Take Your Hair Brushing to the Next Level
We asked some salon professionals: “What are some crucial do’s and don'ts for getting the most out of brushing your hair?”
Did you see that story that hit all the major media a few days ago?
USA Today, Fox News, Women’s Health...everybody covered this.
And even if you didn’t read the entire story, we’re sure you saw that astounding headline:
“97 PERCENT OF PEOPLE WASH THEIR HANDS WRONG!”1
WE CAN ALWAYS DO BETTER
If you’re anything like us, that story didn’t just change the way you wash your hands.
It got you thinking, too.
After all, there are so many everyday things that seem so simple...you probably don’t even think about them when you’re doing them.
But whether it’s washing your hands, cleaning your teeth...or, unbelievably, even breathing…
...there are still special techniques you can use to get even greater benefits from the experience.
FROM ORDINARY TO EXTRAORDINARY
And that got us thinking about something that, at first glance, seems like the easiest activity:
Brushing your hair.
“It’s something most of us do every day...but that doesn’t mean that we’re doing it right!"
But yes, even when it comes to brushing, there’s a wrong way and a right way to do it!
So, we approached some seasoned salon professionals and asked them:
“What are some crucial do’s and don'ts for getting the most out of brushing your hair?”
Now get ready...because with the knowledge they shared…
...you’re about to take brushing your hair to the next level!
THE GOLDEN RULE OF BRUSHING
After speaking with our pro stylists, one thing is clear.
If they each had only one brushing suggestion for you, there’s no doubt what that tip would be:
NEVER USE A BRUSH ON WET HAIR!
Here’s what they had to say about this major styling faux pas:
- “When your hair is soaking wet, it’s weaker, fragile, and more susceptible to breakage.” - London-based veteran stylist Nicky Clarke, whose gifts have been celebrated by the Queen herself2
- “Your hair is in its most fragile state when it’s wet, so it’s always best to use a wide-toothed comb.” - Austin-based master stylist Erica Rae, of Third Space Salon3
- “One of the worst things you can do is tug a brush through wet hair, forcing tangles apart...instead, try brushing your hair before hopping in the shower, to work out knots and air out the roots.” - Erika Wasser, founder and CEO of Glam & Co.4
“When you step out of that shower, your first move might be for your hairbrush...but not so fast!”
So...what exactly is it about wet hair that makes it so unfriendly to brushing?
Well, that extra moisture on your strands tenses them against the bristles, when they should just slide right through your brush stroke.
Brushing requires more force, and that can lead to pulling, straining...and breaking!5
To ease up on this tension, Rae’s wide-toothed comb suggestion is a wet-hair styling must.
And even with that comb, you don’t want to dive in right out of the shower, says Las Vegas stylist Michael Boychuck.
“Let your hair air dry for 5 to 10 minutes,” Boychuck says. If you don’t, your stroke will “stretch or snap masses of your hair, especially if it’s colored or previously damaged.”6
And speaking of your brush stroke…
START FROM THE BOTTOM
You would think if there’s any part of brushing that should be self-explanatory, it’s the brushing itself.
You take the brush, pull it from the roots to the tips, and voila! Sleek, tangle-free locks! Right?
In fact, our stylists say you’ll actually get healthier, more voluminous results if you start brushing from the tips.
“Brushing from the roots causes damage,” says Tracey Cunningham, an LA-based stylist whose client list includes Jennifer Garner, Jessica Biel, and Drew Barrymore.7
According to Cunningham, “you should always brush from the bottom and work up...especially if you have long hair.”8
“Longer locks will benefit the most from starting at the tips of your hair and working towards the roots.”
Kelsey Osterman, a senior stylist with New York’s Cutler Salon, agrees.
“Starting low,” she says, “allows you to tackle tangles along the hair shaft without the risk of pulling your follicle out of its root.”
She suggests separating your hair into horizontal sections, then brushing each layer one at a time for the silkiest results.
Once you’ve detangled, Osterman also recommends a few long strokes from your roots down the hair shaft.
“The aim is to drag the oils of your scalp through the rest of your hair,” she says.
