Brushing your hair is an essential step in a hair care routine, no matter your hair type. Brushing your hair can produce numerous benefits like increasing scalp circulation and detangling knots. However, can brushing your hair cause damage?
How you brush your hair is dependent on factors like your hair type, texture, and density. For example, someone with curly hair can end up with frizzy curls if they brush it dry, but brushing straight, wet hair can increase the risk of hair breakage.
It’s crucial not to overbrush your hair because it can lead to some consequences. You should also use the correct technique to brush your hair to avoid hair loss and unnecessary damage, and to stimulate the scalp for new hair growth.
However, how often should you brush your hair? A good rule of thumb is to brush your hair twice daily. This will allow you to distribute your scalp oils to your ends and eliminate knots or debris. Over brushing can lead to hair damage down the road.
Likewise, if you choose not to brush your hair at all, you could be missing out on key benefits your hair needs to look and feel healthy. Brushing your hair too little can lead to matting which can be challenging to detangle and may need to be cut.
Benefits Of Brushing Your Hair
Brushing your hair regularly can provide various benefits for your strands, like increased shine and scalp circulation or even detangling your strands. It clears the scalp of oil and debris to make way for healthy and new hair growth.
If you don’t brush your hair regularly, you may notice increased hair loss or breakage and matting in severe cases. These negative effects can take months or even years to recover from fully. So, why should you brush your hair routinely?
Your scalp naturally produces oil that keeps your roots and strands nourished.
However, depending on your hair type or porosity, it can be difficult for those oils to reach the ends of your hair without brushing. With a brush, you can evenly distribute your natural oils.
You’ll notice from regular brushing that your hair will look shinier and feel softer because your scalp oils are easily nourishing your strands.
You don’t want to strip natural oils from the scalp because it can increase oil production or cause breakage.
While it’s nice and aesthetically pleasing to wake up with a tousled bed head look, it can cause some stress for your strands. Brushing your hair regularly will eliminate all tangles and knots so you can avoid tension or hair breakage.
Knots can be painful to get rid of if you don’t use the proper hair brushing technique. Knots or tangles can hinder your ability to create hairstyles or cause unnecessary tension towards the roots. It can also promote split ends.
The health of your hair largely depends on the health of your scalp. Brushing your hair will increase circulation and gently exfoliate the scalp. You want the scalp to be stimulated so you can promote strong and healthy hair growth.
However, even if you circulate the scalp, you still need to gently exfoliate it to remove build-up that can hinder hair growth. Brushing your hair regularly will ensure your scalp stays stimulated and healthy.
Take Care Of Shedded Strands
Did you know it’s normal to shed?
Humans can shed anywhere between 40 and 100 strands of hair daily, on average. Brushing your hair can gently remove these loose strands, so you’re left with strong inches that are intact and make way for new growth.
These loose or shedded strands can easily get tangled into hair that’s still connected at the root, or it can hinder new hair from taking its place. Eliminating hair that’s already been shed will help you achieve a smooth and resilient outcome.
If you avoid brushing your hair altogether, this can lead to matting.
Matting results from loose or shedded strands getting tangled within your hair and creating large clumps. These clumps can sometimes only be removed by cutting the hair completely in severe cases.
Hair that’s matted can quickly form mold or other bacteria since it’s challenging to manage, and moisture can get trapped within the hair.
Brushing your hair regularly will ensure that you can avoid matting by eliminating those shedded strands.
How Frequently Do You Need To Brush Your Hair?
Brushing your hair too often can also result in damage. So, how often should you be brushing your hair? Once or twice daily is more than enough. This will ensure you eliminate any knots or loose strands from the head while also distributing oil.
You can brush your hair once in the morning and at night to detangle or stimulate the scalp. Anything can potentially cause damage or hair loss down the road, especially if you use an incorrect hair brushing technique.
For example, if you roughly and vigorously brush your hair once a day, it can still cause damage. So, it’s crucial to be gentle and patient when you brush your hair.
When Should You Brush Your Hair?
We briefly mentioned that you could brush your hair once in the morning and once at night.
This may be before a shower to prepare your hair for washing or if you’re getting ready to style your strands. It’s also the most convenient time to eliminate knots.
However, your hair type and texture can also determine when you brush your hair.
For example, should you brush your hair wet or dry? Curly hair types can withstand brushing wet hair in some situations, while you should avoid brushing straight wet hair.
How To Brush Hair
Regardless of whether you’re brushing your hair wet or dry, it’s essential to have patience. The last thing anyone should do is rip through their strands for a quick brush.
A good rule of thumb is to avoid brushing the hair at the top. Instead, start from your ends. If the hair is already tangled, starting from the top won’t loosen those knots but rather create more challenges.
When brushing your hair dry, always start at the ends. If you want to prep the hair for brushing, you can lightly finger-comb your strands. Once you can easily pass through your strands on the bottom without hitting knots, you can slowly work your way up.
A boar bristle brush or paddle brush will be helpful in this situation to gently eliminate tangles and eventually distribute oils down the hair shaft.
You’ll want to use the same method on wet hair. It’s crucial to note wet hair is much more vulnerable and susceptible to hair breakage. So, you’ll want to start at the ends and slowly detangle working upwards.
A wide tooth comb will be helpful to detangle wet hair because it minimizes the chance of breakage, and it can distribute products for curly or thick hair types.
