For most of my childhood, I thought that only girls brushed their hair. Now that I’m an adult, there are a lot of things I don’t know anything about, but hair health isn’t one of them. And a hairbrush is not the same as a comb. This one is mostly used to look good. The brush, on the other hand, has more uses and should be used regularly by anyone with medium-length to long hair.

To find out more, we asked the well-known stylist Melissa DeZarate what she thought. She brushes the hair of famous people like Charles Melton, Henry Golding, and Andrew Garfield. She thinks that most men could benefit from learning how to use a brush: “It shouldn’t be up to you whether or not to brush your hair,” she says. “It has many benefits, like stopping hair loss, keeping hair healthy, and making the health of the scalp better.”

Who needs to brush their hair

DeZarate says that the less reason there is to brush your hair, the shorter it is. However… “Brushing is good for almost all hair types,” she says. “But the most important thing is to know how to brush your hair and when to do it.”

In other words, you need a brush that works with your hair’s texture and curls (or lack thereof) and helps you reach your hair goals. After all, there are a lot of different kinds of brushes.

But use this as a guide: you should brush if your hair is growing, if it gets tangled easily, if the ends are drier than the rest, if it breaks easily, or if you want to help strengthen the follicles and the strength of the hair at the root.

Why you should brush your hair

1. Brushes spread the oils from the scalp throughout the hair strand.

The best thing about using a hairbrush is probably that it can help condition each hair strand. This is because the healthy sebum on the scalp can only get to the bottom of the hair without any help. A brush helps spread these oils out so you can avoid problems like breakage, frizz, split ends, and oily roots that come from having hair that is too dry. Plus, the process gives you a healthy glow.

2. Brushes work to untangle hair

If you’ve ever combed your hair and felt those painful knots, often ripping them apart and breaking a hair in the process, then you’ve missed the next big benefit of brushing your hair. With a flexible, well-spaced brush, you can untangle your hair with little pain and damage. (There are even special brushes for detangling that separate hair instead of just pulling it out.)

3. Brushes massage the scalp and make the hair follicles stronger.

Like a massage, the brushes get the blood flowing to the scalp and stimulate the hair follicles there. This lets more oxygen and nutrients get to the follicles, which helps the roots grow stronger. So, brushing your hair every day can help make sure that it gets stronger and thicker.

4. Brushes can help you do your hair.

Combs have both big and small teeth, but brushes have teeth of all sizes. Brushes with an open, “ventilated,” back are great for blow-drying, as are round brushes that help define a big pompadour. Others can help you get hairstyles with a lot of volume.

5. Brushes help remove hair that is falling out.

Between 50 and 100 hairs fall out every day, and it’s easier to see them when the hair is long enough to brush. And instead of finding them all over the kitchen, the bed, and the bathroom floor, why not brush them every morning and every night? Even brushing doesn’t cause hair to fall out too soon, unless you pull on the handle. Instead, you should train the hairs that were going to fall out anyway. They will come back after a few months, as if they had just fallen off on their own.

When you should brush your hair 

If you want brushing to be a part of your daily routine, you should do it at least once a day. A morning and night pattern is a good way to do this, especially if your hair is dry. It depends a lot on how you wash your hair. Usually, brushing dry hair is better because it is less likely to break than wet hair.

But some men with curly hair like to brush it while it’s still wet. DeZarate says to use a good conditioner to keep hair from getting brittle and a soft brush made for moisture.

How to use a hairbrush

The way you brush your hair will depend on what style you’re going for and what kind of hair you have. But the most important thing to know is that you shouldn’t push too hard.

When detangling and taking care of your hair in general, you should start at the ends. Work your way up in sections, letting hair fall out from the bottom as you move up. Small, steady strokes are best, and you can even help comb as you go by using your fingers. (A wide-toothed comb is also great for untangling hair.) As you let go of each new section, you’ll reach the scalp, where you can use longer, slower strokes.

But don’t forget to slow down and take it easy. Don’t pull too hard or struggle too much with the knots. If you want your hair to be smoother, you can always use a detangling product. You definitely don’t want to break a strand.

How to pick the right kind of paintbrush

You should pay more attention to the type of brush you buy if your hair is longer or has more texture or definition. “Shorter hair gets tangled less, and brushing has more to do with styling than with health and longevity,” says DeZarate. Because of this, different hairstyles and types of hair need different kinds of brushes.

  • Thick, curly hair: Look for a brush that is made for your curl pattern (or one that fits) and is gentle on your scalp while removing tangles.
  • “Use a round brush or a denman brush, depending on how you want to style your hair. Round brushes can add volume and lift, while a denman is best for smooth, straight styles.
  • Wet curly hair: “When hair is wet and conditioning in the shower, the easiest and smartest thing to do is to use a wide-tooth comb or a wet brush,” she says. “This will help the curls get back to their natural shape and rehydrate them. It will also get rid of knots.”
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