How to Make Your Brown Hair 10 Times Shinier

Calling all brunettes: Whether you're more of a dark chocolate or an auburn, boxed brown or natural, here are eight ways to keep your color rich and lustrous.

6 Things Every Brunette Should Know

Use a clarifying product
Clean hair equals shinier hair. Once every other week, use a clarifying shampoo to remove any product buildup that’s accumulated on your scalp and strands. Prefer the DIY route? Mix two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with one cup of water and massage it through your hair after shampooing. Rinse well and finish with conditioner on just the ends.

Add back color
Though there’s much less risk of fading with (naturally) darker hues, a bit of oxidation is inevitable thanks to daily UV exposure and hard minerals found in tap water. Combat this by adding in a color-enhancing shampoo or conditioner every few washes to keep your strands bright. 

Get a monthly gloss 
Want even more shine? Try using an in-shower treatment every four to six weeks to boost your color while neutralizing any unwanted brassiness that may have crept in. (Note: This is key to keeping your color fresh between appointments.)

scalp massage
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Give yourself a scalp massage
Add a few drops of vitamin E or castor oil to your roots and, using a firm pressure, work the pads of your fingertips into your scalp to increase circulation (and help dislodge any dry flakes or buildup that might dull your strands).

Find the right brush (and use it correctly) 
Natural bristles are better than nylon ones because they help distribute the oils from your scalp to the rest of your hair. When brushing, always start from the ends and slowly work your way up until you reach the top. Once any knots have been released, run your brush through from roots to tips a few times to finish. 

Use a shine mist
Think of this as a topcoat for your hair. Tip: When looking for a shine serum or oil, we recommend one that comes with a spray nozzle that will distribute a fine (and even) mist—we like Oribe Shine Light Reflecting Spray. It’ll make the difference between glossy and greasy—trust. Spritz on mid-lengths and ends.

hair straightening
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Smooth the surface
Fact: Flat surfaces reflect more light. So if shine is what you’re after, a flatiron will help. Just make sure to use an iron with ceramic plates and move it in quick passes (so you don’t scorch your strands).

Add some highlights
A bit of contrast can make your hair appear shinier (as opposed to when it’s one flat shade). Brighten things up by adding a few highlights around your face. Ask your stylist to stay within two to three shades of your natural color to keep things blended evenly throughout.

Jenny Jin Headshot Vertical 2023

Beauty Director

Jenny Jin is PureWow’s Beauty Director and is currently based in Los Angeles. Since beginning her journalism career at Real Simple magazine, she has become a human encyclopedia of...