InStyle March 4, 2024



The 15 Best Shine Sprays For All Hair Types and Textures


Ever since we were kids, we’ve been mesmerized by hair commercials and video clips. They’re the original source of the glass hair style, which is now being one-upped by the new and buzzy liquid hair trend: Thick, luscious hair that looks so sleek and so shiny, it's almost as if it reflects light the same way water does.

We always used to wonder about how those women got hair like that, but now, as beauty editors, we know their secret to whipping hair into a glossy, lustrous finish: Shine sprays. We were not blessed with naturally shiny hair, and we rely on these stylers to coat our hair with a generous layer of luminosity. “Shine sprays make your hair look healthier because of the reflection of the light,” explains Raven Hurtado, stylist at Maxine Salon in Chicago. “They also make hair color look more vibrant.” The trick, though, is to find the best shine spray for your hair type and texture — because not all hair can handle the same formulas.

Best Overall

COLOR WOW Extra Shine Spray


What We Love: This formula is featherlight and works well for most textures. 

What We Don't Love: This mist has a fragrance that may be too strong for some.

“This is my number one favorite — it’s a game changer,” says Brandi Voorhees, stylist at Sharon Dorram Color at Sally Hershberger Salon. Extra Mist-ical features mullein flower extract, which grabs onto UV light, blocking hair from its damaging rays, and then converts it into full-spectrum light for hair that truly sparkles. “It goes on nice and light, and doesn’t get too greasy or too heavy,” says Voorhees. “It’s the perfect finishing spray for most styles to add some shine and brightness.” This spray also features heat-protecting qualities, adds Hurtado. “Because of this, you can use it before blow drying or apply on dry hair for an extra glossy finish,” she says. 

If you are sensitive to scent, keep in mind this product is heavily fragranced, with some likening the aroma to vanilla cake. Though many may appreciate the opportunity to smell like a bakery, the scent may be strong enough to compete with your perfume (or replace it, if you’d prefer!).

Key Ingredients: Mullein extract, glycerin|Color-Safe: Yes|Benefits: Heat protection, UV protection|Size: 5 oz

Best Drugstore

Hair Proud Glass Hair Heat-Activated Smoothing Shine Spray


What We Love: This formula staves off frizz even in extreme humidity. 

What We Don't Love: The shape of the bottle makes the product inconvenient to use.

This styling multi-tasker is applied directly to damp hair and activated with hot tools — when you add tension during straightening, curling, or blowing out your hair, it triggers the formula’s shine-enhancing properties. Once you’ve finished styling, you’ll see super glossy hair. It boasts impressive frizz-fighting benefits, keeping hair silky in extreme conditions (including the American South in summer). We also like the subtle coconut scent, which doesn’t linger after styling. 

This is very nitpicky, but we’d prefer it if this product was packaged differently. The bottle has a broad and boxy shape — while this may look stylish on your vanity, it’s not very functional. The packaging gets uncomfortable in your hand when spritzing on the formula during styling. 

Key Ingredients: Sodium hyaluronate, pomegranate extract, heat-activated polymers|Color-Safe: Yes|Benefits: Heat protection, controls frizz, smooths, strengthens|Size: 5.07 oz

Best Smelling

Davines This is a Shimmering Mist


What We Love: This product delivers shine without ever adding greasiness.

What We Don't Love: It can leave hair feeling a little dry sometimes.

Of all the shine sprays we’ve tried, this one has the most addictive scent. The complex fragrance smells sweet and fruity, but in a sophisticated (and not saccharine) way. As it coats hair with glassy shine, it also protects against frizz, keeping strands looking smooth and polished. This formula is also one of the most lightweight shine sprays we’ve tested — it doesn’t feature any oils, so there's no greasy residue, even on very fine hair. 

Because there aren’t any oils, this shine spray isn’t nourishing. Those with dry or coarse strands may find that the formula could leave their hair a little parched. That said, its lightweight nature makes it perfect for layering with other products in your routine. 

Key Ingredients: Plant-derived emollients|Color-Safe: Yes|Benefits: Controls frizz|Size: 6.76 oz

Best for Frizzy Hair

Redken Shine Flash Shine Spray


What We Love: This product softens and illuminates dry strands. 

What We Don't Love: This might be too heavy if you have oily and fine hair. 

Dry hair tends to suffer from frizz and flyaways, but this anti-frizz formula tames hair, even in humid conditions. Vitamin B5 and camelina oil coat strands to help strengthen while adding glossy luminosity and treating brittle ends. If your hair is heavily processed, you’ll love how this shine spray makes hair look salon fresh with a few spritzes. It also features a pleasant scent that’s not too powerful — it’s citrusy and fresh.

