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Is Shiny Hair Possible for All Textures?

Avatar • Nov 18, 2011

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By Jc of The Natural Haven

Do you equate shiny hair with healthy hair? I have seen many people emphasise that natural hair can or should have a ‘healthy’ sheen but is this really true?

The research ( J. Cosmet. Sci, pp 49–63, 2004) I found gave there are three main factors which affect natural shine for clean hair (i.e when oil is not added artificially to create shine and the hair has been freshly washed).

The three factors are
1. Colour of your hair
2. The shape and thickness of your hair strands
3. Twists or kinks in your hair

1. The darker your hair, the shinier it appears

Very light hair  (grey or blonde) can easily allow light to go through the hair instead of reflecting it back. As hair gets darker, less light is scattered in this way and more of it is reflected back, therefore darker hairappears shinier.

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Beth
Beth
9 years ago

This is very timely and interesting. I once found a thread on a particular site bashing a blogger’s hair because it wasn’t “shiny” and that apparently equated to her hair being dry and unmoisturized. Not everyone’s hair will “shine” the same way.

cocobakerchica
cocobakerchica
9 years ago
Reply to  Beth

Cosign!

Lin
Lin
9 years ago

I don’t really think, “OMG WAO THEIR HAIR IS SO HEALTHY” when I see someone with shiny hair, I just think it looks nice. Usually. You can have some naaasty hair and it’ll still be shiny. I don’t really go out of my way to have bling-blong hair, because, at the end of the day, my hair just naturally is not as blindingly shiny as someone else’s, even though it may be just as healthy if not healthier.
/Kanye shrug

YelloKat
9 years ago
Reply to  Lin

LOL!!

rtoriq
rtoriq
9 years ago

i just don’t care about shine. i always hear people talk about how something gave them added shine when reviewing a product, but to me, it doesn’t make hair any more or less attractive. *shrugs*

Eboni
Eboni
9 years ago
Reply to  rtoriq

+1

Cholla
Cholla
9 years ago

No I don’t associate it with health unless the person has a straight texture. I do have a sheen because my hair is naturally very black (like pitch black), but I would not call it shiny so I don’t really find ways to make it more “shiner”, because I’m happy the way it is.

hehe
hehe
9 years ago

I love shiny hair! That’s why I dyed it pitch black. Also since trying curl activator spray my hair has been extra blingy. One of the reasons why I want to do henna is because of it’s shine factor.

Lyn
Lyn
9 years ago

I do (or shall I say did) associate shiny hair as healthy hair. When I see someone with shiny hair, and this person has curly or kinky curly hair I think “wow, her hair is really healthy and pretty.” I thought that hair that shines is well moisturized, I still concur, ie: coconut oil, castor oil. I’m a girl, I’m naturally attracted to shiny things, lol. So yes, I do seek to achieve shiny hair. I use Vatika Oil on my hair on top of my Leave-in (which sometimes contains Argon Oil) and my hair has great shine or sheen.… Read more »

Olub20
9 years ago

I believe shiny tresses can be possible for all hair textures just like moisture retention is possible and it’s not a refection of the magnitude of healthiness of the hair. Just depends on the products and haircare regimen. I use to feel my hair is just shine resistant until I had my first hair shining in your face result. Ok maybe not shining in your face lol…but it had a shine to it I was so excited. So I do believe its possible you just have to do trial and error to know what works for your hair.

napfrocurlzgirl
9 years ago

Sadly, a lot of us are walking around with dusty looking heads!

BJ
BJ
9 years ago

lol!! I consider my hair to be a dusty brown, especially towards the ends, so I don’t really worry about shine. I’m satisfied with it feeling soft and moisturized. 🙂

LBell
LBell
9 years ago

“Shine” and “swing” (or, as some say, “swang”) are two words that left my hair vocabulary within a year after my going natural. I do not associate either of these with my natural Afro-textured hair and I don’t feel my hair is “less than” health-wise because it doesn’t do or have either of these. I don’t actively go looking for them either; if my moisture game is correct then my hair has a nice healthy-looking sheen. I know that people who are programmed to view shiny, swinging hair as the ideal are still going to look askance at my “sheeny,”… Read more »

mangomadness
mangomadness
9 years ago
Reply to  LBell

+1

Wanda Renee
Wanda Renee
9 years ago

The only thing that made my hair shine was grease.

Leo the Yardie Chick
Leo the Yardie Chick
9 years ago
Reply to  Wanda Renee

Same here, and I’m not going back to those days.

