A recent article caught our attention when the headline made the bold claim that brushing your hair is the “easiest trick to make your hair grow.” Really? That’s all it takes—brushing your hair?
According to a writer at Cosmopolitan UK, yep. This woman (who had previously embarked on an adventure in which she stopped shampooing her hair) wanted to test a theory she’d heard claiming that brushing your hair with a certain kind of brush and in a certain way will cause your hair to grow at a faster rate.
“Regular, vigorous brushing can cause damage. However, with the right brush, damage is mitigated and healthiness encouraged! Brushing with a boar bristle brush distributes your hair’s natural sebum and oils along your whole hair shaft, strengthening it and adding shine,” she writes. “But the theory is that when we brush our hair regularly with the right sort of brush, our scalp is stimulated and sent extra growthy stuff and things.” She then shows before-and-after photos of the back of her head and says that she’s confident that after brushing her hair that way every day for two weeks, her hair grew two centimeters.
Could this actually work? Francesca Fusco, a dermatologist and scalp expert in New York City, says that brushing your hair daily could stimulate your scalp and help with the appearance of your hair, but that helping it grow is a stretch. “Brushing your hair with the proper brush is a healthy thing to do for your hair. It stimulates circulation and distributes sebum along hair shaft so hair looks shiny and luminous,” she says. “Proper circulation delivers nutrients and oxygen to the follicle from where the hair grows, but I’m not familiar with any studies demonstrating that brushing causes a release of growth factors that stimulate hair to grow faster.”
Matt Fugate, a hairstylist at the Serge Normant Salon in New York City, concurs, saying that if you brush your hair every day with the right kind of brush, you’ll be promoting overall hair health, if nothing else. “Stimulation of the scalp is key,” he says. “Daily brushing is like taking your scalp to the gym—you’re keeping it healthy.” But don’t just brush your hair every day with any old brush. “A soft, boar-bristle brush is perfect to stimulate your scalp but not agitate it,” says Fugate.
“Don’t use a brush with metal or wire bristles; those have no give, so they can break and snap hair off.” If we’ve told you once, we’ve told you a thousand times: You can never go wrong with the classic Mason Pearson Brush. Fugate also recommends the Y.S. Park Boar Paddle Brush.