Because there’s oil in the formula, you’ll want to use a light hand if you have fine hair. It can also make oil-prone strands look greasy even faster if you apply too much. You can avoid this by concentrating your application to the mid-lengths and ends of your hair, which will give you the shine-boosting, frizz-taming benefits without overdoing it. 

Key Ingredients: Vitamin B5, camelina oil|Color-Safe: Yes|Benefits: Controls frizz and flyaways, moisturizes|Size: 4.4 oz

Best for Blonde Hair

Kenra Professional Shine Spray


What We Love: This acts like a topcoat to restore shine to dull and lifeless strands.

What We Don't Love: Overdoing it can weigh down fine hair.

If your blonde comes courtesy of the salon, you know that lifting your natural color can come at the price of dryness and dullness, especially if you’ve gone platinum. This formula from Kenra delivers nourishment with a quick spritz while making hair shine like a diamond — and it’ll protect your hair from UV to preserve your salon color. 

Vennela Chamarti, stylist at Oscar Blandi in NYC, likes to lightly mist this product all over hair; it’s an aerosol so the ultra-fine mist goes on smoothly. You’ll see no flaky or greasy residue, and doesn’t make hair feel wet so it won’t negatively affect a finished style. It also boasts a cucumber melon scent that reminds us of our favorite body lotion from the ‘90s. 

Though this shine spray is described as weightless and most users agree, there are silicones in it. Applying too much — which you’ll be tempted to do as it delivers a brilliant shine — could end up weighing down your style, especially if you have fine or thin hair.

Key Ingredients: Hydrolyzed silk|Color-Safe: Yes|Benefits: UV protection, frizz and flyaway control|Size: 5.5 oz

Best Shine Spray Heat Protectant

Verb Glossy Shine Spray with Heat Protection


What We Love: This formula can be used on damp and dry hair.

What We Don't Love: The nozzle is inconsistent.

Whether you’re air-drying, heat styling, or refreshing next-day hair, this formula from Verb will add luster while protecting hair from temperatures up to 425 degrees. Moisturizing squalane nourishes and smooths dry strands without weighing them down. The spray doesn’t leave hair crispy or greasy, just soft and silky. It also features a mild (and unique) grapefruit-oatmeal scent.

This bottle is a regular mister, not an aerosol can. You may experience some occasional nozzle clogs, which will make the formula spray out in a stream rather than a mist. However, a few pumps of the spritzer will resolve this issue. 

Key Ingredients: Squalane, peach kernel oil, rosehip oil|Color-Safe: Yes|Benefits: Heat protectant, hydrates|Size: 6.5 oz 

Best Hair Shine Treatment

Kérastase Chroma Absolu High Shine Gloss Treatment


What We Love: This product is like rehab in a bottle for significantly damaged hair. 

What We Don't Love: The scent is very strong.

One of the leading causes of dull hair is damage. Chemical processing — like dyeing, bleaching, straightening, and perming — roughs up the cuticle, making hair look flat and more susceptible to breakage. This weekly in-shower treatment dramatically repairs damage, sealing and smoothing the cuticle to add lasting shine. It only takes two minutes, but in that time, it’s able to reduce porosity to improve your hair’s health.

This product features a very powerful scent that lingers even after you’ve washed it out. The formula has a potent chemical aroma; to reduce it, a floral fragrance was added. If you are very sensitive to scent, keep this in mind. However, the way it will rejuvenate your hair is worth the mild inconvenience to most. 

Key Ingredients: Lactic acid, tartaric acid, centella asiatica extract|Color-Safe: Yes|Benefits: Treats damage, strengthens hair, preserves color|Size: 7.1 oz

Best for Curly Hair

PATTERN by Tracee Ellis Ross Shine Spray


What We Love: This formula is excellent at making hairs look glossy and defined. 

What We Don't Love: The nozzle needs work.

Curly hair is more prone to dryness than other hair types and needs moisture to make it shine. This shine spray from Pattern is formulated specifically for curly hair, with a blend of oils that nourishes and adds luminosity but doesn’t weigh down curls and coils, even those of finer textures. Instead, it makes curls pop, even if you’re on day three of a wash-and-go style. It also has a light and pleasant floral scent, likely due to the inclusion of plumeria. 

While this is one of the best formulas for curly hair on the market, the nozzle is problematic. It clogs very easily, making it a challenge — or near impossible — to get the product out of the bottle. You can most easily rectify this by decanting the product into another bottle.

