We have heard that if you brush your hair, you’ll get shinier locks but is it legit, or is brushing just about detangling?
You have probably heard from someone that brushing your hair can give you shinier locks; no shine serum required. Before you begin obsessively brushing your hair at every free moment, we wanted to find out whether this was true or whether it was just something your grandma said in an attempt to get you to brush your hair more. We know rinsing your hair with cold water does make a difference, but what about brushing? We asked Carla Rivas, hairstylist and co-founder of Hair La Vie Vitamins and Styling Products, whether brushing your hair more really does get you shinier strands.
Brushing your hair does increase shine a bit. Rivas explains, “When you brush your hair from the scalp down, you are essentially distributing your natural oils throughout your hair, which makes it look a bit shinier.” However, that isn’t a green light to brush your hair whenever you feel the urge. Brushing your hair more often or for longer won’t boost the shine more.
There is no set rule about brushing your hair 100 strokes a day to boost the shine; it’s not about number of strokes. Different hair textures will be different. For instance, if you have straight hair, less strokes are necessary. Rivas explains that you want to focus on detangling, and once that is complete, you are done. She also suggests that brushing your hair should mostly be done on the day you wash your hair, while it is damp and conditioned unless you have extremely unruly hair.
Over-brushing your hair in certain instances can actually lead to damage. Rivas says, “Dry brushing can be hard on your hair and tear any dry ends off.” Yikes. She also warns that when you brush hair products that contain alcohol out of your locks, they can harden, therefore leaving you susceptible to breakage.
In terms of hairbrushes, if you are attempting to produce natural shine from your scalp, Rivas says the more bristles, the better. Therefore brushes trump any kind of comb. She suggests paddle brushes and round ones for styling. If you want to “boost” the shine in your hair, the only thing that will do that is products such as shine serums and oils, like Argan Oil ($42, Hair La Vie). Rivas also recommends that if you have a greasy scalp, you should brush your hair as much as you can the day before shampooing to help spread out the natural oils. She also states that shiny hair is healthy hair through nature, so remember to eat well and take the necessary vitamins. So instead of getting carpal tunnel from over-brushing your hair, put the brush down and go stock up on foods that will benefit your hair. That doesn’t mean chocolate bars.