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5 New Zealand Hairdressing Experts Share their Tips for Achieving ‘Glass Hair’

5 New Zealand Hairdressing Experts Share their Tips for Achieving ‘Glass Hair’

TikTok has a way of making trends out of things that have always been, well, a thing (à la ‘Everything Showers’). One of the latest crazes, amassing over 85 million posts, is ‘Glass Hair’ – essentially glossy hair repackaged for the next generation.

Like its predecessor, Glass Skin, ‘Glass Hair’ is in the same vein – it’s all about achieving that iridescent shine but in your tresses. However, that’s where it’s similarities end. Layering hair creams and oils won’t instantly transform locks from lacklustre to ultra-shiny. Achieving it requires a different strategy.   

Below, ProCollective tapped into the expertise of New Zealand’s industry leaders to get their tips and tricks on mastering that high-shine finish.

What is ‘Glass Hair’?

First making its debut in 2023, glass hair has been surging again thanks to a boost from celebrity A-listers and beauty influencers. As the name suggests, the goal of glass hair is a super shiny, mirror-like finish that’s almost reflective. While glossy, healthy-looking hair has always been in vogue, the TikTok trend takes it up a notch.

How to get glass hair

The main caveat to getting glass hair is that it’s not a short-term game. Just like a cocktail of hydrating serums and lotions can give skin an instant shine, so too can specific products for hair – but at a superficial level. Also important to note, layer upon layer of skincare might give your complexion a glossy sheen but haircare isn’t as straightforward – too many products can weigh down the hair or create a greasy film.

Focus on hair health

First things first, as experts will agree, the secret to getting that glass glow is keeping your hair healthy. Rebecca (Bex) Brent, L’Oréal Professionnel Style & Colour Trophy 2023 winner and owner of Wellington’s iconic Willis York salon, is an advocate for this first and foremost. 

“The foundation for glass hair is hair health. I am loving L’Oréal Professionnel Serie Expert Metal Detox Shampoo and Conditioner to get the hair in optimal condition first.” The concentrated anti-metal cleansing and conditioning range detoxifies hair, removing the accumulation of metal particles inside the hair follicle that build-up with regular hair washing. In helps to maintain colour vibrancy while delivering intense shine.

Felicity Bruce, Joico NZ Brand Ambassador and owner of Cocoon Hair Design in Timaru, agrees that boosting the health of your hair is the key. “Glass hair is all about shiny, healthy, and clean feeling hair. Start by building up the hair condition then the shine will follow from within.” She also emphasises the importance of frequent haircuts. “You don’t need to take lots off every time, just make sure your cuts are regular to avoid split ends and keep them sharp.”


As for colour systems, Bex recommends the L’Oréal Professionnel Dia range. “It focuses on repairing dull hair and reversing melanin loss, for a long-lasting, glassy shine result” Available in 40 mixable and customisable shades, the demi-permanent colour delivers six weeks of gloss and three times more shine. “I’ve been testing it and it’s incredible!”

Another pro tip, from Rodney Wayne’s Creative & Education Director Newton Cook, is to go darker with your colour. “Darker hair reflects better than lighter. Warmer tones give the effect of brightness more compared to cooler tones, which absorb light.”


In the salon, a shortcut to shinier hair is a toner, says Chinney Yeap, owner of Salute Hair & Day Spa in Wellington and the 2023 New Zealand Hairdresser of the Year. “A clear gloss toner in the salon is a great hack for getting that epic, high-shine finish.”

Chinney recommends Moroccanoil Color Calypso Demi-Permanent Gloss in clear. “It has the ProArginine + ArganID™ system, which helps to repair and seal the cuticle, giving it a 64 percent increase in shine as well as 56 percent more manageability. Our clients are obsessed!”

Bex also recommends a clear gloss toner. “When our clients want a high-shine result but it’s in between colour services, we love adding a clear gloss demi toner during the shampoo service. This enhances the natural colour or existing colour to give it a glossy sheen.”

Like a lip gloss for the hair, Redken Shades EQ Hair Gloss is another popular go-to. Available in clear or colour, Shades EQ Gloss conditions and transforms the health and feel of your hair while enhancing its natural shine, all in just 20 minutes.

Salon treatments

In line with the ‘skinification’ of haircare trend, the best professional treatments for increasing hair shine are rooted in skincare ingredients.

For immense shine and softness, Newton recommends Kérastase Fusio-Dose. The treatment features a selection of six concentrates and five boosters, which each target specific hair needs. Leveraging skincare ingredients like ceramides, glycerin, collagen, and niacinamide, it’s like a supercharged serum for your hair.

Endorsed by celebrity hairstylist Chris Appleton, there’s a reason Color Wow comes out on top in searched for gloss-enhancing haircare. Salute Hair & Day Spa now offers the Color Wow Dream Regime as a professional service. “The trending TikTok treatment lasts up to three washes and literally repels moisture from the hair to enhance that glass hair effect.” It involves spraying the hair with Dream Filter to remove all impurities, a shampoo and condition, then a bespoke treatment cocktail tailored to the  individual’s needs. “After towel drying the hair, we then saturate with the Dream Filter and stretch it out section by section with a boar bristle round brush before we iron in. The end result is a smooth and mirror-like shine.”

For a faster treatment option, multiple award-winning hairdresser Danny Pato who co-owns D&M Hair Design, rates Davines OI Liquid Luster with roucou oil. “It makes the hair super glassy (6x shinier and 3.5x softer). It’s available as an in-salon treatment and as a retail product.”


Color Wow comes highly recommended again. Both Chinney and Newton rate the cult Dream Coat Supernatural Hair Styling Spray. To use, saturate the hair by section, blow dry (ideally with a boar bristle brush) until sleek and glossy, then finish with Extra Mist-ical Shine Spray or Pop & Lock High Gloss Serum.

Another stylist favourite, backed by Bex and Newton, is the L’Oréal Professionnel Steampod 3.0. Harnessing heat and steam, the styler delivers 2x smoother and faster results with a super shiny finish.

“My favourite product combo for glass hair is Joico Colorful Glow Beyond Anti-Fade Serum and Joico Youthlock Blowout Créme,” says Felicity. “I apply these to wet hair, then round brush blowout. Directing the air downwards to smooth the cuticles will give that silky mirror finish.”

Tips & tricks

Below are a few more product recommendations and pro tips, which can be performed in the salon or at home to get that glass hair effect.

Redken Shine Flash, for that extra gloss and anti-frizz effect.” – Newton

“Ironing in smaller sections once the hair is dry, gives you longer results as the products are activated with heat.” – Chinney

“When using a flat iron, take small sections. Rather than going over and over a section, do a slow ‘glide’, no clamping or gripping and always use a heat protectant. Joico Heat Hero  [a glossing thermal protector] has a light hold. I use this on each section before ironing.” – Felicity

“Finish with L’Oréal Professionnel Ring Light Spray. It provides the lightest finish for ultra-shiny, glass hair results. Formulated without added fragrance, it delivers overall shine to any look, from slicked back to casual beach waves to formal updos.” – Bex

Main image: @chrisappleton1