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Hairstyle Myth Of 100 Brush Strokes

Sadly there is a lot of misinformation for hair consumers floating around the Web.  In all fairness, some of the information has been part of the growing Urban Hair Legends and Old Wives Hair Tales that never seem to die.

I recently received some emails from hair consumers who were distressed because they were not able to brush their hair 100 times a day and were very worried that it was causing damage to their scalps or slowing down their hair growth.  One consumer emailed that she had read that she must brush her hair 100 times a day to remove oils from the scalp and keep ends moisturized.

The truth?  Unless you are trying to achieve some special hairstyle like the popular 360 Waves short hairstyle, brushing your hair 100 times a day can actually do more harm them good.

In fact one of the most common ways hair consumers damage their hair, besides chemical abuse, is from the following hair brushing sins:

1.  Brushing hair when wet to very wet which is when it is most fragile and prone to breakage as well as overstretching.  Brushing hair when wet can also cause hair to frizz unnecessarily.

2.  Allowing a thermal or metal brush to heat up too fast or to excessively high temperatures which can literally fry hair.

3.  Utilizing a brush with razor sharp bristles which can cut delicate strands.  The very best brushes are made of 100% boar bristle or a good quality faux boar designed to avoid ripping and/or tearing strands.

4.  Using a brush with hard round tips on the ends.  Ball tips positioned on the bristled can snap delicate strands, pull and rip tresses and potentially cause split ends.

5.  Selecting the wrong type of brush for your hair texture (fine, medium, wavy, curly, excessively curly) type (thin, medium, thick) and current hair condition (healthy, slightly damaged, very damaged).  A brush that would not damage healthy short hair may do major damage to hair that is very long and slightly damaged.  No one brush works for all people and their hair.

6.  Brushing 100 strokes per day.  This practice is based from a long ago period in time when people only washed their hair once a month or less.  In those days the goal was to brush 100 strokes to help the natural scalp oils (sebum) flow down to the ends and prevent scalps from becoming clogged or ends becoming dry.

As hair consumers started washing their tresses on a more frequent basis it became less appropriate to brush strands 100 strokes per day.  Most hair consumers cleanse their hair 2-3 times a week or more.  As a result the danger of excessive sebum or oil build-up in the scalp has been removed.

Due to the frequent washing routines, hair is more dry.  Because of the widespread use of chemical hair treatments (color, highlights, straightening, relaxing, perms) many hair consumers have chemically damaged or dry hair.  This type of hair should never be brushed more than absolutely necessary.

Other Hair Brush Tips Include The Following:

1.  Detangle wet or damp strands with either fingers or a wide tooth comb with smooth teeth.

2.  Only use a brush for styling in conjunction with a blow dryer when hair has air-dryer for 5-10 minutes and is damp, not wet.

3.  When combining a brush with a blow dryer, control heat to the brush to avoid frying delicate tresses.

4.  Detangle wet or dry hair knots with your fingers and/or a wide tooth comb.  For extreme knots use the long tail of a tail comb to gently disconnect knots.  Avoid using a brush to detangle since it may cause unnecessary hair breakage, rips or tears.

5.  If you do feel compelled to still brush your hair more than a few strokes, be sure to bend over at the waist and brush the undeside of your hair to avoid damage to the top cuticles which can be worn out by excessive brushing.

6.  Always keep brushes clean and free of loose hair.  Use a comb to lift the hairs and rinse brush head with lukewarm water.  Read all brush instructions to avoid unnecessary brush damage.

7.  Discuss best brush selection with your hairdresser.  Consider purchasing different brushes for all your hair goals from styling with a blow dryer to daily dry hair styling.   Remember that all brushes are not created equally.

When in doubt about how often to brush your hair or the proper method for brushing speak to your favorite hair expert since they provide the most accurate information.  If you see the tip to brush your hair 100 times a day on a hair related website, be suspicious of their tips and hair styling suggestions.

For more information about brushing your hair, hair brushed and related reliable hair tips check out the following articles:

Round Brushes - A Primer

Blow Dry Your Hair: What Brush To Use

Don't forget to stop by the Hair Talk Forum to share your own hair care tips and talk to other hair consumers.

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