"Brush your hair 100 strokes a day." You've probably heard that advice, well, a hundred times. If you've followed it, you probably have terrifically toned arms. Your hair, on the other hand, might be the worse for wear.
Brushing your hair stretches it. In hair, as in your muscles, stretching equals stress. But unlike muscle, hair is dead. It can't recover, much less repair itself, after stretching. The damage can start well before you hit the hundred-stroke mark and build over time. Remember, too, that hair is weakest when wet. If you brush your hair to untangle it after washing, your chances for breakage increases. Curly locks are particularly at risk.
Brushes are fine for styling. For everyday care, however, put down the brush and pick up the comb. A sturdy, wide-toothed comb will serve you better than those plastic cheapies that snag and snap off.
If you do brush on a daily basis, choose the gentlest model. Look for large brushes with well-spaced, ball-tipped bristles. Keep them clean for maximum efficiency.