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Can You REALLY Make Your Hair Grow Just By Brushing?
Paru Shukla
Medically reviewed by
Paru Shukla
Updated on December 4, 2023

There’s a well-known hair myth that brushing your hair 100 times a day gives you sleek, healthy hair.

While this claim has been widely discredited, the rumour persists that brushing your hair can help stimulate hair growth. Everything from the number of brushstrokes to the type of brush has been said to give you thicker, shinier hair.

Unfortunately, hair myths like these can actually cause more harm than good. In fact, studies show that 91% of US women do something to damage their hair every day — from using a poor brushing technique to wearing tight ponytails [1].

If you suffer from hair loss, it can be tempting to try anything to restore your locks to their former glory. Brushing your hair more often or with a certain type of brush is one of the more cost-effective suggestions out there.

That being said, the question still remains: Does brushing promote hair growth or can too much brushing actually damage your hair?

Table of Contents

Does brushing hair stimulate growth?

Experts suggest that brushing your hair daily can stimulate the scalp circulation and can help to distribute natural oils along the hair shaft. This makes hair look shinier and smoother, however it’s unlikely that this will actually make your hair grow faster.

Increased blood flow can deliver more nutrients and oxygen to the hair follicles. These are then distributed down the lengths of your hair, making it appear fuller and shinier. However, there’s little evidence to indicate that it will encourage hair growth if the follicle has already stopped producing hair.

Professional hair stylists have also quashed the theory, though they agree that brushing your hair every day is a great way to get a healthy scalp and ultimately healthy hair.

brushing dry hair with a boar bristle brush

Can brushing too much damage your hair?

The 100-strokes-a-day myth is dangerous because if you brush your hair more than you need to, you can actually damage your hair.

Excessive brushing can cause split ends, weakening the hair strands and leading to breakage and hair loss. To minimise this, make sure you only brush your hair as much as you need to for detangling or styling purposes.

If your hair is long, wearing it in a loose ponytail or bun can keep your hair out of your face and stop it from getting tangled in windy weather. As a result, you may not need to brush it as often.

Be careful not to wear your ponytail or bun too tight to avoid traction alopecia. Tight ponytails, top knots, and man buns can lead to hair loss.

The importance of brushing your hair

Brushing is important for hair health but not because it stimulates hair growth.

Keeping your hair free from tangles and knots ensures your hair stays healthy. Knotted or tangled hair can lead to dry brittle hair that breaks or falls out easily. By brushing your hair just often enough, you can keep your hair in great condition.

Brushing your hair gently and with the right kind of brush in the right way improves circulation and minimises the risk of damage to your hair. This will help to keep your scalp and hair healthy.

How to brush your hair

First things first: no yanking. Even if you come across a knot or a tricky tangle, it’s important that you don’t tug your brush through the hair. This can break your hairs, or rip them from the scalp. Instead, tease the knot out gently, using your fingers if you need to. You can apply conditioner to make your hair slicker and easier to manage.

When you’ve seen to all the knots, use a few gentle strokes to detangle the rest of your hair.

The texture of Afro hair makes it particularly prone to tangling, so it’s important to use the right kind of brush for your hair type. This can make detangling a painless process that keeps your hair in great condition.

What type of hairbrush should I use to get healthy hair?

The type of brush you use can have a dramatic effect on the condition of your hair and scalp. If you’re using the wrong kind of brush, you can easily damage your hair strands even with a gentle technique.

Experts agree that metal or wire brushes are bad for your hair. Not only are they liable to catch on your hair strands and break them as you brush but they can also heat up when blow-drying and burn your scalp. Brushes and combs with broken bristles can also damage your hair.

All hair types are different, so there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to the best brush. However, it’s generally agreed that using a soft-bristled brush can reduce the level of damage and stress put on your hair, resulting in healthier tresses.

Should I use a comb or a brush?

It’s an age-old debate among trichologists and hair stylists — but many experts agree that brushing wet hair should be avoided. Instead, use a comb for wet hair and hair brushes for dry hair.

Using a wide-tooth comb on wet hair will detangle your hair smoothly while minimising the risk of breakage. However, combs don’t distribute your scalp’s natural oils as effectively as brushes. Use a brush on dry hair to nourish the lengths of your hair with your scalp’s natural oils.

How to stimulate hair growth

Does brushing hair stimulate growth? Unfortunately, it’s not quite that easy. There are lots of potential reasons why your hair isn’t growing. And if you’re experiencing hair loss, brushing your hair more isn’t the solution. In fact, this can actually damage your existing hair.

Luckily there are plenty of other ways you can stimulate hair growth. This includes:

  • Lifestyle changes — improving your diet or stopping smoking can help boost your hair growth and help to reduce hair loss.
  • Medication — certain drugs are proven to reactivate shrunken or dormant hair follicles to produce longer, thicker hair.
  • Vitamin infusion therapy — administering vitamins and minerals that are proven to stimulate hair growth via an IV drip.
  • Laser hair loss treatment — directing beams directly into the scalp to trigger cellular activity and encourage tissue regeneration.
  • Psychological treatments — if your hair loss is caused by stress or an eating disorder, talking therapies may help.

What to do if you’re worried about hair growth

If you’re worried about your hair growth, or you think you might be losing hair, speak to a hair loss consultant. At the Wimpole Clinic, we have a dedicated team of female hair loss specialists who can help you diagnose your condition and find the best female hair loss treatment to restore your tresses, making your hair fuller and shinier.

Book a consultation with a trichologist at the Wimpole Clinic and start your hair restoration journey.

Can You REALLY Make Your Hair Grow Just By Brushing?, Wimpole Clinic

Paru Shukla
Medically reviewed by Paru ShuklaUpdated on December 4, 2023
The Wimpole Clinic offers FUE Hair, Beard & Eyebrow Transplants & Trichology.
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