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Is the Right Brush the Secret to a Good Hair Day?
11.28.18

In partnership with Tangle Teezer

I’ve recently become aware of the fact that, as an adult, I do not brush my hair very often. This might have something to do with the fact that I am still on my hair journey — learning what is and is not healthy for it, what works and what doesn’t for my specific textures (yes, with an “s,” because there are multiple on my head!). It might be because that Pollyanna image of a woman in front of her vanity counting brushstrokes is a big “no” for me, because who has time to COUNT BRUSHSTROKES? Or maybe this is simply because, when it comes to my hair, I’m kind of…lazy? TBD.

The thing is, does anyone brush their hair that often? One simple survey of my colleagues later and I learned that I am not the only one who prefers to let her hair do what it wants as opposed to taming it with toothy tools. Which is precisely why I thought it would be fun to do something different for a change: brush our hair! Below, a Team MR foray into the wild world of mane-taming wherein three of us, thanks to Tangle Teezer, test out hairstyles that require hair-brushing for ultimate success. Read on for a truly enlightening experience.


Emma, MR’s Associate Editor

Cornrows achieved thanks to The Thick & Curly detangling hairbrush, Salsa Red.

Styled with Something Navy shirt and Brinker & Eliza earrings

How old were you when you learned to brush your own hair?
I’m not sure, but the mythology surrounding my hair is that my mother didn’t know what to do with it (white moms, lol), so by the time I was eight, she had told me I could do it myself. Luckily I had aunties and neighbors and friends’ moms and grandmoms to help out.

Tell me about your brushing habits then versus now — do you brush your hair every day? What is your typical routine?
I wore a lot of ballerina-style buns in my hair because my mom wasn’t the only one who didn’t know what to do with it. I’m still learning how to take care of it now, but I try not to brush it very often because it’s highly textured. I typically detangle in the shower using a wide-toothed comb and LOTS of conditioner and then let it air dry so as to manipulate the curls as little as possible. Now that I am the proud owner of both The Thick & Curly detangling hairbrush (umm…longer and stronger teeth to get through the curliest of hair? YES PLEASE!) and The Ultimate Detangler (which I hear is especially great for brushing conditioners through wet hair, a.k.a. exactly what I need!!!), I am very hyped to use these babies.

How did you brush your hair to achieve this look?
I washed and detangled my hair the night before using The Ultimate Detangler (which feels great on the scalp!). When it came time to style my hair for this shoot, Charde Smith, our fantastic hairstylist for the day, arranged my hair into four sections, sprayed each section down and then used The Thick & Curly detangling hairbrush on my wet hair to make sure I was fully detangled. Then she parted my hair down the middle with the kind of precision my Aunt Kathy would be proud of and cornrowed each side. I’ve learned that I MUST be fully detangled before attempting styles such as braids or bantu knots.

How did it FEEL being in the world with a style that required brushing? Were people obsessed with you? What was the feedback?
I’m very confident in my french-braiding ability but less so in my self-cornrowing ability, despite the fact that cornrows are one of my all-time favorite styles (I’m sure you can see the trouble there). So walking around in said style on such soft and tangle-free hair felt pretty great. And yes, people are always obsessed with me.

 


Amelia, MR’s Head of Creative

Movie-star style achieved thanks to The Original detangling hairbrush, Pink Fizz

Styled with vintage Hermes dress

How old were you when you learned to brush your own hair?
Five or six, maybe? I have a very clear memory of being with my aunt and discovering a TRULY TERRIBLE SUMMER KNOT in the back of my hair by the nape of my neck. She had to teach me how to brush it out (I’m super tender-headed so I don’t think I could handle her doing it for me) so that I didn’t rip all my hair out of my head: Start with the ends, then the middle, then top to bottom.

Tell me about your brushing habits then versus now — do you brush your hair every day? What is your typical routine?
I brush my hair out before I wash it, which is about two or three times a week, and then I comb it through with my fingers after. I DETEST the pre-shower detangling. It hurts so much. In fact, everyone who hears me complain about this tells me that I need to get a Tangle Teezer-like brush to use in the shower!

