You may be applying the best products for your hair type, be investing in the best shampoo and indulging in a weekly hair mask, but if you’re not looking after your locks in the right way -regardless of how many treatments you invest in – it’s not going to behave. Particularly if you’re doing something to damage it on a regular basis, like brushing it the wrong way.
Yep, that’s right. We know things like brushing your hair – and washing your hair for that matter – come as second nature, after all they’re things we’ve been doing daily since we can remember.
But there is actually a particular way we should be brushing it and it turns out, most of us aren’t doing it right.
You’re using the wrong brush
Choosing a hair brush may seem like a fairly simple task, but there are actually a few things you need to consider. For starters, if your hair easily tangles then you need to invest in either a wide tooth comb or a Tangle Teezer and apply a little detangling serum before you start brushing – FYI, a paddle brush is too harsh.
‘If you have long hair, choose a brush which has bristles that bend rather than hard or set, this way the bristles will give when caught on tangles rather than snapping or pulling out your hair,’ explains Expert Trichologist Sally-Ann. ‘For blowdrying, using a large heat retainer brush as it gives a smoother blow dry and you may even not need to use straightening irons if you take time over it.’ To read our guide on the best brushes for your needs, head here.
Brushing in the wrong direction
Whether your locks are wet or dry, you should always start from the bottom of your hair and work your way upwards towards the scalp. You see, brushing from root to tip can pull the hair out of the follicle, in turn snapping it. The trick is to start brushing or combing a couple of inches from the bottom, gently working out any tangles, then move up a few inches at a time until you reach the roots.
You’re brushing it too much or not enough
For starters, take your time when you brush. By quickly tugging your brush through your locks in a rush in the morning, you’ll end up doing damage. But perhaps the biggest mistake many of us make os how often we brush it. The whole ‘100 strokes a day’ thing is a myth, but it should be brushed regularly. ‘These days with the use of hair conditioner and more frequent washing, it is unnecessary to brush hair that much. Just brush until the tangles are out morning and night and maybe halfway through the day if necessary,’ says Sally-Ann.
Our hair has a lifespan of approximately 7 years, but we lose around 120 strands a day. However, if you don’t brush your tresses enough the older hairs won’t loosen and make way for new hair.
You’re brushing it wet
‘The general rule of thumb when it comes to brush your hair when it’s wet is to use a wide tooth comb or a wet brush, £8.99. When your hair is wet, it’s at its most vulnerable so when it’s brushed wet, the individual hair shafts are stretched which can damage the ends. However, this is only the case for straight or wavy hair. If your locks are curly, you should actually avoid brushing it when it’s dry. Brush it while it’s still damp using a wide tooth comb or wet brush, then once it’s dried off use your fingers to gently comb it through.
Finding your hair goes static?
If you find that when you brush your hair it goes static, try spraying a little hairspray on the brush before you work it through your locks – this will help control any flyways! Alternatively, rub a couple of drops of oil between your hands and work it through your hair. ‘Plastic brushes also add to this,’ explains Sally-Ann. ‘Brushes with a rubber type base and flexible metal bristles with covered tips will help cause less static.’