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How To Brighten Dull Hair? 17 Tips To Add Instant Shine To Your Hair

How To Brighten Dull Hair? 17 Tips To Add Instant Shine To Your Hair

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How to brighten dull hair? Why is my hair so dull and lifeless? Is there a way to add shine to dull hair?

Ever since I started my Reader’s Queries Section on this beauty blog, this has been one of the most requested queries. Now that we are back with the series again, I thought this would be a perfect hair problem that I can address.

Having dull hair means your hair appears dry and damaged, feels rough to touch and lacks shine. In some cases hair appears weighed down and appears limp without any volume. 

So if you have dull hair and you are looking for some interesting tips, natural remedies and right hair products to brighten dull hair, then read on.

How To Brighten Dull Hair?

To brighten dull hair you need to be patient and incorporate the following steps into your hair care routine for dull hair.


Be Gentle With Your Hair

Let’s start with the basics.

This is the simplest mistake I have seen people make. If you handle your precious hair harshly, they will get damaged. Always be gentle. As gentle and loving as you can while handling your hair.

What I Mean By Saying Be Gentle With Your Hair?

I mean

  • Don’t brush them while your hair is wet,
  • Avoid being vigorous while you detangle them and
  • Don’t throw a lot of products with harsh chemicals like SLS, parabens, silicones, mineral oils as these tend to leave a layer of build-up on your hair which in turn leaves your hair damaged causing them to appear dull and lifeless.

Apply Products With Your Fingers

This is another basic hair care tip but people tend to go the other way.

I know it feels messy but it has a long term benefit. Always try using your fingers while you oil your hair or apply any hair mask or even while you detangle your hair. 

Why You Ask?

Using harsh boar brushes with strong bristles and pointy tips are one of the slowest damaging agents. They create friction which disrupts your hair shafts. But when you use your fingers, it not only has a calming effect but also doesn’t damage your hair.

Try it and you will notice a huge difference in your hair.

Use Avocado Oil 

Avocado oil adds life and brightens your dull hair effectively. I can vouch for it.

The wonderful nourishing oil has such quick results when it comes to brightening dull hair, it is just remarkable.


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Just make sure you use cold-pressed avocado oil for best results like this one.

NOW Solutions, Avocado Oil, 100% Pure Moisturizing Oil, Nutrient Rich and Hydrating, 4-Ounce
  • FOR SOFT, HEALTHY SKIN: A nutrient-rich vegetable oil. Heavy in texture,...
  • NUTRIENT RICH: When used as a massage oil, it’s soft, soothing, and...
  • HYDRATING: NOW Solutions products are not tested on animals. Clear bottle...

Last update on 2024-06-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Try Conditioning Before Shampooing To Brighten Dull Hair

I do it very often especially when my hair appears dull and lifeless.

It simply means using silicone and paraben-free conditioner before shampoo to clean your hair. It is less harsh on your hair and your hair feels extremely soft afterwards.

Or you can also try co-washing, aka, using just your hair conditioner to wash your hair and skip the shampoo. 

I know a lot of people find it uncomfortable using just conditioner to wash your hair. If you are one of them who just can’t make do without your shampoo, then don’t worry I have got your back.

add life to dull lifeless hair

Use A Shampoo For Dull Hair Preferably One With Natural Oil Extracts

Opt for a shampoo that contains natural oils listed as its active ingredient. You can also opt for products that are tagged moisturizing, repairing, or strengthening.

My favorite shampoos for dull hair are:

Pureology Hydrate Moisturizing Shampoo

If you are in a rush then this is the shampoo for dull hair that I recommend the most.

This Pureology shampoo is good for medium to thick dry, color-treated hair  that appears dull and lifeless. It helps to moisturize and brighten your dull hair. It contains the goodness of shea butter and avocado oil to help nourish and strengthen your hair. It is also sulfate-free, making it gentle on your dull hair. It is also a great shampoo for black-colored hair and will also help to make your bleached hair soft again.

Pureology Hydrate Moisturizing Shampoo and Conditioner Set | Softens and Deeply Hydrates Dry Hair | For Medium to Thick Color Treated Hair | Sulfate-Free | Vegan
  • Moisturizing Shampoo & Conditioner: Hydrate vegan shampoo and conditioner...
  • Nourishing Formula: This creamy, moisturizing formula works into a...
  • Key Benefits: Moisturizes dry, damaged hair. Actively protects hair color...

Last update on 2024-06-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

OGX Ever Straightening + Brazilian Keratin Therapy Hair Smoothing Shampoo

This hair straightening shampoo is formulated with keratin protein, avocado oil, coconut oil, brazil nut, and cocoa butter which not only hydrates your hair but also uses Brazilian keratin therapy which keeps your hair perfectly sleek straight for the longest time. Free of harsh chemicals like SLS, and parabens this shampoo for dull hair strengthens and softens the hair while adding instant shine to dull hair.

