We blow dry, we straighten, some of us even use a curling iron, but whether you do one or all of these styling techniques you are seriously damaging your hair by using extreme heat to manipulate the style.
I have straight hair naturally so I, of course, want curly hair and often feel that using a curling iron will make the style so much cuter! My sister has naturally curly hair, but she frequently straightens her hair.
Funny isn’t it? We always want what we can’t have. In this case, it comes at a high cost…
Dry, damaged hair that doesn’t grow as quickly as it should.
So, what can you do to fix it? Or at least compensate for the damage being done by hair styling tools using extreme temperatures? Let me ask you one more question…When is the last time you brushed your hair?
Okay, duh, most men and women brush their hair in the morning when they get out of bed, after the shower, during the process of “getting ready” for the day, and multiple other times throughout the rest of the day. However, when is the last time you brushed your hair using 100 gentle and even strokes?
The majority of people have most likely never extended the effort to actually count out the strokes in one sitting for a multitude of reasons. One very common reason being a lack of time to actually execute such a task. But, contrary to popular belief, brushing your hair 100 times only takes about 10 minutes, 15 at the very most.
This used to be a regular activity for women generations ago especially during the Old Hollywood age, but has been forgotten over the years. Women such as Lauren Bacall, Audrey Hepburn, and Judy Garland would set aside time in the evenings to brush their hair and then braid their long or short tresses before going to bed to prevent long-term damage. Preserving that natural sheen for the camera was like an asset for one’s career in those days!
I only recently began making this a regular evening activity because I have shoulder length hair that I would very much like to see A LOT longer in length very soon!
This is such a healthy habit to develop because it helps to distribute the oils that your hair produces naturally, as well. By brushing from root to tip, you are evenly spreading the natural oils your hair needs and you are giving them a chance to get soaked up into your tresses by braiding your hair or putting it up in a secure bun.
“Scalp stimulation from both hair brushing and scalp massaging help distribute your natural sebum evenly through the hair. This helps your overall hair health and keeps those shiny locks resilient and strong. In addition, as your hair is coated with sebum you’ll find moisture is restored, and the hair is generally more sheen, smooth, and manageable” (Thank Your Body).
The truth is, our hair gets stripped of those natural vitamins and nutrients throughout the day by environmental factors, but mostly by those cosmetic products we douse our hair with to style and “perfect” the often unruly mane we each posses. We blindly trust so many cosmetic companies to hold the same goal for their products that we also hold for our bodies…to grow and improve the state of our long-term health. I mean, that seems like a pretty natural intention doesn’t it?
Companies should want to create products that benefit our bodies, but somewhere along the way the concern for our health and the concern for their wallets became flip-flopped. It’s time to face the facts…we, the customer, are no longer the primary concern of any company these days. This is incredibly clear in the ingredient label of any processed product. If you are willing to face the harsh realities of today’s beauty industry you will find that the majority of products are hurting us in the long run.
I get it, you need certain products, such as shampoo and conditioner, to maintain your hygiene. I’m not saying to give up these products completely, I’m simply saying to compensate these products’ effects by developing healthy habits that will benefit YOU in the long run.
Brushing your hair evenly and consistently has truly become a lost art. If you want healthy hair and you want to aid the spread of natural oils through your hair I highly recommend it! Or, if you just want Really soft hair, brush your tresses 100 times because I guarantee it will do the trick.
I’ve heard both good and bad things about 100 brush strokes, however, the fact of the matter is that brushing your hair stimulates blood flow to the capillaries.
“The smallest of the body’s blood vessels. Oxygen and glucose pass through capillary walls and enter the cells. Waste Products such as carbon dioxide pass back from the cells into the blood through capillaries.” (PubMed Health)
“About Capillaries and Blood Circulation: The blood circulatory system (cardiovascular system) delivers nutrients and oxygen to all cells in the body. It consists of the heart and the blood vessels running through the entire body.
The arteries carry blood away from the heart; the veins carry it back to the heart. The system of blood vessels resembles a tree: The “trunk,” the main artery (aorta), branches into large arteries, which lead to smaller and smaller vessels. The smallest arteries end in a network of tiny vessels, the capillary network.
There is not only one blood circulatory system in the human body, but two, which are connected: The systemic circulation provides organs, tissues and cells with blood so that they get oxygen and other vital substances. The pulmonary circulation is where the fresh oxygen we breathe in enters the blood…” To read more about the capillary system and its important function in the human body, visit PubMed Health now! (Link provided below)
Hopefully this insight by PubMed Health is enough to capitalize for you just how important keeping the capillary system in good shape is for your total body health! Even though this medical source is incredibly informative, It’s not just the medical industry that tells us healthy blood flow equals a healthy body…common sense capitalizes on this very fact, as well, because it makes sense! It seems very logical to me that healthy blood flow would benefit every bodily function even the condition of your hair! When you say “Hello” to healthy habits like brushing your hair 100 strokes each night you are also saying “Hello” to longer and healthier tresses!
