Snob Essentials

You May be Brushing Your Hair the Wrong Way


We’ve been brushing our hair all our lives…but have we been doing it the right way? Minimizing time spent getting ready is a goal we all have, but quickly brushing out the tangles is the bare minimum you can do for your locks. If you spend a little more time on your hair, you’ll see surprisingly different – and exciting – results.

First off, the healthiest way to brush is with natural fibers like boar bristle that will pick up the sebum (the natural oils produced by your scalp) that nylon won’t. By moving these oils down the hair shafts to the ends, you naturally condition your mane, giving it shine and volume while reducing frizz. Frizz is caused by the cuticles on your hair lifting up (imagine this with snakeskin); you want to smooth this down, and brushing does exactly that. Regular brushing also stimulates the scalp, keeping the roots healthy, which, in turn, promotes hair growth. It even helps keep your skin clear! Excess sebum creates congestion around the hairline, bringing about little bumps or even outright acne on your forehead. By removing the oils from your scalp, you’re doing your hair and your skin a favor.

On to the way to brush, though! The best method is to start by flipping your hair upside down and going from the back. Brush from the nape of your neck forward with big, continuous strokes from the hairline all the way down to the ends. Since natural fibers are soft, they won’t penetrate all the layers of your hair, so you need to brush in sections. When you stand back up, either section your strands by holding them with your other hand or, if you have thicker hair, clip them up. If you struggle with any static, just twist the locks into larger sections.

After brushing like this just one time, you’ll notice a glossy sheen, but once it becomes a habit, the results will be even more noticeable. The shine is better than any you could achieve with a product, and since you’re moving sebum away from the scalp, you’ll find you need to shampoo less often. For optimally healthy hair, you should really only shampoo twice a week, so this is a big bonus!

If you need a new brush, you can get a boar bristle one at virtually any price. I tried and loved all of these, but couldn’t bring myself to shell out $290 for the Mason Pearson (which is weird because I would easily do that for a makeup brush; I guess sable is different than boar). No matter, though, since you can also get one for $15.99!


Mason Pearson Hairbrush: This is a gorgeously-made brush meant to last a lifetime, so yes, in the long run, the investment does pay off. It won’t do a better job than other pure boar bristle brushes, but it would make a great gift for the ultimate Beauty Snob! Mason Pearson Hairbrush at Neiman Marcus for $290.


Morrocco Method Pure Boar Bristle Brush: This isn’t cheap either, but it’s at a much more accessible price point. The brush has longer, stiffer bristles, so it’ll penetrate more layers of hair, making it ideal for the impatient (and that’s me!). On Amazon for $49.


Arabella 100% Natural Boar Bristle Hair Styling Brush: I love this brush. It has a nice wooden handle, and for the price, you can’t go wrong. The bristles are very soft, though, so it only brushes the top layer, requiring you to go in sections. Since I have super thick hair, this takes a while, but it’s perfect for my kids. As for me, I use the Arabella when I have the time at night to pamper myself and the Morrocco Method on days when I’m rushing around. On Amazon for $15.99.


Spornette Italian Boar Bristle Brush: This isn’t the right tool for daily brushing, but I wanted to include it because it’s great for styling. And since, as with makeup brushes, one size doesn’t fit all, having a variety of options to work with is certainly called for. On Amazon for $13.91.



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  1. Thank you for this article; I’ve just begun trying to not wash my hair everyday. It’s taking a LOT of getting used to but now I’ll also get a natural-bristle brush and incorporate that into my daily routine. Thanks again!

    1. I’m so happy to hear! I recently had to cut my hair because the ends were so damaged from over washing. It’s so hard during the summer while it’s hot! You may not be able to reduce shampooing to twice a week but even extending it by a day helps in the long run.

  2. I made a special trip to England 25 years ago and hired a driver to take me to Harrods and wait for me at the door, just so I could buy the Mason and Pearson Brush (I live in Canada). I am still using it and never sorry a day… is a great great investment.