You may have heard about the unbrushing hair trend that is gaining popularity, but should you try it? Unbrushing your hair certainly has some potential upsides, but there are also some downsides to consider before tossing out your brush for good. In this article, we will explore the potential benefits of unbrushing, like enhancing your natural texture and reducing frizz. However, we will also look at some of the possible cons, such as increased tangles and a potentially unkempt appearance. With the right techniques and expectations, unbrushing could be right for you, but it is not for everyone. Weigh the pros and cons as we delve into the unbrushing hair phenomenon.

What Is Unbrushing?

Unbrushing refers to avoiding brushing or combing your hair for an extended period of time. Many people are embracing unbrushing as a low-maintenance hairstyle and a way to save time. However, unbrushing does come with some potential downsides to consider before adopting this approach.

No Damage from Brushing

Not brushing or combing your hair can help prevent damage from excessive manipulation. Brushing, especially with harsh bristles, can lead to breakage, frizz, and split ends over time. By avoiding brushing altogether, unbrushed hair may remain healthier.

### Natural Texture Revealed

Going without brushing allows your natural hair texture to show through without interference. For those with wavy or curly hair, unbrushing can help define curls and reduce unwanted volume. Unbrushing may also cut down on time spent styling hair.

Potential for Tangles and Knots

On the other hand, avoiding brushing means tangles, knots, and matting are more likely to develop, especially for longer hair. These tangles can potentially lead to damage when trying to detangle hair. They may also be uncomfortable or painful. Frequent trims and conditioning treatments can help minimize tangles for unbrushed hair.

Appearance May Suffer

For some, unbrushed hair may not meet personal or professional standards of neatness and style. Unbrushed hair can appear messy, unkempt or unprofessional depending on cultural norms and individual preferences. If appearance is a concern, unbrushing may not be the best approach.

In summary, while unbrushing does have its benefits like natural texture and less manipulation, it also comes with potential downsides such as tangles, damage, and appearance issues that require consideration for each individual and their unique hair needs. Finding the right balance of brushing and unbrushing can help maximize the pros and minimize the cons.

Pros of Unbrushing Your Hair

Natural Oils Are Retained

When you stop brushing your hair daily, your scalp is allowed to retain more of its natural oils. These oils moisturize your hair and promote a healthy scalp environment. Over time, your hair may appear shinier and softer without the frequent stimulation of brushing.

Reduced Breakage

Brushing hair too frequently can lead to increased breakage, especially for those with long hair. When hair is brushed, the bristles pull at strands and can loosen follicles over time. By brushing less often, you give your hair and scalp a break from this constant stimulation which helps strengthen hair at the roots and reduces weak spots along the shaft.

Scalp Massage

Instead of brushing, you can use your fingertips to gently massage your scalp. A scalp massage increases blood flow to hair follicles which stimulates hair growth. It also helps loosen and redistribute natural oils. Using a hair oil or serum during a scalp massage helps moisturize the scalp and hair further.

Hairstyle Holds Better

For those who style their hair, unbrushing can help your hairstyle last longer. When hair is brushed frequently, strands become loosened and flyaways appear, causing a hairstyle to fall flat or become messy. By not brushing as often, hair stays in place better allowing a hairstyle to hold its shape for a longer period of time.

In summary, unbrushing your hair, when done properly, has several benefits like stronger hair, a moisturized scalp, and longer-lasting hairstyles. However, it does require an adjustment period as your scalp adapts to producing more natural oils and your hair gets used to being handled less. With time, unbrushing can become an easy habit and help you achieve your healthiest hair and scalp.

Cons of Unbrushing Your Hair

Increased Knotting and Tangling

Not brushing or combing your hair regularly can lead to increased knotting and tangling, especially for those with longer or thicker hair. Knots and tangles cause breakage, split ends, and hair loss over time. Detangling severely knotted hair can also be a painful process and may require cutting the knots out, resulting in uneven lengths. For some, the only solution is to cut the hair shorter to remove the damage.

Unwashed Appearance

Going days without brushing or styling your hair may result in an unwashed, unkempt appearance. Natural oils, dirt, and debris will build up on the scalp and hair, weighing it down and making it look greasy. This can reflect poorly in professional and social situations. Employers and colleagues may see an unbrushed hairstyle as unhygienic or messy.

Matting at the Roots

When hair is not brushed regularly, the natural oils from your scalp cannot spread evenly along the hair shaft. This results in greasy, matted roots and dry, frizzy ends. Matted roots are also more prone to conditions like dandruff and hair loss. Massaging your scalp with shampoo in the shower is not enough to effectively distribute oils and loosen matted roots. Routine brushing is required.