“Brush bristles work to stimulate your capillaries, thereby increasing blood circulation to your scalp and bringing oxygen and nutrients to the hair stem. Plus, brushing your hair can give you a mini massage…” (All Things Hair)
I have read a multitude of sources on the subject of 100 strokes and I found a variety of opinions. Some people are in favor of this haircare technique while others are strongly opposed. To me, it just seems like common sense…you brush your hair gently on a daily basis, positive results are going to be inevitable. Increased blood circulation, oxygen flow, and nutrient-dispersion is a logical method for healthy hair.
“Brushes act like a second shampoo…It makes sense when you think about it—brushing your hair eliminates built-up product, dry skin, and impurities on your scalp by literally brushing them out” (All Things Hair).
Before I sided with an opinion in favor or against this technique, I decided to first give it a try myself. Firsthand experience seemed like the best way to discover if this claim about brushing your hair is age-old wisdom lost to the tides of change that are an inevitable part of the passing of time or absolute poppy-cock that society has blown into an overrated myth.
Wednesday, August 15th, 2018, I brushed my hair from root to tip, gently and smoothly, exactly 100 strokes. August 16th — August 29th (over 2 weeks) I did the same thing, brushing carefully and evenly from my scalp down to the very ends of my hair…And do you know what I discovered?
My hair was softer, it seemed to be more prone to growth and my hair was less oily in the morning (pre-shower).
***Side Note: My hair is usually very oily in the morning, to the point where it is literally too oily to leave unwashed. Therefore, I shampoo my hair everyday, but I am hoping to continue this technique and find that the oil production will become reduced to a more manageable amount.
I continued this nightly routine for two weeks straight before sharing it on the blog, but I knew after one day that it is a technique worth adding to my beauty regimen! Truthfully, my hair was so incredibly soft after that first time of 100 strokes that it was no inconvenience for me to take the time to carefully brush through my hair each night from root to tip. I think the notion of brushing your hair 100 times sounds like A LOT of work and it’s easy to think, “I’m too tired tonight, maybe tomorrow.” But there is nothing like Seizing the Day to make a difference in your long-term health!
To help combat the temptation of skipping those 100 strokes, I like to brush my hair while I’m doing something else, such as reading a book, watching a movie, or even while writing an article such as this one! I like that I can take some leisure activity and still be productive with my time. Not to mention, my hair is on its way to a healthier, softer, and shinier look because of my commitment! And who doesn’t like that??
There is a debate between synthetic hairbrushes and boar bristle brushes. Supposedly, boar bristle brushes are better at spreading the oils through-out your tresses. They are also supposed to be gentler on the individual strands of hair and are appropriate for all hair types, which I like because it takes the complications out of choosing a brush-type. I decided to try both types of brushes. I already owned a Wet Brush (a plastic-based hairbrush), which I happen to really like for my hair already so I purchased the DeVille Boar Bristle Brush from Amazon, as well, to compare. After two full weeks of confident brushing, I noticed that the Boar Bristle Brush dispersed the oils in my hair more thoroughly from root to tip, but the wet brush made my hair feel more soft. So, I think when you’re trying to decide between the two types of brushes it really comes down to personal preference and expectation.
What are you, personally, looking to get out of consistently brushing your hair each day? Soft hair, shiny hair, longer hair, healthier hair? I would establish your goal for your hair before deciding on the tool you use.
I know this is a haircare technique that many are already very familiar with, but I hope an inside look with some personal experience from yours truly might reveal some helpful tidbits on an age-old beauty trick from a fresh perspective. It is commonly said that everything old becomes new again. Now, this is not always a good thing…no matter how many varieties of the multi-colored striped turtle-neck from the 70’s era of fashion are released, I just can’t get on board with that trend! Some things are much better when they stay in the past, but this hair brushing technique is definitely not one of them!
Audrey Hepburn once said that “To plant a garden is to believe in the future” (Goodreads). Even though we aren’t tending to any greenery when we commit to brushing our hair, I believe we are still tending to our own long-term health thereby having faith in a better, brighter future for our physical bodies. I like having faith in a future that is free of all ailments and I like knowing I can contribute to the possibility of this future becoming a reality.
It is now September 25th 2018 and I have been brushing my hair every evening for over 6 Weeks! I’m still impressed by the results and I still recommend this technique to anyone willing to try it!
If you have tried this haircare method before or decide to try it soon please comment your experience via Twitter & Instagram (@seizethedayblog) or feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org! Thank you!
Deville Boar Bristle Brush: https://www.amazon.com/Spornette-342-Straightening-Detangling-Maintenance/dp/B002RL8NGI?th=1
GoodReads (Audrey Hepburn Quote): https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/831377-to-plant-a-garden-is-to-believe-in-tomorrow
PubMed Health: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0072434/
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