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How Often Should You Brush Your Hair? What Happens if You Don't Brush your Hair?
Ah, hair brushing. Also known as the gentle comb massage you give your hair strands that not only feels nice, but also provides some much-needed relief to both your scalp and your hair follicles.
Yet, one question puzzles every budding hair enthusiast when they begin to pay extra attention to their hair-care routine – just how often should you brush your hair, and what happens if you do it too often? Worry not; we're here to provide you with the answers you need and to walk you through all the scientific details of hair brushing. Let's get started!
Table of Contents:
- The Benefits of Hair Brushing
- Brushing Wet Hair
- Brushing Dry Hair
- Frequency of Hair Brushing
The Benefits of Hair Brushing
You might not realize it, but brushing is not just about untangling your hair. While that may be your main purpose when you do it, brushing is capable of doing a lot more. It serves a few other purposes that you probably never thought about:
Shine – brushing flattens the outer layer of the hair strand, helping the hair bounce off the light, therefore increasing its shine.
Distribution of natural oils – there are sebaceous glands in the scalp that produce sebum, so when brushed correctly, the hair will be able to feel the benefits of its natural oils because they have been distributed everywhere.
Improved circulation – brushing gives a gentle massage to the scalp, helping blood circulation and promoting the transportation of nutrients to the hair. Scalp massage may also encourage hair growth.
Shedding – people lose about 100 hair strands in a day, which is normal. When you brush your hair, you automatically remove the loose, unnecessary hairs.
Brushing Wet Hair
You might have heard that brushing your wet hair only damages it, and that is true, but that only applies to certain hair types. Before continuing, let's see the different hair types and their characteristics.
The most well-known division of hair type is:
- Type 1: straight hair. It has no curls, it can be coarse, fine, thick, thin, but no matter the texture, it has no waves from the root to the ends. Usually, straight hair is oily, so you should avoid using products containing oils at the roots of your hair.
- Type 2: wavy hair. This type has gentle waves either starting from the top, or towards the ends of your hair strands. It tends to get frizzier than type 1, and the curls can be activated or enhanced using saltwater or mousse.
- Type 3: curly hair. This hair type, as well as the next one, is composed of actual ringlets or loops. Keeping it in tight ponytails might destroy the curl pattern and cause a lot of damage.
- Type 4: coily hair. It is very delicate and has a tight, S-form. This hair needs a lot of moisture from deep conditioners, butter, creams, and it also needs protective hairstyles during the night to protect the curl's integrity.
These types are further divided into subcategories, like type 1a, b, or c, to define the tightness of the pattern. Now that we've got the types of hair all cleared up, if your hair is not curly or coily, you should not brush your hair while wet, as it's highly fragile in that state, and could easily break from the added force of the brush.
Only starting at type 3 can you do that, because the alternative of brushing it dry can destroy the curl and make the hair very frizzy. People with curly and coily hair should gently detangle their hair at first with their fingers, and then with a wide comb, using a leave-in conditioner.
In the case of coily hair in particular, using an after-shower nourishing conditioner can work wonders on your hair’s receptiveness to brushing – softening the hair follicles through its anti-hair breakage formula.
Brushing Dry Hair
After messy sleeping positions or an exhausting day, the hair tends to get very tangled, frizzy, and dry. To make sure you are brushing your hair correctly, always start from the ends and move slowly towards the top of your head.
Take your sweet time, because brushing is a known cause of hair damage and loss. Brushing is recommended this way because, if started from the top, it will cause breakage and tangle it even more.
If the brush gets stuck, brush underneath the knot to loosen it. Alternatively, to avoid it getting stuck, make sure you use a flexible, wide-comb brush that can be adjusted to match the right distance between your hair strands.
Frequency of Brushing
There is a myth that proposes 100 brush strokes per day to make the hair look beautiful, but that is far from true. If you ever took this myth to heart, you might want to stop and think about your hair type. In any case, 100 brush strokes are never good.
But if 100 strokes are too much, how often and for how long should I brush my hair then? Let’s analyze the scientific facts and find out. Studies on hair loss in women have shown that brushing less actually helps with hair loss because brushing can cause a lot of unnatural breakages.
Therefore, the answer is simple. People with straight and wavy hair should only brush twice: in the morning, and at night. This will help with the distribution of oils and all the other benefits that we’ve listed above. Those who have curly and coily hair should brush only once or twice a week, depending on how many times they wash their hair.
Hair Brushing– Your New Best Friend
Now that we’ve taken a look at just how beneficial hair brushing can be for you when done right, here are some key takeaways to remember every time you finish your hair-care routine with a well-deserved combing:
- Brushing not only helps your hair shine, but it has incredible benefits in terms of helping evenly distribute nurturing hair oils throughout your entire mane. And let’s not forget about better circulation and encouraged hair growth!
- Depending on your hair type, it might be better to brush your hair right after you’ve showered, or after the moisture has completely dried up. Brushing wet vs. brushing dry are entirely different experiences, and you should accommodate your hair to its most appropriate brushing style if you want to avoid breakages.
- Turns out – you don’t have to brush like a maniac! If you’re dry brushing, do it right after you wake up and before you go to bed, and if you’re wet brushing, only do it after getting out of the shower. It’s as simple as that!