Hair Gloss Treatment: What It Is, How Long It Lasts, & More

With the variety of hair treatments available, it's hard to keep up with all of them. But a hair gloss treatment is one you may not want to skip out on. If your strands are looking dull and lifeless, a gloss will add some shine to them while perking up your color at the same time. So what exactly is a hair gloss treatment? Just like the name implies, it gives your hair a glow but that's not where it ends. As Redken explains, this form of demi-permanent dye covers the cuticles of your hair and leaves it with a hint of color and tons of shine. Hair gloss is better for your strands than dye, as the treatment doesn't permeate past the outer layers. And, for those who just want healthier hair without any color change, there is a clear option available that simply leaves your hair lustrous.


Unfortunately, you can't make your hair lighter with a hair gloss treatment. However, it can correct brassiness or darken your tresses a few shades, which is great for reviving a washed-out dye job. Because hair gloss treatments are custom-tailored for your hair's needs, we suggest getting one done by a professional, especially if you want the best results for healthier, shiny hair. The results can last up to six weeks. 

What to expect at the salon during your hair gloss treatment

The good news about hair gloss treatments is that they aren't as time-consuming as balayage or foil highlights, which can take a few hours. During your hair-care session, expect to be at the salon for about an hour. Your stylist will give you a shampoo and then custom-mix the formula according to your hair's texture and the color you want. They will then apply the gloss to slightly damp hair, which will sit for a while. The whole process should take between 20 and 40 minutes, but be sure to communicate your expectations when you're at the salon. "It is important to confirm verbiage regarding these services with your stylist to make sure you're getting the right thing for your hair type and texture," hair expert Rodger Azadganian shared with MindBodyGreen. After your stylist rinses the formula out, they'll blow dry your hair and you'll leave with smoother, shinier strands.


Depending on where you live and how upscale the salon is, a hair gloss treatment can set you back anywhere from $30 to $150. It should last you around four weeks but you can extend the treatment's lifespan to six weeks by not washing your hair too often and using products for color-treated hair. If the thought of spending a chunk of cash makes you balk, you can do an at-home treatment, but it may not look as even or last as long as a professional job. Still, they're worth trying out if you want to see if it's for you before fully committing to an appointment.

How to do a hair gloss treatment at home

For those who prefer the DIY method for a hair gloss treatment, there are formulas you can use at home. "This is a fairly simple process, especially when using a clear gloss. All it takes is a quick wash of your hair, then apply the gloss and rinse it after about 20 minutes or as directed. It's foolproof and as easy as using a traditional hair conditioner," color expert Brad Mondo told Elle. However, he warned, "When it comes to doing a colored gloss, the main difference is that at a salon, you will get a mixed formula custom to you and applied by an expert. You do not get that kind of customization at home, and you will end up with a more generic color."


When choosing your hair gloss treatment, colorist Rachel Bodt advised staying away from products containing ammonia or peroxide, as they are damaging to your hair, per Allure. Another caveat is to follow the instructions to a tee, as each brand's will vary. "Timing is everything. If you go past [instructed application time by] a minute, your gloss may turn out to be darker [than desired]; if you skip a minute, it won't grab the tone or gloss at all," hair guru Riawna Capri stated. Make sure to apply the treatment evenly, or you may end up missing some spots. If you have a pal who wants a hair gloss treatment, you can apply the product for each other and make it a fun salon-day sesh!