Friday, October 7, 2011
Attack of the Killer Hairbrush
We'll get to the above picture in a minute. First, let's play pretend.
Picture this: You decide to grow a flower garden. You spend hours learning about which flowers will work best with the soil, temperatures, and amount of sunlight they will get in the new garden. You purchase all the tools you will need, you order high-priced seeds and plant food, and you even buy the perfect garden accessories to decorate your new garden. In time, you see the little seedlings start popping up from the soil and you get very excited.
About a month later, the plants are standing tall and have budding flowers at their tips. When you see this, you go to your garage and grab a rake. You take your rake over to the flower garden, drag the rake back and forth across the flowers without reason, and return the rake to its place in the garage. The following weekend, as you stand back and assess the state of your garden, you wonder why your flowers aren't as tall and pretty as the flowers in your neighbor's garden.
Sounds crazy, doesn't it? But that's exactly what some people do do their hair!
People go out of their way to buy the best products for their hair. They pay close attention to every single ingredient. And they make sure to even have the perfect looking accessories. But many people seem to forget that, like flowers, your hair needs to be handled with care. Raking through your tresses with a brush or comb will damage your hair just like the rake damaged the flowers in the illustration above.
I know it can be frustrating to have a head full of coils staring you down at the end of a long day. You're tired. You just want to relax. We've all been there. But that doesn't mean the right choice is to run a brush through those curls as fast as you can in an attempt to finish as quickly as possible. That may get that particular detangling session finished faster, but at what cost?
Tearing though your hair causes damage, plain and simple. And damaged hair actually becomes more difficult to detangle in the future because the damaged ends catch on the neighboring strands. This means even MORE detangling, and if you don't detangle gently it means even MORE damage. It's a vicious cycle.
I personally know people who spend a fortune on hair care products for themselves and/or their children in the search for something that will make their hair feel healthier and grow faster. But then they tear their hair to shreds with a brush. No product in the world can protect your strands from the ferocious attack of the killer hairbrush.
What you can use to fight off the damage caused by rough brushing is GENTLENESS. If your hair is tangled, be patient with it. Get it wet and load it up with conditioner. Use your fingers to separate those intertwined curls as much as possible before you reach for your comb or brush. Sure, you have to invest a little more time, but it's sooo worth it!
To see a head of hair being detangled gently, check out this post about detangling by the lovely and wise Miss A from Beads Braids & Beyond.
One more thing to remember: If you release your frustration onto your daughter's hair and start using a brush like a rake, you will likely cause pain for your child. And if hair time becomes something that your child dreads, how will she ever learn to embrace the beautiful curls she was born with? Your child's attitude is greatly influenced by yours, so take your time, detangle gently, and turn hair time into a time of bonding while you teach your daughter how to properly take care of those curls.