Saturday, May 18, 2013

Want Great Hair? Pro Haircare Tips You Can Use at Home Part 4 (of 7) - Brushing


Using a ball-tipped bristle brush can promote healthy hair growth. It must be a brush with soft plastic knobs on the ends of the bristles to keep from scratching your scalp.
DENMAN brands, which you can order online, are recommended by leading hairdressers.
  • Brush your hair before shampooing (while it's still dry).
  • Remove the dust and dirt of the day from your hair with a good brushing.
  • Brushing stimulates the natural oil production of your scalp and distributes the oils along the hair strands.
There are five types of brush, each for a specific purpose.
Many people keep their old favorite brush and use it for all types of hair styling jobs and then wonder why their hair doesn't look as good everyday as it does after a visit to the stylist.
To help you choose the best brushes for your styling needs, first let's discuss what each of the brush types are really for:

Vent Brushes...

The open vents allow air flow. It's used to create root lift and volume for your hair and to give some direction and movement like flicking out the ends of your hair.

If your hair tends to be a little flyaway or static this is not the styling brush for you as it's the simplest brush to use but gives only the simplest effects. It's not far removed from using your fingers to dry your hair. It is a great brush for easing out tangles on medium to thick hair and men's or children's short simple styles or to give a little more height and lift to a style that you might normally dry with your fingers.

Styler or the "Denman"...

Denman is a brand name for a type of brush with no vents and a solid cushion backing. The bristles are on one side only and form a slight half circle. They are best used on bob shape cuts and mid length hair to smooth and straighten the lengths and ends of the hair. Like the vent brush, they are easy to use, but if you can't get the smoothness you want form this type of brush it is because it cannot provide enough tension. For that you will need to use a large round bristle brush.

Cushion Brushes...

These have a soft cushion base with bristles on one side, often slightly curved and are used to smooth, without lift or volume on short to medium hair lengths that aren't too thick or dense. They are very simple to use and are popular with men to create neat smooth shapes without lift.

Round Brushes...

The name round brush describes it but the most important thing to realize is that it's not just for creating curl. The more open bristle type is used for achieving maximum height and lift.

The densely packed real bristle round brush is great for smoothing and straightening your hair with the tension needed for hair that is naturally wavy or curly.

The size of the brush you need depends on the length of your hair and the effect you want. Your hair needs to be long enough to rap around the brush once.

As a general guide:
  • For short hair (up to 6 inches) the center barrel of the brush should be 1 inch or less in diameter.
  • For mid length hair ( 6 - 8 inches) the center barrel of the brush should be 1 to 1.5 inches in diameter.
  • For long hair ( 8 inches or more) the center barrel of the brush should be 2 inches or more in diameter.
To get it right with a round brush:
  • You need to practice. Think of it as a workout for your arms!
  • Use sectioning clips, so that you can work with only a small piece of hair at a time.
  • Angle the air from your dryer, so that it flows from roots to ends, (not across or back towards your head, which is good only for making your hair frizzy).
  • Ask your hairdresser to give you a demo on how to do it then ask them to watch you and correct your technique. They really shouldn't mind teaching you how to keep your hair looking great.
If you have tried a round brush and it failed to straighten your hair effectively there is this great new brush on the market that is easy to use at home. It looks like a pair of tongs with bristles facing towards each other. You simply clasp a section of hair near the scalp between the bristles and then dry your hair as you slide the brush through the hair towards the ends.

Paddle Brushes...

These are larger and flatter than the cushion brush and are known by their size and cushion type base from which the bristles protrude. They're used when you have long or very thick hair to deal with. They are great to smooth naturally straight hair or to finish off after using a round brush to straighten frizzy, wavy or curly hair.

Simply sweep the brush down the length of your hair with a paddle type motion. This way you won't create volume or highly stylized looks with this type of brush.

Thermal Brushes...

Many types of brushes now come in thermal versions. You most commonly find round thermal brushes but they also come as vent or styler types. If time is your concern then a thermal brush could be what you need. They work by using a metal or heat conductive material as the center of the brush; this gets hot using the heat from your hair dryer. As you increase the heat that is drying your hair working not only on the surface of the hair, but internally as well, it dries faster. You can get effects that are like setting your hair on rollers when you get really good with one of these.

Be very careful though, it's easy to scorch your hair if the brush gets too hot! We recommend that if your hair is fine, chemically treated or damaged that you use a good old-fashioned non-thermal brush to avoid overheating damage.

You can also try the new ceramic brushes. Since ceramics retain heat, a brush with a ceramic core can help you dry and style your hair with less heat damage. Previously various metals have been used as the centers for brushes and the plates of flat irons and tongs. It turns out that replacing the metal with ceramics not only does the job better but is less harmful to hair.

Next: The right color for your hair.

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