Are You Making This Mistake When You Brush Your Hair?

Many people stick to a daily hair care routine to help keep their locks strong and smooth. Shampoo and conditioner in the shower work to cleanse and moisturize your hair, and following up post-shower with a quick brushing can help promote hair growth and distribute healthy oils (via Healthline).

According to The Guardian, brushing your hair several times a day — but not too often — is necessary to stimulate the scalp, remove dead skin, and separate tangles in the hair. As hair experts shared with Bustle, brushing your hair also helps to move oils from your scalp to the rest of your hair, remedying the dreaded greasy scalp look. That way, you can skip time spent sudsing up your tresses in the shower, opting for only a few washes per week.

Even though brushing is an important step in your hair care routine, it, unfortunately, isn't as foolproof as it may seem. One common hair brushing mistake might actually do more harm than good.

You might be holding your hair brush the wrong way

The quality of your trendy haircut or expensive hair treatments could be sacrificed with just one simple hair brush mistake. According to a TikTok video by salon owner and hairstylist Michele Pritchard, you should never brush your hair horizontally. Most hair brushes are designed to be used vertically, and you can confirm this by looking at your brush from the side. If you can't see through the bristles, which is often the case when brushes are held horizontally, you can expect your hair to get caught and tangled in the brush. On the other hand, positioning your brush vertically, where you can see through the rows of bristles, allows the hair to glide through freely.

This trick may not work with all types of hair brushes. For example, most round brushes are meant to be used horizontally, not vertically, per Byrdie. However, many paddle-style and detangling brushes check out when it comes to the vertical bristle test.

Hair brushing mistakes can lead to damaged hair

The tangles created by holding your brush incorrectly can cause bigger hair issues down the line. Light tangles can eventually lead to stubborn knots, where multiple hairs become wrapped and tied together. According to Byrdie, this can then cause hair to break and become brittle, especially if you try to detangle it once it's already too late. Some people may even end up ripping and pulling out knotted hairs by aggressively brushing them out.

It's best to brush your hair correctly the first time to avoid more issues (and overbrushing) later. Aside from holding your brush vertically, Healthline offers a few other tips for proper hair brushing. When brushing wet hair, use a comb or a detangling brush with spaced-out bristles to avoid damaging delicate hair. For dry hair, be sure to work in sections, beginning near the tips rather than the roots. If you're still left with tangles, give a detangling spray a try, or swap out your current conditioner for a new one. And remember, not every person's hair requires the same treatment. Adjust your hair habits based on your unique hair type.