Thursday, 31 May 2012

The Science of Brushing Hair

We don’t really give too much thought to picking a hairbrush or a comb. Most people just buy the first one they see or one they think looks good. But few realise there’s much more to it. All brushes and combs are carefully designed for a particular use and are better suited to certain types of hair than others. The wrong tool can cause scalp injuries, hair loss and hair breakage. So the next time you decide to buy a hairbrush or comb, keep these factors in mind.

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Thick hair – This type of hair usually needs a coarse brush to get through the strands. If you have thick hair pay attention to the bristles of the brush and teeth of the comb – they must be strong so they don’t break easily when you’re trying to brush it or damage the scalp. Sturdy nylon bristles are ideal, especially those that have balled tipped bristles that protect the scalp. You could try wire bristles too but be careful as some of them can be really tough on your tresses and scalp. Combs with teeth close to each other help detangle thick hair more easily. A good oval and/or paddle brush are requisite as they’ll help smoothen and straighten your hair. 

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Medium hair – This hair type is usually fuss-free and most hairbrushes and combs work equally well on it. Choosing the right brush with protected bristles also provides the added advantage of  massaging your scalp as you brush your hair. This will improve blood flow at the scalp and hair growth.  A mixture of nylon and natural bristles is recommended for this hair type. The nylon bristles penetrate the hair and provide good hold and tension, while the natural bristles help distribute your natural hair oils leaving a shine and smooth finish. A cushioned hair brush and good round brush are must-haves for you.

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Thin hair – This type is really quite delicate and requires the most care. When buying a brush make sure the bristles are extra-soft – boar bristles are highly recommended. In terms of combs, always look for wide toothed combs as they are far gentler on the strands. A vent brush works great for you, especially when coupled with a hairdryer because it helps create volume at the roots. Also recommended for this hair is porcupine bristles – no, not from an actual porcupine – they are just multiple bristles grouped together.

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Curly hair – Curly hair is better left uncombed as often as possible or just lightly brushed on the surface. But when you absolutely must comb use a detangling wide-toothed comb. As a general principle, if you have curly hair stay as far away from hairbrushes as possible. And unlike straight or wavy hair, curls should be combed through when they’re wet rather than dry.

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Tip: As a rule of thumb the space between the bristles or the teeth determines the amount of control the brush or comb with provide. For hair which requires more control like thick hair, the bristles/teeth need to spaced very close to each other. Thin requires significantly less control so wide spaced brushes and combs are better.

- The DIVO Team

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