As you know, I haven’t washed my hair for YONKS. Three and a half years, to be precise. In those years, particularly during the months that I was researching my Happy Hair book, I learnt an awful lot about hair. And there is a lot that I learnt that applies not *just* for those who have given up shampoo completely, but for everyone who would like healthy hair.
Since giving up shampoo my hair has become a lot more shiny and has seen a lot more natural growth. It is like it is unburdened by all the toxins I was sticking in it and just wildly shimmying around up there. However, there is one thing that has impacted this shiny hair and growth the most, folks.
How to get shiny hair
The internet is full of tips for healthy hair – but nearly all of them involve more chemical heavy stuff to stick on your hair. The last thing you need on your hair is MORE chemicals. Your scalp produces this awesome stuff called sebum. We often refer to it as grease, which is a dirty word, so I am on a mission to reclaim SEBUM as the natural, glorious, protective oil that it is! It is there for our own good, to coat our hair shaft and make it smooth shiny and to protect it from the elements.
Sebum will get you shiny hair- but you need to help move it along. And this is where my one hair secret rises above all the other healthy hair tips! *da dad di daaaaaaaaa* (Dramatic drum rolly thing)
It is a boar bristle brush.
Everyone who dreams of shiny, healthy hair should have one of these in their cupboard!
A few nights of brushing properly and your hair just goes BLING DIGGIDY BLING.
A boar bristle brush conditions and nourishes, improves the texture and can cut down the need for any other styling products.
Natural Hair Growth Tips
I have always longed for fast growing hair. I can remember trying to make my hair touch my bum as a kid, I’d lean back, practically in half and be like LOOK MY HAIR GOES DOWN TO MY BUM! But I also act on my fancies quite regularly too – so even as a teenager I’d be looking in the mirror and think, ooh, this hair needs a chop. And then I’d chop it all off. And then I’d be back to square one.
How to increase hair growth became a bit of an obsession of mine, and I learnt that eating healthier (lots and lots of good oils and oily fish) can really help. As can some of those folk tips for hair growth such a rosemary tea and lavender tea.
But since giving up shampoo and using my boar bristle brush every night my hair has been growing at a rate of knots. It stimulates the scalp and your hair is just like LET’S DO IT! Which means I can whimsically chop it whenever I want. In fact *wanders off the find the scissors*
Boar Bristle Brush (or a BBB. Yeah you know me.)
There is a wide spectrum for the old natural boar bristle brush. You have a Mason Pearson on one end which can run into hundreds of dollars worth – and lots of people think they are worth every penny. Then there is a Denman, which you can pick up on the high street for a few quid. In between there are many others and I reckon a mid range one is the way to go. My favourite brush is a trusty Kent – they’ve been making brushes since 1777 – I have this KENT spiral bristle brush but can also highly recommend the paddle brush – KENT Airheadz paddle brush (Affiliate links but recommended in total integrity.) See my full list of best boar bristle brush in 2017.
Cut down your washes
I don’t know many women that didn’t wish they weren’t so completely locked into their once a day or once-every-two-days shampoo cycle. It does feel a bit of a trap, shampooing your hair only for it to create a load of sebum again. Did you know that is your hair freaking out? It is your scalp going CRIKEY JIM SHE’S STRIPPED OFF OUR SEBUM QUICK PRODUCE SOME MORE GO GO GO GO GO!!!!
Using a boar bristle brush in between washes – every night, very thoroughly – can help you stretch out your days. It will train your scalp not to produce so much sebum, you are working with it, helping move the sebum from your scalp down your hair shaft.
In the olden days the average woman washed hair a few times a year and it was the nightly brushing that kept it clean and conditioned inbetween times.
For those whose use no shampoo
Lots of people give No Shampoo a crack – but they just can’t break through to the healthy hair nirvana they dream of. I reckon a good boar bristle brush can make or break someone’s no poo journey. Don’t try and give up shampoo without one. Promise?
Brushing for hair growth and shiny hair – and other benefits
Hard city water, silicones and preservatives in shampoo all make your hair dull and stunted. By using a boar bristle brush regularly you can expose your hair way less to this stuff and let your sebum do the work.
A brush like this Spornette is called a porcupine- it has longer bristles that really get down and grizzly. In fact, the first time you use it you sort of unhearth a load of, um, extras. Dandruff, flakes, gunk.
Using it regularly combats dandruff and itchy scalp by keep your brilliant acid mantel (the protective layer that covers your scalp and body) clear and healthy.
I have curly hair- brushing? Really?
Curly haired friends are divided on this one. It must depend on the type of curl or porosity of the hair.
There are loads of curly haired peeps that have never brushed their hair, and then when they start on this journey, they discover they can use a boar bristle brush to great effect – if done in the evening so their hair has time to calm down again.
And then there are curly haired people who don’t even need it – just the odd scritch and preen every now and then.
With all the people I’ve worked with on this, I’d say curly haired people find giving up shampoo sooooo much easier- as long as it is kept untangled with argan/jojoba/coconut oil.
Extra Brushing Tips
- Brush section by section
- Hold the hair from the scalp to the ends as long as you can.
- Brush at night so that the redistributed sebum has time to settle
- Keep your brushes super clean by swishing in a baking soda mixture while you shower. (Bristles only, not the handles.)
Here is a video with me talking about the powers of the boar bristle brush, demo-ing brushing techniques and cleaning methods.
I realise I sound absurdly like a salesperson. (You can see there are no affiliate links of anything here!) I am simply passionate about people finding natural ways to care for their hair and body, and I am a bit of an evangelist for cutting down all those carcinogenic chemicals that are jammed in our shampoo and conditioners.
And if there is something that can get you shiny hair and hair growth, that will last your whole life, has no chemicals and works WITH your amazing, magnificent body? I want to shout about it. Yahoo for the boar bristle brush. *waves pom poms*
PS If you want more loads more information about getting super healthy hair by giving up shampoo, the science of shampoo and a ton of tips and recipes for scalp and hair please do check out my book and join this global movement.
PPS And if you are really quite daunted by the idea but want to give it a crack let me properly hold your hand through the process. My E-Course, Happy Hair Detox, has helped 20 students get started on this journey so far and you are very much invited to join them! Click here for more info and a discounted price- use the code LulasticReader.