Key Ingredients: Abyssinian seed oil, castor oil, plumeria extract|Color-Safe: Yes|Benefits: Protects against humidity, controls frizz, moisturizes, detangles, defines curls|Size: 4.75 oz

Best for Shine and Hold

Aveda Brilliant Medium Hold Hair Spray


What We Love: This formula holds without leaving hair crunchy or sticky. 

What We Don't Love: The pump design needs work.

The majority of shine sprays don’t offer hold, and a lot of hair sprays designed to control shape can leave strands looking a little flat. This iconic formula from Aveda keeps hair in place while delivering dazzling shine. Though it offers effective medium control, it doesn’t deposit any crunchy or sticky feel, and brushes out easily when you want to reset your style. This formula also defends your hair from humidity, making it a staple of any summer haircare routine — and many people love the fragrance, which comes courtesy of essential oils, including clove, jasmine, and rose.  

This product is packaged in a non-aerosol bottle, which may be a plus for some. (Aerosols contain ingredients that can be hazardous to the environment.) However, this also means that the product can be harder to spritz out. You may want to decant the formula into a different bottle; you can also maintain the mister by running warm water through it every few weeks. 

Key Ingredients: Chamomile extract, calendula extract, aloe leaf juice|Color-Safe: Yes|Benefits: Medium hold, blocks humidity|Size: 8 oz

Best Shine Spray Oil

NatureLab Tokyo Shine Oil Mist


What We Love: This formula makes hair look extra healthy and lustrous. 

What We Don't Love: It’s easy to apply too much.

If your hair is dry, damaged, or just a little dull, a spritz of this mist will add softness while making it so shiny, your hair will look like a mane from a magazine spread. In addition to moisturizing, the antioxidant-rich plant oils in this formula protect the hair from UV damage. Hyaluronic acid pulls water into each strand to make hair look thicker, while pearl extract adds extra luminosity. 

Because it features many different plant oils, this formula is quite rich. It’s easy to overdo it when applying — which can make hair look pretty greasy, especially straight and fine hair. Start with one or two sprays, concentrating on mid-lengths, and go from there so as not to overload your strands. 

Key Ingredients: Pearl extract, baobab oil, hyaluronic acid|Color-Safe: Yes|Benefits: Heat protectant, UV protectant, moisturizing|Size: 4 oz

Best for Natural Hair Texture

Miss Jessie’s Gloss So Good Natural Hair Oil Spray


What We Love: This makes hair touchably soft. 

What We Don't Love: It may be a little too heavy for fine or high-porosity hair.

This formula from Miss Jessie’s sprays on in a fine, delicate mist that makes natural textures and locs shine. Plant oils like avocado and primrose leave strands soft and silky, never sticky, to the point that you might not be able to keep your hands off your hair. This spray is also remarkable at taming frizz and defining each curl to make them pop. On top of all of this, the formula boasts a light, refreshing scent.

Most people find that this product is pretty lightweight, but if you have very fine or porous hair, you’ll want to use a small amount. A heavier spritz may make hair look greasy. You can also mist it into your hands and smooth it to your strands to distribute the formula into your hair from the bottom up for shine with less weight. 

Key Ingredients: Avocado oil, coconut oil, argan oil|Color-Safe: Yes|Benefits: Moisturizes, improves hair health, promotes manageability|Size: 6 oz 

Best for Grey Hair

One 'n Only Shiny Silver Ultra Shine Spray


What We Love: This formula replenishes moisture to dry greys. 

What We Don't Love: A little of this shine spray goes a long way.

Grey hair is susceptible to dryness as well as brassiness, but this product from One ‘n Only combats both with ease. This product’s unique purple tint combats warm tones to keep grey hair looking cleaner, whiter, and brighter. (This characteristic means it’s also a good pick for blonde and highlighted hair.) It’s very moisturizing, too — a few sprays makes hair silky while adding a luminous, compliment-worthy shine. 

The nozzle on this product’s bottle doesn’t create a very fine mist, so it’s easy to spray on too much, which can leave the hair greasy, especially if you have thinning hair. Some people counteract this by pouring the shine spray into a different bottle. If that’s too high maintenance for you, simply mist it into your hands and apply it that way.

Key Ingredients: Citrus extracts, lavender extract|Color-Safe: Yes|Benefits: UV protection, moisturizes, color corrects|Size: 4 oz

Best Clean Shine Spray

Rahua Color Full Glossing Mist


What We Love: This formula features ingredients that tone hair color. 

What We Don't Love: The bottle is somewhat small. 

