- Publish Date
- Monday, 15 February 2016, 1:43PM
Most of us were brought up with the idea that we should brush our hair with 100 strokes every day to keep it soft, shiny and healthy.
However, a new beauty trend has emerged that involves not brushing your hair. At all.
Advocates say that over-brushing damages your hair, leading to split ends and breakages, which could end in hair loss. By not brushing your hair, they say, you allow it to remain strong, healthy and even looking better. Can this really be true?
Trichologist Philip Kingsley, who tended to Audrey Hepburn's locks, thinks so.
"I am anti-brushing," he says. "I have been for years, ever since I started doing research into the dust particles in hairbrushes and realised that a lot of it is actually hair broken by brushing and healthy cells that have been stripped off the scalp.
"A lot of women over-brush their hair - either for too long or with too much force. Vigorous brushing can remove some of your hair's cuticles - its outer cell layer - which weakens it and causes damage.
"Constant traction from pulling your hair when you brush can actually pull out your hair, while the sharp tips at the end of some bristles harm the scalp.
"The idea that we should be brushing 50 to 100 strokes a day is a myth that comes from a time when people didn't wash their hair, so they needed to brush in order to remove dirt and dust. We don't live in those times any more."
Lance Lowe at The Underground Hairdresser, also warns against weekly blow drying.
"I've seen women with receding hairlines because of their weekly blow-dries," says Lance, who does the hair on catwalk shows for the likes of Vivienne Westwood and Alexander McQueen.
"Hairdressers use a lot of force when they're doing them, pulling out hair in the process - you only need to look at the brush to see it."
Philip Kingsley agrees: "Professional blow-dries are a disaster - all the pulling and heat makes the hair brittle. Over the years, aggressive brushing can cause traction alopecia, which is where hair falls out."
For people who don't want to abandon their hair tools altogether, he recommends combing instead of brushing.
"If your hair gets knotty, use a wide-tooth comb to detangle it," he says. "Start at the bottom of the hair, where the knots tend to form, then work your way up to the top. Pulling a comb roughly from the top to the bottom can worsen tangles and cause hair breakage.
"Only use a brush to smooth hair when you are styling it. Choose one with long, widely-spaced bristles. Plastic bristles are smoother, blunter and kinder to your hair, while natural bristles can scratch.
"I have several clients who have not brushed their hair for years and it is in great condition," he says. "One woman still has a head of long, thick hair and she's in her late 60s."