It may sound odd, but
hair color is like nail polish in a lot of ways. It looks fresh and shiny when you walk out of the salon, but dulls fast, leaving you jonesing for a refresh after just a few weeks. There's only one problem: Salon appointments are pricey and time-consuming. You can (and probably should) opt for the recommended Olaplex treatments and fancy color-safe shampoos, but there's an underappreciated way to live in the fresh color space for a lot longer. Enter: DIY hair gloss. Most salons offer quick glossing treatments, which are amazing for rebooting the vibrancy of your dingy highlights or all-over color, but that requires time and extra cash. Luckily, in talking to a few hair experts, we discovered that that an at-home hair gloss can be just as effective at extending the life of your color. Think of it like a top coat nail polish for your hair. The pros break down the best hair glosses on the market, ahead. At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.
recommend Christophe Robin's Shade Variation Care glossing masks to my clients," says
the co-founder of Brooklyn's
. "Every shade offering — from
— is rich in tone and will keep your hair color looking fresh and warm, effectively keeping those hollow,
strands at bay."
Any color and texture, but best for those with blonde hair looking to ward off brassy tones.
Shade Variation Care Nutritive Mask, $, available at
To keep hair color vibrant, NYC-based colorist
recommends clients commit to regular
in-salon glossing treatments
. At home, he says it's important to
use a shampoo that's free of sulfates
, to always rinse with cold water in the shower,
to grab this gloss by Schwarzkopf. It instantly amps up shine on all hair types, and it's especially gentle on curls.
Curly, color-treated hair. It comes in a few different shades, so make sure you get the tone closest to your color.
Igora Vibrance Clear 0-00 500Ml, $, available at
To extend the lifespan and vibrancy of her clients' color,
(who's worked with
, NBD) formulated her own gloss. "Use this foam gloss in-between shampoo and conditioner, focusing on the ends, and you'll see a
improvement in the lifespan of your color and your shine," Hazan explains. "It's works on every hair color because the base shades are neutral, meaning it won't ever look orange-y or brassy." The best part about this one is there's no wait time, it activates right away, so you're not standing soaking wet for 5 minutes waiting to wash it out.
All hair textures
colors, but the trick is to find the right shade for your tone. This one comes in clear (which anyone can use), Blonde (to revive highlights), Breaking Brass (which directly combats brassiness), Brown (for brunettes), and Red (to enhance red tones). Whichever you chose, use it as often as you shampoo.
Color expert Chelsea Scott swears by this mousse gloss by TruHair. "It's a great option if you're feeling like your hair color needs a quick reboot," she explains. "It works to both tone your color
boost volume, so it's a godsend between salon visits."
Fine hair that needs a boost of shine and a little volume. This one is also colored, so you should chose the shade that best matches the tone of your hair.
This isn't your typical gloss — it's better. Color Wow's pro-approved products are made to make your strands look HD-ready, and this unique gloss treatment seriously delivers on mirror-like shine. Unlike most formulas, you can use it as a styler on dry hair, or on wet hair as a deep treatment.
If you don't necessarily have time for a half-hour gloss, or need instant shine without having to wash your hair first.
Pop & Lock Gloss Treatment, $, available at
Amazon More Stephanie Brown
who turned us onto
"cold-brew" hair color
, also loves a good hair gloss. For at-home treatments, she recommends this one by dpHue, which adds shine and a hint of fresh color when your's starts to fade.
Any color and texture, but works especially well with boosting the vibrancy of blonde highlights. Longer processing time is recommended for darker hair color.
Gloss+, $, available at
This is a liquid glossing treatment that actually transforms into a creamy consistency when you rub it in — and Scott says it's a real game changer for color treated hair. "In just 10 seconds it restores split ends and completely eliminates frizz," she explains. "After your color appointment, apply this after your shampoo, each time you shower, to restore the hair protein and make your color last longer."
Dry, over-processed hair. This gloss is infused with keratin protein, which means that it helps rehab breakage. Those with oily scalps might not find much success with this heavier formula.
Water Treatment Miracle 10, $, available at
Quinoa protein, passion fruit, and cupuaçu help this clear, subtly shimmering glaze do its thing, resulting in nothing but vivid color and mega shine.
If you're happy to invest in a luxury product, this is as luxe as it gets. If covering up grey or white hair is a main concern, then look for a tinted formula; otherwise, this is a great option if you're searching for a shine boost and a color refresh.
Glaze for Beautiful Color, $, available at
Alexis Antonellis, colorist at
Eddie Arthur Salon
in New York City believes in a glaze mask, which is essentially a hair gloss/deep conditioner hybrid. "This both nourishes your hair and protects the color," she says. "Especially coming out of summer, now is a
time to add this to your regimen and continue using it once a week throughout winter."
Any hair color or texture looking for extra softness and shine. This one is colorless, so it can work for everyone. On finer hair, it should be used as a weekly treatment, while thicker hair types benefit from daily application in lieu of conditioner.
Color Lustre Brilliant Glaze Treatment, $, available at
A slightly cheaper option, this color gloss by Bumble & bumble is one that Antonellis recommends to those who want to invest in the health and longevity of their color, but don't have $70 to spend on a fancy glaze mask.
Those on a budget. For $34 you can boost your color with any of the tones in this line: Clear, Cool Blonde, Brunette, Warm Blonde, and Red.
"John Frieda's Color Refreshing gloss both hydrates the hair and extends the life of the color," Antonellis says (adding that the brand's
color-focused shampoo and conditioner
are also great). Plus, this bad boy's just $12 at
Those on a
budget. This one can be used weekly, just leave it on the hair for 3-5 minutes. Pro tip: Focus on the mid-shafts and ends, then rinse it out and follow with routine shampoo and conditioner.
Colour Refreshing Gloss, $, available at
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