While the majority of shine sprays feature ingredient lists full of hard-to-pronounce synthetics, this formula from Rahua is entirely plant based. It’s loaded with nourishing, antioxidant-rich oils and extracts that condition strands, calm and balance the scalp, and protect against UV damage, all while adding luminous shine. What’s especially unique about this product is the combo of rahua oil and Amazonian lilac clay, which work in tandem to tone down brassiness while pushing dye pigments into each strand, extending the life of your color. 

A little goes a long way when it comes to this shine spray, but the bottle is still on the smaller size, which makes it a bit more of an investment than other products. That said, because it’s under three ounces, it’s travel friendly, which is kind of a bonus!

Key Ingredients: Rahua oil, blue tansy flower oil, Amazonian lilac clay|Color-Safe: Yes|Benefits: Enhances color, protects color, moisturizes, balances scalp, controls frizz|Size: 2 oz 

Best Shine Spray for Dry Hair

Eva NYC Just Glisten Hair + Body Shine Mist


What We Love: This multitasking oil delivers serious nourishment. 

What We Don't Love: The scent isn’t universally appealing.

This genius formula can be used on hair and body, which just goes to show how nourishing it really is — it offers generous moisture that never feels sticky or heavy, no matter where you apply it. The cactus flower in the formula helps smooth the cuticle, locking in moisture and silkening strands to create glassy shine. The nozzle delivers a super delicate aerosol mist, so the product won’t weigh down fine hair. We noticed it’s especially great for making curls pop.

While Eva NYC products are known for their carefully-blended fragrances, this scent is divisive. It features notes of vanilla, rose, cedar, and anise that some can’t get enough of while others heavily dislike. Take note if you’re sensitive to fragrance in hair products.

Key Ingredients: Aloe leaf, cactus flower, grapeseed oil|Color-Safe: Yes|Benefits: Can be used on face and body, smooths cuticle|Size: 4.3 oz 

Best for Fine Hair

R+Co Trophy Shine + Texture Spray


What We Love: It comes in a travel-sized bottle so you can bring it on the go. 

What We Don't Love: This isn’t recommended for white hair.

Many shine sprays weigh down thin or fine strands, but this formula from R+Co pumps up fine hair with Fuller’s earth, a type of clay that simultaneously adds texture and absorbs excess oil and impurities. This ingredient is a nice pairing with sweet almond oil, which imparts lightweight moisture and infuses hair with strengthening vitamins and nutrients, and shine-enhancing sea kale. Overall, we love how this product gives hair a cool, lived-in look — and the fragrance notes of bergamot, fig, and tonka are a nice bonus.

This product has a subtle yellow tint that disappears into most hair colors. However, it may deposit a brassy tinge on white hair. You’ll do better with this formula if your hair is medium blonde or darker. 

Key Ingredients: Sweet almond oil, sea kale extract, Fuller’s earth|Color-Safe: Yes|Benefits: Texturizes, volumizes, adds light hold|Size: 6 oz 

What to Keep in Mind

Your Hair Type: The most important factor to consider when shopping for a shine spray is your hair type, texture, and density.
Fine Hair: “If you have fine hair that gets oily fast, I recommend using a very small amount, only on the mid-lengths and ends,” says Voorhees, adding that the formula should also be as lightweight as possible and an aerosol spray, so that the mist is light and even. “If your hair is on the finer side, a shine spray may not be best for you,” says Shelly Aguirre, stylist at Maxine Salon in Chicago. “It can weigh the hair down.”

Thick, Curly, or Coarse Hair: These full-bodied hair types, along with natural hair or hair that is prone to dryness, "you will need a spray with more weight to make an impact on the hair,” says trichologist Gretchen Friese. These textures can handle heavier ingredients without getting greasy — in fact, they need them. “​​Thicker hair needs heavier ingredients to keep the hair manageable and help with frizz,” says Hurtado.

If you’re applying a shine spray after styling to tame your hair, you’ll want to avoid a finishing product that’s wet or water based, says Voorhees. “This can mess up your finished style, especially if your texture is curly and you’re going with a straight, sleek look."

 Ingredients: “Look for a line that has healthy ingredients and not too many chemicals,” says Aguirre, who adds that sulfates and parabens are super drying and should be avoided. Look for ingredients that add shine, condition hair, and protect it from free radical damage, like plant-based oils — argan, jojoba, and castor oils. “It is a good idea to use a shine spray that has moisturizing properties because hair that lacks luster often is a bit dry,” says Friese.

“Just be mindful of heavy oils in a shine spray to prevent buildup on your scalp, hair, or skin,” says Chamarti. Keep in mind that not all hair textures can easily handle plant oils; fine or thin hair types in particular should avoid oil-based formulas to prevent a greasy look.

