Which hair brush is best?
If you’re someone whose hair dominates your look and echoes your personality, then caring for it with a quality brush is serious business. When choosing a hair brush, you need to consider your hair texture, styling needs, and which products you’re using. It’s not unusual to find that a hair brush doesn’t fit into a one-size-fits-all category. Some brushes are better for wet hair than others, and there are some better-suited for short hair than long. More often than not, you’ll need more than one brush in your arsenal of styling tools.
Your hair should always look its best, so we’ve put together this buying guide for hair brushes to make your choice a simple one. Our favorite brush is the Crave Naturals Glide-Thru Detangling Brush, which is the ultimate tool for wet or dry styling.
What to know before you buy a hair brush
Popular brush types
- Paddle brushes: These brushes are ideal for detangling wet hair and dispersing product. There’s a bit of cushion to the bristle pad, so they’re soft with a little bit of give for those with sensitive scalps.
- Vented brushes: These brushes promote air circulation through the brush, instead of concentrating it at an endpoint. As a result, your hair sustains less heat damage when you blow dry it and often speeds up the drying process.
- Styling brushes: These brushes feature bristles on one side, making them easy to control for more in-depth styling to add lift or create more defined styles.
- Teasing brushes: Used correctly, teasing brushes add volume through a technique called back-combing. These tend to be small and narrow with densely packed bristles to grab hair as you work with it.
- Round brushes: The best brush for voluminous blowouts, round brushes require a level of mastery to manipulate, so they don’t become tangled in your hair. They’re ideal for smoothing curly and wavy hair, and they are well-liked by those with straight hair who want a frizz-free finish.
- Natural bristles: Natural bristles are made from boars’ hair. They have a flexible feel to them and cause the least amount of damage to hair. They’re universally liked for those with long, short, wavy, curly, and straight hair.
- Metal bristles: These have nylon or plastic balls as buffers to your scalp. They’re great for brushing out curly hair and wigs, but they often become caught in locks. They also heat up quickly, so they could cause heat damage during a blowout.
- Synthetic bristles: Made from plastic and nylon, these are the most popular bristle materials. Not only do they make hair brushes inexpensive, but also they work well with various hair textures.
- Porcupine bristles: These styles incorporate more than one of the three bristle types to achieve multiple styling capabilities. Often times, the different bristles are staggered to promote smoothing and detangling, especially during blowouts.
What to look for in a quality hair brush
Ceramic hair brushes are gentle heat conductors that speed up drying without causing excessive heat damage. They may also have ionic coatings on the barrel, which promote shine during blowouts. Copper plating is seen in high-quality brushes and is also known for speeding up the heating process.
Because you spend a decent amount of time using a hair brush, some are equipped with comfort features. Ergonomic handles provide molded grips that are easier to hold, especially as you flip and style hair in awkward positions. Some brushes have air-cushioned heads, which spaces out the bristles and makes for softer contact with your scalp.
How much you can expect to spend on a hair brush
You’ll find a decent hair brush for less than $10, though it might only have a couple of the features you want. Spending a little bit more, between $10 and $20, is where you’ll find one with better-quality bristles that will also last longer. For a salon-quality brush for bouncy blowouts and extreme frizz reduction, you could spend closer to $40.
Hair brushes FAQ
Q. How can I use my hair brush to tame flyaway hair?
A. Boar bristles are ideal to handle flyaways and frizz, so if you don’t have one, it’s worth making the switch. You could also spray the brush with a light mist of hair spray, and then brush your hair lightly to disperse it.
Q. How often should I replace my hair brush?
A. Even if you’re religious about cleaning it, hair care experts recommend replacing it annually. If you begin to notice bristles are shedding or breaking off, definitely replace it sooner.
What hair brushes are best to buy?
Top hair brush
Our take: Impressive versatility as effective detangler and wet hair brush. Ergonomic shape for blow drying.
What we like: Performs well with wet and dry hair of all lengths, especially hair with product in it.
What we dislike: Not everyone is sold on the unique shape and design, and it’s not comfortable to hold for some people.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon.
Top hair brush for the money
Our take: Old faithful brush style with quality construction from a reputable name in hair-styling tools.
What we like: Ideal for brushing out wet hair and wigs. Works well for blow drying long hair in a straight smooth style.
What we dislike: Mixed reviews on how it performs with thick long hair.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon.
Worth checking out
Our take: Ideal for those who have mastered the art of using a round brush for blowouts.
What we like: Effective at eliminating frizz and adding body to hair. Boar bristles glide through wet hair that has product in it.
What we dislike: A bit more expensive than other brushes, and not ideal for short hair.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon.
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Sian Babish writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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