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Hair Care Q & A

January 28, 2011 Reviewed by admin 5 Comments

Other than a terrible run in with a pair of scissors that left me nearly bald and bestowed me with a forehead covered by uneven, choppy bangs, I have had long hair for my entire life.  Maybe I’ve kept my hair long because of that particular incident, now that I think about it. In any case, I’ve been adorned with a pretty fantastic set of tresses. They’re long, thick and pin straight (the latter quality I used to hate, but have recently come to appreciate). The quality of my hair is all thanks to genetics, though, and not care; I’m just lucky that my lack of knowledge and proper maintenance when it comes to my hair hasn’t damaged it. Just how little did I know about hair prior to writing this article? Take a look below at some of the questions I had regarding hair care, and the answers I dug up:

Should I brush or comb my hair?

Apparently, I’ve been abusing my hair by taking a brush to it when it’s wet. Combs (preferably wide tooth ones) are for wet hair in order to avoid breakage, and brushes are for dry hair. Walk into any drug store or convenience shop, though, and you’ll notice that there are round brushes (good to use when styling with a blow dryer), paddle brushes (good for smoothing long hair) and brushes with boar head bristles. It was this last category of brushes that confused me.

The classic Mason Pearson brush, famous for its inclusion of top quality boar bristles, costs around $150. Definitely not cheap, and probably exorbitant to most. Celebrities including Victoria’s Secret model Marisa Miller are fans of the Mason Pearson, and loads of people on messages boards rave about the quality of the product (supposedly, the brush lasts a lifetime). But the real reason that a boar bristle brush may be worth the extra cash is because it actually helps to clean the scalp, thanks to the texture of the bristles. It also helps to distribute sebum, or the natural oils that occur in your scalp. Finally, the bristles are gentle, which prevents hair breakage and other damage.

Will trimming my hair make it grow faster, stronger and/or thicker?

People have been telling me that the answer to this one is a resounding “yes,” since I was a kid. Supposedly, snipping off the ends keeps hair healthy for some reason or another. Unfortunately, the truth seems to be that while hair may look better when split ends are chopped off, a trim has no affect on growth. But while trimming won’t help you lengthen your tresses, it is probably smart to keep the split ends at bay anyway if you’re looking to grow long hair, as any damage (including split ends) won’t help your hair grow. In general, hair grows approximately one half inch per month.

Why bother brushing my hair, other than for aesthetic reasons?

My hair is so straight that if I wanted to, I could get away without brushing it on most days. Still, I grew up with my mother brushing my hair every morning before school and every evening before bed, so I’ve always assumed that brushing your hair is good for you. And while it is good for removing dirt, massaging the scalp and spreading natural oils throughout the hair, that’s pretty much where the benefits stop. In fact, there is absolutely such thing as brushing your hair too much. According to some doctors, brushing should be kept to a minimum, as it can be a factor in hair loss.

  • January 29, 2011

    by Dennis

    I hear sleeping on Satin Pillows is very beneficial for hair :)

  • January 29, 2011

    by Julie Kay

    While I do use my cherished comb for wet hair comb-outs, I have a glorious boar-bristle brush, as well. The first one I got from my grandmother who did believe in 100 strokes before sleep. I wore those bristles down to nubs. Don't misunderstand, I seldom brush my hair from rising to next day rising. I mostly finger comb my hair during the day. But I do own a quality boar brush, a round synthetic brush I use while blow drying and a small synthetic straight tips brush for final styling. As I'm a "nester," I would be heartbroken to lose any of these brushes (i.e. leave one behind while on vacation). But my comb... my comb is the Queen! ~jk

  • January 29, 2011

    by Oksana

    I have owned a large Mason Pearson boar bristle brush for the past 7 yrs - my, then future, husband gave it to me as a present. Before that, I had a small one (now going on about 12 yrs) and loved it just as much.
    Both brushes are still in a great condition - hardly any bristles came loose; it's easy to clean then with provided brush cleaner.
    my hair is fine, so I can definitely tell the difference when I brush with a different boar bristle brush - I "loose" volume and healthy sheen.
    English say something like, "we are not rich enough to buy cheap goods" - this brush proves just that.

  • January 29, 2011

    by Sunday

    Ah YES Julie Kay I too have and use my black plastic GOODIE wide tooth comb, got it when I was 14. Love it as much today as when I used to keep it in the side pocket of my painter pants. My hair loves it too! I was told by a stylist that every sound you hear when brushing your hair is one more hair breaking, don't know if that is true or not but it made me be sooo much more gentle when combing my wet hair. The plastic GOODIE combs they sell now ARE NOT the same hard plastic as in yesterdays, so I cannot recommend them. I guess my comb can be in the (ha-ha) estate too!

  • January 28, 2011

    by Julie Kay

    Thanks, SarahK! I learned the "comb-not-brush-wet-hair" lesson in my 20s when I, too, had stick straight hair. I found a wonderful wide tooth comb and still have (and use) it today. Almost 40 years! My daughter (in her thirties) will "inherit" my comb! HAHA! It's the little things, eh? ~jk

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