Hair | Should You Be Combing Wet Hair? An Expert Tells You What Happens When You Do Should you be combing wet hair? An expert tells you what happens when you do

Should You Be Combing Wet Hair? An Expert Tells You What Happens When You Do

Photograph by Sharif Hamza

The expert’s guide to taking care of your hair when it is at its weakest.

Few rules are as cardinal in hair care as not brushing or combing wet hair. With the monsoons upon us, getting caught in an untimely shower is natural, but if you have been looking for pointers on how to deal with wet hair throughout the day, help is at hand. A hair expert answers every query you have ever had about wet hair and how to make it through the season without inviting increased hair fall to the party:

This is what happens when you comb wet hair

For starters, wet hair can be combed — but only the right method and tools will help you reduce breakage. Bony Sasidharan, hair expert at Schwarzkopf Professional, explains, “There are hydrogen bonds within the hair structure which break temporarily when hair is wet, thus making the hair more fragile and prone to damage when wet. The problem is further compounded by the fact that hair is more elastic when wet and stretches when combed; however, it cannot snap back into shape. Things like harsh combing or drying your hair with a towel can cause severe stress to the hair.” He believes that wet hair must be run very carefully with a wide-toothed comb or paddle brush after applying leave-in spray or finishing oil. The penalty for not investing time and care in detangling wet hair is increased damage.

The only exception to the rule is curly hair, which is more manageable when wet. He adds, “The reason curly hair can be combed when wet is to retain the shape and curl pattern. Brushing curly hair when it is dry leads to frizz and extreme volume. However, following up combing with curl-defining products is advisable. But, it can also be left to dry naturally.” 

The expert-approved way to detangle wet hair

The right tools can make all the difference if you are looking to tame wet hair, whether after a shower or being caught in the rain. “A wide-toothed carbon fiber comb or a paddle brush is a no-brainer for detangling. Start from the tips, then comb gently through the mid-lengths and then the roots. Remember to resist the impulse to comb from the roots to the tips as this will tighten the knots and lead to further breakage,” shares Sasidharan.

As a rule of thumb, he advises reaching for a leave-in spray or a serum before attempting to detangle wet hair. “You will also want to avoid tying your hair extremely tightly when wet or with tight rubber bands or clips. When possible, opt for natural air-drying, or remember to use heat protection serum before blasting your hair with the blow dryer. As tempting as it may seem, avoid going to bed with wet hair as it can further worsen damage and hair fall,” he signs off.

So, were you guilty of making these common haircare mistakes?

This story was originally published on Vogue India

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