hair Gloss?

If you have colored hair of any kind — bleached, highlighted, or dyed all over — hair glossing is for you. Hair glosses are specifically formulated for use on color-treated strands because the chemicals used in some hair dyes can cause weakness, dryness, and damaged hair. Think of a hair color gloss as a sort of refresher treatment for your current color, helping enhance and revive both your shade and your strands. 

So essentially, anyone with color-treated strands that are showing damage or looking dull to any degree can benefit from a hair gloss treatment. And while many glosses are intended for dyed hair, if you want to make a subtle change to your natural hue, you can use certain hair gloss formulas to tint strands that have never been colored.

Hair Gloss vs. Hair Glaze: What’s the Difference? 

Hair glazes and glosses often end up being lumped together. While the goal of these two hair treatments is essentially the same — to provide shine and smooth color-treated strands — there is a difference between the two. 

A hair gloss penetrates the hair cuticle, allowing for longer-lasting and more effective results. Typically, these last for around a month. A hair glaze, however, is sort of like the nail equivalent of an ultra-shiny top coat or lip gloss as a topper. It’ll coat your strands, but won’t penetrate the hair shaft, leaving you with results that usually last for one to two weeks. 

If you’re looking for a hair glaze that’s affordable and easy to use, look no further than the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Glossing In Shower Acidic Glaze. This acidic pH hair treatment seals the cuticle for intense shine, smoothness and a glossy finish that lasts. Use it after the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Glossing Shampoo, pH Balanced and before the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Glossing Conditioner, pH Balanced as part of this three step system.

Is Gloss Damaging to Hair?

For those who may be weary of introducing anything that remotely resembles a hair color product into your regimen, rest assured, hair gloss is safe for your strands. In fact Le Color Gloss One Step In-Shower Toning Gloss is not only safe for your mane, it deeply conditions hair so instead of damaging it, it helps promote healthier hair while you boost your color. It’s a win-win.

How Often Should You Gloss Your Hair?

Hair gloss that lasts for about a month or so usually only needs a refresh every four weeks, especially if it’s done at the salon. If you’re using an at-home hair gloss you may need to make it a more regular part of your hair care routine (once a week) depending on how quickly your hair color fades. 

Hair gloss for red hair may be used often since red color-treated hair is known for fading quickly, whereas hair gloss for black hair will likely be used less frequently due to the staying power of black hair dye. Fortunately L’Oréal Paris’s at-home hair gloss is affordable enough to add to your weekly hair color maintenance without busting your budget. 

No matter which brand or color you choose, just be sure to read the directions and usage recommendations on your hair gloss package, and pay attention to how long the gloss lasts on our strands.

3 Additional Tips for Maintaining Your Hair Color 

If you don’t take care of your tresses but occasionally use an at-home hair gloss, you won’t really be doing your hair any favors. While glosses are great, it’s also important to follow a consistent hair care routine for colored hair. Keep these tips in mind if you have dyed strands.

1. Use Shampoo and Conditioner for Colored Hair

Once you’ve colored your hair, swap your previous shampoo and conditioner for formulas specially made for color-treated hair. The L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate Free Simply Clean Shampoo with Essential Oil and L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Simply Clean Conditioner with Essential Oil are both formulated without sulfates, dyes or parabens and won’t strip color-treated hair. 

Additionally, the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate Free Bond Repair Shampoo with Citric Acid and L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate Free Bond Repair Conditioner with Citric Acid are perfect for color-treated hair and especially beneficial for bleached or highlighted hair, since stripping color can damage hair. This duo works to strengthen weak hair bonds while shielding against future damage. 

2. Use a Hair Mask

We love regular ol’ conditioners, but hair masks that can deep condition are also a must. Next time your strands need a little extra TLC, reach for the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Dream Lengths Savior Fiber Mask. Made with a fiber concentrate and collagen peptides to revive damaged lengths, it wraps around hair to strengthen weak parts. The sweet fragrance also leaves hair with an indulgent scent.

3. Always Use (Heat) Protection

Hopefully, anyone who uses heat styling tools frequently already knows this tip, but it doesn’t hurt to repeat it: You need to protect your strands with a heat protectant spray or treatment before picking up your blow-dryer or curling iron — or any heat tool, for that matter. Even better, use a hair treatment that will protect against heat and also help heal everyday damage, such as the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Total Repair 5 Protein Recharge Leave-In Conditioner Treatment.

Next: How to Use Purple Shampoo for Blonde Hair

Photographer: Stephanie Price, Photo Assistant: Thomas Miller, Digi Tech: Sergio Colon, Art Director: Hannah Packer, Creative Producer: Becca Solovay, Content Director: Shalwah Evans, Visual Designer: Sarah Duvivier, Makeup Artist: Kelly Bellevue, Hair Stylist: Akihisa Yamaguchi, Wardrobe Stylist: Rika Watanabe, Wardrobe Assistant: Fausti, Model: Anastasia Offutt

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