OGX Brazilian Keratin Therapy Shampoo for Shiny Hair, Sulfate-Free, with Coconut Oil and Avocado Oil, 13 Fl Oz
  • BRAZILIAN KERATIN THERAPY SHAMPOO: Infused with coconut oil, keratin...
  • GLOW & SHINE: One exotic ingredient is awesome, but four can do so much...
  • BEAUTY PURE & SIMPLE: OGX products are inspired by nature. We don’t try...

Last update on 2024-06-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Kerastase Curl Manifesto Hydratation Douceur Shampoo

For people with dry, wavy, curly, or coily hair types, this Kerastase shampoo is good as it helps remove product build-up and the honey extracts help to add the extra boost of hydration that your hair is lacking. Free of silicones, parabens, and SLS this shampoo for dull hair is also Curly girl method-friendly.

KERASTASE Curl Manifesto Hydratation Douceur Shampoo | Removes Build Up & Hydrates Curls | Softens & Reduces Frizz | For All Wavy, Curly, Very Curly & Coily Hair | 8.5 Fl Oz
  • Hydrating Shampoo: Hydrates curly and coily hair. Enriched with Manuka...
  • Benefits: Gently cleanses scalp and lengths to remove impurities and...
  • Additional Benefits: Preserves natural hair oils for healthy hair and scalp...

Last update on 2024-06-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Maui Moisture Lightweight Hydration Hibiscus Water Shampoo

You know I have a thing for natural ingredients when it comes to taking care of my long Indian hair. And this Maui Moisture shampoo is formulated with hibiscus water, passion fruit, and watermelon that will soothe your itchy scalp, prevent excess oil production, and leave you with an excellent fragrance that will make your hair smell good. It also has the goodness of coconut water and aloe vera juice which hydrates your hair. This vegan shampoo for dull hair is also free of parabens, silicones, mineral oil, gluten, and dye. 

Maui Moisture Lightweight Hydration + Hibiscus Water Shampoo for Daily Moisture, No Sulfates, 13 fl oz
  • HYDRATION WITHOUT HEAVINESS: Moisturize & refresh with a touch of the...
  • REFRESH & NOURISH: Quench parched hair with lightweight hydration &...
  • PURE COCONUT WATER: We start with a unique blend of aloe vera juice infused...

Last update on 2024-06-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Nexxus Ultralight Smooth Shampoo and Conditioner

Free of harsh chemicals like SLS, parabens, aluminum, phthalate, and formaldehyde, this shampoo is gentle on your dull hair. Infused with almond protein and jasmine flower extracts, this shampoo will make your hair smell good while minimizing the frizz. However, if you have dry hair and an oily scalp or you have a sensitive scalp then I would recommend you to not opt for this one. 

Nexxus Ultralight Smooth Shampoo & Conditioner Weightless Smooth for Dry and Frizzy Hair Smooth Hair Treatment to Block Out Frizz 13.5 oz(Pack of 2)
  • TAKE CONTROL AGAINST FRIZZ: Nexxus Ultralight Smooth Shampoo weightlessly...
  • HAIR TREATMENT WITH PROTEINFUSION: Enriched with Almond Protein and Jasmine...
  • FOR SMOOTH HAIR: This smoothing shampoo keeps hair smooth for up to 72...

Last update on 2024-06-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

MATRIX Total Results Mega Sleek Shampoo | Controls Frizz & Smooths Hair


This shampoo gives ultra-soft nourishment and lustrous volume to your dull hair. It is made from shea butter that fights frizz against humidity to control rebellious and unruly hair. This product is safe for colored hair as well.

Matrix Mega Sleek Shampoo and Conditioner Set | Controls Frizz Leaving Hair Smooth & Shiny | Nourishes with Shea Butter | For Dry, Damaged Hair | Packaging May Vary
  • Anti-Frizz Shampoo: A professional smoothing shampoo that gently cleanses,...
  • Lasting Results: Key ingredients seal the hair's cuticle and leaves hair 5x...
  • Key Benefits: Infused with Shea Butter, this shampoo expertly lifts away...

Last update on 2024-06-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Use Wide-Tooth Comb While You Condition

While you condition your hair, take a wide-tooth comb in the shower. Apply little conditioner on your damp hair and using your wide tooth comb slowly detangle your hair. This will make sure your hair gets detangled well and you won’t end up damaging your hair in the process. 

Also make sure you use a good silicone-free conditioner so you don’t have to deal with more product build-up on your already fragile hair. 

how to add life to dull lifeless hair

Green Tea Adds Instant Shine To Dull Hair

I always do this whenever my hair starts appearing dull.


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Just brew some green tea and pour it on your hair as the last rinse. You will not believe what wonderful effects it has until you try the green tea hair rinse yourself. 

Ditch Regular Serum For Rosehip Oil Or Argan Oil Instead

I have shared this hack before many times but only because its oh so darn good. Opt for Rosehip oil or argan oil as your serum and you will thank me for this hack.


