100 Strokes…Reaching for Naturally Healthy Hair

I am stepping a bit far afield today to think about healthy hair.  Actually, to think about how healthy hair was achieved in my grandmothers’ time -and before.

Maybe you remember -maybe you don’t- admonishments to brush your hair 100 strokes every night.  It was common when I was a kid back a half century ago.  It disappeared somewhere in the late 60s or early 70s with the advent of a myriad number of hair conditioners.  But I think “grandma” had something going.

Using a natural bristle brush and brushing through the hair every night does several things:

  1. it redistributes the oils from the scalp down the hair shaft naturally conditioning and moisturizing the hair.
  2. it polishes the hair, removing accumulated dust and dirt so the hair remains clean.
  3. it stimulates the scalp, eliminating dead skin flaking (dandruff) and encouraging growth of the hair shaft.

And we gave this all up to smear a rich cream on your heads and then rinse it off? Something seems wrong with this picture.

I am going to start an experiment.  Here am I freshly shampooed (and conditioned).  My hair is clean, but has a slightly dry, over-processed appearance to it (I do color my hair, the over-processed is fairly accurate).  For the next month, I will be brushing my hair every night with my grandmother’s brush.  I will put off washing my hair for several days (we’ll see how many) to let this experiment take shape.

Hair, 1/28/11

At the end of February, will my hair look healthier and less dry simply by washing it less and brushing it more?  I predict that it will.  And I’m looking forward to finding out.

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10 responses to “100 Strokes…Reaching for Naturally Healthy Hair

  1. I’m really interested to see how this one turns out! I cannot brush my hair or my curls frizz into a white fro. Not cute! Seriously, I never ever brush it. I think you make a great point about it working for our grandmothers though. I wonder what my curly haired ancestors did??

    • Charlotte,

      I’m guessing those wide tooth horn combs they made would work in a similar fashion for the curly crowd. The main concept -I think- is to naturally move the oils down the shaft and to pull out the dust and dirt.

      Now its hard to find a comb or brush that isn’t made of plastic -which will not benefit our hair the same way natural products will.

  2. you should try no poo, too. in a month, it will be great.

  3. oooh as a woman with…kinda crappy locks (the technical term) Im watching this one closely :)

  4. I only wash my hair a couple of times a week. It’s way healthier than it used to be.

  5. Try this. http://simplemom.net/how-to-clean-your-hair-without-shampoo/ I haven’t yet, but keep thinking I will.

  6. You hit a real hot button with me on this. My hair is dry, dry, dry and it’s also wavy. Ideal, woo! I only wash it twice a week but even that doesn’t help. I’ve given up on straight hair b/c blow drying is suicide, so I curl it. Still it’s never satisfactory. Brushing my hair takes out the curls I just put in and makes it flat. I’m willing to try this… but I’m going to wait for your results first.

  7. Hairy spectator sports! I love it. Can’t wait to read about the final results.

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