Let’s Talk Combs and Brushes

Alright, ladies—we’ve talked about natural hair products, salon visits, and heat usage, but what about combs and brushes?

While paying attention to products we use on our hair, it’s easy to overlook the tools we use to groom our hair. Until I started researching healthy hair care, I was unaware that synthetic brushes made with harsh plastic material were contributing to dry hair and breakage. The plastic bristles do not absorb the hair’s natural oils and when you brush through the length of your hair, the oils never reach the ends—which happens to be the driest part of your hair.

As for combs, my mindset used to be “Why use a wide tooth comb? I need to comb out all the knots!” However, using small tooth combs or rattail combs (when your hair isn’t straightened) won’t do you any favors. Many plastic combs are not seamless, so there’s the risk of snagging and breaking your hair as you comb. If your hair type is curly, kinky, thick or coily, then grooming with a small tooth comb will damage your hair because of coils and knots getting caught in the comb’s teeth.

I haven’t quite gotten to the point of styling with my fingers, so if we’re in the same boat I’ll share with you what I’ve found out. One of the best types of brushes to use is a 100% boar bristle brush. It’s natural, absorbs oils (which means it will distribute those absorbed oils through the length of your hair), and is very close in texture to human hair so it is not harsh like its plastic counterparts. When you want to comb, try to find a seamless wide tooth comb (there are even ones made with all natural material!) and detangle with either an oil or conditioner in your hair. This helps cut down on unnecessary breakage and ensures you don’t have a hair setback. Never use a small tooth comb on dry hair or when your hair is curly, and remember to always be gentle! Treat your hair as you would delicate skin.

You don’t have to spend an hour in your local beauty supply comparing brushes, and you definitely don’t have to buy anything expensive. The key to having the right grooming tools is to understand your hair type, what it needs, and whether or not that brush or comb will be easy on your tresses.