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Comb vs. Brush: Which Is Better for Hair Health?

by Bridget Reed January 23, 2023 7 min read

Comb vs. Brush: Which Is Better for Hair Health?

We all want healthy and beautiful hair! Having a good hair day is something everyone strives for. It is even better when you get a routine down and your good hair day happens every day. 

It’s important to figure out what products and tools are best for your hair to keep it healthy. Practicing good hair techniques to aid in healthy hair is a learning curve that takes time to get the hang of. It is all about trial and error as well as research. 

For instance, have you ever thought about whether you should be using a comb or a brush? 

Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. It ultimately depends on your specific hair and hair needs. Both combs and brushes have their pros and cons. 

Continue reading to learn more about whether a comb or brush is better for your overall hair health. You may even discover that you are using the incorrect one and causing unexpected damage to your hair

What Are the Benefits of Using a Brush?

Using brushes is typically faster than using combs. Brushes have a ton of spikes called bristles, which can remove tangles on bigger portions of your head than a comb.

Brushes are also good at spreading your natural hair oils throughout your hair. They assist in removing flakes from your scalp and can even feel good when using them, like a scalp massage.

The best way to use a brush is to start brushing a few inches from the bottom of your hair and work your way up. This way, you first knock out the main knots and prevent pulling your hair out. If your hair is normally pretty tangled, you can pair it with a detangler spray to aid in brushing.

Brushes come in different styles and have different-sized bristles on them. Round brushes are perfect when blow-drying your hair to create smooth hairstyles. There are flat brushes, compact brushes for travel, and even very large brushes to brush a large portion of your hair at once. There are brushes with bigger bristles for thick long hair and brushes with smaller bristles for thin short hair. 

What Are the Benefits of Using a Comb?

Using combs can be a slower process, but still very efficient. Unlike brushes which have bristles, combs have prongs called teeth.

The best way to comb your hair is to move slowly and gently, as rushing with a comb can cause your hair to get stuck and ultimately break. Comb your hair with a detangler or a leave-in conditioner to help the process move smoothly. 

Using a comb in your hair is a great way to avoid the static caused by a brush and create slick hairstyles. A comb also makes it easier to create straight parts within your hairstyles. Combs are also recommended when braiding hair as they make it easier to section the hair.

There are fine-tooth combs and wide-tooth combs. Narrow tooth combs have teeth that are narrower and closer together. In contrast, wide tooth combs have thicker teeth that are further apart. Wide tooth combs are ideal for thicker hair, as fine tooth combs pair well with thinner hair.

Should a Comb or Brush Be Used on Wet Hair?

When detangling wet hair, it is usually recommended to use a comb to prevent pulling your hair. Wet hair is more susceptible to damage than dry as hair is more vulnerable when wet.

Brush bristles are so close together that when used on wet hair, some bristles will get stuck on the knots and need to be pulled to create smooth hair. When your hair is pulled roughly, it creates breakage, damaging its overall health. 

When hair is wet, it is best to use a wide-tooth comb from the base of your hair and work your way up to the scalp. A wider comb is better than a fine one because it is more gentle on your hair.

Remember to move slowly to prevent pulling and decrease hair breakage. A solid deep conditioner can also aid in detangling and keeping hair happy and healthy. When regular conditioning isn’t enough to support our aging hair and address dry, damaged hair, products like hair masks can help support healthy moisture levels and scalp health. 

Which Should Be Used on Dry Hair, a Comb or Brush?

When choosing between a comb or a brush for dry hair, it is important to consider your hair's texture. Each hair type has its own specific needs, and using the wrong tools for your hair type can result in hair damage. 

Curly Hair

Over 50 percent of the population is estimated to have naturally curly hair

Using a brush on curly hair is generally not a good idea when trying to obtain and maintain healthy hair. When a brush is used on curly hair, it can mess up the texture of the curls and cause significant breakage as it pulls on the hair.

A comb is highly recommended as they prevent pulling and keep your curls intact. Use a wide-tooth comb and start combing from the bottom of your hair to the top. Comb slowly to remove any knots gently, and add in a curl reviving spray to bring them back to life! 

If your curls are tight and you want them to look a certain way, you can use a comb to loosen them. You will want to use a fine tooth comb, and then you will achieve the looser curl look. 

If your curls are just the way you want them, but you notice a few tangles, then use a wide-tooth comb to eliminate them while keeping your curl shape.

Straight Hair

You can use a comb or a brush with straight hair, depending on one factor. The main factor is whether your hair is naturally knotty or usually smooth. 

If your hair is naturally smooth and straight, a comb or a brush can be used and will not damage your hair. If your hair is prone to knots and tangles, use a comb to keep your hair healthy and intact. 

Whether you have curly or straight hair, if you happen to wake up with what some may call a “rats nest, “ use a comb! The more knots you have, the more useful and safe a comb will be. Combs are gentler on removing knots from hair.

Be careful not to brush or comb too hard to avoid hair breakage, whether you are using a comb or brush for your dry hair. Start from the bottom and work your way up to your scalp when using either.

Using a brush will move the oils from your scalp to the rest of your hair and provide you with a shiny look. Using a comb in dry hair when styling will help you eliminate some of the bumps you just can’t seem to get rid of when using a brush. 

Pairing these tools with a detangler or a leave-in conditioner will also aid in maintaining good hair health and preventing breakage. 

So, Comb vs. Brush: Which Is Better for Hair Health?

In conclusion, we cannot say that the comb or brush is superior to the other regarding hair health. Since so many different scenarios come into play with our hair, we cannot pinpoint it to one or the other. 

We can, however, narrow it down to which tool is better for hair health when considering certain factors. The main goal of either of these hair tools is to eliminate knots and provide us with smooth, healthy hair. 

Mix it up a bit if you believe you are using the wrong tool for your hair. See how your hair responds to different methods and narrow it down to when it looks and feels its healthiest. Hair health is all about trial and error. Eventually, you will find a routine that works for you.

At Better Not Younger, we are all about hair confidence at any age. Nourish those strands with hair masks to detagle, reviving sprays to bring those curls back to life, and clarifying shampoos to get the ick out.

Your hair deserves love, and Better Not Younger is here to support it. 

Sources:

The effect of brushing on hair loss in women | PMC

The what, why and how of curly hair: a review | PMC

Standardized Scalp Massage Results in Increased Hair Thickness by Inducing Stretching Forces to Dermal Papilla Cells in the Subcutaneous Tissue | PMC




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