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Cliganic USDA Organic Rosehip Seed Oil for Face, 100% Pure | Natural Cold Pressed Unrefined Non-GMO | Carrier Oil for Skin, Hair & Nails
  • Certified Organic Rosehip Oil - Cliganic organic rosehip seed oil is...
  • 100% Pure, Single Ingredient Oil - Cliganic organic rosehip oil is a...
  • Multipurpose Oil, Best Benefits - For Face, Hair & Body

Last update on 2024-06-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

No products found.

Don’t Use Hard Water Or Hot Water On Your Hair

Okay, this is yet another basic hair care tip to fix and brighten your dull hair. 

Hard water is extremely damaging to your hair as well as your scalp’s health. You need to wash your hair with water that is soft or loaded with minerals. 

Also, make sure you always rinse your hair with cold or at least room temperature water. Hot water not only steals natural oil from your hair but leaves your hair dry and prone to damage. Whereas cold water adds a beautiful shine and helps to seal the moisture in.

Air-Drying Your Hair Is The Best Option

I know when we step out of the bathroom with wet hair how badly we wanna reach out to our hair dryer. But let me tell you a few minutes spent air drying your wet hair goes a long way. 

But if you are in a rush and absolutely must need to use your hair dryer, opt for cold setting or lowest temperature setting and don’t forget to use a good heat protectant before.

Heat Styling Tools Are A Big No-No For Dull Hair

We all use tools for styling. Even I am guilty of using my flat irons for curly hair, curlers, and dryers sometimes. But we can always limit their usage. 

And don’t forget to use a good heat protectant beforehand. 

Don’t Color, Use Henna & Indigo Instead

Hair colors damage our hair from within. The harsh chemicals in them reach deep within the hair shafts and leave our hair fragile and prone to hair breakage. So try minimizing your hair color usage. And while you are at it, bleach bath hair and bleaching should be avoided for couple of weeks too.

Opt for natural remedies to color your hair like henna and indigo hair mask.

Deep Condition Twice A Week

If your hair lacks moisture, there is a solid chance that your hair is gonna appear lifeless and break very easily. To fix it, you need to deep condition your hair at least twice a week. 

My favorite deep conditioning masks that deliver quickest results:

SheaMoisture Intensive Hydration Hair Masque Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil For Dry, Damaged Hair Deep Conditioning Hair Treatment 11.5 oz
  • SheaMoisture Intensive Hydration Hair Masque infuses hair with a powerful...
  • This deep conditioning hair masque fortifies follicles and smooths...
  • This deep conditioning hair treatment masque blends certified organic Shea...

Last update on 2024-06-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Briogeo Don't Despair Repair Hair Mask, Deep Conditioner for Dry Damaged or Color Treated Hair, 8 oz
  • AWARD-WINNING HAIR MASK —Our 15x award-winning weekly deep conditioning...
  • GET STRONGER HAIR — Scientifically proven to strengthen damaged hair up...
  • WORKS BEST FOR — Dry, brittle, or damaged hair: all types and textures.

Last update on 2024-06-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Arvazallia Hydrating Argan Oil Hair Mask and Deep Conditioner for Dry or Damaged Hair - 8.45 Oz
  • Deeply hydrates and moisturizes dry, damaged hair leaving it soft, silky,...
  • Repairs and restores weak, overprocessed hair improving texture, elasticity...
  • Infused with argan oil to nourish hair with essential vitamins and...

Last update on 2024-06-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

You might also like: How to moisturize extremely dry hair effectively?

A Wooden Comb Is Your Best Bet

When you use regular plastic combs, they create bad friction and static effect on your hair. It damages your hair shafts and results in brittle hair with a lot of split ends. Whereas when you use wooden combs, it distributes the natural oils from your scalp to your entire hair length. This adds a beautiful effect to your dull lifeless hair.

HealthAndYoga™ PureTress Handcrafted Neem Wood Comb - Non-Static and Eco-Friendly Fine Tooth Comb for Men and Women - Soothing Scalp and Hair Health - 7 Inches
  • Wooden Combs Handcrafted from Neem Wood; Unlike bamboo comb, neem is...
  • 7" fine tooth wooden comb for women and men - suitable for Non static hair...
  • PureTress Large tooth comb provides natural cleansing effect with every...

Last update on 2024-06-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Do Hair Spa Once A Month

Hair spas are the quickest hack in the book when you need to brighten dull hair.

Within a couple of hours, your hair starts to feel healthier. So here are my quickest tips to do hair spa at home:

Clarify Your Hair

This simply means removing build-up from your hair and scalp.

To do this the simplest way does ACV rinse once a week or go for a full fledged hair detox. But you can also use a good clarifying shampoo for the same.

Along with these make sure to eat well, drink plenty of fluids, and take a good 8 hours of sleep every night.

Hope you found this in depth guide on how to brighten dull hair useful. If you have anymore tips to share, feel free to share via comments.

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Have a lovely day!