Combing can be trickier than it looks. Photo: Getty Images

Combing your hair may be something you do every day without even thinking about it, but did you know there was a right way and a wrong way to smooth your strands?

According to stylist Jet Rhys of the Jet Rhys Salons in San Diego, a good-quality comb or brush is a must.

"Plastic is a no-no. Not only does it cause your hair to rip and break very easily, but it also promotes electrostatic," advises Rhys -- who prefers the less-than-three-bucks Swissco Wet Comb for its wide teeth that detangle without pulling locks. The Denman Cushion Brush is another of her favorites for all hair types, as its nylon teeth and natural rubber pad zaps static before it has a chance to form.

As for brushing technique, you'll want to start from the bottom up.

"With your free hand, hold your hair at mid-shaft while you use the other hand to comb. This trick helps cradle wet hair, which stretches and breaks more easily than dry hair," says Rhys.

A gentle daily brushing also has more benefits than just untangling; for centuries, women have found that a pre-slumber combing redistributes natural oils and stimulates the scalp, resulting in more conditioned, shiny, and faster-growing hair. So, yes, that "one hundred strokes before bedtime" Marcia Brady-esque ritual does have a grain of truth to it, though a few thorough strokes is all you need.

The only care that combs and brushes require is a quick removal of loose strands after each brushing. If the tools are yours exclusively, no need to worry about anything more than a lukewarm water run-through to clean, advises Rhys.

And the California stylist has a super-simple comb trick for end-of-the-day flat hair in need of refreshment.

"Think of a windshield wiper. Place your comb facing into the opposite side of the direction of hair growth, and comb back and forth. It increases volume!"

In other hair-care news, read about Samy's new luxurious, budget-friendly product line.