Additional Benefits: It makes sense that shine sprays really focus on adding shine to hair and tend not to have many other benefits. That said, sometimes you’ll find formulas with moisturizing and frizz-control properties, which are especially useful for those with dry and textured hair types.

However, there are also shine products that double as a heat protectant — “It’s always beneficial to avoid damage and splitting ends,” says Voorhees — or UV protectants, which Friese notes are ideal if you spend time in the sun. 

Application: If you’re starting from wet hair, Voorhees recommends starting with a small amount of product, working it into your mid-lengths and ends, then blow drying or air drying as you normally do. For hair that's already dried and styled, it’s best to mist on a small amount, holding the bottle a few inches away from your head, says Hurtado.

Those with thin or fine hair should go slow and steady. "Start by spraying lightly, you can always add more if needed,” says Friese. If your hair gets very oily or greasy very quickly, you may want to take it a step further and "spray the product into your hands first" before working it through carefully to avoid oversaturation."

Your Hair Routine: While shine spray can certainly help make hair look glossier, “it can only do so much,” says Aguirre, who notes that to have truly shiny hair, you’ll need to look at your entire hair care routine as a whole. “Your diet will affect your hair as well.”

When overhauling your regimen, determine what your hair needs. If your hair is dull because it’s dry, seek out more moisturizing shampoo and conditioning formulas. It could also be lacking because of product buildup, in which case, you’ll want to get yourself a clarifying shampoo and occasionally treat yourself to scalp exfoliating treatments. 

Your Questions, Answered

What is the difference between glass hair and liquid hair?

According to Friese, the glass hair look is a “sleek hairstyle with a high-gloss, mirror-like finish.” On the other hand, liquid hair is just as reflective and glossy (if not more so) as glass hair, but the overall finished look is fluid and flowy, giving hair body and movement. To achieve either one of these ultra-shiny finishes, you’ll have to blow your hair out straight, then do a thorough pass around your head with a flatiron for an extra-smooth look. The last step is a generous mist of your favorite shine spray.

Keep in mind that your hair color will affect how glassy your hair looks: “Darker hair will be shinier than lighter hair,” says Chamarti. Blonde hair absorbs light, while dark strands reflect it. 

Do you use shine spray on wet or dry hair?

When you apply shine spray depends on what style you’re trying to create and the type of shine spray you’re using. The packaging of your chosen formula will tell you how best to use it.

However, most shine sprays are used as a final touch. “Finishing shine sprays are applied after the style is dry,” says Voorhees. “Finishing shine spray is similar to hairspray, but lighter and has less hold; it will prevent frizz, and leave your hair with a silky, touchable finish.”

Is shine spray the same as hairspray?

Generally not. The entire goal of using a hairspray is to control or hold a style in place. “Shine spray typically doesn't have any hold,” explains Hurtado. “Some hair sprays do enhance shine.”

How can I add shine to my dull hair? 

Your entire hair regimen — shine spray included — contributes to your strands’ shine, from your shampoo and conditioner to your hot tools. In most cases, hair needs more moisture to shine. "You can also use a clarifying shampoo to remove buildup and oils from the scalp [and hair],” says Hurtado. You’ll also want to go to the salon. Chamarti recommends getting a haircut, which will clean up compromised and dull ends, as well as a professional gloss treatment. 

“But not all hair textures are going to be shiny with just a good hair care routine,” warns Friese. “Some need more help than that.” That help can include nutrition. If you’re not getting the vitamins and nutrients your body needs to function (or if you have a deficiency), that can negatively impact your hair. Consider scheduling an appointment with your primary care provider, naturopath, or trichologist to get to the root cause of your dull hair if switching up your routine doesn’t improve things.  

Will shine spray make my hair look greasy?

It certainly can, especially if you apply too much. Both Chamarti and Voorhees recommend starting with a small amount and applying more as needed. “Apply mostly, if not only, at the ends of hair,” adds Chamarti. Hair can be shinier closer to the roots as that’s where your scalp’s oils are; the ends of your hair can be drier and thus duller. 

Why Shop With Us

Emily Orofino is a writer and consultant with nearly 15 years of experience in the beauty industry. Ever since her first blowout from a celebrity stylist, she has been trying her darndest to achieve the ultra-glossy look at home by building out her hair arsenal. For this story, she got the insights of experts Brandi Voorhees, stylist at Sharon Dorram Color at Sally Hershberger Salon; Gretchen Friese, BosleyMD trichologist and stylist; Raven Hurtado and Shelly Aguirre, stylists at Maxine Salon in Chicago; and Vennela Chamarti, stylist at Oscar Blandi in NYC.