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The Best Brushes for Every Hair Type & Styling Need

Ever notice how fabulous your hair looks when you leave the salon, and how it can stay looking that way for days until you wash it? Sure, most hairstylists have the know-how and talent to give such results, but the professional tools they use are also a big factor, and that’s especially true when it comes to hairbrushes.

 

Your stylist likely uses multiple different brushes throughout your session, switching between them depending on the task. Just like how makeup brushes come in different shapes and sizes to achieve different desired results, so do hairbrushes. After all, would you use a blush brush to fill in your eyebrows?

 

There are specific brushes and combs for cutting hair, blow-drying, curling, straight-styling, and even more than just those few examples. So why do most of us use only one brush for all hairstyling tasks?

 

It is important to choose a hairbrush to meet your specific hair needs because there are different brushes for every hair type, texture, length, and style. A brush that is compatible with your unique locks will improve the overall health and appearance of both your hair and scalp. The right brush should detangle, improve texture and shine, promote blood flow to the scalp for healthy follicles, and minimize static, frizz, and breakage.

 

In addition to choosing the right brush for your hair type, it is equally important to use the right hairbrush for a given task. Every facet of a brush’s design—down to the handle, bristles, vents, and shape—is intentional and serves a specific purpose.

 

Picking the best hairbrush to suit your hair type and styling needs will make it that much easier to achieve a good hair day. That’s why we’ve created a list to help guide you through some of the most common hairbrushes available on the market, what type of hair they work best with, and how and when to use them properly.

 

Paddle Hairbrush

A paddle brush can be used on all hair types but is best suited for long, thick hair. It has a wide base that covers a lot of surface space quickly, and paddle brushes usually have flexible bristles, which are great for detangling without pulling. They can be used on both wet and dry hair and are great for smoothing and blow-drying tresses.

 

Detangler Hairbrush

A detangler hairbrush is suitable for all hair types from thick and curly to long and straight. Its obvious purpose is to remove knots and tangles from hair, and it can be used on wet and dry locks. The flexible bristles easily and painlessly smooth through tangles while being gentle to prevent damage and breakage.

 

Vented Hairbrush

The vented hairbrush works on all hair types and is best used for a quick blow-dry. The “vents” allow air from a blow dryer to pass through the brush, hitting all the layers of hair and speeding up the drying process. Less time under hot air means less heat damage to hair (although using a heat protectant is always a good idea, too).

 

Boar Bristle Hairbrush

Best used on curly or fine hair, the boar bristle brush gently glides through strands without causing snags or breakage. The soft bristles stimulate the scalp and increase blood flow, which helps create healthier hair follicles. The boar bristle brush also distributes the scalp’s natural oils evenly throughout the hair, leaving it smooth and shiny; something all hair types can benefit from.

 

Thermal Hairbrush

Thermal brushes are specifically designed for blow-drying hair and are typically round or paddle-shaped. Their core is made of heat-conducting material such as ceramic, titanium, or tourmaline, allowing it to retain and evenly distribute heat in less time, which, again, means less damage. The paddle shape is perfect for straight styles, whereas a rounded barrel creates beautiful beachy waves or loose curls.

 

Curved Hairbrush

Curved hairbrushes can be used with all hair types, are designed to be lightweight, and arc to fit the shape of the head, allowing the bristles to grab more hair than a flat brush. They are typically vented to conduct even airflow for faster blow-drying, and they easily detangle wet or dry locks without snagging or pulling. Use a curved brush to smooth or straighten thick, unmanageable hair.

 

Round Hairbrush

Round hairbrushes are used for blow-drying and are best suited for medium to thick or wavy hair. They help tame frizz while adding body, volume, and bounce. As they’re available in different sizes, the smaller barrels create tighter curls while larger barrels are better for subtle waves or straightening hair. Smaller barrels are also perfect for drying and styling bangs.

 

Looped Bristle Hairbrush

A hairbrush with looped bristles is designed to glide through all different types of hair extensions without pulling or snagging at the root. Hair extensions—both synthetic and natural—are weaker than the hair we grow, and are therefore more susceptible to damage, especially when wet. The looped bristles are gentle and won’t tug too hard on extensions but are still strong enough to easily work through volumes of tresses without causing damage. The best method for using this style of brush is to start detangling at the ends of the hair and work your way up to the scalp. Using the right brush for extensions will prolong their wear and ultimately save you money.

 

Teasing Hairbrush

A teasing brush is suitable for all hair types but works particularly well on fine or thin hair to create volume at the root. They usually come with a pointed end for sectioning off hair and a thin bristled end to backcomb or “tease” at the roots. Teasing tresses adds lift and texture to limp, flat locks for a fuller, more voluminous look.

