How to Apply an At-Home Hair Gloss Kit, According to Professional Hair Colorists


Again, even though a gloss doesn’t seem like as high-commitment as hair dye, you still have to consider the fact that you’re putting chemicals in your hair. And, as Nole has witnessed in her salon, failure to follow instructions can lead to underwhelming outcomes, or worse. “A few other things that could result are color banding, uneven application, uneven finished product, chemical reactions, hot roots, undesired tone, overprocessing, under-processing, and chemical dryness,” she explains. 

Madison Reed Color Reviving Gloss

L'Oréal Le Color Gloss One Step Toning Gloss on white background

L’Oréal Le Color Gloss One Step Toning Gloss

So, if the gloss says to start on freshly washed hair, do that. If instructions advise washing it out after no longer than 15 minutes, set a timer on your phone. You get the picture. The only objective hair-gloss application tip you should heed is to make sure every strand of hair gets fully coated during application. 

“Saturation is key, and I will say it over and over again,” Nole insists. “It needs to be shiny and evenly coated like your mama’s rolls with butter at Thanksgiving, honey.” So, if you’re unsure of how much gloss you’ll need, it’s better to buy too much than not have enough. If your gloss itself doesn’t advise you to apply in sections (unlikely), that’s another way to ensure that you’re properly saturated during application. 

When in doubt, contact a professional 

Actually, you should probably do this part even if you don’t have much doubt. We know the whole point of using an at-home hair gloss is that it’s low-cost and you don’t need the help of a professional to apply it — but hey, it truly never hurts. Capri and Nole both agree that consulting a colorist is best, even if you’re just asking them for product recommendations, additional tips, or any other type of hair guidance. 

Otherwise, as they both tell us, you could wind up paying said colorists to fix undesired or uneven results (which kind of defeats the purpose of using a hair gloss at home, anyway).

Garnier Nutrisse Color Reviver 5 Minute Nourishing Color Hair Mask on white background

Garnier Nutrisse Color Reviver 5 Minute Nourishing Color Hair Mask

Tresemmé Gloss on white background

Not only does contacting your go-to hair professional about glosses ensure better results for you across the board, but it can also strengthen your relationship with them (even during times when money is tight and salon visits are out of the question). 

“Coming first hand, I always love when my guests ask me first [before doing an at-home treatment] because it shows that we have trust in each other and that they confide in me for their beauty needs,” Nole says. On top of that, it helps them cater to your specific hair needs better the next time you come in if they know what gloss or color treatments you’ve used. 

With all this in mind, feel free to gloss away. Because after the year-plus we’ve had, don’t we all deserve that fresh, bouncy, shiny feeling? 


More on hair:


Now, see Dolly Parton’s decades-long beauty evolution:

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