A Boar Bristle Adventure: Talking the Talk

Boar Bristle Talk

A really common complaint among our clientele is that their hair gets so greasy they can’t go multiple days between shampoos, at least not without copious amounts of dry shampoo. While I posit that Um, Yes, You Totally Can, I’m going to do you one better and prove it to you. This post will serve as an intro to boar bristle brushing, and the one to be published next week will dive into my own experience.

I wash my hair more frequently when it’s short. It only makes sense, really. After all, it’s easy to eke one more day out of your blowout when you’re able to toss your hair up in a bun when it’s becoming questionably oily. It’s a little more acceptable to have slubby, beachy, wavy long hair than it is to have grease parting your chin-length bob for you.

I’ve known the virtues of boar bristle brushing for a long time. After all, hair is what I went to school for. The concept is simple: use a boar bristle paddle brush to distribute the scalp’s natural oils down the length of the hair shaft. This is a tried-and-true method for maintaining healthy, nourished hair.

Boar Bristle Talk

So here’s how: Start by investing in a good boar bristle brush. We carry Mason Pearson* and Christophe Robin.** What you’ll do is — after de-tangling separately — start at the base of your skull, on dry hair, making long, smooth brush strokes, allowing the bristles to reach all the way to the scalp — you know, where the oil is. Brush the back thoroughly first, because that’s where people tend to secrete more sebum.

Move upwards over your scalp. I’ve heard some say to do the hairline next, then work in, and others say that simply working up through the crown, sides, and then to the front works for them. Frankly, it comes down to preference. There’s no set amount of time to do this, but I’d spend a good few minutes daily. Be sure you’re brushing from the root all the way to the tip.

This technique is particularly great if you struggle with an oily scalp and frizzy hair or dried-out ends. And before you ask, yes, you can even use a boar bristle brush on curly or natural hair. For you curly and natural ladies, I’d experiment with brushing just before you wash your hair, to gauge how sectioning, de-tangling, and brushing affect your hair. Play with the technique, and really give it the old college try if you don’t like it the first few tries. Boar bristle brushing has been used on many textures for centuries, and I’m confident it will work for you, curly, straight, or anywhere in between.

Done properly, boar bristle brushing can help stimulate follicles to assist hair growth, naturally condition the hair to leave it softer and more evenly moisturized and decrease your number of shampoos, and increase circulation to the scalp, which boosts the other two effects. Stay tuned for my own experience with this technique for achieving healthier hair!

*This brand has been around since the 1880s and is still one of the most respected brands for boar bristle brushes. These brushes will literally last decades if treated properly.

**This is our newest haircare line at the store, and these handmade brushes are just as incredible as the rest of the line. We anticipate huge success of these brushes across the brand’s locations. 


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