A hundred years ago, 100 brush strokes at night for healthy looking hair was probably sage advice. Each brush stroke helped disperse and evenly distribute natural scalp oils, giving the hair a wonderful sheen and luster while guarding against split ends.
Fast forward to the modern age where natural scalp oils are things to be vigorously washed away, replaced with the latest moisturizing gel or finishing cream guaranteeing thicker, fuller, shinier looking hair. Modern hair – over washed, over-styled, over-worked, bleached, permed, curled, and blow-dried to the max – is hair that’s been stressed out to the breaking point. In fact, that is exactly what 100 nightly brush strokes will do to your hair now – break it, or cause it to fall out.
It’s a known fact that frequent hair styling causes stress damage to the hair and follicles. Over brushing already dry, overly clean hair causes split ends, while the pulling action of the brush puts further stress on weakened hair follicles. With people working more than one job these days to make ends meet, time is in shorter supply than ever. A quick shower, then a quick blow-dry and quick brushing while the hair is still wet. This is the perfect set-up for damaged, weaker, thinner hair. When more hair ends up in the comb or brush than the normal 100 to 150 hairs shed daily, something is wrong. And it may not necessarily be onset pattern baldness.
It could be over-working of the hair.
Few people, however, would relish a sudden return to those halcyon days when Sally’s naturally oily hair was in vogue. And you don’t have to. Simply go easier on your hair and you will find there is now more of it on your head than in your curling iron. For starters, don’t handle wet hair, because wet hair breaks more easily. Use only judicious amounts of hair styling products that can make your hair dry and brittle. Gently towel-dry wet hair and then brush it or comb it when fully dry. Twenty-five hair brush strokes at night seems more than sufficient to keep you hair looking its natural best without working it to death.
If you find that you’re losing your hair, whether due to male pattern baldness or other possible causes, seek the help of a hair restoration specialist. Dr. Kyle S. Choe is a board certified facial plastic surgeon and hair restoration specialist in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Contact the Choe Center for Hair Restoration at (757) 389-5850 for a personal consultation.