Brushing your hair is such a mundane task, but it can actually hold you back from achieving your hair goals. Whether you strive for long, shiny strands or bouncy, defined curls, the main goals always to have healthy hair. When you brush your hair, the natural motion tugs on your strands and creates friction, which can lead to hair breakage.
If you frequently use hair color, bleach, chemical treatments or heat styling and your hair is dry and damaged, brushing your hair may be the literal breaking point for your strands. We’re not saying to abandon brushing your hair entirely, we’re here to point you towards a better solution for your hair — the wide tooth comb. A wide tooth comb is highly underrated in terms of the way it can smooth and detangle all types of hair with less damage.
Read on as we share seven reasons why you should be embracing a wide tooth comb in your hair care routine.
Why Should I Use a Wide Tooth Comb?
Switching to a wide tooth comb can feel like a big adjustment, especially when you leave behind the ease and quickness of a hairbrush. What you gain improves the health of your hair, the health of your scalp and the appearance of your hair. It’s a simple switch that can make a huge, positive difference.
Check out these benefits of using a wide tooth comb, below.
1. Wide Tooth Combs Help Prevent Breakage
If your hair feels healthy but you’re still dealing with breakage after you’ve cut back on coloring your hair and heat styling, your hairbrush could be the sneaky cause. Brushing your hair removes tangles but the constant tugging motion pulls at your strands, causing hair breakage.
A wide tooth comb is much kinder on hair thanks to the wide space between the teeth, which allows it to minimize friction. It’s an effective alternative to brushing your hair and the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD,) recommends it for tug-free, gentle styling.
2. Wide Tooth Combs Are More Forgiving for Damaged Strands
If your hair is bleached-damaged, over-processed or ridden with split ends and dryness, then you definitely want to avoid brushing it all together because your hair will break. Your hair is already in a compromised state and the tugging motion of a brush, in combination with wet hair, can easily lead to breakage.
As we mentioned, a wide tooth comb will allow you to remove tangles and smooth wet or dry hair with gentle and effective motions. This will allow you to improve the integrity of your hair while preventing future damage.
Editor’s tip: A few times a week, treat your damaged strands with the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Signature Masque, Color Care Hair Mask. This hydrating mask will add moisture and nourishment back to your strands with each use and hair will be softer, smoother and free of tangles for effortless combing.
3. Wide Tooth Combs Are Great for Detangling
Tangled strands are a menace that everyone has dealt with at least once or twice, and probably more. Using a hairbrush to remove big tangles may be quick and easy but the whole process is aggressive and can lead to hair loss.
As we said before, a wide tooth comb is much more forgiving on tangles (especially for curly tresses) thanks to the wide spaces between each tooth and it’s just as effective. While it may require a bit more patience, a wide tooth comb gives you more control, eliminating the worry of losing hair during the detangling process.
Editor’s tip: Before combing tangled hair, spritz your hair with the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free 21-in-1 Color Caring Spray, Leave In to soften strands, reduce frizz, detangle hair and so much more.
4. Wide Tooth Combs Are Better for Creating Hairstyles
If coiffed updos are a go-to in your hair routine, then you know how necessary a comb is for parting your hair. From a middle part to a zigzag part, a wide tooth comb does what a hairbrush cannot to make sure every hair is in place for a clean, smooth look.
5. Wide Tooth Combs Are Easier to Clean
A hairbrush is difficult to clean due to its shape and the denseness of the bristles. The bristles can house product buildup, dirt and oils — weighing down your hair and giving it a dull appearance.
Cleaning your hair tools is something that many overlook and it can play a big role in the way your style looks. By its general nature, a wide tooth comb is easier to clean (daily) than a hairbrush and it dries quickly.
6. Wide Tooth Combs Are Gentler on Wet Hair
Wide tooth combs are better-suited for wet hair than a hairbrush. When hair is wet, it’s in its most compromised and fragile state and brushing the hair stretches each strand, making it highly susceptible to breakage. Because of this, wide tooth combs are better for wet hair because they can smooth and detangle wet strands with less resistance, leading to less damage.
Additionally, wide tooth combs are especially great for combing wet, curly hair because they don’t disrupt the curl pattern or cause frizziness. If you add a wide tooth comb to one part of your routine, add it to your post-wash routine and use it on wet hair when your tresses are most vulnerable.
7. Wide Tooth Combs Won’t Exacerbate a Flakey Scalp
If you constantly deal with a flakey, irritated scalp, your hairbrush may contribute to that. As we stated, your brush can become covered with dirt, oils and product buildup, plus the small teeth are harsher on the scalp — all of which can lead to irritation.
Naturally, a wide tooth comb is going to be less abrasive on the scalp and the wide teeth can help to stimulate blood flow to the area, boosting the health and appearance of the scalp and hair.
How to Use a Wide Tooth Comb in Your Routine
A wide tooth comb can fully replace a hairbrush in your hair care routine. Here are a couple of tips to keep in mind when adding one to your routine.
1. Address Tangles With Your Shampoo and Conditioner
Smooth, tangle-free hair is always the easiest to comb and achieving that starts with your shampoo and conditioner. If breakage and damage are your biggest hair concerns, we recommend the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Color Care Bond Strengthening Shampoo and the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Bond Strengthening Conditioner.
This reparative system helps to strengthen hair inside and out by reinforcing weak hair bonds. After each wash, hair will be noticeably smoother and softer, ideal for combing and easy styling.
Those with curly hair can reach for the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Dream Lengths Curls Moisture Push Shampoo and the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Dream Lengths Curls Moisture Seal Conditioner to cleanse and shape curls while locking in moisture and smoothing strands. Curly and wavy hair types may also find it helpful to shower-comb after conditioning to address tangles.
2. Use a Hair Treatment Before Combing
After gently towel-drying your wet strands, it’s important to prime your hair with a styling product to manage frizz and enhance smoothness before combing. Whether that be with the aforementioned L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free 21-in-1 Color Caring Spray, Leave In or the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Simply Clean Midnight Color Care Serum, both will help to reduce frizz and make hair more manageable.
Curly hair can benefit from a curl-enhancing cream like the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Dream Lengths Curls Non-Stop Dreamy Curls Leave-in Conditioner. This leave-in conditioner will help to define curls, soften hair and boost hydration before combing.
To refresh dry strands for easy combing, try the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Simply Clean Sheer Oil.
Editor’s tip: If you’re combing your hair in preparation for heat styling, don’t forget to use a heat protectant like the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Weightless Blow Dry Primer, Heat Protectant or the L’Oréal Paris Dream Lengths Frizz Killer Serum Leave-In to reduce the potential for heat damage.
Written by: Reece Andavolgyi, Photo credit: Reece Andavolgyi, Design by: Sarah Duvivier
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