It’s Not Quite The Verticoli
Yes, brushing is part of your basic hair maintenance routine, and proper technique is critical. Good thing there’s this convenient guide on how to brush your hair for men.
Here we’re covering the basics. First, it’s a common misconception the purpose of brushing is to de-tangle. While that is a function of brushing, the primary benefits are:
- Distributing the natural oils evenly through your hair.
- Massaging your scalp, exfoliating and stimulating blood flow.
- Keeping it tidy and well-groomed.
In the video above I discuss these further and demonstrate proper brushing technique, with a written description here below.
First off, realize that I have straight hair. If your hair is wavy or slightly curly this should still be fine. Anything super curly to kinked is going to require some different technique (and different tools), and in some cases you might not even brush at all.
So, to get started, you’re not going to use a brush. You want to start with a wide-tooth comb (I’ve shown a couple in the video). The purpose here IS to remove tangles and clear the path for brushing. If you’re not tangled, you can skip the combing.
When combing, start with the outermost tips and work your way toward the roots as you remove tangles. Gently, guys, don’t rip your hair out. I comb from the inside, starting in the front and moving toward the back, where my hair gets the most tangled. After I’ve gone from tips to roots on the inside, I’ll finish with a few strokes on the outside.
Alright, once you’ve combed out the tangles, you’re ready to switch to missiles. We’ll go more into brush types another time, but for now you can start with a basic paddle brush with plastic bristles and rounded balls at the end. There are more awesome brushes out there and you can try different things, but a simple plastic-bristle will get your started.
Since you’ve already removed tangles, brushing is simple. The technique is long, smooth strokes with light to moderate pressure. If your brush gives way beneath the bristles you can use a little more pressure, less if the bristles come straight out of a harder material like wood or plastic.
Proper brushing isn’t focused on the tips, or even the hair so much as the scalp. In fact you don’t even have to brush all the way out through the tips, though I usually do. What you want is to make sure you are massaging your scalp all the way around with nice, even pressure. Especially make sure you brush all the way around the back of your head, which can be an easy place to miss.
As you get into your brushing routine, and after some time having long hair, you can actually feel the epidermal layers of your scalp being exfoliated, the oil breaking up and being distributed throughout your hair. If I haven’t had a chance to comb first, I’ve even found that tangles come out easier when the oil starts getting distributed.
When you’re done, your hair and scalp will look and feel great. It’ll be smooth and shiny with a healthy sheen and a little extra bounce. You’ll have also removed some of the hair that’s reached the end of it’s growth cycle and ready to come out.
Brushing also gives you a good indicator if it’s time to wash. If you’ve given it a nice thorough brush, run your fingers through it. If it feels greasy to the touch, it’s time for a wash.
- Brush once a day.
- Massage your scalp with long, smooth strokes.
- Enjoy it.
- Don’t brush when it’s wet.
- Don’t overbrush.
- Don’t brush angry.