Lucy Aitken Read’s hair before and one week after using a brushing technique to stimulate growth. (Photo: Cosmopolitan UK/Lucy Aitken Read)
Can you really brush your hair to make it grow faster? One beauty editor seems to think so. A recent article on Cosmopolitan UK puts the age-old theory to the test, and the proof is in the pudding: after just one week of brushing, the writer experienced “at least two centimeters of growth.”
“Regular, vigorous brushing can cause damage. However, with the right brush, damage is mitigated and healthiness encouraged! Brushing with a boar bristle brush distributes your hair’s natural sebum and oils along your whole hair shaft, strengthening it and adding shine,” wrote Lucy Aitken Read. “But the theory is that when we brush our hair regularly with the right sort of brush, our scalp is stimulated and sent extra growthy stuff and things.”
So what’s the strategy? Twice a day for seven days, Lucy spent three to five minutes brushing her hair in a way that she believes makes it grow faster. “The technique involves separating hair into sections and giving each section a thorough run through with the brush from scalp to tip,” Lucy wrote.
While the photos look promising, it may be a head-tilted mirage, according to the pros. “"Brushing your hair with the proper brush is a healthy thing to do for your hair. It stimulates circulation and distributes sebum along hair shaft so hair looks shiny and luminous,“ scalp expert Francesca Fusco told Allure. "Proper circulation delivers nutrients and oxygen to the follicle from where the hair grows, but I’m not familiar with any studies demonstrating that brushing causes a release of growth factors that stimulate hair to grow faster.”
Fusco isn’t the only one that thinks this isn’t a likely scenario. Hairstylist Matt Fugate of the Serge Normant Salon in New York City believes that the most this can do is promote overall hair health. “Daily brushing is like taking your scalp to the gym—you’re keeping it healthy,” he told Allure. Fugate recommends using a soft, boar bristle brush to stimulate the scalp, and advises against metal or wire bristles. “Those have no give, so they can break and snap hair off.” Still, if you’re desperately seeking hair growth, the old wives tale could be worth a shot.