Using a detangler or leave-in treatment can also make the hair easier to brush.
Brushing Your Hair Depending On Your Hair Type
Wavy, Curly, And Coily
Curly hair is often brushed while wet to keep the curls frizz-free and defined. Wavy, curly, and coarse hair types can withstand brushing the hair while wet, but only if you use the proper technique.
In this scenario, you can brush curls after the shower when it’s wet. However, it’s essential to remember hair is fragile while wet, so seek advice from a hairstylist if you want to learn to care for your curls.
Also, brushing your curls completely dry can result in frizzy or undefined curls.
If you have straight hair, you’ll want to avoid brushing your hair wet at all costs. Instead, brush and detangle your hair when it’s dry right before a shower. This will ensure your products will still get evenly dispersed without causing extra tension.
If you must brush your hair while wet, use a wide tooth comb or wet brush to minimize damage and always start at the ends.
Signs Of Over Brushing
You’ll want to avoid brushing your hair excessively. Over-brushing your strands can lead to various hair complications that can take a while to recover. For example, your scalp can become tender or form abrasions, and lead to hair loss.
How do you know if you’re brushing your hair too often?
Your scalp determines the overall health of your hair. If you don’t properly care for your scalp, it can create lackluster strands. Vigorously brushing the scalp can lead to scratches or abrasions that can be uncomfortable to deal with.
In minor situations, you may notice your roots feeling sore like it’s been up all day or that you’re more tender-headed.
Excessive Hair Loss
While it’s normal to shed 40-100 strands a day, you shouldn’t be losing hair excessively. Over brushing the hair can increase tension at the roots and even cause strands to break off altogether. Losing large clumps can be a bad sign.
Breakage or Split Ends
Over brushing can also result in forming breakage or split ends. This is especially true if you consistently brush your hair starting at the roots rather than your ends. Instead of gently brushing your hair, you could be ripping more of it out.
How To Avoid Damaging Your Hair While Brushing
You can damage your hair by brushing too often or not at all. However, an important factor to consider is how you brush your hair. The technique is just as important as how often you brush your hair. How else can you avoid damage while brushing?
As mentioned earlier, you’ll want to avoid brushing at the root, and you’ll want to work in manageable sections. Another important factor most people fail to consider is washing their hair brushes!
Start From The Ends
Brushing your hair from the bottom and working your way up to the scalp is the least damaging method. You’ll slowly be able to untangle any knots without creating unnecessary tension. You’ll need patience while detangling.
Starting at the root can cause more tension or cause even larger clusters to form.
Work In Sections
Working in sections can make brushing a breeze if you have dense, thick, or coarse hair. Creating workable sections will allow you to brush the hair thoroughly without missing any surprise tangles.
It may even shorten the time it takes to brush your hair. For extra help, you can always apply a detangler to nourish your strands.
Wash Your Brush Regularly
Surprisingly enough, it would be best if you washed your hairbrush regularly. Wash your hairbrush once a week or whenever you wash your hair.
A dirty brush or comb can also cause breakage or scalp conditions, especially if you use them to apply hair products.
A clean hairbrush won’t have any build-up to disperse into the strands and it’s a clean canvas to detangle knots. You won’t be spreading or forming bacteria from leftover hair products. Your scalp will thank you for using a clean brush.
Your brush can easily be washed with shampoo, warm water, or dish soap.
Tools To Brush Hair
The tools you use can also improve the state of your hair. For example, you won’t want to use a thin, fine-tooth comb on longer or thick hair.
Thankfully, there are a few hair tools that will benefit all hair types and help make the brushing process effortless.
Some of the most popular tools that can be used to brush and detangle hair are paddle brushes, wide tooth combs, and wet brushes.
Boar Bristle or Paddle Brush
Boar bristle and paddle brushes are ideal for daily brushing on dry hair. They can efficiently distribute oil from roots to ends and increase shine. They will detangle the hair and create a soft, silky, and smooth finish.
Paddle and boar bristle brushes can also cover a larger surface area and quickly eliminate knots and loose strands. However, remember to wash them regularly to maintain healthy hair.
A wet brush is a brush designed to detangle wet hair specifically. This tool is ideal for wavy, curly, and coily hair to brush the strands while wet. It is a safer alternative than using a regular brush on wet hair.
It can also complete numerous tasks like detangling or distributing hair products.
Wide Tooth Comb
Wide tooth combs are excellent for eliminating knots, especially on thick, curly, or straight hair. They are designed to reduce breakage and damage because the teeth are set apart.
A wide tooth comb can effortlessly glide through the hair, and you can use them on wet or dry hair.
Hair Detangler or Leave-In Conditioner
For extreme cases, you can add a hair detangling product or leave-in conditioner to aid in the brushing process. A de-tangler can be used on wet or dry hair, while a leave-in conditioner is best for wet or damp hair.
These products will nourish your strands and add extra slip so you can painlessly brush your hair.
Overall, you should brush your hair at least one to two times daily. This will ensure you eliminate knots, distribute hair oils, stimulate the scalp, and avoid matting. Over brushing or under brushing can both cause damage to your hair and scalp.
It’s crucial to use the proper technique while brushing the hair and adjust it to fit your hair type and texture.
Up Next: Can You Use A Wet Brush On Dry Hair?