This ques­tion comes from long­time read­er Tonya of newnaturalista.com

I’m total­ly in love with my nat­u­ral hair, but there’s one thing…shine! I can’t get my hair to shine for any­thing. I think the big issue for me is that once a style is set (two stand twists or wash n go) I’m afraid to mess with it for fear that it will get real­ly frizzy. For a moment this morn­ing I was long­ing for some sheen spray! (Don’t wor­ry, I no longer have min­er­al oil prod­ucts in my house.)

Any advice on main­tain­ing shine with­out giv­ing up curl def­i­n­i­tion?

What are your reme­dies ladies?

Black Girl With Long Hair

Leila Noel­lis­te, founder of Black Girl with Long Hair (April 2008). Social media, pop cul­ture and black beau­ty enthu­si­ast. bell hooks’ hair twin…

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36 Comments on "How do you give natural hair sheen?"

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gracie

I agree with the sug­ges­tions above, plus rose­mary infu­sion is god for shine. I steep the rose­mary in boil­ing water then when it’s cool i add a cup of cider vine­gar and rin­se with that.

Tonya
I HAVE FOUND WITH MY 4B HAIR, THAT RINSING WITH COLD ALOE VERA JUICE DOES WONDERS!! I AGREE WITH MARIA AND LUNA; HOWEVER, MY ISSUE FOR “SHEEN” AT THE TIME WAS THAT I KNEW I COULD GIVE IT THE SHINE I’VE SEEN ON OTHER 4B SISTERS, BUT JUST DIDN’T KNOW HOW. I FINALLY STOPPED A SISTER IN THE STORE, AND SINCE STARTING THE ALOE VERA REGIMEN 2 WEEKS AGO, FRIENDS AND COWORKERS HAVE COMMENTED ON THE DIFFERENCE! IT ALSO IMPROVED MY CURL DEFINITION. I MAKE NO QUALMS ABOUT DESIRING CURL DEFINITION– IF THAT IS WHAT MY HAIR NATURALLY DOES, THEN… Read more »
MissGhana
This may seem a bit off top­ic, so if any­one can point me in the right direc­tion, I’d much appre­ci­ate it. When styling ones nat­u­ral hair, in twists, etc are you sup­posed to twist it when damp and add an oil to twist it, or twist then add the oil after, and keep adding oil when need­ed. I think I have 4b/c hair and have strug­gled with the styling side of things, I.e., not know­ing if it’s best to style when damp, and how to main­tain it.  And if peo­ple could sug­gest any good deep con­di­tion­ers nd mois­turis­ers that are com­mer­cial… Read more »
Enomis

Hel­lo,
you def­i­nite­ly want to make sure your last rin­se after con­di­tion­ing your hair, is with cold water, that has always made my hair shinier.
Good Luck!

Jaycee

Hi Christine, I use hon­ey reg­u­lar­ly as a deep con­di­tion­er, and it does real­ly soft­en the hair, it has to be washed out com­plete­ly though oth­er­wise it will make hair sticky! Give it anoth­er go.…its total­ly worth it!

Christine
Thanks for all the info and sug­ges­tions as a new­ly nat­u­ral since feb of this yr I have been a frus­trat­ed because im used to hav­ing hair and now its short and im sill get­ting used to it as some have stat­ed I love the look when its wet but once it dried it was just a frizzy pouf no curl def­i­n­i­tion I was get­ting dis­cour­aged and start­ing to regret the deci­sion to go nat­u­ral I have spent so much mon­ey on dif­fer­ent prod­ucts tryng to get shine, def­i­n­i­tion, mois­ture, etc and still havent found the right mix I left… Read more »
adilma
I dont agree with the com­ment that nat­u­ral hair is not sup­pose to shine. I have had locks for 6 years and expeier­enced build up, build up from using any type of pro­duct to main­tain your crown. Wash your hair with a clar­i­fy­ing sham­poo and or con­di­tion­er, once every cou­ple of months. The clar­i­fy­ing sham­poo or con­di­tion­er will remove all build up from prod­ucts, pol­lu­tion, dirt, chlo­rine from the pool, hard water, oil build up etc. Once you use the clar­i­fy­ing treat­ment you must put mois­ture back into your hair, (what­ev­er mois­tur­iz­ing treat­ment you may use) aphogee mois­ture bal­ance is… Read more »
BuenaventuraAvenue

When using coconut oil on a fresh (no old­er than day 2) hair­style, my 4a hair might have a lit­tle sheen…but it nev­er shi­nes. By it’s nature kinky, coily, and curly hair doesn’t shine because the shape of the strands doesn’t allow it to reflect light the same way straight hair does. Most prod­ucts that I’ve seen that are sole­ly for shine are usu­al­ly greasy and sticky with no-no ingre­di­ents in them.

