Some say too much brushing will break off your hair. And then there’s the old wives tale that you should brush 100 times a day. So what’s a person to believe? We stare in the mirror once our nightly beauty routine has come to an end, brush in hand, wondering: to brush or not to brush?
Fear not, friends. I’ve done some web-scouring and found some unexpected benefits and cautions in regards to hair-brushing to help you navigate your brushing routine!
Benefit 1: Hair brushing is cleansing…
Natural hair-lover and writer Erin O’Leary at Morocco Method International tell us this: “Brushing is a form of dry shampooing! Brushing your hair eliminates waste materials, including deposits of uric acid crystals, catarrh and other acids and impurities that build up and become encrusted on the scalp.”
Caution 1: …As long as your brush is clean!
What’s the point of running a brush through your hair for cleansing purposes with it’s covered in old hair? The residue from the old hair in your brush will cling to your locks if you don’t clean your brush out regularly. [I use a simple hair-brush cleaner every few days to remove old hair and particles. A few swipes down the brush, and viola, easy clean up!].
Benefit 2: Hair brushing is conditioning and strengthening…
O’Leary tells us that “scalp stimulation from hair brushing distributes natural sebum (produced by the sebaceous glands) evenly throughout the hair, contributing to hair health and resilience. Coating the hair with sebum restores moisture, adds sheen, smooths and increases manageability. [Hair-brushing] also strengthens your hair!”
Caution 2: ….if done in moderation!
Now, it should be obvious, but I’ll expound. If you brush too often (let’s say, 100 times a day), you’ll be over-distributing all that sebum and natural oil, making your hair in need of a wash much faster. You want sheen and moisture, not over-oily roots. Make sure you brush in moderation.
Benefit 3: Hairbrushing prevents hair loss…
“Brushing stimulates the capillaries, increasing blood circulation in the scalp and transporting oxygen and nutrients to the hair stem, root and bulb. It also helps to balance the sebaceous glands by stimulating them and allowing them to breath while retaining natural oils. Sebaceous gland imbalance is often to blame for hair loss, as overproduction and underproduction of sebum cause weakening and undernourishment of the scalp,” O’Leary informs us.
I’d also add that you should not be afraid if your brush ends up with strands on it after you have finished brushing. The average head of hair naturally releases about 100 strands a day. It’s okay if they end up on your brush. Bonus: brushing before your bathe also cuts down on the hair that gathers on your shower drain!
Caution 3: …Only if using the right brush and the right frequency!
There are also cautions when it comes to using brushing as a hair loss technique. This only works depending on the type of brush you use. We are warned by O’Leary (and our Posh stylists agree!) that below-grade plastic and artificial brushes can damage the hair and scalp. The best type of brush? Boar bristles. However, if the price of boar bristles isn’t something you’re willing to splurge on, there’s a solution. To save on cost, you can get away with high-grade plastic, but make sure to consult your stylist and look through salon inventory. No drug store brushes, y’all! Also, brushing can prevent hair loss as long as you manage the frequency. If you brush your hair 100 times a day, you’re bound to pull some unnecessary strands out or break weaker strands (so the nay-sayers are right on this one: don’t brush your hair 100 times a day). Like I said before, moderation is key!
That sums up our brushing discussion. Posh hopes this helps you with your daily brushing game!
Merry brushing from your weekend web-gal,
*much love, thanks, and kudos to moroccanmethod.com for some of this material, as well as stylists at Posh who have helped me understand the benefits/cautions of brushing! Feature image credit: www.thejournal.ie.