View Full Version : Brushing Hair? How safe?

February 17th, 2005, 05:41 AM
I just read that it's unsafe to brush your hair 100 times. That it causes damage. Is this true? I am new here and have been growing out my very short hair for about 9 months. It's just at my chin. I've had it trimed 2x within the 9 months.

February 17th, 2005, 05:57 AM
Hi, and welcoome!

Brushing your hair 100 times could be a problem. Brushing can cause unwanted stress on the hairs causing breakage. The purpose to brushing is to distribute the natural oils the scalp produces. These oils help protect and condition the hair.

Brushing is good for SOME hair types, generally 1's and 2's can brush but most 3's do not (frizz factor?). Now, not all scalps like brushing either, so there are those in the 1's and 2's that don't brush because of their scalp.

It is a personal thing. Gentle brushing 25 - 50 times can be good if you have the right hair type and your scalp likes it.

Me, I am a 1c (I think) and I brush 2 times a day. My scalp needs it. I have tried massage and only combing but my scalp prefers the brush.

When or If you do brush try to follow these rules.
1) ALWAYS detangle with a good coomb first - wide tooth is generally prefered.
2) NEVER brush wet hair - the hair will stretch and get damaged
3) Only brush in one direction - changing directions could cause tangles

My :twocents:

February 17th, 2005, 06:00 AM
my hair is straight. i pick through it most times when i get out of the shower if it's not too tangled. then when it's dry i gently brush through it, getting the tangles first. then i brush maybe once more during the day.
i imagine that if you didn't brush at all that it would be a tangled mess. (or mine would be)

February 17th, 2005, 06:58 AM
I haven't brushed my hair in almost a month, and I'm noticing it does a lot better day to day (well, I fib, I brushed it once last week to help a hat-hair day). I've also noticed a lot fewer breaks and a decrease in shedding. My scalp seems perfectly fine with it as well.

February 17th, 2005, 07:22 AM
Welcome to the boards!:flower:
I have curly hair as you can see and I stopped using a brush on my hair back in 2002 and immediately my hair looked and felt better. Now, I am not saying that not brushing is for everyone but for me it is. When I brush it makes it EXTREMELY frizzy and ruins curl formation. I comb my hair with a seamless wide tooth comb in the shower with conditioner in it. If I am oiling my hair and putting it in braids I have to use the comb to do that.

February 17th, 2005, 07:34 AM
I brush my hair morning and night. It is less than ten strokes each time.

February 17th, 2005, 07:56 AM
My hair type is 1a/bMii and I noticed dramatic improvement in is condition, when I stopped brushing. My hair loss has lessened amazingly lot, and its overall condition has improved equally. In order to distribute oils, I might seldom brush very gently -just few strokes- with a natural bristle brush, but normally I don't do even that. For detangling and day-to-day care gentle combing with a wide toothed comb is enough.

I agree with others- how your hair likes brushing is individual thing. If you have always brushed a lot, you might want to test, how your hair responds to something different.

February 17th, 2005, 09:47 AM
I agree with most of the others here. Too much brushing can cause problems.

I met a nurse who asked me for haircare tips because she wanted to grow her hair long. One thing I suggested was minimal brushing. She insisted that she had to brush her hair several times a day to keep it looking good. She had a lot of splits and damage although she had virgin hair with a blunt cut. I'm sure it didn't help that she blowdried her hair daily either. Another thing she just couldn't give up. :rolleyes:

February 17th, 2005, 11:52 AM
Brushing is a very individual thing. Th curlies and waves seem to to brush not at all or very little. I'm a 1C and brush every day. Not anywhere near 100 strokes but I do brush. My scalp likes it the stimulation. I make sure my hair is detangled before I pick up the brush. I never use a brush with those ball tips. My hair ties itself in knots around the ends. I would suggest finding others with your hair type and checking out their routines. That might give you some clues as to what works for others.

February 17th, 2005, 12:19 PM
My hair is fine, thin, and pretty straight. if i don't brush, its a tangled mess, and even if it isn't actually tangled, it LOOKS horrifically tangled.

butterscotch girl
February 17th, 2005, 05:37 PM
Unfortunately, I have been unable to locate a seemless comb, so combing has become something I never do enough of, for fear of ruining hair. :sick: As carefully as I can, with dry hair, I brush it out. It is still healthy, and spilts are a rarity. How many strokes? No idea! :confused: Wow, I actually never thought about it before while I was brushing. Do you count the tiny strokes at the beginning, when you are getting the knots out of the ends of your hair? or do you only count full strokes, after the knots have been removed enough to brush from beginning to end? :dizzy: Who ever knew brushing was such a science?

