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Hair Glaze Vs. Hair Gloss: What Are The Differences?

If you’ve ever had your hair dyed in your life, chances are you’ve had a hair glaze or gloss as well. These treatments are so similar that people often use them interchangeably.

While both of these are temporary treatments that fade on their own, there are in fact differences between hair glaze and hair gloss that matter depending on the effect you want to achieve.

Hair glaze vs hair gloss

What Is A Hair Glaze?

Both glosses and glazes are temporary treatments that fade over time, but the difference lies in the amount of time that they last on the hair. Whether you’re using a hair glaze color or clear, they will last for a week, two at most, if you don’t wash your hair too frequently.

Hair glazes sit on top of the hair and coats the hair shaft with shine and semi-permanent color. With no ammonia or peroxide, it acts like a coat of polish that is similar to a deep conditioning treatment. This also means it contains flyaways and brings down frizz in the process.

Hair glaze
Hair glaze

Hair glazes can surely be done at the salon, but because these treatments are more relaxed and can be done at home.

Haircare companies from Living Proof to Oribe provide glazes that you can purchase online. Thinking about a hair glaze treatment? Here are some pros and cons.

Pros of Hair Glaze

  • Glaze treatments use safe chemicals like ammonia-free dyes and ceramics
  • Glaze works on gray hair
  • You can perform glaze treatments at home or the salon
  • The treatment does not weigh down hair
  • Hair is easier to detangle and style after the treatment
  • Dyed hair maintains its color for an extended time
  • Hair glaze protects against potentially damaging environmental factors like sun exposure

Cons of Hair Glaze

  • You cannot dye your hair after this treatment
  • Hair glaze is purely a cosmetic supplement
  • Each hair wash decreases the treatment’s longevity

Who Should Use Hair Glaze?

A hair glaze treatment is an excellent choice for giving your hair extra shine. Consider hair glaze if you frequently color or use heat on your hair to help revive its natural healthy appearance.

You may benefit from a hair glaze treatment if you have damaged, brittle hair. Hair glaze helps prevent further breakage and nourish brittle strands.

What Is A Hair Gloss?

A hair gloss is more permanent and more frequently a service done by a professional at a salon. It penetrates the hair cuticle and lasts anywhere from 2-4 weeks, depending on your frequency of washing.

In fact, if your stylist gives you a gloss you don’t love, try washing your hair a few times with shampoo or even Dawn soap.

Glosses too add shine to hair, but they also adjust the tone in order to prevent newly-added hair dye from getting dull.

They can be customized to enhance natural tones, subdue bright or brassy tones, softly blend gray hair, and create the Holy Grail: the perfect shade of blonde.

Hair Gloss Before and After
Hair Gloss – Before and After (source)

Like a glaze, hair glosses take the form of treatment or mask that is applied to hair but are then rinsed out after some time.

Unfortunately, haircare companies often market glazes as glosses, but the crucial differences lie in the use of chemicals like peroxide, which is found in glosses only.

Considering a hair gloss treatment? Here are the pros and cons.

Pros of Hair Gloss Treatment

  • After the treatment, hair is extra smooth and glossy
  • This treatment adds color to your hair without changing your hair tone
  • The gloss treatment softly fades out if you dye your roots darker or lighter
  • Hair gloss helps hair appear more healthy and hydrated
  • Hair gloss helps maintain hair color, allowing more time between salon appointments
  • You can perform gloss treatments at home or at the salon
  • Treatment products are hair-safe because they do not contain harmful chemicals like ammonia

Cons of Hair Gloss Treatment

  • Hair gloss is purely a cosmetic supplement
  • Each hair wash decreases the treatment’s longevity

Who Should Use Hair Gloss?

Hair gloss treatments are great for adding extreme shine to your hair. Anyone can do this treatment, but you see dramatic results on anyone with dull or lifeless hair.

Hair gloss also works well for damaged hair or hair prone to breakage. This Gloss treatment adds a little color or corrects the original color.

Hair Glaze Vs. Hair Gloss

Hair Glaze Vs. Hair Gloss

While the time frame of hair glaze and hair gloss differs, both are semi-permanent treatments that promote healthy-looking hair.

All that matters is that you pay attention to the results you’re looking for and how long you’ll need them to last. They are yet another part of your beauty routine that it pays to fully understand.

The differences between hair glaze and hair gloss are shown below in an easy to understand hair glaze vs hair gloss comparison table.

Hair Glaze

Hair Gloss

Lasts 1-2 weeksLasts 3-4 weeks
Coats hair shaftPenetrates the cuticle
Free of ammonia + peroxideContains peroxide
Adds shineAdjusts tone + adds shine
Can be done at homeUsually only done at a salon


Here are answers to some commonly asked questions about hair gloss and glaze treatments.

Gloss vs. glaze — which one is safer for hair?

Both hair gloss and glaze treatments are safe for hair. In fact, they are safer than permanent color dye. For the gentlest option, go with hair glaze because it does not penetrate the hair’s cuticle.

Hair gloss or glaze — which lasts longer?

Since a gloss treatment penetrates the hair’s cuticle, it lasts longer than a glaze. Hair gloss usually lasts from two to four weeks before it needs refreshing. Glaze treatments only coat the hair shaft, lasting about one or two weeks.

How often can I use glaze or gloss on my hair?

Once the gloss or glaze starts fading, you can schedule a salon appointment or do a touch-up at home. For glaze treatments, most stylists recommend waiting no longer than four weeks for a refresh. You can gloss about every six weeks.

Can I leave hair gloss and glaze in my hair?

Both glosses and glazes are semi-permanent treatments, meaning they stay in your hair for some time before fading.

When first applying the treatment, leave both gloss or glaze on for about 20 minutes before washing it out to ensure full coverage.

Is hair gloss more costly than hair glaze?

Hair gloss and glaze treatments are comparable in the price range. Salons charge between $50 to $100 per session, while at-home kits typically cost up to $30.

However, since glazes fade faster, you likely pay more since the treatment requires frequent upkeep.

Overall, the differences between the two may be minimal, but they are key differences that matter, such as how long you want the treatment to last and if you want the ability to do it at home.

Either way, both hair glazes and glosses promise to deliver healthy shine in between highlights or give your fresh color a major boost.