Every shower, I comb conditioner through my hair. Each night, I brush my hair. It’s a routine I continue everyday because when I was little my nana told me that I needed to do so if I wanted healthy hair. Now… my hair has been through the wars. I have dyed my hair black, red, brown, ash blonde, peroxide, honeycomb, you name it, I went there. It’s been long enough to feel a tickle on my lower back, shaved to a number one and everything in between. Some would say I’m not attached to it and I would have to agree, BUT if I plan on having it long, I look after it like a mother would a baby! So you can imagine how mortified I was when I decided to research, why should I brush my hair? and came across the lovely fact that brushing can actually cause a wealth of problems.
So the answer? Basically you should only brush your hair to style or detangle it (which should be done with your fingers anyway). Brushing can cause excess breakage to the hair shaft, meaning a few more split ends for you. Luckily, I use a boar bristle brush and so the damage I may have caused isn’t so bad after all. In fact, upon further research I found out that using a boar bristle brush once a day can be beneficial for your ‘do’.
It has to be noted that these brushes aren’t designed to detangle, so if you’re using your Mason Pearson to smooth out a few knots, please stop. If you have unruly hair that needs a big helping hand, use a paddle brush. Boar Bristle brushes are infact designed to clean, polish and condition hair. The bristles catch the natural oils, called sebum, from your scalp where it tends to build up (hence the greasy hair look). The sebum is then distributed from the root down the length of the hair shaft, allowing it to do its job of coating and protecting the hair.
Before you use your Boar Bristle brush, make sure you detangle your hair with your fingers and then gently brush from the roots to the tips of your hair. You will notice an instant shine. So here are a few of my favourites…
Bumble & Bumble – The Flat Classic Hairbrush £49 http://www.spacenk.co.uk
Bumble and bumble’s first-ever, limited-edition Flat Classic Hairbrush is essential for smoothness and shine. Made (with love) in Italy, it features boar bristles that calm static and a custom body made of sustainably harvested beechwood in a satin cocoa finish. The genius behind it is that it makes your hair smooth without taking away the volume and the resilient rubber bristle bed helps maintain a healthy scalp. I especially save this brush for when I want a ponytail with a bit of volume.
Mason Pearson – Medium Size “Small Extra” B2 £79.99 http://www.chemistdirect.co.uk
The ‘cream of the crop’ is without a doubt, the Mason Pearson. I have a B2 which is what I would consider a ‘normal’ size brush. This particular style is perfect for fine to normal, short to medium length hair. The 7 rings of pure boar bristle are set in a pneumatic rubber cushion that regulates the penetration of each tuft to gently, but effectively, condition the hair and scalp. These babies have been around since 1885 and are individually handmade with the most amazing materials. A great investment, or in my case, gift for my little girl. It will last her years and years.
Hershesons – Mixed Bristle Oval Cushion Brush £24 http://www.hershesons.com
Taking a few pointers from the Mason Pearson (wouldn’t you?!), this brush is the more affordable alternative. Combining porcupine boar and ionic nylon pins to protect the scalp, this brush will reduce static and gently detangle all hair types. BUT remember to use very gently, as it is a little rougher than the others.
Denman – D83 Large Paddle Brush £9.45 http://www.boots.com
If you’re hair is prone to knots, or is on the thick and long side of things, you may want to consider a paddle brush. The ball-ended nylon pins of this Denman paddle brush are set into an air-cushioned natural rubber pad to penetrate, smooth and straighten the hair. I found that this brush gently massaged my scalp, which promotes nerve stimulation and increased blood flow to your hair follicles.
Shu Uemura – Art of Hair Paddle Brush £39.00 http://www.feelunique.com
This amazing hair tool uses a combination of nylon and boar bristles to detangle and smooth hair. Hand-crafted from Japanese Kotibe wood with a glamorous lacquered finish and set on an air cushioned bed, it glides through hair, thick or thin and the white base will ensure that you never let it become unkempt.