 

Rat Tail Comb

The rat tail comb is similar to a teasing brush but in comb form. It has a pointed end for precision sectioning and parting, and a comb end for teasing or backcombing to create lift and volume. It is also commonly used for coloring and chemically treating hair. You can also use the pointed end to remove tight hairpins or clips and save your fingernails from stress and breakage.

 

Wide Tooth Comb

Wide tooth combs are best for thick, curly, or textured hair, specifically when wet. Wet locks are more elastic and stretchy than dry strands, making them more fragile and susceptible to breakage. These combs feature thick, widely-spaced teeth that glide through dense, wet tresses with gentle ease. The gaps between teeth are also good for evenly distributing conditioners, masks, and deep treatments throughout a mane.

 

Shower Hairbrush

A shower brush has a flexible design with soft bristles, making it perfect for detangling wet hair of all types, but it’s especially good for curly, wavy, textured, and thick locks. They are often vented for quick drying, and many have a loop or hook on the end for convenient hanging in the shower.

 

Edge Detail Brush

This 3 -in-1 hair tool is best paired with kinky or curly ‘dos to easily smooth edges or baby hairs that frame the face while rocking an updo or ponytail. They’re not only great at sectioning off the hair, but also create intricate hairline details like swoops and swirls. A dab of gel or spritz of hairspray in combination with this brush makes an ideal duo for creating additional details and finishing touches. Also, edge detail brushes are effective at taming flyaways on any type of hair.

 

As you can see, there is no one-size-fits-all hairbrush solution.

 

Matching your brush correctly with its intended purpose and your hair type will not only deliver more beautiful, shiny, bouncy locks, but will help achieve the results you’re aiming for with less effort. It will also prevent damage, breakage, and hair loss while promoting and improving the overall health of your hair and scalp.

 

Experts recommend brushing hair twice a day: once in the morning and again at night before bed. This will help distribute your scalp’s natural oils throughout your strands to strengthen and nourish them while maintaining a healthy shine. The exact size, shape, and design of the brush you choose will depend on your hair type, texture, and styling needs, but with the help of some of the brushes above, you can have a great hair day tomorrow and every day after.

 

For questions, concerns, or article ideas, feel free to reach out to our eCosmetics Beauty Editor directly at [email protected]

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The Best Brushes for Every Hair Type & Styling Need

Ever notice how fabulous your hair looks when you leave the salon, and how it can stay looking that way for days until you wash it? Sure, most hairstylists have the know-how and talent to give such results, but the professional tools they use are also a big factor, and that’s especially true when it comes to hairbrushes.

 

Your stylist likely uses multiple different brushes throughout your session, switching between them depending on the task. Just like how makeup brushes come in different shapes and sizes to achieve different desired results, so do hairbrushes. After all, would you use a blush brush to fill in your eyebrows?

 

There are specific brushes and combs for cutting hair, blow-drying, curling, straight-styling, and even more than just those few examples. So why do most of us use only one brush for all hairstyling tasks?

 

It is important to choose a hairbrush to meet your specific hair needs because there are different brushes for every hair type, texture, length, and style. A brush that is compatible with your unique locks will improve the overall health and appearance of both your hair and scalp. The right brush should detangle, improve texture and shine, promote blood flow to the scalp for healthy follicles, and minimize static, frizz, and breakage.

 

In addition to choosing the right brush for your hair type, it is equally important to use the right hairbrush for a given task. Every facet of a brush’s design—down to the handle, bristles, vents, and shape—is intentional and serves a specific purpose.

 

Picking the best hairbrush to suit your hair type and styling needs will make it that much easier to achieve a good hair day. That’s why we’ve created a list to help guide you through some of the most common hairbrushes available on the market, what type of hair they work best with, and how and when to use them properly.

 

Paddle Hairbrush

A paddle brush can be used on all hair types but is best suited for long, thick hair. It has a wide base that covers a lot of surface space quickly, and paddle brushes usually have flexible bristles, which are great for detangling without pulling. They can be used on both wet and dry hair and are great for smoothing and blow-drying tresses.

 

Detangler Hairbrush

A detangler hairbrush is suitable for all hair types from thick and curly to long and straight. Its obvious purpose is to remove knots and tangles from hair, and it can be used on wet and dry locks. The flexible bristles easily and painlessly smooth through tangles while being gentle to prevent damage and breakage.

 

Vented Hairbrush

The vented hairbrush works on all hair types and is best used for a quick blow-dry. The “vents” allow air from a blow dryer to pass through the brush, hitting all the layers of hair and speeding up the drying process. Less time under hot air means less heat damage to hair (although using a heat protectant is always a good idea, too).

