Is there anything better than glitter? Sparkly, multifaceted paillettes can transform the simplest cocktail dress or hair accessory into a party-ready smash hit. If you’ve ever wanted to add glitter to your hair for a special event, you’re in luck: Glitterage, the art of applying sparkle to hair, can get you there.
With festival season on the horizon, we're about to see glitterage pop up all over social media. It’s a low risk, high reward way to make your dark brown hair or ash blonde ‘do feel extra special for a fancy occasion. As an added bonus, it looks killer on social media (we see you, sparkle-enhancing apps).
Read on to find out how to make glitterage hair color work for you.
What is glitterage?
Glitterage is named for the popular hair color technique balayage, a French-inspired method of freehand painting color onto hair. It leaves behind natural-looking, beautifully blended color that grows out without a ton of touchup effort. Unlike hair color, glitterage is usually accomplished with the aid of temporary styling product that already contains glitter—usually gel or putty, but some formulas also come in an aerosol formula.
Using a specialty brush, your pro can apply glitter in bright streaks throughout your hair. If you have a naturally dark base with rose gold highlights, applying glitter to the lightest pieces will have the most striking visual impact. We can all appreciate a dramatic hair moment, right?
When your concert is over and the night is done, all you need to do is step into the shower to rid yourself of your fantastical glitter hair. No commitment, no problem!
What’s the best way to apply glitterage?
If you’ve invested time and money achieving the perfect hair color with the help of your stylist, your first move should be to give them a call. Don’t risk staining or damaging your dreamy honey blonde for a few hours of fun!
If this is your first time working with hair glitter, we’d recommend pulling your hair into a braid or updo that you’ll keep in all day. Gels can leave your hair texture harder than you’re used to, so a defined style will help you resist the temptation to run your fingers through the glittery sections.
Using a brush or a gloved hand (glitter may stick to your bare fingers), apply the glitter gel to the lightest sections of your hair. Aim for concentration in the areas you choose rather than attempting to cover your entire head with glitter. When in doubt, be sure you’re following the directions printed on your glitter gel’s packaging.
To wash the glitter out of your hair, any salon shampoo and conditioner will do (we love Matrix Exquisite Oil Micro-Oil Shampoo and Conditioner). Take your time and gently massage your scalp, making sure to rinse your hair until the water runs clear. You may discover a few flakes of glitter scattered across your bathtub in the days following your glitterage experiment, but it’s a small price to pay for feeling like a glamazon.
Once you have your stylist’s blessing to go ahead and glitter, there are a wide range of product options at your fingertips. We've rounded up nine hair products that will help you create the most dazzling glitterage looks ever.
Eva NYC Kweeen Glitter Spray
Make your hair sparkle without having to compromise the health of your strands. Infused with Argan oil and Keravis™ Protein Complex, Eva NYC’s Kweeen Glitter Spray salon-quality formula delivers optimal anti-breakage benefits while sassing up your style.
Eva NYC Kweeen Glitter Spray, $12.00 MSRP
Briogeo Sea Goddess Hair And Body Shimmer Mist
Unicorns aren’t the only mythical creature known for their sparkle. Channel your inner mermaid with Briogeo’s Sea Goddess Hair and Body Shimmer Mist. Infused with finely milled shimmer particles that mimic the ocean’s current, create an iridescent glow and mesmerizing lumosity fit for a goddess.
Briogeo Sea Goddess Hair And Body Shimmer Mist, $24.00 MSRP
Unicorn Snot Glitter Gel
Snot is the last thing you want to put in your hair but when said snot is from a unicorn, that changes things a little bit. Okay, so this isn’t actual unicorn snot, but the glittery gel can help you channel your inner mythical creature with sparkle you can see from Mount Olympus.
Unicorn Snot Glitter Gel, $12.99 MSRP
Lime Crime Unicorn Hair Star Mist
Lime Crime is known for fun and wild temporary hair colors, but its latest creation may be our favorite one yet. This light, shimmering hair mist will make you feel as magical as your hair looks.
Lime Crime Unicorn Hair Star Mist, $16.00 MSRP
IGK House Party Hair And Body Glitter Stick
If glitter sprays aren’t your thing (they do have a tendency to get on everything) pick up IGK’s House Party Hair And Body Glitter Stick. The thick, chunky glitter stick for hair and body creates off iridescent, dimensional pink glitter that's buildable from medium to full coverage.
IGK House Party Hair And Body Glitter Stick, $16.00 MSRP
Urban Outfitters Disco Shimmer Hair And Body Glitter Gel
If you’re looking for a hair glitter small enough to throw in your fanny pack for touch-up during long hours in the desert heat, pick up Urban Outfitters’ Disco Shimmer Hair And Body Glitter Gel.
Urban Outfitters Disco Shimmer Hair And Body Glitter Gel, $14.00 MSRP
Brite Organix Glitter Up Babe
Why settle for glitter just in your hair when you can sparkle all over? This vegan glitter gel comes in three shades and can be applied from your head to your toes for the ultimate festival look.
Brite Organix Glitter Up Babe, $12.00 MSRP
IGK Preparty Hair Strobing Glitter Spray
Strobing highlights are one of the most in-demand hair color techniques of the year but if you don’t have time to make an salon appointment before festival season rolls around, pick up IGK’s Preparty Hair Strobing Glitter Spray. The strobing glitter spray captures and diffuses light for a soft, luminous, hypnotizing effect.
IGK Preparty Hair Strobing Glitter Spray, $16.00 MSRP
Goddess Glitter Strands
Glitter sprays and gels are fun, but the sparkles tend to fade after just one shampoo. If you’re looking for a glitter accent that can last an entire weekend in the desert and beyond, look no further than Goddess Glitter Strands.
The Goddess Glitter Strands are designed to be tied around a single piece of hair for a final look that can be subtle or dramatic. Goddess Glitter Strands come in 10 dazzling colors and are brushproof, waterproof, heat resistant, and can last up to six week.
Goddess Glitter Strands, $20.00 MSRP
If you’re interested in customized festival hair recommendations, use our salon locator to book an appointment with a stylist near you.