Manolo for the Beauty » You Don’t Need No Stinking Brushes

You Don’t Need No Stinking Brushes

By Glinda

Or do you?

On my post addressing how to clean your hair brush, the beauteous wildflower asked:

Is there any reason one has to use a brush? I use a medium-toothed comb, and I have thick, stick-straight hair that is very amenable to a brush. I’d guess that anyone with curly or wavy hair would have all the more reason to use a comb instead. What exactly does one need a brush for?

Excellent question.

And when I really got to thinking about it, I wondered what the hell a good answer was.

Have I, all these years, been a victim of some sort of anti-comb conspiracy?  Have I spent all sorts of money on brushes that I didn’t need?

Well, yes and no.

I am sure that I could definitely get by using just a comb.  I use a comb in the shower to distribute my conditioner evenly, and then I use another comb apres shower to detangle my wet hair.   So I am certainly no stranger to combs.

But then once my hair is dry, I find myself compelled to brush it out with a brush.

Why is that?

For me, a brush (and the better the brush, the better the final result) gives my hair a smoothness and sheen that I simply cannot get with a comb.   I have long, straight hair and after brushing, it gleams.   That gleaming unfortunately does not occur with a combing.

Granted, the gleaming effect goes away after a bit, but I can’t resist it.

And we cannot ignore the styling options that round brushes such as these can bring to the table when blow-drying and such.

So I guess the answer is that I don’t NEED a brush, but rather I prefer a brush when I want my hair to look a certain way.

Anyone? Bueller?

8 Responses to “You Don’t Need No Stinking Brushes”

  1. aurumgirl Says:

    Brushing distributes the oils from the scalp through the hair–that’s why regularly brushed hair is so glossy. A brush does the same kind of thing when you’re using it to style hair, too–and it has the ability to do what no comb can, which is to stretch the hair’s elasticity. This is why curved brushes are used to straighten curly hair. A comb just can’t do these things as effectively.

  2. marvel Says:

    Probably depends on kind of hair, right? I have very fine, very straight hair. I use a comb after washing to detangle (or whenever my hair is wet, as I’ve been told a brush through wet hair can break the strands), but the brush does a much better job of adding fluff and body and shine to dry hair–and doesn’t hurt as much as a comb. But I could see that someone with thicker or curlier hair wouldn’t get much out of a brush.

  3. Libby Says:

    As the curly who started this all off, I feel a strange compulsion to comment. 🙂 Wide tooth combs or fingercombing is usually enough to get some control of my hair if I’m doing something with it when its dry. When I wash it though, brushing helps separate the curls so they don’t tangle during washing. If I don’t, I end up with a mat of hair that takes hours and a bottle of detangler to get through. Not that I’ve learned that the hard way, or anything…

  4. La Petite Acadienne Says:

    But I could see that someone with thicker or curlier hair wouldn’t get much out of a brush.

    Au contraire. If one has curly hair, then yes, like Libby says, a pre-shampoo brushing gets the tangles out and makes it much easier to wash. Then, if one is going to wear it curly, then yes, a comb is a better tool.

    Then you have people like myself, who have hair that is not really curly enough to be curly, but is just curly enough to be unmanageable. (Seriously, left to its own devices, I look like one of the members of Poison.) So if you have thick hair with a heavy wave or slight curl to it, a good brush does a great job of smoothing it out when you dry it so that it doesn’t have that fuzzy, poofy look.

  5. klee Says:

    I agree with the above: brushing distributes the oils, makes the hair shiny and is great for styling.

  6. wildflower Says:

    Wow I feel like a micro-celebrity. 😀 Thanks for addressing my question. I guess that makes sense, that a brush would distribute hair oils better, but what originally made me switch to using a comb was that my brush was plastic and I happened to spot a wooden comb, and it crossed my mind that it wouldn’t give my hair a static charge on dry days the way the plastic does. Of course, nowadays it’s ‘hip to be green’, so you can find wooden brushes very easily, but I just haven’t noticed any difference in my hair look or health since switching to the comb, so I just stuck with it.

    One thing I actually prefer about the comb is that it forces me to be more patient and gentle. My old brush had a padded base, which was more forgiving of a tug, so it enabled me, a hasty person by nature, to yank the brush through my hair really quickly without pain, which I don’t think is so good for the hair. The comb would cause pain if I did that yanking thing, so it forces me to be more gentle on my hair and scalp. 🙂

  7. Meena Says:

    I have thick, curly hair, and brushing breaks up the curls and turns it into a mass of frizz. I use a wide-toothed comb when it’s still slightly damp and let it air-dry (I only use a blow-dryer when it’s cold enough to freeze my hair outside). I wish I had figured this out earlier, because I spent so many years with frizzy hair.

  8. Caity O'Connor Says:

    I never, EVER use a brush or comb. Ever. Just fingers. I have wavy/curly hair that turns into frizz when brushed – unless I then go through HOURS of straightening with hot irons and hairdryers – and who has that kind of time to spend on hair everyday?

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