The past few years have shown us that it’s not consumer demand that is defining product trends in the skincare and beauty industry—but viral TikTok and Insta trends are in fact influencing our buying patterns and the products hitting the shelves. But the need to come up with something new and interesting for the web often means that content creators have to think of catchy terms for existing makeup and hair techniques in a bid to go viral. Remember the dolphin, glass, and dumpling skin trends?.
One such ‘new’ hair technique that is being referred to in satisfying, light-reflecting viral hair videos and international red carpet sightings is liquid hair. You can call it a sister trend of glass hair, which is defined by super-glossy, poker-straight hair that shines like glass. The technique to achieve both looks is almost the same too, but for a few tweaks. What’s different, you ask? Liquid hair has a softer shine, and it moves more freely unlike glass hair. It’s also softer to touch. It looks more natural than glass hair but reflects more light than your daily hair.
“We have all been blown away by immaculate hair on actors from our favourite hair commercials and the red carpet. They may all have the same hair problems (dullness, frizz, limp hair that falls easily) but the solution is not just one shampoo (or technique). It’s also great lighting and a few other tips that I am happy to share. From glossy nails to glossy lids, and now glossy hair—hair that is so shiny, it doesn’t look real. For the most part, it’s real, but it’s also a little make-believe,” says celebrity hair and makeup artiste, Daniel Bauer. The shine, he says, comes from flattening the cuticle. These looks will especially work for the forthcoming wedding and party season because hair tends to get frizzy in the winter.
Here are his pro tips to nail this trend ahead of the New Year party season.
1. Opt for an in-salon treatment
To get liquid hair that lasts you longer, going for an in-salon keratin treatment is your easiest bet. And celebrities often rely on these treatments (in addition to other things such as extensions) to achieve liquid hair too.
Unlike hair bonding treatments, where the hair can look straight yet stiff, keratin protein treatments fill the protein gaps in your hair which makes your locks look smoother, thicker, and shinier.
2. Hair extensions for the win
Another trick that celebs use to get liquid hair is extensions. “Ninety per cent of hair TV commercials use fake hair. If you need more length or shine, investing in 100% virgin hair extensions is the way to go. Before you clip in the extensions, you can easily prep the hair, such as making it poker straight, by fast ironing small sections, having applied a heat protector. The smaller the section, the shinier the hair becomes,” says Bauer. He says that it shows more on coloured hair with highlights and lowlights as the light plays with different shades on the hair, making it look fluid.
3. Lighting is the key to liquid hair
A hack that results in liquid hair is lighting. “There are two types of light, warm and cold. Cold light is white and can look very hard, whereas warm light (tungsten light), is warm and can look yellow. The perfect light is the mixture between both. However, for glossy hair on Instagram, you probably need more white light as that will reflect much better on the hair,” says Bauer. To shoot your own liquid hair video, you can have someone use a phone flashlight on your hair, while you record the video with a different phone (not using its flash).
4. Dry shampoo is a must-have
Another product you will need for liquid hair is dry shampoo, as you need to get rid of grease and not let your hair be weighed down for it to move effortlessly. “A dry shampoo is the best way of getting your hair healthy and clean looking, as it removes excess oil and makes hair shiny. Once the dry shampoo has been applied, fully flat iron all your hair, and you will have glossy, Insta-ready hair,” shares Bauer.
5. This is how you can get liquid hair at home
To achieve liquid hair at home without a keratin treatment, you first need to nourish your hair. Dry, tangled hair will not reflect light and will undergo more damage when you use heat tools for this technique. First, pick the right shampoo and conditioner for your hair—it can be a smoothening keratin shampoo too. Bauer recommends Tresemme Keratin Smooth Shampoo & Conditioner. You need to get rid of all grease so that the hair is bouncy and isn’t weighed down. Once your hair and scalp is clean, you can also apply a light, quick-absorbing oil or serum such as an argan oil spray which will add some shine and moisturize your hair while sealing it to avoid frizz.
“Remember to use a heat protector as you need to cancel out all frizz for this look,” says Bauer and recommends Livon Heat Protect Serum, which will not burn a hole in your pocket. Now blow dry your hair straight and use the brush and the blow dryer in a downwards direction. You can now apply a dry shampoo to your scalp and flat iron your hair to knock out any frizz or flyaways. Remember to not go extra hard with the iron as you need to keep movement in your hair so that it looks liquid-like. Finish with a shine spray to make your hair catch more light for the ‘gram.