Last year, I ignored every single person in my life’s advice and decided to take my hair from dark brown to icy platinum. And while, all things considered, my hair took to the bleaching pretty well (I’ve had no breakage, which I attribute to my magical colorist Emaly Baum), the texture of my hair did change pretty drastically.
There are some things about my hair’s new texture that I actually prefer: For one, it has more natural volume than it did before, so I no longer need to apply tons of sea salt or wave spray in the mornings to give it body. I also find that it’s a lot less oily, which means I don’t have to wash it every other day like I used to. But there is one thing I truly despise: Since the Great Bleach of 2018, my hair has lost pretty much all of its natural, old-school Pantene commercial shine.
I know what you’re thinking: What did you expect? Duller, drier hair is what you get when you strip your hair of all of its natural pigment. I do what I can to deeply hydrate my hair as much as possible — my moisturizing Prickly Pear Mask from Christophe Robin (which I use once a week), my Olaplex No. 3 treatment (which I use once a week), and my Sachajuan Leave In Conditioner (which I use every time I wash my hair — about two or three times a week) have all helped enormously in ensuring that my damaged hair stays soft and nourished. But no matter how many conditioning sprays, protein-building treatments, and moisturizing masks I use, I still struggle to get back that healthy, glisten-y shine my natural locks used to have. A lot of my friends have turned to hair oil for this exact issue. And don’t get me wrong — I love running Gisou hair oil through my ends after it’s been towel- dried every once in a while. But, to be honest, I find that even the very best hair oils (like the Gisou) have a tendency to weigh my hair down and make it feel a little sticky. Plus if you overdo it (which is way, way too easy to do), hair oil can make your tresses look really greasy, really fast. It’s a dangerous game, in other words.
A couple of weeks ago, when I was complaining about my dull, gleamless hair to a hairstylist friend of mine, she asked me if I’d ever tried Ouai’s Shine Spray. When I said I hadn’t, she urged me to go to Sephora and test it out. I did just that and found that with just a few sprays, the shine I had yearned for, for so long, was actually, immediately revived. And better yet, my locks didn’t feel tacky or dense. It looked smooth, healthy, and glossy and felt bouncy.
I tend to use this product if my hair looks extra lifeless (which it often does right after I wash it) when I’m going out or when I know I’m going to have my photo taken, right after applying a little styling cream (I like the Ouai Finishing Creme). I spray it about two to three times (avoiding my direct roots) all over my bob, focusing on the ends. Next thing you know, my double-processed hair looks like it did pre–dye job. And as a fun extra, you can use this on your body. I occasionally spray it on my shoulders and collarbones to give my skin an extra summery shine.
Other Rio-approved hair products
This Oribe masque is “really great at nourishing and restoring color-treated hair,” says Rio. It’s not as thick as the Christophe Robin one, so she sleeps in it rather than washing it out before bed.
Rio absolutely adores this mask. “Not only does it smell like a dream,” she says, “but the ingredient list is jam-packed with yummy ingredients like antioxidant-rich prickly pear (which protects your hair from free-radical damage), argan oil (for deep conditioning), and bamboo stem cells (which strengthens your hair and promotes growth). I slap this all over my hair after shampooing, leave it on for five to ten minutes while I scrub and shave, then wash it out.”
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