The 21 Best Hair Glosses and Glazes, According to Beauty Editors and Hair Experts

Time to bring your hair back to life.

woman with glossy rich hair color and texture
(Image credit: Getty Images, Rosdiana Ciaravolo)

If you’ve ever gotten your hair dyed, you know how much of a difference hair gloss can make to the look and feel of your resulting color. Yes, it adds shine, but the best hair glosses can be actually such an important step in your color routine—almost as important as finding, say, the best shampoo and conditioner or leave-in conditioner for your colored hair. Thus, we spoke to celebrity hair colorist Olivia Casanova to find out exactly what to look for in a great hair gloss, how to use hair glosses and glazes to enhance the look of your color at home, and her personal favorites.

What Is Hair Gloss?

"Hair glosses are typically semi-permanent hair colors that can darken, richen, add shine, or change the tone of the hair,” says Casanova. “The only thing glosses can’t do is make someone lighter.”

Who benefits from hair gloss, you ask? Ideal candidates for gloss are those with color-treated hair that's lost a bit of its luster. For instance, hair glosses can especially benefit blonde hair that's gotten a little brassy or brunette hair that's dulled or gone ashy. 

The Difference Between Hair Gloss and Hair Glaze

Simply put, the main difference between a hair gloss and a hair glaze is the potency of each product. A hair gloss is what it sounds like—a product that only touches the surface of the hair—while hair glosses penetrate strands as a semi-permanent hair color. Casanova says that hair gloss “usually lasts around 28 shampoos,” while glazes tend to only last up to five washes or so.

Can You Use Hair Gloss at Home?

If you were looking for a super-simple way to keep your hair color in check without ever having to stop by the salon, I have some bittersweet news: Casanova recommends trusting a pro to do your hair gloss for you, explaining that it’s easy to “ruin your color or damage your hair” if you happen to mix the wrong products together.

However, if accessing a salon is impossible or prohibitively expensive, she recommends brands like dpHUE that have a range of hair glosses designed to be used at home and don’t contain peroxide or ammonia. 

This just means that the glosses will fade out of your hair over time. But don’t worry–that’s actually a good thing, especially if you’re in the mood to try out a new shade.

“If doing so, just remember to apply to clean and even sections of the hair starting from the roots to the ends," Casanova advises. "Make sure to set a timer and thoroughly shampoo after."

Can Hair Gloss Damage Your Hair?

When used correctly, hair glosses are unlikely to cause damage to your hair. Some forms of hair gloss—often used as a color depositing shine for salon use—that are not damaging at all. This is because as opposed to hair toners or other types of color-depositing mixtures, many hair glosses don’t require hydrogen peroxide or other types of chemical developers. 

Best Hair Glosses and Glazes

Meet the Expert

Olivia Casanova
Olivia Casanova

Olivia Casanova is a master colorist and stylist with over ten years of experience. Born and raised in New York City, she travels between NYC and Los Angeles, having worked with the likes of Maluma, Pauline, Ducuret, the Princess of Monaco, and more. Her work has also been featured in fashion magazines all over the world.