You know that blow drying your hair can cause damage that may be difficult to correct. In an effort to thwart this damage, you should let your hair air dry whenever possible. However, you should also resist the urge to brush your hair when it’s wet.
You may be wondering why not to brush hair when it’s wet. The answer is simple, when hair is wet it is especially vulnerable to damage. Water weakens the weakest bonds within strands of hair, removing 1/3 of its strength. The simple act of brushing can lead to dire consequences in this weakened state.
More Prone to Breakage
When your hair is weakened, it’s more prone to breakage. Brushing is one of the roughest actions you can do to your hair, especially if it is long and tangles. Brushing wet hair will lead to significantly more broken strands than if you allowed the hair to dry before brushing it. If you worry about hair growth, you should also brush you hair often because it stimulates the roots.
Use a Towel
If you absolutely can’t wait to brush your hair, use an absorbent towel to remove as much moisture as possible before proceeding. Even allowing your hair to air dry for just 5 or 10 minutes will help reduce damage. As your hair dries, weak bonds are re-established, with your hair gaining strength rapidly. Allowing these bonds to form before brushing the hair is key in preventing breakage.
If you have thin hair, you need to be especially cautious. Thin hair can be damaged easier than thicker hair because each strand is made of less polypeptides with less bonds. Less bonds means weaker hair. Having less bonds total also means that a greater percentage of the bonds will be broken when the hair is wet, leading to even more damage if you brush it.
Fortunately, thin hair dries faster than thick hair, so the amount of time you must wait before brushing it is lessened. Towel drying thin hair is also more effective, helping to reduce the need for a hair dryer, which can also cause damage.
If you really can’t wait to brush your hair, you should use a wide-toothed comb. This will cause less damage than a regular brush, though some breakage is inevitable. If your hair is curly, you will need an even wider comb. Think about your most recent trip to the hair salon. Odds are that your stylist used a comb when hair was wet.
If your hair is prone to tangles, you should always brush or comb it from the bottom to the top. This avoid tangles, which can cause additional damage.
The Safest Way
The safest way to approach brushing your hair is to wait until it’s dry and then use a high-quality bristle brush, beginning at the bottom and working your way up until all of your hair is brushed to your satisfaction.