Why You Shouldn’t Brush Your Hair When It’s Wet
30th November 2020

There are plenty of ways we all ruin our hair, from neglecting to get regular haircuts to tying our tresses up too tightly and even overloading on conditioner. When it comes to brushing, however, it seems like it would be pretty obvious how to do it right. And yet, as Stylecaster points out, there are loads of ways you can go wrong. For example, if you’re starting at the logical point at the top of your head and working your way down, you might be snapping the follicles along the way. Instead, you should begin a few inches from the bottom and gradually move up slowly.

On that note, brushing too often can create unsightly static and breakage, so ensure you’re focusing just on removing tangles. Likewise, paddle brushes are too harsh for removing knots — always opt for a wide-tooth comb for detangling. Using the wrong brush in general is something most of us do without realizing. Natural boar bristles are much kinder to hair than the synthetic variety, while they’re also better for distributing your hair’s natural oils. You should also be washing your brush regularly with warm soapy water. 

But what is one of the worst things you can do to you hair? Brush it with the wrong brush while it’s wet.

Hair is more prone to damage when wet

As Stylecaster explains, when you wash your hair, the individual fibers are filled with moisture, leading them to stretch. This weakens the strands, meaning they’re more likely to break particularly if you’re also attempting to detangle. As Jamielynn De Leon, owner of Rogue House Salon in NYC, told The List, “If you must comb wet hair, use a wide-toothed comb.” Otherwise, simply wait until it dries (and then ensure you’re brushing from the middle, as previously advised). 

Meri Kate O’Connor, Eva Scrivo Salon’s senior colorist and educator, explained to Good Housekeeping that brushing wet hair isn’t a definitive no-no necessarily. Rather, it’s more about the type of brush you’re using to do it. “We use boar bristle brushes when blow drying clients’ hair,” she shared. “As long as you let the brush dry properly and fully in between uses to make sure the bristles don’t get stuck together, it’s fine.” 

Essentially, if you’re using a good brush, it shouldn’t be difficult to brush. Be warned that if you’re using a brush with little balls at the end of each bristle, they can tangle your hair very easily, which leads to breakage. Likewise, O’Connor acknowledged, “Many women with curls don’t brush their wet hair because they feel it holds the integrity of the curl.” If you really can’t resist brushing while wet, Marie Claire notes that even allowing five to 10 minutes of air drying first can make all the difference.

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