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I used to be completely brush obsessed when I was younger because my hair reached my knees and the tangles were impossible. The state of my hair didn’t concern me back then because I just braided it and went on with my life. Now however, it’s all different. First, I like to be low maintenance while looking like I put in work, and second, I now have shorter hair that reaches just past my shoulders. Though everyone could benefit from this post you’re about to read, I do want to point out that if you have crazy long hair, you will want to brush it in some way unless you like surprise dreadlocks.
In the recent few years I’ve urged some of my friends and family to ditch their hair brushing habits. This was mainly because I had completed hair school and noticed crazy easy ways to fix some people’s hair issues. My mom for example has very straight, very fine hair. She should NEVER brush it after showers while it’s wet because that causes breakage. I on the other hand have wavy, thick hair that I avoid brushing at all costs when it’s dry because I turn into one of those cartoon people that have been electrocuted.
Gentle brushing is actually really good for your hair and scalp. It removes dirt and dead hairs, distributes product and oils, and gives some much needed stimulation to the capillaries in your scalp, which increases circulation that helps with hair health and growth in general. The issue is that different hair types benefit from different brushing times and techniques. Really this post isn’t about whether to brush your hair or not, it’s about knowing your hair and choosing when you should brush and what tools to use.
So, the real low down for all hair is this…don’t touch any type of hair with a ten foot pole while it’s damp. You first thought should be either getting it dry or getting it slippery. By slippery I mean product. A good cream or leave in conditioner is your best friend, no matter the hair type. Girls (or guys) with finer locks may want to aim for lighter products as to not weigh down your tresses, while curly haired beauties may want to opt for something heavier to keep that frizz at bay. Honestly, I do not brush my hair unless I’m in the shower and its loaded with conditioner, or if it’s dry and I’m about to style it. In the shower my absolute favourite thing to use is one of those detangle brushes, but wide tooth combs also work rather well and might be better for those with very curly thick hair. Long hair should be brushed from the bottom up to avoid ripping tangles apart.
For straight hair specifically, no brushing damp product less hair, and try to not tousle your hair in towels. This will cause breakage and it’s going to suck in the long run. If you don’t like brushing it out in the shower with conditioner, try finger combing it once you’re out and air dry it as much as you can before styling.
For curly hair, I would avoid brushing damp hair with out product also, but I wouldn’t brush it dry either. Hair is weaker when it’s damp, but for curly heads, hair is fluffy when dry. So, not only can you not touch it while it’s still damp, you also want to avoid dry brushing so you don’t resemble a lion. (Unless that’s your style, I’m totally on board with that.) What are you supposed to do when you can’t touch it damp and you can’t touch it dry? TOUCH IT WET! Your BEST bet is brushing your hair in the shower, brushing it when it has product. I myself learned this because I have wavy hair and it was a disaster until I stopped messing with it so much. I no longer get tangles, and my wave pattern has returned to normal instead of an irregular mess. (Heat styling affects your curl and wave pattern too by the way.)
Last but not least there are many many tools you can use to do the job. My detangling brush is a macaroon brush from Milk and Sass, it’s compact and has a mirror on the inside, so it comes everywhere with me. For you, it might be right to use a comb (wide tooth is usually easier and more gentle) to detangle, a boar bristle brush if you want to add shine and be gentle as well, paddle brushes are meant to detangle and smooth, round brushes are meant for styling and setting a curl, and hair picks are good is you don’t want to flatten your curl.
That is it from me, let me know if you brush often or never, if you’re trying something new, or if you know of any awesome products to help with managing your mane.