Tuesday, January 15, 2013

"Brushing My Scalp Gave Me Thick Healthy Hair!"

This post is inspired by a comment shared with me on a Facebook post about how Brooke Bailey attributes her amazing skin partly to drinking a gallon water a day.  Audrey left a comment on the post that peaked my interest.  According to her, the two keys that made the most impact to her hair journey were "drinking plenty of water and brushing/stimulating her scalp."  Of course I was immediately intrigued and wanted to learn more.  She talked about how she'd heard of the benefits of brushing the scalp but stayed away from applying this practice because brushing the hair is something that is not viewed as a healthy practice for our hair.  According to Audrey (who's goal is to grow her hair long enough to donate to a Locks of Love patient), since brushing her scalp regularly "people who haven't seen her in years marvel at how thick and long her hair is when it's down."

I'm a huge proponent of scalp stimulation as a healthy growth method but I have yet looked into the merits of brushing the scalp.  So I sat down and starting to think it through.  There are definitely some pros and cons to scalp brushing our hair.  Let's discuss:

PRO:  Increased stimulation & blood flow equals a healthy scalp.
CON:  Brushing hair is the highest form of manipulation so the risk of mechanical damage & breakage is way up there.
PRO: Increased gloss to the hair as it distributes natural oils through the strands.
PRO: Feels nice.
PRO: Loosens dead skin on scalp, promoting healthier growth.

I felt compelled to try this method out for myself.  I've got a myriad of hair brushes so I had plenty of options to chose from.  My requirements were a brush a could adequately navigate through my thick hair all the way to my scalp  for proper stimulation. This brush would also have to cause as little damage as possible.  After much experimentation, I came up with four options:
Scalp Stimulation Level: HIGH
Hair Manipulation Level: MED/HIGH

Of all my traditional brushes, the Mason Pearson looks the most intimidating.  Don't let the looks fool you, this brush is unbelievably gentle.  For the purposes of scalp stimulation, this Mason Pearson brush does an excellent job.  The white bristles melt through my new growth and go directly to my scalp.  Once there, I keep the brush in place and proceed to move the brush in circular motions.  I DO NOT BRUSH MY ACTUAL HAIR for the purposes of scalp stimulation.  There are the rare times when I brush my hair with the MP brush. I do lose a hair here and there but not enough to cause a panic.   It's probably the most gentle "blow out" brush I own.
Massage Tool: Kent WoodyHog Brush
Scalp Stimulation Level: MED/HIGH
Hair Manipulation Level: LOW/MED

Although the idea of using a wooden hair brush may seem a bit uncomfortable, my experience is the exact opposite.  I bought this brush at least six months ago because the "bristles" seemed so non-threatening. I believe this is one of the only paddle brushes I own that is completely seamless.  Unfortunately, this brush was so gentle that it barely made a difference when I used it on my hair.  But, when I use as a scalp massager, the Kent is darn near perfect.  I can nestle it into my new growth and pull it out with out any concern of snagging or breakage. It's definitely gentle enough for daily scalp massages.
Scalp Stimulation Level: MED
Hair Manipulation Level: LOW

Ah yes, how could I forget the one tool made especially for massaging my scalp.  I loved this little thing so much that I even made a video about it.  My rubber scalp massager is so gentle that it pretty much causes zero breakage or tangling.  But compared to the other options on my list, the level of scalp stimulation is a bit lower.  This is expected because of the rounded tips meant to protect the scalp during the massage process.  The scalp massager is the perfect choice daily use.  It's also great for those who have damaged hair and want to be extra careful when creating blood flow to the scalp.  And best of all, it's super affordable.
Massage Tool: Tangle Teezer
Scalp Stimulation Level: HIGH
Hair Manipulation Level: LOW/MED

When the Tangle Teezer craze hit last year, I bought one as soon as I had the chance.  Turns out that this thing did nothing good for my hair.  Everytime I ran that thing through my hair I experienced breakage.  So, I stored it away neatly in a drawer in hopes that one day it would have purpose.  Well ladies, the day has finally arrived.  Just looking at this thing leaves me intimidated but, I tell you, that as a scalp massager, the Tangle Teezer is ultra-effective.  The teeth are small which allows it to easily get past my new growth.  When I begin to circulate the Teezer in small strokes, my scalp comes alive.  When I remove the Teezer out of my hair, I experience no ill effects.  Of all the options on this list, I would say that I can feel the impact of the Teezer the longest after the massage is over.

I like the fact that I have four options because I can use depending on the state of my hair. For example, if my hair is newly relaxed, I would use a gentle massager like option 2 or 3.  When the new growth is kickin', I can promote a healthy scalp with the Tangle Teezer.  Can't wait to incorporate this routine into my daily regimen.

Thanks Audrey!

  1. Wow, I may just have to try this out. I'm going to go through my many brushes and see which one will work the best for stimulating my scalp. Great post

  2. I bought a scalp.massager thanks to you. And I see growth on my edges . Now it is a very important part in my hair routine .

  3. After reading this post, I think I need to buy hair brush. I only have 1 brush and fortunately I have a perfect hair I can always flaunt. I just do regular visits to my hair specialist in Lao Fo Ye and have my hair treatment every now and then. After all, their treatments are all natural. Check it out, I highly recommend them. And their rates are pretty affordable.

    LaoFoYe Hare Care