I’m sure you’ve heard of the old wives’ tale: “brush your hair every day – 100 strokes before bedtime.” Our grandmothers used to do this. Brushing was believed to make your hair fuller, shinier, healthier. But nowadays, experts tell us that too much hair brushing is damaging to the hair. It can actually weaken the follicle and cause hair loss. Which one is fact, which one is myth? It depends on who you ask. If you’re asking me, just remember, I am no expert. And I am also no grandmother. I had one though…so….
Anyway, I’m just here to tell you my story, you be the judge.
I hardly ever brushed my hair. I would do it once in the morning but then, throughout the day, I’d run my fingers through. collect all the loose hairs, and toss them into the wind. Somewhere in Bradenton, there is a gorgeous, blonde, all human hair bird’s nest cuddling some adorable baby birds. I just know it…
However, I recently had a conversation with a beautician on Instagram live – Kelly Michelle. She is a hairdresser that uses no-poo on herself and upon request for those who frequent her salon. After talking at length (no-pun intended) about no-poo, she veered the conversation into “brushing,” which I found surprising. What she told me was fascinating, but also a total game changer!
We should all be brushing our hair regularly. It’s actually good for our hair! Why? Ohhh, that’s where it gets interesting….
Each hair follicle has a sebaceous gland (yes, that is a real thing) that secretes a waxy oil called sebum. That waxy oil is why, when your hair is dirty, after brushing it it sticks to your head. It’s a very different texture to any other oil, such as olive or coconut oils. Sebum is very good for the skin and hair, it’s nature’s moisturizer and conditioner. However, too much sebum can cause your hair to look oily and dirty, it can also clog your hair follicles and lead to dandruff or hair loss. So a common mistake people make is shampooing their hair more often to keep the oil at bay.
However, commercial shampoos strip the hair and scalp of sebum which confuses our body and causes it to produce more sebum to compensate for the dryness. It becomes a vicious cycle. Our body produces oils to condition our skin and hair, which makes our hair look dirty, which makes us shampoo our hair, which again strips it of oils, which then forces our body to produce more sebum, which makes our hair look dirtier faster, which makes us wash our hair more often, which makes our body produce even more oil…. You get the picture.
That is why brushing is SO important. Brushing can not only keep your follicles unclogged and your hair looking cleaner longer, but it also promotes hair growth. How? Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Before I tell you why you should be brushing your hair, there is a catch.
You have to be brushing with the right brush. Brushing with a synthetic fiber brush or a plastic one is out. A natural fiber, specifically a boar’s hair brush, is in. (This is the one I use.) People have been brushing with boar’s hair for hundreds of years, so this is nothing new. In fact, those natural fiber brushes were likely the ones our grandmothers used. Boar’s hair is almost identical to human hair in texture so it’s much more gentle, especially for fine or thin hair, but it still works on coarse or thick hair.
Okay, so let’s get to it. Here are the five reasons why you should be brushing your hair everyday.
- It evenly distributes our natural oils from root to tip. Boar’s hair helps the oil to coat the whole strand of hair instead of just sitting on your scalp. So instead of weighing your hair down with loads of chemicals and synthetic oils meant to “condition” your hair, by brushing with a boar’s hair brush, you are distributing nature’s conditioner into your hair. That’s way better! (Extra credit: Brush your hair half an hour before you wash it. This distributes your natural oils and gives your hair time to absorb them for maximum conditioning before your wash.) The sebum also surrounds the hair follicle, strengthening the strand, helping to prevent split ends and breakage.
- It promotes hair growth. One of the best parts of going to the salon is when your stylist washes your hair and gives your head a massage. You can feel your scalp tingling like it just got woken up. That’s what a boar’s hair brush does. It wakes up your scalp, gently massaging it, increasing blood flow and pulling oxygen into the scalp. This encourages your hair to grow.
- It keeps your scalp clean and your hair looking cleaner, longer. Skin cells, dirt, and other environmental deposits are removed from your scalp by the boar bristles. Brushing will actually take those particles, along with your excess oil, and pull them away from your scalp and skin. So instead of using harsh chemical-filled shampoos, brushing is a gentler, more natural way to clean. And this helps the body regulate its sebum production, meaning that over the long-term it will produce less. Now, if you really want to improve the health of your hair and scalp, you’ll start washing your hair with no-poo. What’s that? Well, that’s another blog.
- It adds shine. Once all of those fabulous, natural oils get off of your scalp and are moved down the rest of your hair, you’ll notice your hair becoming so shiny! I don’t really need to explain. Your shiny hair will speak for itself.
- It adds volume, while also controlling frizz. For those with fine, limp hair, the volume this brush adds is amazing. It truly is a game changer! But I love that as your hair becomes more conditioned and moisturized from the redistribution of oils, it also naturally controls frizz. This is not a problem for me, but I know so many people complain about it, especially during the hot, humid summers here in Florida. This is a natural, chemical-free way to control that mop! Give it a try!
Boar’s hair also makes your hair softer and silkier. So that means, instead of waking up to hair like this…
You could wake up to hair like this…
Okay. You might have to do a little styling to get that look…
According to Kelly Michelle, you will start to notice a huge change in your hair within two months. But after watching that Instagram live segment, my good friend, Mindy Gallina, did even more research on brushing. She learned the correct way to brush to receive maximum benefits and that you should be brushing your hair at least twice, but preferably three times a day. Okay – ain’t nobody got time for that. But twice, morning and night, is doable. Of course, if you’re still under lockdown, three times can be done…
Below is my conversation with Mindy. She shares how brushing with a boar’s hair brush has already made significant changes to her hair texture in only ten days. I can’t wait for you to see it.
I am always looking for natural, chemical-free ways to improve my mind, body, and emotions. The boar’s hair brush is truly a game changer for my hair. I love it and I know you will too.
If you would like to get my no-poo guide or just be a part of my naturally-chic group of friends, click here.
I also want to share with you one trick I learned after many years of hoping, searching, and trial and error, to help you reduce the amount of chemicals in your beauty routine. I finally learned how to feel clean and beautiful while not spending hundreds of dollars on products, getting a minor PHD in chemistry, and turning my master bath into a small science laboratory. This is how I did it.
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