Best All-Purpose Brush
1 / 8VIEW ALL
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.
To buy: Mason Pearson Pocket All Boar Bristle Hairbrush, Net-a-Porter, $120
Best Brush for Styling Layers
2 / 8VIEW ALL
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.
To buy: Spornette Little Wonder Teasing Brush, Sally Beauty, $6
Photo: Sally Beauty
Best Brush for a Blowout
3 / 8VIEW ALL
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.
To buy: Chi Air Expert Tourmaline Ceramic Nylon Round Brush, SkinStore, $12
Best Brush for Thick, Coarse Hair
4 / 8VIEW ALL
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.
To buy: Revlon Scalp Sensations Ionic All Purpose Brush, Target, $7
Best Brush for Long, Straight Hair
5 / 8VIEW ALL
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.
To buy: Aveda Wooden Paddle Brush, Nordstrom, $27
Best Brush for Detangling
6 / 8VIEW ALL
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.
To buy: Gisou Texture Comb, Gisou, $68
Best for Curly Hair
7 / 8VIEW ALL
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.
To buy: Olivia Garden Healthy Hair Bamboo Large Oval Brush, Ulta, $14
Best Brush for Fine or Thin Hair
8 / 8VIEW ALL
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.
To buy: Kent Unisex Grooming Brush, Amazon, $26