If you are losing hair, brush up on your hairbrush knowledge to prevent further hair loss.
With all the hairbrushes on store and salon shelves today, it’s hard to know what each brush actually does. But when you add a hair loss or thinning issue to your hair care needs, you really need to pay attention to certain features of hairbrushes that can help or hurt your situation.
So, brush up on these brush facts gleaned from hairdressers.
Seven brushing tips to help prevent hair loss
Invest in a natural-bristle paddle brush. It doesn’t have to be an expensive boar-bristle brush — any brush made of natural bristles or even combined with some nylon bristles will do the trick.
This is the basic hairbrush, around for centuries and responsible for grandma’s advice of “a hundred brush strokes a day.” This type of hairbrush is good for your thinning hair because the natural bristles gently reach the scalp to stimulate circulation while distributing natural oils down the hair shaft to make hair as resilient as it can be. Also, the natural bristles cut down on static that can be caused by plastic brush bristles. Just skip the 100 strokes part because overuse would be damaging to fragile hair and scalp.
Look for molded ball-tips. Most plastic-bristle styling brushes will have ball-tips to protect the scalp from stiff, pointy bristles. When choosing a plastic-bristle vent brush or paddle brush for styling or blow-drying, look carefully at how the balls on the ends of the bristles are manufactured.
Choose bristles with ball-tips that are molded, not simply glued on, because those catch the hairs and cause breakage — and you definitely want to keep all the hair you have!
Look for the cushion. A good-quality hairbrush and one that is safest for use on fragile hair types will have a cushioned base that bristles are attached to, which provides the “give” when hair gets stuck to avoid pulling and breakage.
Use a wide-tooth comb on wet hair. Never use any type of brush on wet hair, because it will pull tangled hair. Use a good conditioner to detangle hair in the shower; then, after gently pressing hair dry with a towel, use fingers first to separate hairs and detangle. If further detangling is required, use a wide-tooth comb.
Reduce heat time. In order to cut your exposure to high-degree heat and to eliminate such extra steps as using a curling iron or flatiron, try a brush with a ceramic or metal base for straightening or a metal or ceramic core for round-brush styling and curling. When these brushes are used with the heat of a hairdryer, the core or base heats up to style the hair quicker, and possibly eliminate steps, and limit heat exposure.
Try an hourglass-shaped round brush. Another option in reducing heat exposure is to try a natural-bristle round brush with an hourglass shape. These brushes pull hair tauter in the center to create a tighter curl faster and might work easily for your fine hair, especially if you don’t want to expose fragile hair to the metal- or ceramic-core curling brush or curling iron. The natural bristles also let hair slide easily around the brush without tugging, catching, or breaking hair. Use the larger-barrel brushes for longer hair and the smallest ones for short hair.
Hold before you buy. Get a feel for how the brush moves in your hand. Look for brushes that have ergonomically designed handles made of wood or silicone that facilitate correct usage and make styling easier. You can do this research at the drugstore or the salon. Your hairstylist will be happy to show you which brush does what and give you styling tips with specific brushes for your specific hairstyle.
Preventing hair loss and brushes: The conclusion
Do not underestimate the importance of using the right brush in order to prevent hair loss. It is an important decision, just as the brush is an important tool in our arsenal of hair care products. Because hair is important in our lives, taking care of the hair we have, while preventing further hair loss, should be a high priority.