Brushing your hair is probably something you’ve been doing since you were little, so you might think you’ve got the skill down to a science. Turns out, following a certain pro-approved routine can help cut down on damage and even prevent frizz.
Celebrity hairstylist David Lopez and creative director of Bio Ionic, Joel Calfee, share the dos and don’ts of hair brushing.
1. Brush From the Bottom Up
Your current method is probably to attack the roots first, but both experts recommend starting low.
“Your ends are the most delicate so you want to give them the most attention and then work your way up to the roots,” says Calfee. “This clears the way at the ends of the hair for knots to easily pass through.”
Similar to untangling Christmas lights or a delicate necklace, starting in the middle of the knot will only make it tighter and end up causing more tangles.
“If you know you’re prone to tangles or if you color your hair, use a detangler or a hair oil beforehand as a preventative measure,” says Lopez. Try It’s a 10 Miracle Leave-In Product.
2. Use the Right Tool
“Any of the tangle brushes with flexible bristles are great,” says Calfee. The Tangle Teezer is made to fit right in the palm of your hand for lots of control.
Calfee also approves of a paddle brush, but suggests holding it vertically so that the bristles line up to let hair easily pass through it. “When it’s horizontal, the bristles take a scattered pattern that catches the hair with more tension,” Calfee adds.
3. Handle Wet Hair With Care
“Your hair is the most fragile when it’s wet, so it’s important to get as much water out as possible before brushing; otherwise it can stretch and possibly snap,” says Lopez, who recommends using a microfiber towel like Turbie Twist instead of cotton (which can cause friction and create tangles). If you’re in a pinch, remember to blot hair instead of rubbing it to prevent roughing it up.
Lopez also recommends pre-treating hair in the shower. “If you have thick, curly, or tangle-prone hair, brush conditioner through with a wide tooth comb before getting out of the shower so it’s easier to manage when you’re drying it,” says Lopez.
4. Go Easy on Curls
“The more you mess with curls, the frizzier they’re going to get,” says Calfee. “If you want or need to detangle, always use a wide tooth comb so the curl can pass through without the curl pattern being interrupted.” Lopez also adds that you can simply detangle with your fingers if you don’t have the right comb handy.