When is the last time that someone brushed your hair for you? And I’m not talking about your hairdresser. I’m sure you can remember when you were a child and your mom would struggle to keep you still as she battled with your matted mane, or, in her absence, your dad attempted to create a ponytail with awkward hands so you weren’t sent off to school looking like you’d been pulled through a hedge backwards. But can you think of a time when another adult picked up a brush and offered to tend to your tresses? There is something very comforting and evocative about your partner gently running a brush along your scalp and softly touching your hair. As well, if you have long hair like me, it can be a bit of a workout tackling the mop, and it is such a treat to sit and relax and soak up the seductive sensation as my husband grooms me.
There are also benefits to having your hair gently brushed, as it distributes the natural oils from the scalp down the hair shaft and flattens the cuticles to make them reflect more light, resulting in more shiny hair! Light brushing removes impurities and the blood flow to the scalp is stimulated, which nourishes the hair follicles and keeps them healthy. It is best if you do this when your hair is dry, as wet hair should be handled with care. A wide tooth comb is best when hair has just been washed and it should be combed gently starting with the ends to avoid snapping or breaking the strands. But once your hair is dry, longer strokes from the top of the head (don’t brush too hard on the roots as it might set off the sebaceous glands, causing your hair to go greasy) can be applied.
I guess I never really gave this regular daily ritual that much thought until I started asking my husband to brush my hair before we would go to bed. I don’t know what triggered it. I guess I was just feeling kind of tired that night and thought, “Gee, it would be nice for someone else to do this for me.” At first he was reluctant, as I’m sure any partner would be if you stood at the side of the bed with a hairbrush in your hands (instead of a paint brush or a broom for a change). But interestingly, it’s become a part of our night time routine and I really look forward to it. He doesn’t say he enjoys it but he doesn’t resist when I say, “Ricky, can you brush my hair” either.
In the past, hairbrushes were often given to new mothers or brides and were a popular gift from husbands to wives (it was often an ornate comb, brush and mirror set). I personally can’t say I’ve ever asked for or received a hair brush as a gift, but given my recent experiences, I can see why this was a favoured practice or custom. I don’t know that it was always used in the manner that I am suggesting, but I’m thinking the next time your partner is wondering what to get you for your birthday or even Valentine’s, how about suggesting a brush? It might turn out to be the best present you’ve ever received!