When I was a kid, my mom had to help me brush my long curly hair. All the pulling and yanking to get rid of the knots hurt like a “you know what” and was probably why I grew up thinking all hairbrushes were detangling brushes. Now that I’m an adult and take care of my own hair, I’ve discovered the many benefits of using a detangling brush (the real kind!).
There are the key advantages of using a detangling brush:
- Improved hair health and reduced breakage
- Gentle detangling
- Smooth and shiny hair
- Prevents hair knots and tangles
- Improved hair elasticity
- Increased scalp stimulation
- Enhanced blood circulation
- Easy styling and reduced hair damage
- Increased hair growth
- Convenient and versatile use
What Exactly Is a Detangling Brush?
If you’re wondering if there’s a difference between regular brushes and detangling brushes, there is. Detangling brushes help separate knotted hair faster and with less trauma to the scalp or the hair shaft than standard hairbrushes.
Most of the time, these brushes have soft, flexible bristles that are sometimes different lengths and set in different places. These features allow the bristles to “give” a little as you work your way through the tangled hair and knots.
To correctly use a detangler hairbrush, start at the ends of your hair and work your way towards the scalp. Once your hair has been completely detangled, then use the brush the same way you would any other brush: by making complete brush strokes from the scalp to the ends.
Benefits of Using Detangling Brushes
A detangling brush removes knots and tangles and works in conjunction with your fingers, wide-tooth combs, detangling sprays, and conditioners to loosen knots without having to cut or rip the hair. All hair types, whether long, thick, curly or straight, fine, and short, can get tangled and benefit from using a detangling brush.
1. Less Hair Breakage
When you treat human hair gently, it looks healthier and grows faster. Anything you can do to prevent your hair shafts from breaking is beneficial, including using a detangling hairbrush.
2. Fewer Split Ends
Hair detanglers help cut down on split ends, which make your hair look dry, unhealthy, and lusterless.
3. Gentler Touch
Continual pulling and tugging at hair causes pain and leads to chronic scalp soreness over time. A detangling brush lets you remove knots and tangles without yanking the hair out of its follicles. Treat your scalp well; after all, a healthy scalp leads to healthy hair.
4. Removes Unwanted Scalp Oil Buildup
It doesn’t matter what kind of hair type you have; brushing is good for the scalp. But tangles and knots make it difficult for the brush to reach the roots, which causes an unhealthy buildup of dirt, sweat, natural scalp oils, and hair product residue.
5. Boosts Oxygen and Circulation on Scalp
The scalp’s hair follicles require sufficient oxygen levels and continuous blood circulation to remain healthy and produce abundant new hair growth. Since frequent brushing stimulates the hair follicles, it’s beneficial to eliminate tangles around the roots.
Types of Detangling Brushes
Detangling brushes are made of either natural or synthetic materials. Within those two categories, there’s a range of options available for purchase. Remember: not all detangling brushes are alike, so it’s essential to select the right one for your hair type.
Natural Detangling Brush
Choose a natural detangling brush for dry hair. Natural bristles do a great job of redistributing your healthy scalp (sebaceous) oils throughout the length of your hair.
Wooden or bamboo detangling brushes often have bristles with small ball-shaped tips, which work well to penetrate knots and tangles on all hair types. These wooden brushes also reduce static electricity, which is one of the factors that can cause knotted hair.
Detangling brushes with boar bristles are softer and work nicely on fine hair. They glide through the hair and gently separate knots and tangles without tearing and breaking the fragile hair shaft. Use a boar bristle brush if you need to remove knots from squirmy youngsters; they’ll sit still longer!
Synthetic Detangling Brush
Detangling brushes with metal, plastic, or nylon bristles aren’t ideal for most hair types, but they do serve well for several purposes:
Benefits Of Using a Synthetic Brush Instead of Natural
- They remove tangles and knots much faster than their natural counterparts. If you’re in a rush and have to get your hair styled quickly, a synthetic detangling brush can more effectively do the job. Be prepared, though; you’ll likely see lots of fallen and broken hair in the bristles when you finish brushing.
- Synthetic brushes are fantastic for…detangling synthetic hair!
If you have synthetic hair extensions, wigs, or any other type of hair made from man-made polymers or plastic, you can use synthetic ones without having to worry about broken hair strands or split ends.
- If you have extremely curly or wiry hair texture, natural bristles often won’t have the strength to penetrate through the thickness. A nylon bristle detangling brush provides enough resistance to comb through to the scalp.
- Synthetic brushes won’t break the bank, which is great if you’re trying to keep costs down.
Choosing the Right Brush Based on Hair Type
As a rule of thumb, the longer the bristles, the better the brush will be for removing stubborn knots and matted hair, so keep that in mind when making your selection.
Large paddle brushes tend to work best for detangling long hair, and smaller paddle brushes work better on short hair. Most detangling hairbrushes can be used on wet or dry hair, but if you plan to use one made of natural materials on wet hair, make sure to dry the brush thoroughly when you finish using it. If you don’t, it can eventually get moldy, and the bristles might start to fall out.
Fortunately for those of us who are prone to knotty hair, there are plenty of excellent detangling brushes and combs to select from. When used together with detangling sprays, they make easy work of removing tangles and causing hair damage.
Regardless of which detangling brush you decide to use, we’d like to leave you with this bit of advice:
- Take your time when removing knots from your hair. We know it’s tempting to rip at the knots (or cut them!) to get them out, especially when you’re in a rush to get somewhere. But that causes more harm than good. Instead, go slow, have patience, and treat your hair with kindness.
- When you can, sleep with your hair in braids or with a sleeping cap to avoid knots forming overnight. A satin pillowcase can also make a big difference in helping to prevent knots in the first place.
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