February 17th, 2005, 06:37 PM
The key is to learn a good technique (trial and error!) and find a brush that works best for your hair type. This is a very personal thing and the only way you can know is by trial and error. The only brush I use regularly is a BBB that has longer nylon bristles. The nylon bristles do not have little balls at the tips - those things are murder for my hair type. I really like this brush for alot of reasons. It helps do minor detangling. Also, the longer nylon bristles penetrate all the way to my scalp and this action stimulates my scalp. At the same time the shorter boars bristles smooth down my halo and move the oils down my length. I've tried alot of brushes and I really like this one ALOT. For my type it's a real keeper. And, it was only $10. I also use a couple other BBB's - one has very soft bristles and the other is palm sized. The soft bristled one I use this to smooth my halo - usually no more than a couple strokes. The palm sized one l use to move oils if my hair is exceptionally oily - it's easier to control small sections of my length with smaller brushes; again no more than a few strokes per section so that the oil is moved away from my scalp and down my length a bit. Usually I only use this one before doing a scalp wash to move some of those beneficial oils to where they will be useful. By the way, when using a BBB always keep your primary detangling tool handy as a BBB can cause tangling and you never want to use a straight BBB for detangling.

Oh, and NEVER do 100 strokes - like others have said that will do ALOT more harm than good.

February 17th, 2005, 06:46 PM
heidi w. has written a most excellent description of the art of using a BBB.
Let me post the link: How to Use a Boar Bristle Brush. (


February 17th, 2005, 10:11 PM
As a 4b, I do not brush my hair since it is more fragile. I use a wide-tooth seamless comb, only to detangle under the shower while rinsing off my conditioner and to comb my leave-in through.

February 18th, 2005, 08:40 AM
Thanks for the link, Flaxen. I've never tried a BBB out of fear of tangles and damage, but I will have to try it now.

As for brushing, I usually do it a couple of times a day. I do this only when my hair is completely dry, and go veeeery slowly and gently, and detangle seperately. I also hold down the hair at the roots with my palm as I am brushing the length to prevent it from putting extra stress on the hair and causing it to fall out.

February 18th, 2005, 10:13 AM will always be my hero! :smile: I was planning to post that very link. Heidi has some words of wisdom in how to use a brush.

I believe in brushing and have done it for years. However, the key here is proper brushing. Of course this may not work for every hair type but it certainly is worth trying.

February 18th, 2005, 10:18 AM
I use a BBB to spread oils on my hair and it does a wonderful job.

I have a Denman brush which had long seamless nylon pins without balls on the end. It quite often saves a lot of damage that would be done by a comb. When i brush my parting back, a comb snapps a lot of hairs, a brush glides through. Quite often i will need a brush rather than a comb to minimise damage. Aslo though, a comb will do a better job than a brush. The key is just trial and error, experimenting with your hair to find out. Brushing in itself is not necessarily bad, its more how you use it.

February 18th, 2005, 10:40 AM
I can't brush mine, makes it go all fluffy and nast-y looking. I only comb in the shower with conditioner. Sometimes I comb out of the shower when I want to have neatish looking "Heidi" braids.

February 18th, 2005, 10:44 AM
Nowadays I use a BB brush, and detangle with hands. Before I always used a BB brush with longer nylon ends, that worked well for me. But I heard that type is quite damaging, so I have that one only to do my scalp with, because my scalp needs to be brush a bit hard, else it doesn't feel good. I am intending to buy a seemless comb still, but they are so hard to find around here, I am thinking about ordering one though, because I like combing as well. But it's hard to tell for me if brushing is good or bad, works both ways for me, I do need it.

February 18th, 2005, 12:47 PM
Mostly I use a combination of combs with wider teeth for initial detangling and finer teeth for smoothing hair down. At times I'll use a BBB to distribute added or natural oils to the length of the hair - nowhere near 100 strokes, just enough to get everything smooth and shiny again.

February 18th, 2005, 12:58 PM will always be my hero! :smile: I was planning to post that very link. Heidi has some words of wisdom in how to use a brush.
Wow, thank you.:flower:
I hope heidi w. will add those instructions to the Articles and How Tos board here.:thumbsup:

Jessica Trapp
February 20th, 2005, 08:13 PM
I love the way it feels to brush my hair, but I bought good quality combs a few months ago and stopped brushing. My hair seems healthier. Maybe it's getting longer--maybe...

February 21st, 2005, 09:28 PM
Currently I think I brush and comb WAY too much. I love the feel of it, so I tend to sit at my computer browsing LHC or sit watching my boyfriend play on the computer and just comb and brush it for an hour or so....sometimes more. There seems to be a little more shedding when I do this, and I try not to because I'm sure it can't be good for it, but it just feels so good! The only brush I use is a BBB, and in the short time I've had it I've completely fallen in love with it. I only hope I don't damage it too much, I'm afraid this habit will be hard to break :(