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How to Brush Curly Hair | An Overly-Detailed Guide

Brushing curly hair the right way can make a big difference in the overall health of your hair. Learn how to brush curly hair to achieve exquisite coils, waves, and curls in our comprehensive guide below.

Brushing Curly Hair: A Summary

Brushing curly hair is no small feat and can hurt if done wrong. Here’s a summary of how to do it right:

  1. Have your tools ready
  2. Finger-detangle your hair while using oil
  3. Brush your hair from the tip to the root
  4. Apply shampoo to your curls and rinse
  5. Split your hair into sections and apply a moisturizing conditioner
  6. Brush your hair after using the conditioner
  7. Rinse it out
  8. Follow up with a leave-in conditioner

To avoid damage, you must arm yourself with knowledge on how to brush curly hair correctly.

Read Next: The 7 Best Hair Brushes to Buy in 2024

How to Brush Curly Hair: 8 Tips for Success

The process of brushing hair may seem natural and easy. However, brushing curly hair takes more than instinct. You must be delicate about it and take time to learn how to do it correctly.

For example, a study says brushing your hair too frequently can cause hair loss. Using the proper method to brush your curly hair will:

  • Detangle your curls, preventing split ends and knots
  • Encourage hair growth
  • Help you get rid of the loose strands that you normally shed
  • Properly distribute natural oils in your hair

Here’s a breakdown of the steps to follow to brush curly hair correctly.

1. Have Your Tools Ready

Before you start the process, ensure all the tools you need are ready. You’ll require more products than your hairbrush for a great result. You might not know what products you’ll need. 

So, here’s a list of tools and products that you’ll use:

  • A detangling brush or a wide-tooth comb
  • Hair oil 
  • A shampoo of your choosing (make sure it’s gentle)
  • Moisturizing conditioner (it’ll help when detangling)
  • Curl cream or leave-in conditioner 

Make sure you select a brush meant for curly hair. When buying a hairbrush, think of it as an investment. Besides, once you buy one, you’ll use it for many years. So go for one that’ll do great in maintaining your curl pattern. A brush with soft bristles is better since it’ll be gentle. 

The products mentioned above are great since they protect hair from breaking when detangling. As you prepare to brush your curly hair, arm yourself with patience. It’ll go a long way in ensuring the process is smooth.

2. Finger-Detangle Your Hair While Using Oil

Using your fingers is one of the most effective ways to detangle curly and matted hair. Apply a hair oil of your choice before going into the shower. There are a variety of excellent hair oils, including coconut, almond, argan, and sesame. 

Coconut oil ranks high among the list of best natural oils for hair. It helps users grow shiny and healthy hair. In addition, the oil helps damaged hair regrow while also acting as a conditioner. The essential proteins in coconut oil allow it to heal damaged strands. 

Once you apply your favorite oil, massage it into the hair. Afterward, run your fingers through it to break up big knots. Make sure to do it gently. Finger-detangling helps keep your curl pattern intact.

Read Next: The 7 Best Shampoos and Conditioners for Tangled Hair

3. Brush Your Hair From the Tip to the Root

Take your detangling brush and brush the hair from the tip (bottom) to the root (top). Remember to brush it gently. Alternatively, you can use your wide-tooth comb. When brushing, avoid doing so from root to tip.

That method puts a lot of stress on your hair and is likely to cause breakage. So, the rule of thumb is to work your way from the tip to the root as you detangle.

Do that to avoid damaging your hair. Using a detangling brush may be more beneficial than using a wide-tooth comb. A brush is more flexible, making it easier to run through your hair. When you finish brushing, your hair may look untamed.

However, don’t worry. That’s not the final look. Also, don’t skip finger detangling if your hair is quite knotted up. However, you may skip step three and go to four if your hair isn’t too tangled.

4. Apply Shampoo to Your Curls

Get in the shower and apply your shampoo. Rub it well on your scalp, then rinse it out. It isn’t necessary to rub it into the length of your hair. According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, doing so can damage the hair. 

