What is the Difference Between a Hair Paste and a Hair Gloss?

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Kayla Michaels

Kayla Michaels

Beauty Expert

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Blog Summary

Hair health is something that the majority of us women are concerned about, constantly searching for new methods to make our hair look and feel best. This often means using appropriate products for our hair type, as well as taking some preventative measures such as avoiding over-styling or using protective products when styling. But while this sounds straightforward in theory, why can it be so complex in practice? Well, the truth is that with so many products on the market to choose from, it can be quite overwhelming. This is why in this article, we will discuss two products that can have similar effect, hair pastes and hair glosses, to help you choose what works best for you.

What is Hair Paste?

A hair paste is a product that helps to nourish, hydrate and repair damaged or chemically-treated hair. It usually contains ingredients such as essential oils, proteins and other nourishing ingredients intended to help improve the look and feel of your hair. Hair pastes are usually applied after a conditioner and left on for anywhere ranging between 30 minutes to 3 hours before being washed out with clean water. It is often suggested to use a shower cap while waiting for the paste to take effect, as this helps keep the heat in and allows the ingredients to penetrate deeper into the hair shaft. The treatment is repeated on average once every week. A perfect example of a hair paste that has recently gained popularity for its effectiveness is Chebe hair paste. Originating from the northern African country of Chad where it’s been used by local women to strengthen and promote hair growth for centuries, it is an ultimate choice for maintaining your hair length.


Furthermore, this option is perfect not only for the 100% natural ingredients it contains but also for the many benefits it serves. Plus, not only does it nourish and moisturize your hair - it also helps strengthen it to prevent breakage AND improve hair texture. Find out more in our article about applying Chebe Paste on Hair Extensions.

What is Hair Gloss?

A hair gloss is a semi-permanent product that helps to add shine and enhance color. It’s typically applied after shampoo and conditioner but before styling. Depending on the type of gloss you use, it can last anywhere from 2-6 weeks before needing to be reapplied. Hair glosses usually contain ingredients such as silicones and oils that help to smooth down the cuticles of the hair shaft and reflect light for added shine. They can also be used to boost existing color or add subtle tones of color for an all-over shine or highlights. Popular ingredients used in hair glosses include argan oil, lactic acid, avocado oil and castor oil. Particularly good are hair glosses that use lactic acid since they can both preserve the condition of your hair while also giving it a certain glow.

Pros and Cons of Hair Gloss and Hair Paste

Now that we know what each product does, it’s time to take a look at the key positive and negative differences between them, which will help you make up your mind on what may work best for you.




  • Helps add shine and enhance color since it’s often used as a substitute for hair dye
  • Application is less frequent so its effect lasts longer than that of an average hair paste



  • It’s easy to damage hair if not sure about the correct application, which is why you might need to visit a salon for this one
  • Doesn’t really work on silver hair so you would need to dye it first
  • While it gives hair a beautiful appearance, it contains chemicals that can dry your hair in the long-run




  • Deeply nourishes, hydrates and repairs damaged hair with a long-term effect
  • Works on and enhances any hair type
  • Contains more natural ingredients that benefit your hair rather than damaging it



  • Requires more frequent application due to not being semi-permanent like hair gloss
  • Can be a bit messy at first, though becomes easier to apply over time

General Overview


A hair paste is typically left on for anywhere between 30 minutes to three hours before being washed out, while a hair gloss is applied after shampooing and conditioner but before styling



Popular ingredients used in hair pastes include Chebe, shea butter, avocado oil, argan oil and lavender oil while popular ingredients used in hair glosses include argan oil, lactic acid and castor oil.



A hair paste helps to deeply condition, nourish and repair dry, damaged or chemically-treated hair, while a hair gloss helps to add shine and enhance color.


In conclusion, it’s important to understand the differences between a hair paste and a hair gloss when looking for products that can help improve your hair health. A hair paste helps to nourish and repair dry or damaged hair, while a hair gloss helps to add shine and enhance color. Both products have their own benefits, though it’s hard to deny that while hair gloss can be a great short-term solution, hair pastes that nourish your hair over time create a more natural glow.