Just a Glaze Away

I don’t know about you, but I have a love/hate relationship with my hair. Why do many women seem so effortlessly put together with beautiful locks of shiny hair? My dull and seemingly over-processed tresses seem to have me stuck in a permanent bad hair rut. I started to do some research and found out about the “go to” salon service called the “glaze.”

What exactly is a glaze? According to Shawna Tirrito, academic trainer at Long Island’s Cactus Academy and Paul Mitchell Partner School, a glaze is essentially a “top coat” for your hair. It safeguards against environmental damage by coating your hair with an extra layer of protection. Benefits include a higher shine and increased hydration. When applied after a color treatment, glazes can even reverse the negative chemical effects of color processes.

Salons have offered hair glazes for years, but the treatment has seen a recent resurgence in popularity because the technology has advanced. And clients are noticing the benefits. I was fortunate enough to speak with Elaine Campbell-DeVito, owner and stylist at E Day Spa & Salon in Hampton Bays. She is extremely knowledgeable about this process and explains the important role that technology has played in hair color science. “Today’s hair color molecules are much smaller, which allows for better penetration of the color and less fading. Also, many of today’s glazes are ammonia free and very conditioning.”

Because Elaine’s salon is located in the Hamptons, glazes are quite popular for clients who spend a lot of time on the beach. E Day Spa & Salon offers all of their clients a glaze with color and 90% of their single process clients are glazed at the same time color is applied.

After all of this research, I decided to try it for myself. Setting off on a mission to find a salon in my area that offered hair glazes, friends and family recommended Ambiance Salon in Roslyn. Upon entering the bustling salon, I was greeted by owner, Joey Campo. After a brief consultation, Joey introduced me to the salon’s color expert, Taylor Theotokas, who reviewed the process with me and explained the various types of glazes that Ambiance offers.

This salon prides itself on offering a variety of glaze options to suit each client’s needs. They claim considerable investment in providing top-of-the-line products, each addressing different concerns clients may have, from a “Botox” glaze, which uses ceramides to strengthen the hair from the inside out, to “Moroccan Oil” that offers glazes for a wide array of hair types ranging from fine to thick and coarse. They also offer the Paul Mitchell Awapuhi glaze, which is supposed to be intensely moisturizing. Semi-permanent glazes last from two to three weeks, while demi-permanent glazes last up to four weeks. Since I had some old highlights hanging around, Taylor gave me a demi-permanent glaze with a tint to intensify my natural color. My treatment took less than an hour and afterwards, I sported a shinier, more voluminous head of hair.

I asked Taylor about some of the at-home versions of hair glazes that I’ve seen in the local drugstores. She explained that the do-it-yourself versions tend to have harsher chemicals and, as a result, are not as gentle on the hair. A salon glaze will ensure a healthier process that will last weeks longer than their drugstore counterparts.

After my glaze, I reached out once again to Elaine at E Day Spa & Salon to get her thoughts on how to best care for my treatment. She explained that aftercare is essential for extending the life of whichever glaze you go with. Just as you care for any other color service, you should wait at least 24 hours before shampooing and use a professional haircare line made specifically for color-treated hair, which is why she makes those products available for purchase. After my glaze, I tried both a drugstore brand and a salon quality brand of shampoo and conditioner, and the results were indisputable. The texture and brilliance of my hair was exceedingly better when I used the proper after-care products, in place of the less expensive alternatives. Suddenly, I was out of the bad hair rut.