Today’s reader question is from Allison who wants to know how and when to brush curly hair. She asks:
I am a long curly-haired girl, it’s half-way to my waist when curly.
Your advice says to not brush your hair when it is wet. This is not the first time I have heard this advice, as it leads to hair breaking. Unfortunately, whenever I brush my hair when it is dry, it ruins my curls and I turn into a big frizz ball, like Hermione from Harry Potter. It’s really bad…
Is there a way to brush it when it is dry, get all the knots out, and keep my curls from getting frizzy?
Brushing your hair when wet does cause breakages. When your hair is wet it expands and stretches. Wet hair can stretch by up to 50% when you brush it and so it’s prone to splits and breakages.
Instead of using a brush on wet hair, use a wide tooth comb to gently untangle any knots. Alternatively the Tangle Teezer is a brush that is safe to use on wet hair as it has flexible bristles that move with your hair, rather than stretching it.
To remove knots in my hair, after shampooing I apply conditioner and comb gently. If I’m wearing my hair curly I carefully towel dry it, then either let it air dry or use a diffuser to dry it quickly. My curly hair routine is here.
Unfortunately there’s not really a good way to brush curly hair when dry without creating frizz. But sometimes I love this look, and I recommend a Mason Pearson bristle brush for when you want to brush out your curls into soft waves. It’s an expensive brush but I can’t live without mine. It makes hair smoother and shinier.
If you still have issues with knots, try using a leave in conditioner or a detangler when you wash your hair. Take care when styling your hair and wear your hair like this when you sleep which will reduce knots too.
Do you have any advice on how to remove knots or brush curly hair?