Tiffany Shawn
9 years ago

Thanks for sharing this b/c my hair is very healthy but doesn’t always look shiny…so I figure people think it’s just dry and unhealthy which it isn’t. But I do have to manipulate it with shea butter or something to give it a shine.
[img]http://bglhonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/IMAG0107.jpg[/img]

tinabobina
tinabobina
9 years ago
Reply to  Tiffany Shawn

Your hair looks very soft…not dry at all. Anyway, I feel you girl. My hair doesn’t have natural shine (or even very much of a velvety sheen) either.

June
June
9 years ago

I have never really thought about hair shine — mine or others. Good information for those seemingly hung up on shininess.

Miss p
Miss p
9 years ago

Thanks for this post! I never had my natural hair looking shiny. Always thought there was something wrong with that, specially when watching youtube videos, or looking at other naturals pics (I know, I know! Everyone is gonna be different!). Thanks for clarifying!

Rain
Rain
9 years ago

Im reading a lot of people not associating shine with health, but I have seen the exact opposite. I can’t remember if it was discussed on this site or another but there was this whole discussion about a picture of a woman’s hair that was 4b-like and out and people were commenting on it looking extra dry. That might have not been the case and we would never been able to tell but people where using some sort of judgement scale to come to this conclusion and I think shine contributed to it. Shine = Health is just another social conditioning… Read more »

Beth
Beth
9 years ago
Reply to  Rain

I think this is the issue… And I think we as naturals would like to believe we are free from societal conditioning, when in fact, we are not. My cousin is natural and her hair literally refuses to shine, but touch it and you can’t deny that it is moisturized. I don’t think shine is a good enough determinant of moisturized hair to be considered on its OWN. Some have hair that shines when it is moisturized, some don’t.

Aimie San
Aimie San
9 years ago

Black ‘Afro’ hair always shines in the sun/light, like a million diamond droplets..beautiful. Atleast that’s what I’ve observed.

constance mccoy
9 years ago

You can advertise here. Your products seem good. I like. Very reasonable to advertise.

AnaDion
8 years ago

This makes me feel better: my hair is a light brown, and even on its healthiest days, it isn’t shiny. My mother, who come fro a time of hair grease being slathered every which way over a child’s head often worries about my “dry” hair and tells me to spray oil sheen on it.
I’m still trying to explain that the oil just coats my NOT dry hair, but doesn’t (by itself) moisturize it. Besides, when my hair is shiny it makes my skin look uneven and sallow.

Kailyn
Kailyn
8 years ago

When I see shiny hair, I usually assume that it’s healthy, but I don’t assume if there isn’t shine that someone’s hair isn’t healthy. I just notice when someone’s locks have sheen, cause it looks nice.

Ntrlbeauty
Ntrlbeauty
8 years ago

This is a good topic. My daughter’s hair is this light dusty brown texture and for the life of me no matter what I put in her hair it would not shine, and also it never felt soft. Thinking about it I was probably putting in too many products trying to make it shine. I would see other little girls whose hair would just glisten, but my daughter’s hair always looked dull. I started to deep condition it this month and I use two products on her hair and I seal with “olive oil”. It still doesn’t shine, but her… Read more »

jacqueline
jacqueline
8 years ago

when my hair is cut short, it’s shiny. but now that it’s long, not so shiny. it’s healthy, but does not have the same sheen. it doesn’t bother me. i remember when i last straightened my hair in ’73… my hair was long, and shiny. but now that it’s been natural, it’s not had the same shine. it looks fine. shine is in the eye of the beholder. 🙂

Catherine
Catherine
8 years ago

That’s why my sister’s hair (she’s relaxed) is unbelievably shiny! It’s blinding.

Crystal
Crystal
8 years ago

I’m pretty sure split ends can shine with the right mix of products. Lol…shine is not the whole story.

Nubian
Nubian
8 years ago

My hair has always had a lustrous shine to it even before I went natural. When I relaxed my hair I could tell when my hair was damaged because the ended were dead looking & didn’t have the same shine as the rest of my hair before I greased my scalp or slapped moisturizer on my tresses. If the lack of luster wasn’t a clue the brownish or gray color of the ends was always a dead giveaway because my hair is a beautiful jet black. Now that I’m natural my hair always looks healthy and has a nice natural… Read more »

AnaDion
8 years ago

my hair does NOT shine. ever. It used to drive my mom crazy when I’d go to the salon (when I was relaxed) and I’d leave with my hair soft and flowing and straight, but still not shiny.

somebody
somebody
6 years ago

no wonder. my hair is a very light brown. it’s not as shiny as i wanted it to be, which sucks :

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