Tonya NewNaturalista

What I for­got to add was that since ask­ing the ques­tion I’ve real­ized that I was pil­ing on the prod­ucts which made my hair real­ly life­less look­ing — pret­ty dull. Now I use a lit­tle coconute oil and shea but­ter and my hair is very healthy look­ing with a sheen to it — not a bounce off the wall sheen but a healthy sheen.

Thanks every­one!

Tonya Mosley
Thanks every­one for your sug­ges­tions. I wrote this a while ago and have since found the mag­ic of coconut oil and shea but­ter! I agree with Maria and Luna oth­ers regard­ing accept­ing my hair the way it is. I’ve done away with chem­i­cals and I only use nat­u­ral prod­ucts. I don’t see any­thing wrong how­ev­er with chang­ing up styles, by adding sheen nat­u­ral­ly, adding hen­na, doing two strand twists or braids…the list can go on and one. For me all of the­se things are part of the groom­ing and styling process and it doesn’t negate my nat­u­ral state. Because real­ly,… Read more »
NappyKitchen
Some­one has got to explain to me what is meant by curl pat­tern. I am a 4b and I thought I had tons of curls in my hair. Tons… As far as sheen goes, that real­ly isnt impor­tant to me. I have just want­ed the soft­ness that I am now achiev­ing with enough mois­ture. With regard to hair typ­ing, I have noticed about it is hard­ly ever brought up that our hair is of a dif­fer­ent shape than straight hair. Our hair is a flat strand of hair while oth­ers is tubu­lar. I believe that is how our hair achieves… Read more »
Ola
props to Luna & Maria, bring­ing knowl­edge. I’d agree that coily hair doesn’t *shine*, but if you’re talk­ing about a dull look to the hair then I’d sug­gest being less heavy-hand­ed with prod­ucts, espe­cial­ly leave-in con­di­tion­ers or heavy white con­di­tion­ers that you use as leave-in, they can leave a dull cast over your hair.  I will also say that using Hen­na & Cas­sia I notice my hair look­ing brighter/deeper/richer. Cas­tor Oil also gives hold to my hair and adds a lux­u­ri­ous sheen (and soft­ness) in those hair­styles where the hair is stretched or pulled fair­ly taut (twists, braids, ban­tu knots &… Read more »
Nicole
I’m inter­est­ed in the hon­ey in the deep con­di­tion­er — doesn’t your hair get sticky? I know hon­ey is good for hair — my grand­fa­ther used to raise bees and make hon­ey and he used to put the hon­ey on his scalp — he died with a full head of hair at almost 80 years old! but i digress…and i’m just real­iz­ing i nev­er asked *him* about his hon­ey prac­tice! lol. any­way, i would love to know more about that. and while i agree with a lot of the com­ments about accep­tance, i don’t think there’s any­thing wrong with want­i­ng shine.… Read more »
cassadie

rin­se with cold water and put on more oil than you think you should :)

Anonymous

An amla paste (made with bhringraj, coconut oil and coconut milk) always gives my hair bling. I also reg­u­lar­ly use coconut oil. Shine/sheen is real­ly a reflec­tion of how moist the hair is. Up your mois­ture and you’ll up your shine.

Kimberly M

I’m a new­bie here and am sur­prised nobody men­tioned Hen­na. I have not used it myself, but I hear that it adds strength and shine.

mynaturalhairrocks

Organ­ic Root Stim­u­la­tor makes an all nat­u­ral oil blend, the base being coco­nunt oil. And that real­ly makes my hair look shiny.

Give it a try!

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[…] This post was men­tioned on Twit­ter by Queens­Beau­ty­Bou­tique, Black Girl Long Hair. Black Girl Long Hair said: Read­er Ques­tion: How do I give my #nat­u­ral­hair some sheen: http://bit.ly/9mP1mM […]

thelady
I agree with Luna and Maria. I think there is too much focus in the nat­u­ral hair com­mu­ni­ty on pro­duct. There needs to be more empha­sis on tech­nique and accep­tance. You say you do twist outs so you seem to have tech­niques now you just need to accept your hair the way it is. I’m a 4a who has been nat­u­ral for 2 years now. One of the things I have come to accept about my hair is that I will almost nev­er have smooth edges, my hair will nev­er be frizz free, my hair will always have shrink­age. The­se… Read more »
DM
when i want sheen i use aveda emol­lient fin­ish­ing gloss. it gives sheen no mat­ter your hair type. I think like Maria said, your hair type comes into play and I don’t like to use the typ­ing sys­tem so I’ll just say hair with very very kinky curls/low silk­i­ness usu­al­ly also is low on shine and sheen. many nat­u­rals swear off sil­i­cones but i put sev­er­al drops of this fin­ish­ing gloss (which con­tains ‘cones)into the oil pro­duct I apply to my hair, eithr coconut oil or cas­tor oil and it gives the sheen. the truth is that for kinkier/less silky… Read more »
Stephanie