Increased Frizz and Flyaways

Without frequent brushing, frizz and flyaway hairs are left uncontrolled and become more unruly over time. Static electricity also builds up, causing hair to stand on end. Using product alone will not smooth down and tame frizzy, unbrushed hair for long. Brushing hair regularly with a boar bristle brush is one of the most effective ways to minimize frizz by distributing your hair’s natural oils.

In summary, while an unbrushed hairstyle may seem low maintenance, the long term effects on your hair health and appearance are largely negative. For the overall health, shine, and style of your hair, daily brushing is recommended.

Tips for Transitioning to Unbrushing

To successfully transition to an unbrushing hair regimen, it is essential to start slowly and be patient throughout the process. Gradually increasing the time between brushing sessions will allow your hair and scalp to adjust at a comfortable pace.

Reduce Brushing Frequency

Begin by brushing your hair every other day instead of daily. Monitor how your hair responds and make adjustments as needed. For example, if your hair becomes oily or tangled, you may need to brush an extra time that week. After a week or two, try brushing 2-3 times per week. Continue reducing brushing sessions over 4 to 6 weeks until you reach 1-2 times per week or less.

Use a Wide-Tooth Comb

When you do brush or comb your hair, use a wide-tooth comb and start from the ends, slowly working up to the roots. A wide-tooth comb is more gentle on hair and less damaging than a brush. Be very gentle, especially when combing out tangles. Apply a leave-in conditioner to help loosen knots and make combing more comfortable.

Try Co-Washing

Co-washing, or conditioner washing, can be an effective method for transitioning to less frequent brushing. Co-washing involves cleansing hair with conditioner instead of shampoo. Conditioner is more moisturizing and less harsh than shampoo, so hair remains hydrated and tangle-free for longer. Co-wash 1-2 times a week as needed.

Use Dry Shampoo

On non-wash days when your hair starts to look oily, apply some dry shampoo to absorb excess oil and add volume. Look for a dry shampoo specifically for extending time between washes. Spray it on your roots and massage into your scalp with your fingertips. Dry shampoo can extend a style for an extra day or two.

With regular use of these techniques, your hair will adjust to less frequent brushing over time. Be patient through the transition process and listen to what your hair needs. Unbrushing can have many benefits for hair health and manageability, so stick with it and you’ll be tossing your brush in no time!

Unbrushing FAQs

Will my hair get tangled if I stop brushing it?

It is a common concern that hair will become severely tangled or matted if brushing is eliminated. However, when brushing is stopped gradually by reducing frequency over time, the hair and scalp can adjust to the change. The natural oils produced by your scalp, called sebum, help loosen tangles and knots. As brushing lessens, your scalp will produce more sebum to compensate. Using a wide-tooth comb instead of a brush during the transition can also help prevent tangles before eliminating combing altogether.

How often should I shampoo if I stop brushing?

As brushing is reduced, shampooing frequency may also need to decrease. Shampooing too often can dry out the scalp and hair, increasing tangles and frizz. Most people find they can shampoo 1-2 times a week when unbrushing, but some may need to shampoo even less frequently. Pay attention to your scalp and hair to determine what shampooing schedule works best for you. Using a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner formulated for dry or curly hair can help prevent over-drying.

Will my hair get greasy if I stop brushing it?

Unbrushed hair does not necessarily mean greasy hair. While your scalp will produce more oil initially as it adjusts to less brushing, your oil production should balance out over time. The excess oil helps loosen tangles and moisturize hair. Using dry shampoo and decreasing shampoo frequency can help prevent greasy hair during the transition. Paying attention to your hair type and scalp needs will help you achieve hair that looks moisturized but not greasy. For some, unbrushing may lead to hair that actually looks less greasy over time.

How do I style my hair if I stop brushing it?

Styling unbrushed hair may require some experimentation to find techniques that work well for your hair type and texture. Some options include:

•Finger combing – Use your fingers to loosen tangles and arrange hair into your desired style. Add product like mousse or gel for hold.

•Scrunching – Apply gel or mousse and scrunch with your hands to shape curls or waves. Air dry or diffuse dry.

•Braiding – Braid hair when damp and allow to air dry. Undo braids for wavy, textured hair.

•Updos – Pull hair up into a bun or ponytail. Use bobby pins, hair ties, and hair sticks to secure styles.


In summary, while unbrushing your hair can have some potential benefits like enhancing your natural waves and curls, reducing breakage, and limiting the spread of oils, it also carries risks like increased tangles and knots, potential hygiene issues, and an unkempt appearance. Carefully weigh the advantages against the drawbacks based on your hair type, lifestyle and preferences. Maintain realistic expectations, gradually transition to less frequent brushing if desired, and utilize alternative gentle detangling methods. Overall, listen to your hair’s needs and find the right balance between brushing and unbrushing that works for you. Proper hair care requires paying attention and adjusting your routine over time.

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