When it comes to grooming your hair and beard the key thing to remember is that combing is for detangling and styling. Brushing is for stimulating the scalp and improving the look and feel of your hair. This is true regardless of your hair length.
All too often in the barber shop we've seen folks take an Afro comb and simply yank it through their hair; this can be extremely damaging. Our coily hair often interlocks together and when you drag a comb through it this can cause great damage to the follicle as you pull hairs from the root, as well as break the hairs that have locked together.
A little bit of shedding when you comb is unavoidable but to protect your hair it is important to comb when the hair has been moisturised and never when completely dry. You want your hair to be soft and supple but not drenched. Your hair is at is weakest when it is soaking wet making it susceptible to breakage.
How to Comb Long Afro Textured Hair
First detangle as much as possible with your fingers then starting at the tips of your hair comb through and work your way to the base.
How to Comb Short Afro Textured Hair
Use a smaller comb to style the direction of the hair for a more defined, groomed look.
Pro Tip: Choose your comb wisely; cheaper combs often have cheap moulds which create a fine line running down each tooth. This can lacerate the cuticle of your hair, leaving your hair dishevelled, less shiny and more prone to knots.
For the beard use the same steps depending on the length. When combing, start with the wider teeth of the comb and work your way down to smaller tooth sizes until you find what feels comfortable.
How to Brush Afro Textured Hair
Brushing is a great way to stimulate the scalp, increasing blood flow and hair production. It also helps to distribute oils across the head. Your scalp produces natural sebum oils, however, the curlier your hair the harder it is for these oils to travel the length of the hair strand. Adding to that, brushing also helps to exfoliate the scalp, remove debris and unclog follicles.
Pro Tip: Ever wonder why the back of your neck is prone to spots after a close shave or haircut? One of the reasons is that the nape of the neck contains a ton of oil producing sebaceous glands. Brush these oils upward and disperse into the rest of your hair to help prevent clogged pores and bumps.
Regular brushing will also make your hair shinier and glossier, this is because it helps to close the hairs outer cuticles. Another benefit of this is that healthy cuticles help the hair to become less tangled in future.
Regular brushing is also a key component in developing waves, in fact brushing is your number 1 tool for developing natural waves. 5-10 mins of regular brushing will help lay your hair down in your desired pattern.
How to find the right hair or beard brush
When it comes to brush types it really does come down to personal preference.
Commonly men with coarse, tighter curls opt for a firmer brush whilst those with a wavier texture prefer a softer bristle. Although this is just a starting point and not a hard rule, the sensitivity of your skin and scalp will also be a factor in the brush that works for you.
It’s important to get a quality comb and brush session into your routine, both serve their purpose for developing and maintaining healthy hair.
We recommend starting with the CBC method (Comb, Brush, Comb)
– Comb & detangle
– Brush session
– Comb & style
But you’ll need to experiment to find the method that works best for you to create the finish you are looking for.