Comb vs Brush: Which Is Better for Your Hair?
When you brush your hair every day, you may not give your method much thought. You’ve probably been doing it the same way for years—and it’s possible you’re also still using the same brush. But as it turns out, most of us are likely doing more harm than good when it comes to brushing our hair. Incorrect brushing, and using the wrong type of brush, can be taxing on our strands and scalp.
But don’t sweat it if you haven’t been good with your hair care. If you feel like your hair isn’t as healthy as it could be, the good news is that with a few adjustments, the right tools, and some patience, you can boost your hair’s health and appearance in no time.Shop Cruelty-free, Vegan Haircare Products
The benefits of brushing
Brushing your hair does more than just untangle your strands and help you style your ‘do. It also stimulates your scalp—like a mini massage for your head—which increases blood flow and encourages hair growth. Brushing also helps remove the strands that we shed daily (Did you know we typically shed 50 to 100 strands a day?) and brings out the shine by distributing the natural oils that lubricate your scalp, spreading them from the roots of your hair to the ends. Distributing your scalp sebum can avoid a host of issues like breakage, frizzing, split ends, and overly greasy roots.
But when it comes to detangling and routine hair health, the type of brush you use and your technique are key.
When to use a comb
The main issue with brushing is that you can do it too aggressively without even thinking, but too much force can damage your hair, especially when it’s wet. This is why a comb is the ideal tool for detangling your hair after you shower. Because your hair is most fragile when it’s wet, most people should handle their hair as little as possible because it breaks more easily.
Used with care, a wide-toothed comb is specifically useful for easing out tangles without pulling on your strands. Beginning at the ends of your strands, slowly and gently comb through and gradually work your way upwards to the scalp. This method will prevent hair breakage and make your detangling process much easier.
If your hair is particularly knotty, start by carefully running your fingers through your strands to help ease out the bigger knots before picking up a comb. If you have thick curly hair, consider using a comb while conditioning your hair in the shower so that every last strand gets the right amount of moisture and nourishment. Having the creamy conditioner in your hair while combing it out will also help reduce knots and breakage.
When it comes to styling, opt for a skinny comb with a long, thin stem if you rock a specific hairstyle that requires a comb. A skinnier tool can help create a center part or a dramatic deep side part, and it can be used to lift sections of hair to tease and create more volume.Shop Clean Skincare Products
When to use a brush
A brush is generally best for dry hair and can be ideal for massaging the scalp and removing dandruff. And when you’re in between washes, using a brush can help redistribute your scalp’s natural oils, giving your hair a smooth, glossy finish.
To ensure a damage-free experience, brush your hair in sections starting a few inches from your ends. Most damage happens when we battle with knots and are rougher on our strands than we need to be, so be gentle and go slow.
The right type of brush for your hair type also helps. Navigating the hair brush aisle can be confusing, but the right tool can make all the difference when it comes to protecting your hair from unnecessary breakage. A popular option is a paddle brush and is a good choice for long thick hair and naturally straight strands. For fine hair, opt for a brush with softer bristles made from vegan materials like nylon or sisal because they’re gentle and won’t rip out your hair. And if you’re looking for more volume at the crown, look for a teasing brush, which is smaller and designed to reach the hair at the root.
While there are many types of hair tools to choose from that work for different hair types, we often don’t give much thought to the tool or technique we use to comb our hair. Choosing the right hair brush for your hair can make a world of difference when it comes to how your hair looks and feels.
Nicole Axworthy is a Toronto-based writer and author of the vegan cookbook DIY Vegan.
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