View Full Version : Advice? combing and vacuuming

July 7th, 2010, 04:58 PM
A long time ago a hairdresser said if I wanted to grow my hair out I should only comb it. I still brush it but I watch as broken pieces of my hair come out each time. I tried a comb but it tangled so much it got stuck. It actually snapped out of my hand and then wound around my hair as if it was an egg beater. I almost couldn't get it out. And combing it dry? Don't make me laugh! Any advice? (I think I put my hair type properly in my profile--thin, fine, one step above stick-straight).

My other problem is vacuuming. My hair gets all over the carpet. I can't really see it because it is blond. When I vacuum it gets stuck in the vacuum and breaks the vacuum. I've resorted to using a shop vac. I hate the shop vac. If you have really long hair (mine is waist length), how do you deal with vacuuming? Is it just that I don't vacuum often enough?

July 7th, 2010, 05:06 PM
I had a bit of an adaption period when switching over to combing from brushing, but I usually comb now. I use a wide-ish toothed comb, and start with the last couple inches of my hair, then move up a couple inches and so on. If my hair is really dry it can be harder to detangle, so I'll spritz a bit of water on it, or wet my comb first if I don't have a spray-bottle handy.

Both DH and I have long hair and our ancient vacuum just doesn't have the power to keep up. I usually cover the floor with my hands to find large amounts of hair before vacuuming. I think I've seen rubber carpet rakes before - this would work to pull the hair out of the carpet before vacumming if you significant floor space, and don't want to clean up hair by hand.

July 7th, 2010, 05:10 PM
I switched from a brush to a comb. I use a strong, wide-toothed horn comb (which limits frizz). I start with the ends and work my way up to my scalp. It keeps me from running into tangles. And take your time. If it's snapping out of your hand, you might be going far too fast, which can damage your hair as well. Perhaps try combing in the shower when you have conditioner in your hair, then you'll have extra slip and you can leave it be until it dries.

Perhaps try a carpet broom (they're like large versions of a pet hair removal brush), which you sweep the carpet with before you vacuum. :)

July 7th, 2010, 05:13 PM
It sounds like you need to go slower with the comb, or gentler with the brush. Slow, gentle strokes and start from the bottom. I usually comb now, I do have a brush somewhere though.

For the vacuum, get a seam ripper and clean the hair off the roller brush thingy every month or so. That usually does a good job of keeping vacuums from dying... or you could go pay $500+ for a dyson.

July 7th, 2010, 05:28 PM
Well, best way I've found of removing hair from clothes/furniture/carpet is to wrap lots of cheap sticky tape round something and roll or pat it over what you want to clean. The tape picks up the hair really well. So, if you're getting hair off clothes, you wrap sticky tape around your hand. For carpet, you might wrap it round something like a broom head, or a piece of stiff cardboard.. Make sure its the cheapest sticky tape you can find! This works really well for pet hair too (can you tell I used to live with a white cat and like to wear black??)

July 7th, 2010, 06:02 PM
My hair breaks the vacuum too! And I've broken combs before! Insofar as brush vs comb I do both but what really helps is combing as I rinse conditioner out. Then I air-dry and brush when I restyle or comb if it's looking reasonably detangled already.
I have taken to brushing my hair outside. It saves on cleanup time! When I comb/brush in front of a mirror to style, eg when I'm doing braids, I find broken hairs and long sheds all over the counter top and sorta sweep them onto the floor hoping the husband won't notice what a slob I am. But when I brush in the morning, ie when my hair is a big tangle, doing it outside really helps.
I only have one rug now and the rest of the house is wood or linoleum, but between two cats (one long haired) and me, we get lots of "hair drifts" in the corner... which the cieling fan makes worse!
As far as breaking the vaccum I ended up replacing the really old belt on it which helps. I did used to have to use a razor blade to cut hairs and threads off the roller brush though. Moving from a carpeted apartment to a wood-floor house made the most amount of difference.
No I don't know what to do in winter when brushing outside seems ridiculous. Kitchen/sweep maybe?