These oils will add an extra-moisturizing layer of sheen and hydrating health to your strands.9
So, when it comes to brushing your hair…this is one time backward thinking pays off!
HOW MUCH AND HOW OFTEN?
Finally, we come to one of the most persistent questions about proper brushing:
Just how often should you brush...and how many strokes should you take?
There are schools of thought that say daily brushing, like daily washing, is bad for your hair.
But Neil Moodie, an international high-fashion stylist, says regular brushing is actually beneficial for your hair’s ongoing health.
“Hair has a lifespan of approximately seven years,” says Moodie. “And on average, we lose about 120 hairs a day, to make way for new ones to grow.
“If you don’t brush your hair, then these hairs won’t loosen out.”10
So, daily brushing is essential for the maintenance of a healthy hair growth cycle.
But how about the number of strokes it takes to make your hair look and feel its best?
“Turns out you may not need to be counting your brush strokes after all!”
Is there any truth to the old “Marcia Brady myth”...that you need 100 strokes of the brush?
Maybe back in the day, but not anymore, says Richard Marin, a Remington celebrity stylist who’s worked with everyone from Anne Hathaway to Sofia Vergara.11
Marin says the 100-stroke concept comes from “before the invention of conditioners,” and was meant “for natural oils to be spread throughout the hair so that it could be styled the next morning.”
The key, says Marin, is simply to use whatever number of strokes you need to properly detangle and prep your hair for styling.
And if that number falls short of 100 strokes, well…
...just because Marcia Brady was the oldest, that doesn’t mean she was right about everything!12
KEEP IT SIMPLE...AND DO IT RIGHT!
So, it turns out brushing your hair is just like so many things in life:
It may look simple at first...but there’s always a better way to get it done!
Fortunately, with these wise words from our pro stylists, you’ll be able to brush for optimum health and style…
...so you can greet each and every day with hair that’s simply incomparable!
- Scribner, Herb. “97 Percent of People Wash Their Hands Wrong. Here's Why.” DeseretNews.com, Deseret News, 3 July 2018, www.deseretnews.com/article/900023543/97-percent-of-people-wash-their-hands-wrong-heres-why.html
- “Salons: London Mayfair.” Nicky Clarke, www.nickyclarke.com/salons-london-mayfair/.
- “Are You Brushing Your Hair All Wrong?” Camille Styles, 5 Jan. 2017, camillestyles.com/beauty-and-style/beauty-tutorials/are-you-brushing-your-hair-all-wrong/.
- “13 Ways You Don't Realize You're Damaging Your Hair.” Greatist, Greatist, 2 May 2018, greatist.com/live/healthy-hair-tips.
- Marie Claire. “Why You Shouldn't Brush Your Hair When It's Wet.” Marie Claire, Marie Claire, 6 Nov. 2017, www.marieclaire.co.uk/beauty/hair/shouldnt-brush-hair-wet-487261.
- Farrell, Shannon. “Here's How To (Safely) Brush Wet Hair.” StyleCaster, 18 May 2016, stylecaster.com/beauty/how-to-brush-wet-hair/.
- “About Tracey Cunningham.” Tracey Cunningham, traceycunningham.com/about_tracey/.
- Team, Beauty. “The Golden Rules of Good Hair Care.” Stylist, Stylist, 2 May 2018, www.stylist.co.uk/beauty/the-golden-rules-of-good-hair-care-simple-steps-to-get-beautiful-happy-healthy-hair-celebrity-hairdresser-tips-advice/135381.
- “How to Brush Your Hair the Right Way-You'll Live By These 4 Rules!” InStyle.com, InStyle.com, www.instyle.com/news/how-to-brush-your-hair-right-way.
- Young, Sarah. “You've Been Brushing Your Hair Wrong This Entire Time.” The Independent, Independent Digital News and Media, 1 Nov. 2016, www.independent.co.uk/life-style/fashion/how-to-brush-your-hair-a7390656.html.
- “Richard Marin.” Cloutier Remix, cloutierremix.com/richardmarin/.
- Metrus, Lindsey. “The 17 Biggest Hair Myths of All Time, According to Stylists.” Byrdie, Byrdie, 3 Oct. 2017, www.byrdie.com/hair-myths.