To prevent hair damage, only massage the shampoo into the scalp. Then, as you rinse, the shampoo will flow through your hair and clean it. Make sure you resist the urge to rub the shampoo into the strands. 

Using a gentle shampoo will result in a clean and healthy scalp. According to one study, the scalp’s condition affects the quality of your hair. So, a healthy scalp makes for healthy curly hair. 

5. Split Your Hair into Sections and Apply a Moisturizing Conditioner

Part your hair into sections. The number of sections will depend on the thickness of your hair. Ideally, two or three sections can work. Once parted, apply your moisturizing conditioner to each section. Work on one part at a time. 

Conditioning the hair ensures it’s well moisturized and detangled. Use a generous amount of conditioner for each part and apply it from the top to the ends. A common question among people with curly hair is how to select the right conditioner.

To answer that question, look at how slippery it makes your hair. A conditioner with more slip will smoothen that hair, limiting frizz. If you suffer from a lot of hair breakage, your conditioner may be the culprit. It may not be slippery enough.

6. Brush Your Hair After Using the Conditioner

After applying the moisturizing conditioner, you can now brush your hair. First, gently detangle your strands using your fingers. You can do the finger detangling under a gentle stream of water from the shower.

It can make the process easier and faster. Detangling helps eliminate knots making your hair smooth. When you’re done, brush your hair with a detangling brush.

Do it gently from the ends of the hair to the roots. You may also choose to use a wide-tooth comb. Either of these will help distribute the conditioner evenly on your head. It also results in soft and exquisite strands. 

7. Rinse It Out

In this step, you can rinse your conditioner out and get out of the shower. Some people may choose not to rinse all the conditioners to keep hair moisturized completely. Doing so may weigh your hair down, especially if you used a generous amount of the product.

8. Follow Up With a Leave-in Conditioner 

Pick a leave-in conditioner of your choice and apply it to your hair. Alternatively, you can use curl cream. It is thicker in texture and great for defined curly hair.

Apply either of the two just as you would apply your conditioner. Comb your hair afterward. These products make sure that your hair remains moisturized and soft. Avoid skipping this final step if your hair is quite curly. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Woman showing us how to brush curly hair with a wooden bristled brush without wearing a shirt in a pink room

Roman Samborskyi/Shutterstock

You might have many more questions about caring for curly hair. Here are answers to some of the most common queries.

How can you brush your curly hair without it frizzing?

Ensure you comb your hair while it’s wet or damp to avoid frizzing. Also, use hair oils frequently to ensure your curls stay moisturized. Ensure your brushing technique is gentle to avoid frizz and other issues like hair loss.

Should you brush curly hair daily?

Brushing curly hair many times will do more harm than good. So, keep it to a minimum to ensure your curls stay intact. Typically, it’s best to brush your curly hair the same number of times as you wash it.

Should you brush curly hair when it’s wet or dry?

You should only brush curly hair when it’s damp or wet or if there’s some slip between the brush bristles and the strands. Brushing when the hair is dry will cause frizz and destroy the integrity of your curls. The rule of thumb is to keep your hair hydrated when brushing.

What else can you use instead of a brush?

If you don’t want to use a brush, you can turn to a comb or your fingers. However, some stubborn tangles are best worked on with a brush. Remember to moisturize your curly hair regardless of what you choose to use on it.

What should you avoid if you have curly hair?

Maintaining curly hair requires more attention and care. So, to avoid damaging your hair, do not heat style regularly, over-clean, or skip conditioning. Also, avoid using the wrong hair products since they can have bad results.

So, How Do You Brush Curly Hair?

Maintaining healthy curly hair takes some effort. When brushing, make sure you detangle it, use the proper method to brush it out, shampoo, and condition it. By following these tips, you can reduce frizz and have an easy time when it’s time to brush your hair. Happy styling!