Maybe you know this situation: Your alarm goes off, so you grumpily slump to the shower with your hair in the bun. Once you’ve finally stepped out of the tub, it’s time to slap a little mascara on your sleepy face and head out the door.
Is there anything missing, that you can think of? We certainly can. Your long-lost hair brush is just sitting on top of your dresser, discarded and underused.
In case you couldn’t tell by now, we consider ourselves nothing less than hairbrush evangelists. The unique, bristle tool is often overlooked—even among women who consider themselves mane enthusiasts. It’s downright criminal.
To make our case a little stronger, we tapped L'Oréal Professionnel artist and brand ambassador Pepper Pastor for her take on the importance of regular brushing. According to Pastor, owning a brush only makes sense. After all, it’s one of the oldest beauty instruments to be invented.
The same old tool that your mother used to detangle your hair as a child (our scalps sting at the memory) is the key to strands that feel soft and look shinier.
Rethinking your years-old hair brush already? That’s seriously good news for your strands.
What kind of hair brush is right for you?
Think of your hair brush purchase just the way you would any other beauty buy. You might want to stop by a beauty supply store to see the latest arrivals or even read a handful of reviews online.
Ask yourself what hair results you’re looking to achieve. Are you hoping for a better blow dry? Hair with less breakage? The result will help you navigate the complicated world of brushes.
For starters, Pastor recommends making sure you have a brush that’s just for fresh-out-of-the-shower hair.
“I would recommend for everyone to have some sort of wet brush,” Pastor says, recommending both paddle and padded bristle brushes. “When the hair is dry, it's always great to have a round brush. You could have a ceramic round brush if you desire the look of volume. A boar bristle round brush if you want smoothness.”
Between blow drying hair smooth, combing out the tangles in the morning, and distributing product through your strands, you’re looking at three or more varieties of hair brush. Luckily, this is one beauty purchase where quality doesn’t have to cost you a fortune.
Conditioning your hair just got so much easier.
We often hear from friends that their conditioner just isn’t working. Price tag and quantity aside, it’s the application method that could be to be blame.
That’s no surprise, considering the hands aren’t a very efficient method of working product through your strands. Instead of coating every hair, you’re just glopping product on top of it.
To make sure your conditioner is working on your strands, use a brush that’s specifically designed for use on damp hair. Start from the bottom, working in small strokes until you’ve fully detangled the hair before moving up to the mid-lengths and roots. Then, apply your conditioner, brushing it through the hair.
Technique is important, here. Bad brushing on wet hair is visible to the naked eye, according to Pastor.
“You can tell those that are combing their hair when wet,” she says. “When you see this type of hair, it’s often frayed and thin, sometimes brittle on the ends."
Be very careful with your strands. They’re fragile!
You’ll experience less breakage.
Here’s another key complaint we hear from women. Whether they’re dealing with strands that never seem to grow or split ends, breakage is almost always the source of the problem. Between daily heat styling sessions and stress from rough pillowcase fabric, it’s no wonder your strands are snapping.
Pastor recommends L’Oréal Professionnel Inforcer Brush Proof spray to protect hair from friction and reduce hair breakage during brushing. Before using any kind of hair brush, lightly coat it with the delicately-scented product before running it through your strands. As always, be very careful about technique.
“Use a soft brush, something that is very cushioned at the base of the bristles,” Pastor explains. “If there are any tangles in the hair, start at your ends and move your way up. Once the hair is smooth, the ideal way to brush is from the roots all the way down to the ends.”
Once you’ve finished brushing, run your fingers through your newly-smoothed strands. The difference should be noticeable. Whether you’re finishing up with a curling wand or leaving your hair as is, Inforcer can act as the most exciting part of your beauty routine.
You’ll have a better sense of what’s going with your mane.
If you have long hair, it’s easy to throw it into an updo day after day without really taking a good, hard look at it. That’s how problems like split ends and fading color can get out of hand.
Daily hair brushing can have a positive effect on the general look of your hair because you’re giving it your full attention, running strand after strand through your fingers and checking for problems.
Spend the time regularly maintaining your strands, and you’ll be surprised to see how much better they become. On top of that, you’ll be a lot more eager to schedule regular trims and color appointment. It’s a win-win situation.