You never thought about this much before, but the stakes are higher now. Do I need to brush? What kind of brush? How do I brush, and how often? We have answers.

Hair Type

If you have super-curly hair, braids or dreadlocks you’re not going to be brushing much or maybe ever. For most other hair types, here’s what you need to know:

Yes or No?

Yes. Brushing detangles and helps keep your mane neat and orderly. Even if you don’t care about those things it’s good for your hair and scalp to brush occasionally. It helps distribute the natural oil sebum your scalp produces through to the ends of your hair. Brushing properly also massages the scalp, promoting blood flow and stimulating hair follicles. And who doesn’t want stimulated hair follicles?

Brush Type

You might hear about “boar bristle” brushes. There’s a lot of hype around these, but they actually create friction with hair strands and cause more damage than plastic bristles. You want to reduce the friction and stress on your hair while brushing or combing.

A brush with ball-tipped plastic bristles is the way to go. A wide-toothed comb is also essential to have in your quiver for when your hair is wet.

Frequency

You want to brush regularly but not more than necessary. Every time you brush you leave some of your hair in the brush. Some is already dead and it’s good to clear out, but some is broken off and some ripped out. That’s damage, no good. Once a day is plenty.

Technique

  • Always brush your hair when it’s dry. It’s more fragile when it’s wet and more likely to break from brushing. Wet hair should be combed with a wide-toothed comb.
  • More tangled = more damage. Use conditioner or spray-in detangler to reduce tangling. For extreme tangles due to aggressive hair-whipping you can comb in the shower while the conditioner is still in.
  • Start at the tips. Brush them out gently and work your way closer to the scalp as you remove tangles.
  • Massage your scalp while brushing.
  • Curly hair can be combed in the shower using a wide tooth comb while the conditioner is still in. Technique is the same: start at the end and work your way towards the scalp.
  • Finally, don’t overbrush. As tempting as it might be to brush those gorgeous locks for hours on end, each brushstroke is more friction and stress, so once you’ve got it all brushed out save the rest for next time.

Now you know.


Anything to add? Comments would be a perfect place for that.

Comments

  1. Do you think a half boar half nylon tip is ok to use? Or should I switch?

  2. Damn some girls don’t even know this stuff. Talked to a friend the other day, and she wasn’t aware of some of the basics.

    good info guys

    1. Author

      Interesting. I have tried these; I didn’t see what was so great, but I do know some folks who swear by them.

  3. Hi guys! Congrats on all the Longhairs movement!
    What are your thoughts on Tangle Teezer? I have the feeling that the ones with the tiny balls at the end tend to damage and rip hair from the root.
    Sorry for my bad english! Greetings from Colombia!

  4. Hey Longhairs,

    Have you had a chance to use Tangle Teezers? What do you think about them? I own one and everyone around me seems to be very optimistic about them, but I suppose it wouldn’t hurt to research alternatives.

    Looking forward to hearing more from you.

    Cheers!

  5. El Rubio dudely
    What detangler would you recommend? I use conditioner every day just for the tangles and the wife says no no no!
    Love the site by the way. Used to have hair down to my butt in the 90s, cut it all off one day, (shocked the hell out of my wife lol!) but finally have it long again!!

    1. Author

      Yo Peter! At the moment I use “One ‘n Only” brand argan oil 12-in-1 daily treatment spray. It’s good stuff, you can find it on Amazon. As you may have recently seen we’re also going to be coming out w/ our own products soon. So keep an eye out!

      Thanks for the comment man, glad to have you back on the team!

  6. Thanks for all the tips! Really helpful! I want to take care of my man locks but not sure what tools to get. What brush and comb brand/website. Are the ones in the pics obove?

    Thanks

    1. Author

      A few good brushes to consider:

      The Wet Brush
      Fuller Brush Co.
      Bass Brushes

      Thanks for writing in man!

  7. Dear brother El Rubino your tips are indeed a great help to me, I’m new to longhair I have never been in longhair journey before.Im really thankful to what I have found here its like a family of longhairs and it makes me really feel that I’m not alone.May I know how long is your hair now……..☺

  8. Hey, thanks for all the great advice, my sisters could never explain the basics well enough. I was wondering if you guys could recommend a certain hair brush, because I’ve used one with ball-tipped bristles and I still felt there was damage being done. Thanks.

    1. Author

      Yo Jazi, we haven’t done an official brush review yet, although it’s in the plan. Generally the ball-tipped bristles are good. Here’s a little more about brushing, and the wet brush is also great.

      Hope this helps amigo! Thanks for writing in.

  9. Right on about the boar bristle brush causing damage. I paid big $ for one and found it to cause breaks and frizzies. Wide tooth comb , de-tangler type is good, leaves some texture too.

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