Find out how “glass hair” can help boost your brunette colour this season.
Many of us remember the #iconic hair moment when Kim Kardashian first sported the pin-straight, ultra-shiny glass-hair look created by celebrity hairstylist Chris Appleton.
“The idea [of glass hair] was just to make the hair really, really shiny,” said Chris Appleton at his Wow Factor show in Toronto this past June. “I kind of evolved it [with extensions]. I wanted it to look perfect—so you can’t see any lines. A lot of people thought it was a wig, but it was extensions. It was about the application, the head shape and making it look flawless. We still do that kind of look now.”
And while the glass-hair look continues to be hot today, it’s taken on new life with wavy and curly hair— making this insta-famous trend more accessible for the everyday client.
“Light reflects off of straight hair so easily. That’s why we can easily create a glass look with a straight finish. But to create that with curly and wavy hair, we need to mimic that through our colour, product and finishing choices,” says Stephanie Russell, a colourist and curly hair expert based in St. John’s, Nfld.
Since the colder autumn temperatures can make hair look duller than usual, it’s important to create that high-impact shine, especially in darker tones— straight and curly textures—to prevent the hair from looking flat.
“Going darker in the fall and winter is going to nourish the hair. Even if it’s just a level, you’re still putting nourishment back in the hair since you’re not lightening, lifting or toning,” says Dana Lyseng, a Contessa award- winning hairstylist and Wella top artist based in North Vancouver. “A lot of clients find their hair to be thirsty and dehydrated, so the glass hair trend is going to appeal to them because the hair looks and feels amazing.”
Though glass hair is quite a departure from the balayage and foilayage looks that have taken over social media, there are still many ways to make it multidimensional.
“Glass hair is a fresh trend because it’s evolved based on less dimension. Now you’re seeing a lot more women with hair that’s above shoulder-length to control the dimension,” says Lyseng. “When hair is super shiny and reflecting light, you’ll see dimension.” She recommends using a non-lifting colour, such as Wella’s Relights, as a topcoat. “I like to topcoat all of my colours because you want to protect that cuticle,” says Lyseng. “I think what scares some hairstylists about top-coating and glossing is that they think they are either going to alter the colour or slowly gather depth that will bother them, or will look deep on the ends.”
To preserve the health of the hair, which is important for the shiny, glass look, Russell recommends staying within two to three levels of their colour. “It always looks best with a little more depth in the root area and transitioning to slightly lighter in the ends,” she says. For clients with shine as their number one concern, you want to stay within warmer tones as opposed to matte or flatter colours since warmer colours reflect more shine.” Russell, who is a Redken artist, recommends the brand’s Color Gels Lacquers paired with Shades EQ for extra shine.
Avoiding the F Word
Whether you’re working with straight or curly texture, it’s all about controlling frizz. “It can be harder for curly hair to look glassy because of the natural movement of the hair, but you still want to be doing colour work and treatments on the hair,” says Lyseng. “But I think it’s all about styling—properly nourishing the hair to dry without frizz.”
Russell recommends using brushes with natural bristles and a high-heat blow dryer to create the best shine, and when working with curly texture, air- drying the hair as much as possible and using gel-based products is key.
For clients hoping to extend that glassy look for an extra day, both Lyseng and Russell recommend avoiding the use of dry shampoo since they are designed to soak up excess oil and shine.