I’m sure you’ve heard of the old wives’ tale: “brush your hair every day – 100 strokes before bedtime.” Our grandmothers used to do this. Brushing was believed to make your hair fuller, shinier, healthier. But nowadays, experts tell us that too much hair brushing is damaging to the hair. It can actually weaken the follicle and cause hair loss. Which one is fact, which one is myth? It depends on who you ask. If you’re asking me, just remember, I'm no expert. And I'm also no grandmother. I had one though…so….
Anyway, I’m just here to tell you my story, you be the judge.
I hardly ever brushed my hair. I would do it once in the morning but then, throughout the day, I’d run my fingers through. collect all the loose hairs, and toss them into the wind. Somewhere in Bradenton, there is a gorgeous, blonde, all human hair bird’s nest cuddling some adorable baby birds. I just know it…
However, I recently had a conversation with a beautician on Instagram live – Kelly Michelle. She's a hairdresser that uses no-poo on herself and upon request for those who frequent her salon. After talking at length (no-pun intended) about no-poo, she veered the conversation into “brushing,” which I found surprising. What she told me was fascinating, but also a total game changer!
We should all be brushing our hair regularly. It’s actually good for our hair! Why? Ohhh, that’s where it gets interesting….
Each hair follicle has a sebaceous gland (yes, that is a real thing) that secretes a waxy oil called sebum. That waxy oil is why, when your hair is dirty, after brushing it it sticks to your head. It’s a very different texture to any other oil, such as olive or coconut oils. Sebum is very good for the skin and hair, it’s nature’s moisturizer and conditioner. However, too much sebum can cause your hair to look oily and dirty, it can also clog your hair follicles and lead to dandruff or hair loss. So a common mistake people make is shampooing their hair more often to keep the oil at bay.
However, commercial shampoos strip the hair and scalp of sebum which confuses our body and causes it to produce more sebum to compensate for the dryness. It becomes a vicious cycle. Our body produces oils to condition our skin and hair, which makes our hair look dirty, which makes us shampoo our hair, which again strips it of oils, which then forces our body to produce more sebum, which makes our hair look dirtier faster, which makes us wash our hair more often, which makes our body produce even more oil…. You get the picture.
That's why brushing is SO important. Brushing can not only keep your follicles unclogged and your hair looking cleaner longer, but it also promotes hair growth. How? Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Before I tell you why you should be brushing your hair, there's a catch.
You have to be brushing with the right brush. Brushing with a synthetic fiber brush or a plastic one is out. A natural fiber, specifically a boar’s hair brush, is in. (This is the one I use.) People have been brushing with boar’s hair for hundreds of years, so this is nothing new. In fact, those natural fiber brushes were likely the ones our grandmothers used. Boar’s hair is almost identical to human hair in texture so it’s much more gentle, especially for fine or thin hair, but it still works on coarse or thick hair.
Okay, so let’s get to it. Here are the five reasons why you should be brushing your hair everyday.
It evenly distributes our natural oils from root to tip. Boar’s hair helps the oil to coat the whole strand of hair instead of just sitting on your scalp. So instead of weighing your hair down with loads of chemicals and synthetic oils meant to “condition” your hair, by brushing with a boar’s hair brush, you're distributing nature’s conditioner into your hair. That’s way better! (Extra credit: Brush your hair half an hour before you wash it. This distributes the natural oils and gives your hair time to absorb them for maximum conditioning before your wash.) The sebum also surrounds the hair follicle, strengthening the strand, helping to prevent split ends and breakage.
It promotes hair growth. One of the best parts of going to the salon is when your stylist washes your hair and gives you a head massage. You can feel your scalp tingling like it just got woken up. That’s what a boar’s hair brush does. It wakes up your scalp, gently massaging it, increasing blood flow and pulling oxygen into the scalp. This encourages your hair to grow.
It keeps your scalp clean and your hair looking cleaner, longer. Skin cells, dirt, and other environmental deposits are removed from your scalp by the boar bristles. Brushing will actually take those particles, along with your excess oil, and pull them away from your scalp and skin. So instead of using harsh chemical-filled shampoos, brushing is a gentler, more natural way to clean. And this helps the body regulate its sebum production, meaning that over the long-term it will produce less. Now, if you really want to improve the health of your hair and scalp, you’ll start washing your hair with no-poo. What’s that? Well, that’s another blog.
It adds shine. Once all of those fabulous, natural oils get off of your scalp and are moved down the rest of your hair, you’ll notice your hair becoming so shiny! I don’t really need to explain. Your shiny hair will speak for itself.
It adds volume, while also controlling frizz. For those with fine, limp hair, the volume this brush adds is amazing. It's truly a game changer! But I love that as your hair becomes more conditioned and moisturized from the redistribution of oils, it also naturally controls frizz. This is not a problem for me, but I know so many people complain about it, especially during the hot, humid summers in Florida. This is a natural, chemical-free way to control that mop! Give it a try!
Boar’s hair also makes your hair softer and silkier. So that means, instead of waking up to hair like this…
You could wake up to hair like this…
Okay. You might have to do a little styling to get that look…
According to Kelly Michelle, you'll start to notice a huge change in your hair within two months. But after watching that Instagram live segment, my good friend, Mindy Gallina, did even more research on brushing. She learned the correct way to brush to receive maximum benefits and that you should be brushing your hair at least twice, but preferably three times a day. Okay – ain’t nobody got time for that. But twice, morning and night, is doable. Of course, if you’re still under lockdown, three times can be done…
Here's my conversation with Mindy. She shares how brushing with a boar’s hair brush has already made significant changes to her hair texture in only ten days. I can’t wait for you to see it.
I am always looking for natural, chemical-free ways to care for my body and the boar’s hair brush is truly a game changer for my hair. I love it and I know you will too.
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Laughing Wasn't Always This Easy
I figured out how to live a toxin free lifestyle and i'm excited to share but first here's a little about why it's so important to me:
For years my eyes would get inflamed, red and irritated. They felt as if they were full of sand and they would get so swollen that it felt like they were too big for my eye sockets so that every time I blinked it felt like razor blades scraping across my eyes.
Every Doctor I saw would say, “This happens to young, healthy women for no reason.”
After doing hours of desperate research I asked my Doctor to check my Thyroid and I was diagnosed with sub-clinical Grave’s Disease (an auto-immune condition). At that point I went from having just a painful eye condition to being a weepy, emotional, hormonal mess!
Then I learned about how the chemicals and toxins in all of our household and beauty products can affect our health, hormones, and emotions and I started on my toxin free journey which meant lots of trial and error and DIY's and feeling overwhelmed and lost. Until I found a source that took the guesswork out of the last remaining pieces of my non-toxic lifestyle.
Now, I clean my home without making myself sick and I use zero toxins on my hair, face and body. I’m back to my vibrant, happy self and my eyes...haven’t flared up in years!
Instead of spending hours making my own natural (fill in the blank) I can use my time doing what I love….enjoying the sun at the beach with the love of my life, Judah!!!
I love to help professional girls like me who don’t have the time to DIY and share how you can find freedom with the knowledge and information that we share in our exclusive community of BFF's who've joined me on this journey of a Nest Pretty Lifestyle which means making small choices everyday that adds up to a beautiful life.