A: I'm glad to know that someone out there remembers that brushing promotes healthy
hair. In our mothers' and grandmothers' days, when hair care products were fewer and
further between, brushing was a part of the nighttime ritual. I can still remember my
aunt, who had long hair, sitting in front of her vanity at night counting out her brushstrokes.
For her, the magic number of strokes was 100, but the truth of the matter is that
the number of strokes depends on the length of your hair. In fact, the number of brush
strokes is far less important than the type of brush you use. In order to properly brush
your hair to promote health, you must use a natural bristle brush. Brushes with synthetic
bristles or with evenly spaced tines are fine for detangling and styling, but natural-bristle
brushes help remove dirt and product build-up, and help to redistribute excess oil along
the hair shaft. Synthetic brushes can't do that.
To properly brush for healthy hair, here are some tips: Using your natural-bristle
brush, begin brushing the hair from the bottom and work your way upward to remove
tangles. Once the brush slides smoothly through the hair from the scalp to the ends,
you can begin brushing your hair forward along the part of the hair (if you have one).
Slowly work your way back toward the crown of the head.
After brushing all the hair of the head forward, reverse direction and brush the hair
back away from the face, beginning in the back and working your way forward. The
number of strokes isn't important. What's important is that you make sure to brush in
even strokes from the scalp to the ends of the hair.
Brushing this way helps keep the hair clean between shampoos and distributes the
hair's natural oils to keep it strong and shiny. It also helps to clean and massage the
scalp, which promotes good circulation and hair growth.