Keeping your crowning glory looking its finest requires the correct type of hairbrush. With so many options available, selecting the right one can be confusing. A hairbrush for routine brushing should be selected based on the texture and length of your hair.
There are also specific brushes that can be used when styling hair. Knowing what options are available will narrow your search when shopping for your next hairbrush.
Hairbrushes are available in a variety of designs. The bristles on each type of brush differ in their arrangement, length, stiffness, number, and the materials from which they are made. Hairbrush bristles can be synthetic, boar bristle, metal, or wooden.
Knowing your hair type and any specific needs are the most important factors when choosing a hairbrush. Specific hair conditions like thinning hair or extremely damaged hair may need special care. Selecting a brush that will not only order the hair but also gently stimulate the scalp is essential.
Many of us remember our mothers dragging a brush painfully through our manes before school when we were kids. Fortunately, new materials and designs are now available that is gentle enough even for a baby’s fine hair.
Types Of Brushes For Hair
1. Detangler Hairbrushes
Recommended Hair Types: All, especially medium to long hair.
What is a Detangler Hairbrush Used for?
A good detangling brush is a must-have for everyone who has medium to long hair. These versatile brushes have thin, flexible bristles that gently separate tangled hair while brushing. Detangling brushes work well to tame children’s hair painlessly.
They can also be used on wet hair with a conditioner to remove knots after washing.
2. Wet Hairbrushes
Recommended Hair Types: All
What is a Wet Hairbrush Used for?
A wet hairbrush is specifically for use on wet hair. It often has the same features as a detangling brush which is used as a wet brush. The bristles are flexible and soft so that hair is gently unknotted while it massages the scalp.
During swimming or washing, long hair often becomes more tangled than usual. While it is wet, hair is more prone to damage or breakage, so it is essential to use a fine and soft hairbrush that won’t rip out clumps when it encounters a tangle.
Wet brushes are designed so that they will remain gentle even if you accidentally brush a little too hard.
3. Shower Hairbrushes
Recommended Hair Types: All
What is a Shower Hairbrush Used for?
Shower hairbrushes are usually similar to hairbrushes designed for use on wet hair. Its main defining characteristic is that it features a hanging hook that makes it handy to keep in the shower. The bristles are highly flexible to reduce hair breakage and split ends while hair is wet. The brush will gently loosen knots without pulling or breaking hair.
Shower hair brushes are designed with ergonomically designed grips that can be held securely while showering. This type of hairbrush is lightweight and vented so that it dries quickly after each use.
4. Cushion Hairbrushes
Recommended Hair Types: Frizzy, Static prone hair, dandruff or styling product removal
What is a Cushion Hairbrush Used for?
A cushion hairbrush has bristles set in a rubber cushion base. The bristles are made of ball-tipped nylon, plastic, or wire is a firm yet flexible option to tame even the most stubborn hair types.
The soft rubber base provides cushioning so that you don’t apply too much pressure to your sensitive scalp, but at the same time, allow the stiff bristles to stimulate the hair follicles.
Cushion hairbrushes are especially recommended for people with frizzy hair because the bristles are strong enough to move between the hair all the way to the scalp. They can also be used by those who frequently use hair styling products or struggle with dandruff.
Cushion brushes will effectively brush through all the layers of hair and make the hair appear cleaner after being brushed.
5. Thermal Hairbrushes
Recommended Hair Types: Anyone who blowdries their hair, especially people straightening, curling, blowdrying normal or thick hair, straight or curly, medium to long hair.
What is a Thermal Hairbrush Used for?
Thermal hairbrushes have a round barrel that quickly diffuses warm air through the brush and allows hair to dry faster while blowdrying. The barrels of thermal brushes are made of materials like ceramic, titanium, or tourmaline. These quickly spread the heat from the hairdryer evenly through to all parts of the hair.
Thermal brushes come in different sizes. The thinner ones are perfect for short styles where you want to lift each group of hair before drying to create height. Thermal brushes with a larger circumference work well to add volume to long hair while blowdrying.
Using a thermal brush will speed up the amount of time required to style hair while blowdrying.
6. Boar Bristle Hairbrush
Recommended Hair Types: All, but especially recommended for people with fine, thinning, or aging hair.
What is a Boar Bristle Hairbrush Used for?
Boar bristle brushes are made using the bristles of boars. Therefore, the brush is gentle on hair because it is made from the same substance as our hair.
Boar bristle brushes are popular because they effectively spread natural oils on the scalp and along the shafts of the hair. This property is a wonderful health benefit, and dull, lackluster hair can quickly become shiny and healthy.
