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how to fix dull hair

Let It Shine: How To Bring Dull Hair Back To Life

Dull hair isn’t a life sentence—the right hair care products can boost shine for hair that’s far from lackluster. Here, learn dull hair signs, causes and fixes.

You know how hair looks insanely shiny and glossy fresh out of the salon? Then, seconds after you walk out of those doors, the world starts to conspire against that brilliance, and slowly, you’re left with dull hair. The good news is that there’s lots you can do in between hair appointments to prevent lackluster locks and dull hair color

From high-quality hair care products that curb dry, dull hair to styling techniques and tricks that promote super shiny hair, we’re covering everything you need to know. At our side is Kérastase Ambassador Lorena Landauro, who’s eager to take your dull hair from “meh” to “Oh, yeah!” 

Good hair day by @colorbymarina.

How To Tell You Have Dull Hair

If you’re already out there Googling, “What is dull hair?” there’s a good chance you might be a victim of hair that’s lost its brilliance. The most obvious sign of dull hair is a flat, non-glossy quality where your hair seems to absorb light versus reflect it. However, there are other signs to look for, as well. 

“Characteristics of dull hair include hair without movement—easily entangled with little flexibility, porosity, and roughness,” Landauro explains. You may also notice dull hair color. In this case, hair might still have a bit of shine to it, but the color isn’t quite as brilliant as it once was. 


Good hair day by @ines_lblc.

What Causes Dry, Dull Hair? 

From dull blonde hair to dark brown hair, any hair color can lose its luster. And yes—you can experience dullness even if your strands aren’t dyed! 

We asked Landauro about some of the most common dull hair causes. Turns out, there are a handful of culprits to consider, some of which are internal—like hormonal imbalances or diet—while many others are external. 

Common external dull, dry hair causes include: 

  • Not rinsing hair thoroughly enough
  • Washing your hair with very hot water
  • Sun exposure
  • Hard water 
  • Not using the right products for your specific hair needs
  • Heat styling too frequently, especially without a heat protectant 
  • Too much chemical processing 
  • Exposure to environmental aggressions like smog, sun, and salt water

Eek! With so many bad things out there, what’s one to do? Fear not—there are plenty of dull hair treatments, products, tips, and tricks that’ll help restore brilliance. 

Good hair day by @alex.mercedesss.

How Do You Fix Dry, Dull Hair?

It’s important to take steps that help nourish damaged hair, hydrate dry hair, and prevent dull hair color. Follow these pro tips, and you can say goodbye to dull-looking hair.

Use Salon-Quality Hair Care Products 

“Hair care is essential to keep hair beautiful, healthy, and bright,” Landauro says. “It’s important to incorporate professional products into your beauty routine, as they can minimize problems.” 

Start with a good shampoo and conditioner system that targets your specific hair type and concerns. For example, if you’re dealing with damage, try Redken Extreme Strengthening Shampoo for Damaged Hair and Extreme Strengthening Conditioner for Damaged Hair. When used together, it helps hair grow longer and stronger and can even reduce damage up to 75%!

Indulge in Monthly Hair Treatments 

“In addition to shampoo and conditioner for daily use, you should also incorporate hair treatments one to two times a month, which can help strengthen your hair,” Landauro says. 

It’s best to use professional, high-quality products that address your specific concerns. For instance, if you want to nix dull hair color, try L'Oréal Professionnel Serie Expert Metal Detox Mask. It helps maintain color vibrancy up to 93% by shielding your hair from UV exposure and metal deposits. Or if your hair is seriously parched, try the Redken All Soft Heavy Cream Deep Conditioning Treatment Mask. It helps hydrate dry and brittle hair while softening your strands and nixing frizz.

Try Products That Help Brighten Hair Tone

Speaking of dull hair color, blondes are especially prone to turning brassy and dull. Incorporating products into your routine that tackle the issue head-on, like Redken High Bright, is one of the best ways to address dullness. High Bright is a three-part system recommended for blondes levels 7 through 10. It helps instantly brighten blonde hair that’s dull, matte, and muddied. 

If you have dull brown hair, you can use a toning blue shampoo that corrects the brassiness in darker locks. Try Redken Color Extend Brownlights Shampoo, which neutralizes orange and brassy tones for shiny, vibrant strands.

Use a Shine-Boosting Hair Oil 

“To enhance the shine of your hair, the best product to use is oil. This can be used daily even before drying your hair,” Landauro says. “Oils can help provide brightness, softness, and nutrition for the hair, minimizing the look of breakage and dryness."

Try Kérastase Elixir Ultime Original Hair Oil for hair that radiates ultimate shine, thanks to a formula infused with sacred marula oil. 

Always Use a Heat Protectant 

Heat damage is a major dull hair cause. We know it’s not realistic to retire your blow dryer, curling wand, or flat iron, but there are steps you can take to help keep your hair healthy. 

Step one is to minimize how often and how long you use these tools. For example, try letting your hair air dry halfway before picking up the blow dryer. Second, turn the heat down on your tools—they don’t have to be turned up to the highest heat setting to work. 

Finally, always use a heat protectant. There are lots of options to choose from. Many even have extra benefits, such as protecting your hair from sun exposure and other elements, smoothing frizz, promoting hair strength, or reducing your blow-dry time. Try Redken Extreme Play Safe Heat Protection and Damage Repair Hair Treatment. In addition to protecting hair from heat up to 450 degrees, it helps prevent split ends and fortifies the hair fiber for 28% less breakage.

Don’t let drab locks dull your shine. Wave goodbye to dull hair with these tips!

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