Caring for long hair can often be a chore. Proper brushing methods can help eliminate the need for extra care and additional styling products. Brushing long tresses involves more than just taking a brush and running it through the hair each day. Maintaining it properly will keep it healthy, avoid troubles later down the road, as well as save time getting ready each day. As someone with very long hair, I have learned quite about caring for it over the years.
Choose the Right Brush by Hair Texture and Style
Always check the labels on a brush before you purchase it. The brush should be specific to the texture, as well as to the style you plan on creating. Brushing your long hair with the wrong brush could damage the ends, which is especially bad for long tresses. Split ends can cause long hair to look unattractive, instead of healthy. When a person's hair is long, the hair tends to be one of the first things people notice, so it is important to keep it looking healthy.
What are the Best Bristles?
The best bristles for brushing your long hair will actually depend on texture. Natural boar bristles are generally the best. But, if your long tresses are also thick or curly, the boar bristles may not brush all the way through. Thicker textures may require thin nylon bristles that are close together. Someone with thin hair might be better off brushing with thicker plastic bristles that are spread farther apart. To keep your long hair healthy, always check the labels to see which bristles are best in your case.
Brushing from Bottom to Top
Long hair gets knotted and tangled easier than shorter styles. If you start at the top, rather than the bottom during brushing, you are more likely to create more of a mess to untangle, which can actually damage the hair. Instead, start brushing at the very bottom. Brush until there are no tangles. Then, move up a couple more inches and do the same, Repeat that process until all of the hair has been brushed.
Brush Hair While Wet
Brushing long hair while wet helps keep the ends sealed and smooth. This is especially true if your hair is thick or curly. Brushing the hair while dry can sometimes cause split ends. Long hair specifically can react this way.
Of course, you should be brushing every day and as needed to maintain your style. However, people often overdo it on brushing. Overly brushing the hair can cause damage and split ends. The right amount of brushing can stimulate the natural production of sebum, as well as distribute it throughout the hair. Sebum is produced by the body and it coats and protects the hair, as well as creates shine.
Brush Shampoo and Conditioner into Hair
With long hair, during the washing and conditioning process, it helps to brush the shampoo and conditioner through, rather than lather it up. This ensures even distribution and also scrubs and moisturizes the scalp.
Brush Moisturizers into Hair and Scalp
Long hair needs extra moisturizing, as it dries and breaks easier than that which is shorter. Tea tree oil is my favorite moisturizer. It softens the hair, helps prevent dandruff and other fungus, makes it shine, and also helps to stimulate growth. To brush in the tea tree oil, put a quarter-sized amount in the palm of your hand. Rub both palms together. Now rub the palms through the hair and then brush it. Repeat until all of the hair is shiny.
Do not over-use the oil though. The point is to make the hair soft, but not to saturate it with the oil. If you prefer other moisturizers, the process would be the same. Just remember to avoid products that contain alcohol and chemicals. They may make it look good temporarily, but they are actually damaging over time.
Avoid Styling Products that Contain Alcohol
This goes back to the chemicals. Many styling products contain alcohol. However, alcohol and other chemicals cause dryness, create split ends, and cause unnecessary buildup that is damaging to hair and scalp. All natural products that contain no preservatives, chemicals, or alcohol are best. Olive oil, tea tree oil, coconut oil, coconut milk, cow's milk, almond extract, avocados, and eggs are all examples of natural moisturizers.
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