Every type of hair can benefit from a boar bristle brush because it naturally enhances hair health. The tightly packed bristles quickly strip hair of any dead strands while redistributing natural oils from the roots to the end of each shaft, resulting in smooth, shiny hair.
Natural boar bristle brushes are a good choice for people who want to provide gentle stimulation for their scalp, especially if experiencing hair loss or hair receding issues. The ability of this brush to thoroughly massage hair follicles can increase blood flow which can encourage hair growth.
An added benefit is that the boar bristles also distribute hair products evenly. Dry shampoo users find it extremely useful to have this type of hairbrush in their array as it quickly distributes the product through their hair, and they receive excellent results.
7. Nylon Bristle Hairbrushes
Recommended Hair Types: Oily, Wavy, Curly, Thick, Long
What is a Nylon Bristle Hairbrush Used for?
Nylon hairbrushes are firmer and offer more control than natural boar bristle. The bristles can be longer, which allows them to penetrate through thick or curly hair to brush through every layer. Nylon brushes are strong and durable.
Although the bristles are firm, they are intended to detangle, smooth, and style thick or wavy hair. Most nylon hairbrushes have a range of flexibility to gently slide over unexpected tangles without snagging them and causing hair damage or breakage.
One of the greatest benefits of being made from entirely synthetic material is reducing static as they move through hair.
While nylon hairbrushes are usually sturdy with a comfortable grip, care must be taken while using them not to expose them to too much heat while using the hairdryer. The plastic bristles tend to become soft if they are heated, and over time the hairbrush could lose its firm feel.
8. Curved Hairbrush
Recommended Hair Types: All
What is a Curved Hairbrush Used for?
A curved hairbrush is all about comfort and convenience. The shape of the brush is ergonomically designed to mold perfectly around the shape of the head. They are usually lightweight and intended as a one-stop go-to brush for those with active lifestyles. Perfect for after the gym or while traveling.
Curved brushes offer a trendy, modern look while providing detangling and styling during informal quick hair pick-me-up sessions between sporting or recreational activities. They usually contain vents so dry quickly after showers and won’t make your kit bag damp
9. Natural Bristle Hairbrushes
What is a Natural Bristle Hairbrush Used for?
The world has experienced a recent popular trend of incorporating fewer synthetics and using more natural materials. Innovations in this regard have also been made in hairbrushes. There are two distinct types of natural hairbrushes.
One type is made entirely from plant material, and the other incorporates animal hair, usually boar or horsehair.
Natural Bristle Hairbrushes – Wooden Bristles
Recommended Hair Types: Dry, Thick, Curly, Straight
Wooden bristle brushes are perfect for vegans and anyone else who wants to use a 100% natural material without any animal products. The brush handle and bristles are often made from material like bamboo, which naturally conditions and distributes natural oils.
Wooden bristle brushes are 100% biodegradable and made of sustainable natural products.
The natural wooden bristles are smoother and tend to snag less in wavy hair than standard plastic pinned brushes. Although they work well on wet hair, they do need to be thoroughly dried after each use.
Natural Bristle Hairbrushes – Boar Bristles
Recommended Hair Types: Excellent for all hair types. Recommended for people with sensitive scalps for very dry hair.
Natural 100% boar bristles provide a luxurious hair brushing experience. Natural brushes that use boar bristles are perfect for all hair types, including short, thin, normal, and fine hair. The bristles are firm and rigid enough to smooth the hair quickly but will also massage the scalp.
This encourages the production of natural oils, which prevents hair from drying out or breaking.
Natural boar bristle brushes are excellent to use on sensitive scalps, like young children, the elderly, and even anyone undergoing medical treatment that might affect their hair, like chemotherapy. It is a soothing and gentle experience each time you use this type of brush.
10. Mixed Bristle Hairbrushes
Recommended Hair Types: Thick, curly, dry, or oily hair.
What are Mixed Bristle Hairbrushes Used for?
Combining the natural properties of boar bristles with the rigid strength of nylon will give you the best of both worlds in a hairbrush. As you brush your hair, the boar bristles distribute natural oils from your scalp, reducing frizz and giving a sleek polished result.
The nylon bristles act as rigid support structures to the softer boar bristles so that they can penetrate right through to the scalp to work their magic. Oil from the scalp is evenly spread through the length of the hair shaft, which creates volume and shine.
Mixed bristle brushes are an excellent option for people with thick or curly hair who want to get the benefit of boar bristles but need firmer pressure to penetrate all the layers of hair while brushing.
