Choosing the Right Hair Brush
There’s a lot more to hair brushes than you think, they’re basic yet essential tools for most styling processes and they come in many different shapes and sizes depending on the role they play. Making sure you have the right brush to perform a certain task really makes a difference when you take a look at the end result.
What the hair brush bristles are made from also influences how each brush performs a particular task, for example, boar bristle is known for its strength and control, why the nylon bristle is better for gentle brushing. Here’s more on the two main types of bristle:
- Boar bristle: considered by many as the best bristle and yes, we’re talking about the animal. It’s supremely sturdy and packed tightly and densely on the brush, making it really effective at removing debris or product from your tresses. Some use this tough bristle to brush their hair clean in between shampoos, providing a deep head massage and distributing the natural oils present in your scalp, eventually moisturizing and adding shine. With resilient boar bristles, you are able of detangling more efficiently, straightening or easily brushing through thick, course or curly hair. Just make sure to look for 100% boar bristle, boar reinforced with nylon bristles or porcupine with boar and nylon bristles. The great thing about these bristles is that they offer lots of control over your brushing.
- Nylon bristle: this bristle is best for thin or fine hair because it simply slides through without causing breakages. Most nylon bristles are flexible and won’t painfully pull out hair while tugging at tangles, and though not as resilient as boar bristle brushes, they are a lot more considerate with your wallet!
The size and shape of your hair brush can influence your styling process, here’s a list of the different technologies available for hair brushes so that you may choose the right one for you:
- Ceramic: If you blow dry often, you should know that ceramic coated brushes can enhance the effects of negative ions in your hair, produced by your blow dryer, although not all dryers emit negative ions. Check out the hair dryer buying guide for more details on this. What the ceramic hair brush does is evenly distribute heat over your hair and increases its effects, which means frizz-free, glossy and healthy hair in less time.
- Tourmaline: Like ceramic hair brushes, the tourmalines enhance the benefits of negative ions over your hair, more than the ceramic brush can. Having more negative ions just means smoother, silkier and static-free hair that looks naturally shiny.
- Vented: having a vented brush means that it has openings to permit airflow through the length of the brush body allowing for a much faster drying time. The less time you expose your hair to heat, the healthier it’ll look!
- Thermal: as the name implies, these brushes manage to capture and maintain the heat expelled from your hair dryer to cut down your drying time. All thermal hair brushes are designed to be vented and allow air to flow through the body of the brush. For smoothes and shiniest results, pick a thermal hair brush that includes ceramic or tourmaline in the body or bristles.
- Round barrel: if you’re after volume and body then a round brush is what you need. After selecting a bristle type that benefits your hair the most, you can then choose what extra features and technology you want your round barrel brush to have, for example, do you think a vented, boar bristle, tourmaline round brush is best? Or perhaps you’d benefit more from a thermal, nylon bristle round brush that’s ceramic coated?
- Paddle: if you have a lot of hair, you’ll need a brush that can cover a greater area. Paddle brushes are wide and flat and perfect for this, making smoothing and straightening much more effective. Use a paddle brush on your locks before getting started with the flat iron for less flattening time and best results.
- Cushion: these brush types have bristles that are secured into a rubber or synthetic pad and the shape, size and thickness of this pad determines the amount of ‘give’ from the bristles. For example, if you have thicker, courser hair then you’ll need a brush with less give so that it can pass through without too much trouble. If, however, your hair is thin or fine then you require more give, or cushion, meaning more flexibility and gentleness.
- Styling and finishing: brushes used for styling feature multifunctional tools that polish your look, since they’re designed for sculpting, defining and finishing rather than detangling or drying. With precise styles and short hair, you’ll need a smaller styling brush but if your hair is longer and straighter (or often straightened) then a paddle version will be fine. If you’re making waves and curls, choose a round styling brush to define shape more efficiently.
- Teasing: teasing hair brushes can be used to enhance the look of your hair, and with the correct technique you can reach new levels of styling. A lot of the handles on these brushes double as combs to part or section off hair, which is an added bonus.