Does Brushing Your Hair Really Help Hair Growth?

by Jessica Willingham

Somewhere along the way, we agreed that brushing your hair a 100 strokes a night would keep it healthy and growing long. But does brushing your hair really make it grow? While this myth is about as lovely and real as Santa Claus, there are some legit ways to make your hair grow longer and faster.

Finally, we are coming into an era where we are leaving some old beauty myths behind. While our grandmas and mothers believed in shampooing often and brushing hair vigorously for a healthier look, we now know better. According to Cosmopolitan, brushing your hair constantly can really damage your locks.

"When you detangle wet hair, be sure to start from the bottom and work your way up — we often instinctually go from the scalp down but that just brings small tangles into one large knot and can cause you to lose a lot of hair," said celebrity stylist Mark Townsend, according to Cosmopolitan.

Another reason your hair isn't growing any longer? You might be brushing it too often and too aggressively. According to Medical Daily, not being gentle on your scalp or strands while brushing it can lead to thinner hair, or even worse, hair loss. That's the opposite of what you're going for, right?

If you do want to brush your hair, be sure to use this technique while also using a boar bristle brush to evenly and gently distribute your hair's natural oils on strands, without damaging your hair.

Below are some real, legitimate tips for growing healthier hair, faster.

1. Always use conditioner

OGX Argan Oil of Morocco Conditioner, $6, Amazon

I've heard to not "over do it" with the conditioner, because it could weigh down your hair, making it look more lifeless than it really is. Nothing could be farther from the truth — as long as you're properly rinsing it out, conditioner is a must every time you wash your hair. Conditioner helps your strands stay strong, hydrated, and super healthy, which can help your hair grow.

2. Use a leave-in treatment

Infusium 23 Leave-In Treatment 3, Repair & Renew, $13, Amazon

This is gross, but worth noting: the hair around your shoulders is, at least, a couple years old. To keep the ends healthy so you don't have to chop them off and lose precious momentum in growing your hair out, give the ends extra love by using a leave-in treatment. Leave-in conditioners can help lock in moisture to your strands, giving them zero chance to break into split ends. You can spray this on the ends once a week post-shower, or massage an oil-based treatment into the strands before shampooing and conditioning.

3. Stop wearing your hair the same way everyday

I'm as guilty as anyone — I head to the office with a top knot every day. But, this constant damage to certain strands can break down the integrity of your hair. Switch your pony placement often and your hair will look healthier.

4. Forget cotton pillowcases

The fibers in cotton pillowcases are rough on your strands, causing tangling (and the eventual breakage) of strands every night. Switch to satin or sateen pillow cases for less friction against your hair.

5. Stop wrapping your hair in towels

Wait, what? Yeah, the routine we all do coming straight out of the shower is possibly the most damaging to our hair, preventing it from growing longer and faster. The pillowcase problem is applied here: the fibers of the towel, combined with the weight of it, can cause extreme breakage to wet (and already weakened) hair. Instead, pat dry with a t-shirt.

6. Rise in cold water

Hot water is harsh on your hair, while rinsing it in cold water lays down the outer layer (the layer that receives the most damage from the sun and elements). Cold water can fight against moisture loss, heat damage, and breakage.

7. Keep getting it cut

Counterintuitive, I know. But this really does work. While trimming doesn't actually speed up growth time, it does keep the ends healthy and therefore you don't have to have inches cut off at each trim due to excessive damage. Hair grows anywhere from a quarter of an inch to half and inch a month, so the process won't happen over night. Stay patient and keep your hair healthy by trimming dead and damaged ends.

Image Credit: FadeQu/Unsplash; ErikaWittlieb, TaneTati, kaleido-dp/Pixabay; Pexels