July 7th, 2010, 06:13 PM
I only detangle my hair at the sink, in the shower or in front of the computer. I collect the shed hairs and dump them afterwards. My hair is usually up afterwards, so I don't shed hair all over the place. I haven't had a problem with the vacuum cleaner yet (now the drain and the washing machines are whole other stories!)

July 7th, 2010, 07:36 PM
I don't have anything to add about combing and brushing - you've gotten great advice already. I use a wide-toothed comb when my hair is almost dry, and carefully detangle from the bottom. I also use a brush about once a week or so, mostly on my scalp.

For my rugs I use one of those stiff bristled carpet brushes. I gently 'comb' the rug with that before I vacuum. It's extra work, but it gets up the majority of the hairs and saves the vacuum.

July 7th, 2010, 07:53 PM
I run my hands through my hair in both the shower whilst wet (collect hairs in my hands and rub them into a ball to go into the bin) or in the car at the lights and deposit them out the window. I figure it's organic and birds use it to make their nests. This way there is not a huge amount around my house.

I have a dyson so it seems to handle the hair ok although the turbo head does have to be taken apart and cleaned out, it hasn't broken on me yet.

July 7th, 2010, 07:58 PM
As others have said, start with the very ends when combing and work your way a few inches at a time. Comb slowly! If you hear hair snapping, you're doing it too fast.

It concerns me a bit that you have so much difficulty combing such straight hair when it's dry. Do you use conditioner? Try leaving in a drop or two of oil after you wash for added slip?

For the vacuum, get a seam ripper and clean the hair off the roller brush thingy every month or so. That usually does a good job of keeping vacuums from dying... or you could go pay $500+ for a dyson.
I got a Dyson ($250 on Woot, though :D), and it still needs the seam-ripper treatment. Best suggestion I have is to scrape your toes through the carpet a between vacuumings and pick up all the hairs you can scuff up. Might as well minimize how much the vacuum winds up. (On a related note, these zip-it thingies (http://zipitclean.com/) are great for drains. Because I think every longhair with indoor plumbing knows about clogged drains.)

July 7th, 2010, 08:01 PM
You might have more luck with combing if you used a few drops of leave in conditioner or oil when wet. You should also think about what type of comb works best for you. Most people on here use wide tooth combs since fine tooth ones are more prone to tangling. I sometimes get the big tangles out with a wide tooth one then the smaller ones with a medium-fine tooth comb.

July 7th, 2010, 08:03 PM
i try to comb before brushing.. i use a mebco shower detangler (http://www.cachebeauty.com/Mebco/tortoise_shower_detangler.htm).. i removed the small seams.. i find this is the only comb that i can detangle with that doesnt get tangled in my hair.. the teeth have a curve to them.. um i cant really explain.. but it works better than regular combs than the non curved combs i have..

the trick to combing is to take small sections and work from the bottom slowly getting further up the hair with each stroke..

i dont have advice about the carpet though.. as we dont vacuum.. neither me or dad have allergys so we dont care about dust mites.. we do sometimes sweep the carpet if stuff gets on it.. we really only vacuum if we ar breaking out the carpet shampooer

eta: this comb shows better the curvyness (http://www.tenderheaded.com/eujuraco.html).. its not the same brand but its basically the same comb

July 7th, 2010, 09:01 PM
I'll have to look up what a carpet brush is. Maybe that will help.

I don't know what the deal with my hair is, but a wide-tooth comb doesn't leave my hair looking or feeling combed. It seems like it adds tangles, not takes them away.

It seems okay with a regular tooth comb. Maybe I will look into a wooden comb since my hair easily gets full of static. I didn't even know until reading around here a little bit that plastic causes other people static problems, or that they made wooden combs. This is a really helpful resource. I don't know how I managed to grow such long hair without any knowledge at all, and without even paying attention. I just got tired of my hairstylist abusing me and quit on her and never looked back!