So on Monday, we discussed the kind of damage that can result from combing which left the next question, what can you do to reduce it?
Science has a couple of answers
1. Conditioner has been shown to reduce damage during combing. Shampoooing alone then combing leads to much more damage (J Soc Cosmet Chem, pg 347-371, 1993). Shampooing with a conditioning shampoo (i.e silicone containing) has been shown also to reduce damage. Why? The conditioner is thought to deposit onto the hair reducing the amount of charge on the surface and allowing the comb to go through easier.
2. Reducing the number of strokes of the comb or brush - meaning only comb for as much as you need to and nothing more. Why? The less you comb, the less you damage the hair.
Here are a couple more suggestions from me.
1. Choose a wide tooth comb. The less teeth there are, the less hair the comb is exposed to and therefore the less damage you do.
2. Consider finger combing. This is probably best for very curly hair but does require patience and for you to embrace the shrinkage of your hair. I think when done properly, finger combing can significantly reduce breakage of super curly hair. IF not done properly, there is probably little difference than with using a comb - if you pull the hair, snap through knots etc, this is exactly what a comb would do. My fav finger combing video comes from Lisa Akbari ( she does plenty of product plugging in this video but I'm directing you to it for the concept - ok here's the link )
So is combing wet better than combing dry?
I don't really know the answer to that. I think that both can be damaging.
Well it is now over to you. What is your combing style? Mine is finger comb most times with conditioner but sometimes without. I am firmly in the group of small toothed combs are evil as are the denman brushes (no offence to the company, the brush is a good quality brush with good bristles - ie smooth and well spaced but woe betide you if you have fine hair it will be splitsville).
Additional sources - please see Monday link above!