Also, apparently I have fine individual strands, so every five seconds my hair gets a tangle just by existing. My usual detangling process is also finger-oriented because I’m always scared to rip chunks out, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. Please do not do that at home.

How did you brush your hair to achieve this look?
Okay well first, I showed up with tangled hair. So I used The Original detangling hairbrush to brush it out before Charde did anything, and it was a delightful experience. It left my hair soft! Shiny! And, duh, tangle-free. The people were right: I need a Tangle Teezer. I wanted a very glam/polished-wave situation, so Charde wrapped my hair (about inch-and-a-half chunks) around an iron to add some heat, spiraled them around her finger to consolidate into pinwheels then pinned them to my head for an hour — which gave everyone in the office what I’ll go so far as to call “a real treat” in the view department. Then she brushed them out. If she hadn’t brushed them out, they would have looked like my childhood self’s dream tap dance recital hair. But she did, bless her, and I felt like a movie star from the 1940s.

How did it FEEL being in the world with a style that required brushing? Were people obsessed with you? What was the feedback?
HOW DID IT FEEL? Amazing. I felt and feel like a far more glamorous version of myself because my day-to-day is messy hair worn down, back in a braid or up in a ponytail. I say “feel” because I’m trying to make this hairstyle last as long as humanly possible. So far, so good — and the maintenance (brushing it) makes me feel like a human zen garden, my hair being the sand, brush being the rake, which is to say, the whole thing is a delight. I might brush my hair more often as a result.


Patty, MR’s Head of Partnerships

“Oh, I woke up like this” look achieved thanks to The Ultimate

Detangler and The Compact Styler detangling hairbrush, Holo Hero.

Styled with AYR top and H&M earrings

How old were you when you learned to brush your own hair?
I was around four when I finally grew a full head of hair, so I think that is the age when I began brushing, but I actually didn’t know until this year that you are supposed to brush the bottom first and work your way up to avoid breakages. Still a novice brusher.

Tell me about your brushing habits then versus now — do you brush your hair every day? What is your typical routine?
In high school I always brushed my hair after a shower then put it up into a messy bun, where it would remain for days. On the weekends I would blow dry and straighten it, which took a couple of hours and required lots of diligent brushing. Nowadays I still brush my hair after washing it, and occasionally I brush out the curls before I go to bed because if feels SO DANG GOOD on my scalp after a long day, but that’s usually when I know I’m going to wash it or put it up the next day. I have horrific memories from when I was in middle school of getting so frustrated with a hair tie knotted in my hair that I would rip it out and call it a day. Now I’ll run a hand through and separate some pieces, but other than that, I let the tangles be until the next wash.

How did you brush your hair to achieve this look?
The day before the shoot I used the detangling brush that is specifically for wet hair (“The Ultimate Detangler“) and let my hair air dry as usual. The second day (the look that’s featured here), I used The Compact Styler detangling hairbrush, Holo Hero (which, bonus, is actually holographic) to brush out wavy hair to create volume. Once the waves were free-floating, Charde used a curling iron to add curls and then used the brush again to tease, add volume to and break apart the curls. The look took all of 15 minutes!

How did it FEEL being in the world with a style that required brushing? Were people obsessed with you? What was the feedback?
I felt pretty glamorous; this is a solid wedding guest style. A client asked me if I got a blow out, which was fun to hear. However, I was REALLY delighted when Emma told me how much she liked the brushed out curls before we even got to the iron, and I was surprised to realize that I liked that look even better than the heavier falling, iron-defined curls that felt more polished but less me. Will definitely be giving the brushed-out, day-two hair a try!


Told you that would be a truly enlightening experience. What are you still doing here? Get up and take a Tangle Teezer to your head now! Promise you’ll enjoy.

Photos by Louisiana Mei Gelpi.

Hair Styling by Charde Smith of Joli Beauty.

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