Cristen Conger

The Nitpicking Origin of Brushing Hair 100 Strokes Per Day

Don't take the Marsha Brady approach to hair care.
Don't take the Marsha Brady approach to hair care.
Courtesy: Sitcoms Online

How did Marsha on "The Brady Brunch" maintain such lustrous blonde mane? She brushed her hair 100 strokes every evening before bed, of course. But if beauty-minded Marsha had known where the common "100 brush strokes per day" hair regimen originated, she might've put her nightly routine to rest.

The Encyclopedia of Hair by Victoria Sherrow offers a nitpicking explanation for it:

Victorian hairstyles for women aimed to create a sweet, feminine look as well as the appearance of an oval or round-shaped face. Hair was considered a primary aspect of a woman's appearance, and long, thick hair was admired. Girls and women spent time each day grooming their hair. Some historians think the idea of brushing a hundred strokes per day originated at this time, but the purpose of the brushing may have been to get rid of lice nits more than to improve the hair's appearance.

While extensive hair brushing might've been helpful for keeping Victorian scalps lice-free, one hundred strokes per day ultimately is an unhealthy beauty regimen for the hair itself. It's fine to gently brush out tangles, but going overboard promotes breakage and split ends. In fact, some hair experts suggest the less brushing, the better.

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