8 Great Hair Brushes: Which Is Right for You?

by Allison Ford

8 Great Hair Brushes: Which Is Right for You?
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There seem to be almost as many different types of hair brushes as there are types of hair—round ones, square ones, plastic ones, wooden ones, skinny ones, thick ones, sturdy ones, and flimsy ones. Brushes with nylon bristles and brushes with boar bristles, brushes that cost a lot and brushes that cost a little. Beyond the obvious aesthetic differences, different styles of brushes are actually made to accommodate different types and styles of hair. Are you using the right model for yours?



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Best All-Purpose Brush


The Rolls-Royce of hair brushes, Mason Pearson’s design remains virtually unchanged since 1885. The natural boar bristles are the best choice for distributing beneficial oils down the length of the hair shaft.

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Best Brush for Styling Layers


For hair with layers, use a thin brush that will lift hair section by section. Spornette’s Little Wonder Teasing Brush is also precise enough for backcombing and teasing shorter styles that require volume.

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Best Brush For A Blowout


To create a smooth blowout with lots of volume, use a round barrel brush with compact bristles to lift hair and create tension while drying. Many round brushes are made of ceramic or tourmaline and vented in the center, which speeds up drying and protects hair from heat.

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Best Brush for Thick, Coarse Hair


Densely set bristles can have trouble grabbing and working their way through very thick or coarse hair. A better choice is a brush with hardy, wide-spaced nylon bristles. The balls on the end of the bristles assure that they’re gentle to hair.

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Best Brush for Long, Straight Hair


Large, wide paddle brushes are best for keeping long, straight, or wavy hair smooth and sleek without adding volume. The extra surface area makes the task of brushing long hair go by more quickly.

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Best Brush for Detangling


Wet hair is fragile and susceptible to breakage, so for working out snarls and snags from any type of hair, use a wide-toothed comb instead.

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Best for Curly Hair


If you choose to brush curly hair, models with wood bristles are ideal, since they’re gentler on fragile hair, won’t separate the curls, and won’t generate static.

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Best Brush for Fine or Thin Hair


To be extra kind to delicate hair, look for a brush with especially soft natural bristles set in a rubber cushion, which makes bristles more flexible in the hair and gentler on the scalp.