OK, Fine, I'll Tell You How I Get My Hair So Shiny

By popular demand, I'm revealing what I do to achieve super-glossy hair, even though I'm starting to resent it for stealing my thunder in, like, every article.
Publish date:
April 2, 2013
haircuts, hairstylists, castor oil, shiny hair, Moroccanoil, amla oil, brahmi oil

Ever since xoVain launched, I have, for almost a month now, been bouncing off my bed in Singapore in the mornings to check out the site. I mean, between xoJane and xoVain, I really don’t need much more reading materials to get through life. (Books? Pshaw!)

The problem is, when I get to reading the comments on the articles I’ve written, it doesn’t matter if I’m writing about--my crotch, my brows, my legs--the only thing anybody seems to care about is my shiny hair.

Even my hairstylist admits to envying my hair, so I can’t blame y’all. I’ll tell you the truth: it’s 47% good genes, 30% hairstylist’s magic fingers and ingenuity, and 23% things I actually do to my hair.

Pia and Runa, who are of Indian descent like me, recently shared one of their favorite passed-down hair tips. I've checked with the Indian consolate, and I've gotten the OK to give you even more shiny-hair advice.


I hate to break it to you, but the philosophy of "you are what you eat" includes your hair. I don’t drink alcohol, I rarely consume red meat, and I drink a lot of water. A lot. I can usually hear water slushing around in my belly when I go to bed at night.


Or, well, listen to mine. My mother is a firm believer of using food as beauty products.

While I use a small amount Morocconoil on towel-dried hair from mid-length to ends every day, I also use an oil my mother concocts as a deep-conditioning sorta thing once a week. It’s a mixture of brahmi oil, amla oil and castor oil.

Massage it first into your scalp before coating your hair. Throw on a shower cap and let it sit for at least 45 minutes before washing it off (you can also do this overnight). Be forewarned: It smells kinda funky, but the concoction promotes shine and growth, and prevents dandruff and split ends.


I can probably count with one hand how many times a month I use heated tools on my hair. I let my hair air dry when I wash it, and I wash my hair in the evening so I don’t have to wait for it to dry in the morning.

If this is not an option for you, always, always use a thermal protector like John Frieda’s Frizz-Ease Hair Serum Thermal Protection Formula.

Maybe we should all go on a heat tool fast and see how your hair looks at the end of it! Anyone?


Before I met my BFF/hairstylist, Andrea Claire, about five years ago on the set of a commercial shoot, I went to Toni & Guy for several years. They’re great at what they do, and they give good head (massages), but the hairstylist I went to kept wanting me to switch up my style for something funky. That's just not me.

When you find someone who gets you, you pretty much put your life in his or her hands. These days, I’ve handed over all hair-related to decisions to Andrea--I’ve got other decisions to make.

Also, stop being stingy when it comes to hairstylists (right, Annie?): Cut back on cab rides or fancy cocktails for a cut that’s worth it and grows out like a dream.

Bonus: I get to hang out with Andrea’s daughter, the coolest four-year-old that ever existed, whenever I get my hair done.

Let me know if your hair gets better if you decide to embrace one, or all four, of my hair philosophies!