Glass hair: your ultimate guide

This is one TikTok trend we can get behind. From treatments that really work to the big shine blow-dry, Madeleine Spencer on how to make your hair look its healthiest

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Who doesn’t want impossibly shiny glass hair?
Element5 Digital
Madeleine Spencer16 April 2024

If you have even a passing interest in beauty trends, you will know that we are living in an era of shine.

It has alighted upon our lips in the form of lip oils and glosses, touched our nails (hello glazed doughnut), and hit our skin via a trend that came to be known as glass skin. And now our hair too must be glassy, according to the dictates of fashion.

So, whether long or short, curly or straight, midnight black or white blonde, shinier than shiny locks are the order of the day.

It might sound easy, really a case of just looking after hair. But we aren’t talking your usual level of shine, this is shine that’s noteworthy and therefore takes a bit of effort — and at least two of us over at the Standard covet it — me, and Hayley Spencer. We both threw ourselves into the task of trying to achieve it. Hayley went to see Larry King for some tips while having a chop (essential in the name of hair health and by extension hair shine), and I assiduously tested products. Below are our findings.

The glass hair rules according to King:

Look after your hair with oils and treatments

“They’re crucial — use an oil as a treatment before shampoo; it’ll soak into your scalp and give you nice shine.”

Gloss tint your hair at home

“Mirror shine happens after you’ve coloured your hair, but if you use an at-home gloss like the new Acidic Colour Gloss from Redken, you can just add that every two weeks for really soft and silky hair.”

Blowdry down the shaft

“It’s all about air flow and direction — concentrate it down the hair shaft to smooth out new hairs and give maximum shine. The Airstrait by Dyson (£449.99) is unbelievable for smoothing out those baby hairs.” 

Percy & Reed Time to Shine Mirror Mirror Shine Serum

Percy & Reed

An all round shine hero, just slide this through damp or dry hair and let the blend of watermelon and argan oil soften and add lustre.

Buy now£22, Percy & Reed

Living Proof No Frizz Instant De-Frizzer

Living Proof

If frizz abounds, it creates a halo of hair that’s not uniform and therefore doesn’t reflect light as well. This spray doesn’t weigh hair down but rather adds some lightweight oils in spray form to encourage it to sit smoothly.

Buy now£28, Look Fantastic

Kerastase Elixir Ultime Bain Shampoo


Healthy hair starts with washing — you want to proceed carefully, gently massaging rather than scrubbing. For best results, do so with a shampoo that’s geared towards adding health in the form of marula oil while lifting dirt and pollutants from the shaft gently.

Buy now£28.24, Kerastase

Virtue Restorative Treatment Mask


Expensive, I know. But nothing — no hair mask, no gloss, no blow dry — has ever made my hair as strong and shiny, and besides, you only need a tiny bit to get the effect so I just use a dash every other wash.

Buy now£67, John Lewis

Josh Wood Icy Blonde Gloss

Josh Wood

Clever stuff, these glosses; they add the promised gloss while also depositing a smidge of colour in hair, be it this ice white blonde or a more coppery bronze. I tried the champagne hue and loved it — it refreshed my hair without drastically changing the colour.

Buy now£19, Selfridges

Fudge Professional Hed Shine Spray

Fudge Professional

This is nearly always sold out for good reason. If all else fails, crack this out and spritz all through hair — it’s foolproof. The addition of UV filters mean it’s ideal if you want to look after your hair in the sun.

Buy now£14, Look Fantastic

SILKE London Frida Hair Ties

SILKE London

Not breaking hair and thereby protecting your future shine relies heavily on being gentle — and that includes when tying it up. These silk bands are ideal, never snagging, never creating a feral knot that needs tugging out.

Buy now£30, Look Fantastic