How to Brush Wet Hair When It's Damaged AF

Written by Nina Aghadjanian

The best part about showering? Clean, healthy hair. The downside of getting clean is maneuvering a tangled mane, especially a brittle one. Any time your hair brush hits a knot, it means mayhem for your hair health. So is it bad to brush wet hair? Thankfully, no! There is a safe way to brush wet hair (even if it’s damaged), we learned from Australian doyen of hair Renya Xydis, who runs three leading salons, travels the globe to pepper fashion shows with her riveting artistry, and teaches educational hair workshops. With over thirty years of doing the most when it comes to manes, it’s safe to say the girl’s a quadruple-certified hair guru. Keep reading for Renya’s advice on how to brush wet hair without causing more hair damage, and her favorite tools to get the job safely done.

Person brushing their wet black hair | Mane Addicts

Wet Hair = Weak Hair

When hair is wet, the water weakens the bonds within the strands of the hair, taking away one-third of its strength. Wet hair becomes more vulnerable to hair breakage and hair damage because it lacks strength. When you brush hair you’re technically putting the strands under stress.

Brush This Way

The correct way to brush wet hair is to use a microfiber towel and remove as much moisture as possible, then let your hair air dry for a minimum of five minutes—it's much better to brush damp hair than sopping wet hair. As your hair starts to dry, the weak bonds are re-establishing themselves, which can help minimize hair loss. The next step is to use the correct hairbrush. There's a variety of brushes on the market, from the Tangle Teezer to the classic paddle brush to the wide-tooth comb. I recommend the Jäneke gold-plated Original Super Brush. In over 30 years of experience, I have never seen a brush that detangles wet hair like this one does. Begin brushing at the bottom and work your way up to avoid tangles, which only cause more damage.

Use Pre-Brush Protection

Using products before brushing your hair is an easy way to support hair health. The best oil for hair hands down is Wella Luxe Reconstructive Oil, a non-greasy, lightweight oil. You can kiss frizz goodbye since it has three times more keratin protection for long-lasting smoothness and can be used on wet or dry hair before drying or blow drying.

If your hair type is dry, coarse, or curly hair, do wet detangling only when every hair strand is laden with a slippery leave-in conditioner. Wella Elements Conditioning Leave-In Spray is great for this as it’s light weight and renews hair moisture while it dries.

Another great option for detangling is our Ready or Knot Detangling Brush. Our anti-static brush easily detangles hair and leaves it smooth as silk.

Brush wet hair the right way, check. Now you need to ditch your bath towel for good.