Here’s How To Choose The Right Hair Brush For Your Hair Type

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Written by Annie Walton-Doyle

Updated: February 15, 2024

When it comes to beauty tasks, brushing your hair has to be one of the least enjoyable. Maybe it’s a hangover from childhood, but there’s something about hair brushing that just seems like a chore.

But if you’re really struggling with your hair-brushing routine, it could be that you’re using the wrong tools. Choosing the right brush for your hair type can make everything seem a little easier—plus, it’s the best way to keep your hair looking its best!

For Fine Hair, Use A Boar Bristle Brush

Finer hair tends to be lower maintenance, so you could get away with most hair brush options to simply work out tangles and smooth your locks. However, if you want to make the most of finer hair, opting for boar bristles can really help to elevate your brushing game.

Boar bristles are the best of the best in terms of smoothing your tresses. But it’s not only that—boar bristle brushes also help to lift dirt out of your hair and redistribute your scalp’s natural oils, meaning you can go longer in between washes.

The gold standard of boar bristle brushes has to be the Mason Pearson Large Extra Boar Bristle Hairbrush B1. It’s extremely pricey, but one purchase should last you a lifetime.

However, if you’re on a budget, Denman’s D82M The Finisher Medium Boar Bristle Brush is a worthy alternative.

For Medium Hair, Use A Mixed Bristle Brush

Medium hair types can also benefit from the magic of boar bristles, but they may not offer the detangling prowess necessary.

The perfect compromise is a mixed bristle brush, which combines boar bristles with nylon, which is a little less bendy and gentle. This means you get the smoothing and oil distribution of boar combined with some extra detangling, courtesy of the nylon bristles.

The Denman D81M Style and Shine Mixed Bristle Brush and the Hersheons The Everyday Essentials Brush both offer medium hair types the best of both worlds.

For Thick Hair, Use A Nylon Brush

Thicker and coarser hair is less likely to be adequately tamed by boar bristles, which may be a little too gentle and flexible to manage more voluminous hair types. If this sounds like you, you may be best opting for a nylon bristled brush, which will help detangle thicker and more stubborn locks.

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The Mason Pearson Pocket Nylon Brush N4 is a perfect option, plus, it’s small enough to carry in your handbag for on-the-go grooming.

For Damaged Hair, Use A Soft Bristled Brush

Brushing damaged hair can sometimes feel a little frightening, as you don’t want to cause any additional breakage. But it has to be done, so finding the most gentle brush possible is essential.

You want to look out for the softest and most pliable bristles that’ll bend to your hair’s will rather than pull on it.

The Kent Brushes Ladies Finest Satinwood Pure Soft White Bristle Narrow Brush is baby soft, but still manages to effectively detangle and smooth damaged or thinning hair types.

For Curly Hair, Use A Wooden Bristled Brush

Curly hair can require a more thorough detangle, but it’s also important to preserve the integrity of the curl pattern to help prevent frizz. A wooden bristled brush can be the best way to achieve this, as they gently work out tangles without breaking up the hair curls or coils.

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This can ensure hair is detangled but remains defined and bouncy, rather than fluffy or filled with static. The Aveda Wooden Paddle Brush is a favourite for brushing out curls without causing chaos.

For Short or Layered Hair, Use A Round Brush

For anyone with a more complicated haircut, styling is key to making sure hair is always looking its neatest and best. This means a round bristled brush will be a total workhorse in your haircare routine.

These brushes can help add volume, shape layers or bangs, and help smooth and style.

beauty pie

The Beauty Pie Super Healthy Hair Pro Dry Barrel Brush is perfect for use during heat styling and comes in an array of sizes depending on the length of your hair. It also has bristles that help to grip onto each hair strand, helping to create a uniform style.

For Tangled Hair, Use A Detangling Brush

It’s a sad fact of life that some hair is just more prone to tangling than others. If you struggle to keep your hair from becoming knotted and matted, you’ll want to have a brush specifically designed for detangling.

These brushes not only help to smooth out knots without causing damage to the follicle, but they also help make sure your hair brushing experience is as painless as possible. Detangling brushes tend to have thinner and more flexible bristles, which help to penetrate the most problematic of tangles and work them out gently.

The Tangle Teezer is an absolute classic of this category (the clue is really in the name) but we’re also huge fans of the Shiela Stotts Untangle Brush, which has delicate metal bristles to properly pervade knots, rather than just smoothing over them.

If You Like To Brush In The Shower, Use A Wet Brush Or Comb

Brushing your hair while it’s wet can be a dangerous game. Wet hair is at its most delicate and fragile, so using a harsh brush can cause breakage and other damage.

However, many of us want to use a brush to help distribute conditioner or a hair mask while washing. If this sounds like you, make sure you’re using a brush that’s specifically designed for in-shower use.

As the name suggests, The Wet Brush has super bendy bristles that won’t pull or snag at your damp locks, helping to prevent snapping.

Another good option is a wide-tooth comb, which can help disperse your hair products without tugging at individual strands. The Hair Gain Comb does the job beautifully—plus, the marbled plastic looks absolutely stunning in your shower.

If You Like To Blow Dry, Use A Vented Brush

When blow-drying your hair, you want to keep air flowing through your locks. Not only does this help speed up the drying process, but it also stops hair from becoming overheated, which can cause damage.

The Boucleme Detangling Wet Brush is a great partner to your hair dryer of choice, as it holds strands in place while maximizing the airflow for a speedy and healthy blowout.

If You Like To Build Volume, Use A Teasing Brush

Adding volume at the roots is the perfect way to add some glamour to your hairdo. However, it can be tricky to achieve, particularly for those with fine and straight locks.

Using a dedicated teasing brush like the Mark Hill Style Addict Backcomb Brush can quickly and effectively add lift to your hair’s roots.

Just make sure to be careful when brushing out the backcombed area, to help avoid unnecessary hair loss.

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