Tech­ni­cal­ly nat­u­ral hair is not sup­pose to shine! Relaxed hair shi­nes because of the chem­i­cals, but shine is not in “our” hairs nature. If you insist on it, try veg­etable glyc­er­in and deep con­di­tions on a reg­u­lar basis, but again, thats not what the hair is sup­pose to do!

http://www.QueenNaturalBeauty.blogspot.com

Sally

Maria and Luna…THANK YOU!!! Enough said!

LaNeshe

Thank you Luna and Maria for your per­spec­tive. That is a good point to make. Can some­one link me to a break­down of the hair types? I’ve been nat­u­ral for 2 years, but I feel am still behind in my knowl­edge of tak­ing care of and the dif­fer­ent types of nat­u­ral hair.

Luna
I’m going along with Maria but more tough love. 4b does not shine, it does not sheen if it does it’s a low sheen. Your hair will not glow in the dark or be a bea­con of light in the sun no mat­ter how much shine crave glosser/oil sheen or coconut oil you throw up in their. This obses­sion with curl def­i­n­i­tion, shine, hang­ing hair, flow, swing and/or swang needs to stop with type 4s esp 4a/b com­bo or 4b because it is not the nature of our hair to do any of those things. Those who already nat­u­ral­ly pos­sess sheen… Read more »
kurlykolly

Almond Oil brings soft­ness and nat­u­ral sheen.

Denise

Hi Kurlykol­ly,

is there any par­tic­u­lar kind of almond oil you rec­om­mend? Exam­ple, some­one rec­om­mend­ed coconut oil for seal­ing, but rec­om­mend­ed specifics-cold or expel­lar pressed, oran­ic, and unrefined(or refined, can’t remem­ber which). So I was won­der­ing about the almond oil.…..thanks

Maria

I know this sub­ject has been raised before, but a lot of us nat­u­rals seem to be obsessed with shine and curl def­i­n­i­tion — two things that 4b afro hair is not known for. While I think it’s great for us to explore the diver­si­ty of our hair with dif­fer­ent styles and prod­ucts, I think it’s also impor­tant for us to accept the beau­ty of our hair ‘in the raw’. We’re the only peo­ple on the plan­et whose fol­li­cles do not catch the sun. We’re unique. We should wear it with pride.

Tia

Deep con­di­tion­ing reg­u­lar­ly and coconut or almond oil. Both work equal­ly well for me when I apply then dur­ing styling. Even my Hubby’s locs are start­ing to have some awe­some and last­ing sheen from the coconut oil. One appli­ca­tion lasts about a 1 week with­out leav­ing oily residue every­where.

lina40

i use a small amount of cas­tor oil on my hair for sheen

Shones

+2 for deep con­di­tion­ing as a con­tribut­ing fac­tor for shine. But for me the amount of sheen depends on the style. Exam­ples of “shiny” styles for me include twist outs using hair but­ter (such as Bou­tique de Fleurtzy’s Hydrat­ing Hair But­ter) and shin­gling with leave-in con­di­tion­er + KCCC. 

How­ev­er, I also love the look of explod­ed, frizzy curls (read: lit­tle to no shine). Some days I want frizz on pur­pose, like a big fluffy cumu­lus cloud. This ver­sa­til­i­ty is one of the rea­sons nat­u­ral hair is so much fun to me.

LaNeshe

I use Tui Hair Oil from Carol’s daugh­ter.

Toi

Tui Hair Oil is the Truth! I Love it, but i’m work­ing on mak­ing my own con­coc­tion sim­i­lar to it because it’s so expen­sive. It’s great for twists, twistouts, roller­set, and when my hair is pressed straight. One of my girl­friend sneaks in my cab­i­net and sprays it on her weave to detan­gle and add sheen, lol…

Toi

I meant the sheen spray tui from CD.

L.Michelle

I am glad some­one asked this ques­tion, because this is an issue that I too strug­gle with. I am going to look into the hon­ey thing. I also have some coconut oil com­ing in the mail soon.

Nicole

Nat­u­ral oils can help (coconut, jojoba, etc) — but usu­al­ly the hair soaks it up after awhile and you lose the sheen. Deep-con­di­tion­ing is impor­tant too.

I just dis­cov­ered ***APHOGEE Gloss Ther­a­py Pol­ish­er Spray*** — because I’d been want­i­ng more shine too. I love it! It smells great, has pan­thenol in it, no alco­hol, some nat­u­ral oils. A real­ly great pro­duct.

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