Hair Brush 101

Have you walked down the hair care aisle lately?  There are a myriad of brushes available, and they are all basically the same thing: a handle with bristles.  Do you need a flat brush?  Round?  Boar or synthetic bristles?

Do not fear, dear readers, I'm here to teach you Hair Brush 101.  After this post, you'll know how to pick the right brush for your hair type and style.

Links in this post may be affiliate links, which means that I earn a small commission from sales.  

Bristle Types

Hair brushes have either boar bristles or nylon.  Boar is thought to be the best type of bristle because it is strong and easier to control, but it is expensive.  Nylon bristles are gentler on your hair and a lot less expensive.

Since boar bristles are packed tighter on the brush, they are better at removing dirt or styling product from your hair.  The stiff bristles also massage your scalp and distribute your natural oils throughout your hair for more shine.  Since the bristles are strong, they are better for coarse, curly, or thick hair.

Nylon bristles are more flexible, so they won't pull tangled hair.  This type of brush is better for fragile, fine, or thin hair.  

For the best of both worlds, try a brush with both boar and nylon bristles.  You'll get some of the benefit of a more expensive boar brush without all of the cost.  

Some hair dryers release negative ions to smooth your hair, and ceramic coated brush bodies increase the effects.  Ceramic also distributes heat evenly and traps heat longer so your hair dries faster.  This can also mean more shine and less frizz.  

Tourmaline brush bodies are a step up from ceramic, and they work similar to ceramic but with more effect on the negative ions.  This means less static and smoother hair.  

Special Types
Vented Brushes have openings in the main part of the brush to let air from your hair dryer flow through.  This can greatly reduce drying time, which reduces hair damage.

Thermal brushes hold the heat from your hair dryer, which means even faster drying time.  They are all vented, but not all vented brushes are thermal.  If you blow dry your hair regularly, think of investing in a thermal vented brush for shinier hair.
Round Barrel
Round brushes are used to get volume and body while you blow dry your hair.  These are available in different bristles, and some are vented for a better blow dry.

Paddle Brushes
These flat, wide brushes have a lot of surface area to straighten and smooth your hair.  You should use this type before you flat iron for straighter hair.  

Cushion Brushes
These brushes have a synthetic or rubber bristle that holds the bristles.  A bigger pad means more "give" from the brush.  Choose a brush with thick padding for fine or fragile hair and a thin pad for curly or course hair.  

Do you have a favorite brush?

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