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10 Best Hair Glosses & Glazes to Refresh Your Color at Home

Boost your shade (and shine!) instantly.

best at home hair glosses and glazes

Maintaining fresh hair color is no easy feat. Unfortunately, that glossy, vibrant shade that you leave the salon with — or DIY at home — won't last forever, or sometimes, even more than a few weeks. But your future doesn't have to involve dull, brassy hair. Enter hair glosses and glazes, the answer to all of your shade fade problems. These color-enhancing treatments are available at both the salon and for at-home use, as long as you have the best products on the market.

What's the difference between hair gloss and hair glaze?

Think of hair gloss like lip gloss, coating hair in translucent color and shine. "A hair gloss is a demi-permanent treatment that helps seal the hair's cuticle [outer layer], neutralizes any unwanted tones and enhances desired tones," says Giselle Luza, founder of Giselle Luza Studio in New York City. The effects of a good hair gloss "usually last about three to six weeks depending on the porosity of the hair," adds Lorena Martinez, a colorist at Maxine Salon in Chicago. "A gloss and a hair toner are the same thing, and can be used interchangeably," she adds. So if you hear the word "toner" at the salon, know that it serves the same purpose as a gloss for your color.

On the other hand, unlike hair glosses, glazes usually don't deposit color on strands. "A glaze is a milder form of a gloss, usually a clear formula or solely a conditioning treatment," Luza explains. While a gloss can neutralize brassiness and boost your existing color, a glaze is usually sheer and primarily delivers moisturizing benefits to your hair.

Hair gloss vs. hair glaze: Which should you try?

Consider your desired outcome. "If you're interested in altering your color or need to get rid of unwanted tones, try a gloss," Luza advises, suggesting that you pick a shade that matches your existing color. A gloss can also be used to blend in gray hairs. For those who color their hair at a salon, Martinez recommends asking your colorist to help you pick the right at-home gloss to use, especially when incorporating color.

Opt for a clear glaze if you're more interested in shine and moisture than a color refresh. "When it comes to a non-pigmented gloss or glaze that acts more like a shine and conditioning treatment, these work on any hair type," she says. A clear glaze can boost shine for all hair colors and those who don't color their hair. Note that some brands use the words "gloss" and "glaze" interchangeably for at-home hair products, so consult the packaging and instructions before applying.

Now, it's time to shine: Here, the best at-home glosses and glazes — including products for blondes, brunettes, redheads and black hair — according to Good Housekeeping Institute Beauty Lab scientists and professional hairstylists.

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Best Overall Hair Gloss
Shades Eq Hair Color Gloss

  • Doubles as a conditioning treatment
  • Works especially well for blondes
  • Great for shine and body

A go-to product for professional hair colorists, both Luza and Martinez are big fans of Redken's gloss. "It is translucent and demi-permanent, which makes it perfect for creating a custom shade, canceling unwanted tones, or enhancing any existing color," Luza says. "It doubles as a conditioning treatment, so the hair always feels amazing after." It's for professional use only, so you can find the closest salon that carries it by clicking the link. 

Best Overall Hair Glaze
Glaze for Beautiful Color

  • Super shine-enhancing
  • Helps detangle
  • Softens hair

  • Expensive

To boost shine without depositing color, reach for Oribe's luxurious salon-quality glaze. "This glaze is my absolute favorite — it provides a silky and shiny finish that can’t be beaten," Martinez says. "While it doesn’t change the color of your hair, it adds so much reflection that makes it worth it." She loves that it also helps detangle hair and can replace conditioner when you use it.

Best Value Drugstore Hair Gloss
Colour Refreshing Gloss
John Frieda
John Frieda

  • Easy application and rinsing
  • Appealing light scent
  • Strong shine-enhancing effects

  • Can stain hands

You don't have to spend a mint on a hair gloss to get professional-level results: John Frieda's formula, which comes in seven shades (including brown, red, blonde and black) received high marks in GH Beauty Lab testing. Users loved the effortlessness of a no-mess application, enjoyed its fragrance, and thought it rinsed out easily. They also loved that it added noticeable shine. One user shared a suggestion before applying: wear gloves when using, as it can stain your skin

Best Hair Gloss for Gray Hair
Blond Absolu Masque Ultra-Violet

  • Works on gray, silver or blonde hair
  • Moisturizes dry strands
  • Extends color in between coloring sessions

  • Pricey
  • Not made to boost shine

While designed for blondes, this Kérastase treatment masque —which acts like a gloss —"helps neutralize yellow tones, enhances gray or silver tones and keeps color looking bright," Luza notes. Plus, "since it's in a moisturizing mask formula, it helps keep hair healthy," she says, as opposed to purple-toned shampoos, which can be drying. 

Best Hair Gloss for Brassy Hair
Color Lustre Cool Blonde Hair Gloss
Shu Uemura
Shu Uemura

  • Neutralizes brassy and yellow tones
  • Revives color and prevents fading

  • Pricey

She Uemura's lavender-tinted gloss is Martinez's go-to to "help cool down brassy hair in blondes," she says. The formula also nourishes strands and prevenst fading thanks to ingredients like musk rose oil. 

Best Hair Gloss for Black Hair
Signature Hair Gloss

  • Budget-friendly
  • Natural-looking results
  • Easy to use

Even black hair can benefit from a gloss, thanks to their shine-boosting benefits. "Kristin Ess's Signature Gloss is my favorite at-home gloss for anyone who wants to enhance super dark brown or black hair," Luza says. You apply it in the shower — meaning less mess — and it enhances black color in a natural-looking way. "It’s affordable as well which is always a plus," she adds. 

Best Hair Gloss for Red Hair
True Color Ultimate Shine Gloss
Rita Hazan
Rita Hazan

  • Easy to apply foam formula
  • Good for all shades of red
  • Safe and gentle enough to use daily

Luza loves that Rita Hazan's red gloss "is translucent enough to look natural while still adding vibrancy to any shade of red."  It's great for both red or copper tones and the foam formula is fun and easy to use in the shower. Plus, coconut fatty acids help smooth and soften strands.

Best Hair Gloss for Brunettes
DP Hue

  • Great conditioning benefits
  • Comes in multiple brown shades

  • Pricey

Luza loves the variety of shades that dpHue's gloss comes in, including four brown tones. "They have a clear formula to add shine, along with several shades to choose from that will enhance your natural hair color," she says. It's super hydrating, so it will leave your hair feeling smooth and healthy.

Best Clear Hair Gloss
Color Fanatic Top Coat + Clear Gloss

  • Works on all hair colors
  • Conditions hair
  • Gives noticeable shine

  • Pricey
  • Won't enhance color

GH Beauty Director April Franzino recently tested this new gloss and really noticed a difference in her hair's shine. "I love that it doesn’t alter my color and contains botanical conditioning ingredients like coconut and camellia oils," she says. The clear formula makes it ideal for any hair color or type. 

Best Spray Hair Gloss
Dream Coat Supernatural Spray
Color Wow
Color Wow

  • Delivers instant shine
  • Super easy to use
  • Clear formula works on all hair colors

  • Doesn't enhance color

If you are looking for instant radiance, Color Wow's spray gloss is for you. "It's an easy application and maintains shine in the hair in between color appointments," Martinez explains. The spray is heat-activated and blocks moisture from getting into the hair and creating frizz. Plus, it doesn't contain color, making it ideal for any hair shade.

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