Experts say this low-maintenance hair trend is set to be everywhere next season

The glow dry is an understated dream

Sofia Richie walking in gym wear with a glow dry
(Image credit: Getty Images 1258472708)

When celebrity hair stylists, Nicola Clarke & Zoe Irwin tell you anything about hair, you sit up and listen. Both are renowned in the world of hair and have done too many red-carpet hair looks to mention. They have a sixth sense for hair trends, so when the pair told us about a new low-fuss, low-effort hair look coming our way this season, we took notes. 

Quiet luxury nails are a timeless winner, and now quiet luxury is making its way to our hair too—in the form of what Clarke and Irwin are dubbing the 'glow dry'. And it is everything we have been waiting for.  

The glow dry is an effortless style, but not in a bedhead sort of way. The glow dry is polished but without looking like you've spent hours on your hair. It's the sort of red-carpet hair look we've only ever dreamed about achieving ourselves. So here's what you should know about what is set to be this season's biggest overarching hair trend.

What is the glow dry? 

The glow dry is the hair equivalent of the perfectly polished beauty trends we're seeing everywhere right now. Think no-make-up make-up, which starts with glowing skin and a well-thought-out skincare routine. Think milky, barely-there nails where the beauty is all in the prep. 

The glow dry is all about stripping your hair styling routine right back to basics and creating a look that is pared back, super shiny and actually lasts all day.

The key, apparently, to getting this look right is by first nailing the basics—and this all depends on what your hair needs. In the same way we apply highlighters only where we need them or powder only to our t-zone, we need to be asking ourselves what our hair really needs before we do anything. 

Clarke and Irwin say it's about using certain products as and where they are needed—whether that's a serum just at the ends, a smoothing hair oil at the roots or a nourishing mask on the mid-lengths to ends.

The result? Understated, healthy hair.

How to achieve the glow dry look at home

It's summer, so we want our hair to glow—so enter the glow dry. Right now, our summer strands are dry, so the first step is hydration, hydration, hydration. We "want hair looking like it's super cared for", says Irwin.

Much like with skincare, glowing hair needs a healthy base, too. The experts tell us that a shampoo and conditioner that is right for your hair type are always worth the investment, and we agree. 

"One of the key messages here is simplicity," says Irwin. You don't need hundreds of products, it's all about how and where you use them on the hair. The look should never be overstyled with heated tools, but instead left relatively natural, just with healthy and nourished strands.

When it comes to product, "it's all about precision placement," Irwin tells us. Place oil in sections to visibly dry areas only, some sort of smoothing product where flyaways are prevalent and, finally, a multi-purpose styling cream in the ends.

Here's how to do it...

1. Smoothing spray

Using some sort of smoothing spray before blow drying your hair will prevent any flyaways that highlight breakage. And this isn't to say that hair should be kept super-smooth and straight—in fact, it's far from it. Whether your hair has a natural wave, curl or coil, a smoothing spray or lotion will simply help to keep that pattern looking sleek and healthy.

Clarke & Irwin recommend:

We also recommend:

2. Styling cream

"Understated luxury hair needs hold," the duo explain. Using a multi-purpose styling cream to areas where you really want your glow dry to hold is important if you want to be looking polished all day. Typically, this sort of product is most required in the mid-lengths and ends—whether your look is super straight, tousled or curly.

Clarke & Irwin Recommend:

We also recommend:

3. Treatment oil

The ultimate way to get that glow into your glow dry? Add ample nourishment in the form of a high-shine treatment oil. The experts explain that to achieve a pared-back glowy look, you want to run the oil through your strands very gently. Start by lightly pulling it through small sections between the forefinger and thumb. Alternatively, for something a little lighter, you can sprinkle a little bit of healing oil onto a brush, brush it through before bed and wake up with glowy hair. Remember to place it only where you think your hair needs it.

Clarke & Irwin recommend:

We also recommend:

Dionne Brighton

Dionne Brighton is a writer at Marie Claire UK, specialising in all things shopping, beauty and fashion. Born and raised in North London, she studied Literature at the University of East Anglia before taking the leap into journalism. These days, you can find her testing out the latest TikTok beauty trends or finding out what the next full Moon means.