 

Boar Bristle Hairbrush

Best used on curly or fine hair, the boar bristle brush gently glides through strands without causing snags or breakage. The soft bristles stimulate the scalp and increase blood flow, which helps create healthier hair follicles. The boar bristle brush also distributes the scalp’s natural oils evenly throughout the hair, leaving it smooth and shiny; something all hair types can benefit from.

 

Thermal Hairbrush

Thermal brushes are specifically designed for blow-drying hair and are typically round or paddle-shaped. Their core is made of heat-conducting material such as ceramic, titanium, or tourmaline, allowing it to retain and evenly distribute heat in less time, which, again, means less damage. The paddle shape is perfect for straight styles, whereas a rounded barrel creates beautiful beachy waves or loose curls.

 

Curved Hairbrush

Curved hairbrushes can be used with all hair types, are designed to be lightweight, and arc to fit the shape of the head, allowing the bristles to grab more hair than a flat brush. They are typically vented to conduct even airflow for faster blow-drying, and they easily detangle wet or dry locks without snagging or pulling. Use a curved brush to smooth or straighten thick, unmanageable hair.

 

Round Hairbrush

Round hairbrushes are used for blow-drying and are best suited for medium to thick or wavy hair. They help tame frizz while adding body, volume, and bounce. As they’re available in different sizes, the smaller barrels create tighter curls while larger barrels are better for subtle waves or straightening hair. Smaller barrels are also perfect for drying and styling bangs.

 

Looped Bristle Hairbrush

A hairbrush with looped bristles is designed to glide through all different types of hair extensions without pulling or snagging at the root. Hair extensions—both synthetic and natural—are weaker than the hair we grow, and are therefore more susceptible to damage, especially when wet. The looped bristles are gentle and won’t tug too hard on extensions but are still strong enough to easily work through volumes of tresses without causing damage. The best method for using this style of brush is to start detangling at the ends of the hair and work your way up to the scalp. Using the right brush for extensions will prolong their wear and ultimately save you money.

 

Teasing Hairbrush

A teasing brush is suitable for all hair types but works particularly well on fine or thin hair to create volume at the root. They usually come with a pointed end for sectioning off hair and a thin bristled end to backcomb or “tease” at the roots. Teasing tresses adds lift and texture to limp, flat locks for a fuller, more voluminous look.

 

Rat Tail Comb

The rat tail comb is similar to a teasing brush but in comb form. It has a pointed end for precision sectioning and parting, and a comb end for teasing or backcombing to create lift and volume. It is also commonly used for coloring and chemically treating hair. You can also use the pointed end to remove tight hairpins or clips and save your fingernails from stress and breakage.

 

Wide Tooth Comb

Wide tooth combs are best for thick, curly, or textured hair, specifically when wet. Wet locks are more elastic and stretchy than dry strands, making them more fragile and susceptible to breakage. These combs feature thick, widely-spaced teeth that glide through dense, wet tresses with gentle ease. The gaps between teeth are also good for evenly distributing conditioners, masks, and deep treatments throughout a mane.

 

Shower Hairbrush

A shower brush has a flexible design with soft bristles, making it perfect for detangling wet hair of all types, but it’s especially good for curly, wavy, textured, and thick locks. They are often vented for quick drying, and many have a loop or hook on the end for convenient hanging in the shower.

 

Edge Detail Brush

This 3 -in-1 hair tool is best paired with kinky or curly ‘dos to easily smooth edges or baby hairs that frame the face while rocking an updo or ponytail. They’re not only great at sectioning off the hair, but also create intricate hairline details like swoops and swirls. A dab of gel or spritz of hairspray in combination with this brush makes an ideal duo for creating additional details and finishing touches. Also, edge detail brushes are effective at taming flyaways on any type of hair.

 

As you can see, there is no one-size-fits-all hairbrush solution.

 

Matching your brush correctly with its intended purpose and your hair type will not only deliver more beautiful, shiny, bouncy locks, but will help achieve the results you’re aiming for with less effort. It will also prevent damage, breakage, and hair loss while promoting and improving the overall health of your hair and scalp.

 

Experts recommend brushing hair twice a day: once in the morning and again at night before bed. This will help distribute your scalp’s natural oils throughout your strands to strengthen and nourish them while maintaining a healthy shine. The exact size, shape, and design of the brush you choose will depend on your hair type, texture, and styling needs, but with the help of some of the brushes above, you can have a great hair day tomorrow and every day after.

 

For questions, concerns, or article ideas, feel free to reach out to our eCosmetics Beauty Editor directly at [email protected]

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