11. Paddle Hairbrushes
Recommended Hair Types: Long, thick, fine, straight hair
What are Paddle Hairbrushes Used for?
Paddle hairbrushes have wide bases so that with each sweep, a large section of hair gets brushed. They are the natural choice for people who have long hair as they can reduce the amount of time required to brush the whole head thoroughly.
Paddle hair brushes are good everyday brushes as they detangle and smooth hair while brushing.
12. Narrow Hairbrushes
Recommended Hair Type: Medium Length, Short, Fine, Thin
What are Narrow Hairbrushes Used for?
If you have a short style, you probably don’t need a large hairbrush. You just need convenience and a lovely groomed finish to get you off to a good start each day. Narrow hairbrushes are great for shaping, smoothing, and general styling of short hairstyles.
The smaller size makes it handy and easy to use. Select a narrow hairbrush with natural bristles to stimulate your scalp and make your hair look healthy and vibrant.
13. Anti-Static Hairbrushes
Recommended Hair Types: Fine, Static, Blow-away, Wavy, Long, Curly, Normal, Straight
What are Anti-Static Hairbrushes Used for?
Some types of hair are just more prone to static than others. If you have hair that lifts off at the first hint of dry air, then an anti-static hairbrush would be an excellent addition to your hair care kit.
Anti-Static brushes have vents that allow air to pass through instead of reflecting off it. The result is that hair tends to lie flat after brushing and even after blow waving. Many anti-static brushes have ionic bristles that help seal and smooth split ends, eliminate frizz, and reduce drying time.
14. Round Hairbrushes
Recommended Hair Types: All. Especially useful during blowdrying and styling hair
What are Round Hairbrushes Used for?
Round brushes come in various sizes. Whether you need to give volume to straight hair or straighten curly hair, there is a round brush that is the perfect size for you. Round brushes have very short bristles that either have ball-tips or are made from stiff material so that the brush does not get tangled in your hair while you are blowdrying.
Many hairstyles need two or more Round Brushes as different lengths of hair require different circumference brushes. Short bangs would need a mini-round brush to style hair off the face, while longer hair would need a larger round brush to lift and heighten the style.
15. Teasing Hairbrushes
Recommended Hair Types: Thinning Hair, particular hairstyles where height is required on the crown.
What are Teasing Hairbrushes Used for?
Teasing hair brushes are useful when creating a particular hairstyle or creating the illusion of fullness in areas where hair may be thinning. They are small, narrow brushes which only a few rows of bristles.
Hair around the crown of the head can be sectioned off and gently teased, usually with the addition of a styling product, to give height to limp, flat hair or create a full appearance to sparse hair.
16. Vented Hairbrushes
Recommended Hair Type: All. It is an excellent choice to blow dry hair quickly.
What are Vented Hair Brushes Used for?
Vented hair brushes are designed to lift hair and allow easy airflow through to all layers of wet hair. The bristles, which are sparsely set to allow air to flow through, are made of tough, heat-resistant material. This ensures that hair does not become tangled in the bristles during the blowdrying process.
A vented brush should have a large nonslip handle so it can be held securely while blow waving and styling. Vented brushes are usually slightly curved to make the process of lifting and gently pulling the brush through the hair more comfortable.
17. Rat Tail Hairbrushes
Recommended Hair Type: All. Styles that require work in specific sections or thinning hair
What are Rat Tail Hairbrushes Used for?
Rat tail hairbrushes can also often be teasing brushes as the part that makes contact with hair is similar in appearance. The unique feature of a rat tail brush is its tapered, pointed handle that can be used to section off individual areas to lift and tease.
Once the style is achieved, the rat tail handle can be used as a pick to lift and revive the style occasionally.
18. Straightening Hairbrushes
Recommended Hair Type: Anyone who wants to straighten their hair
What are Straightening Hairbrushes Used for?
The combination of the old-fashioned hot hair iron and a paddle brush has been a game-changer for many of us with hard to tame hair. Straightening hair brushes heat up quickly, smooth, and straighten hair as it is gently moved from root to tip.
The short bristles resist tangling and keep the hair held firmly as the brush works its magic to create sleek hairstyles consistently.
19. Smoothing Hairbrushes
Recommended Hair Type: All. Specifically, useful for long straight hair or for creating up-styles.
What are Smoothing Hairbrushes Used for?
Smoothing brushes have large surface areas that are densely covered by soft bristles. The bristles are often boar bristle or soft nylon. These brushes provide a feeling of luxury or old-Hollywood style glamor as they gently massage the scalp and leave tresses silky soft, and shiny.
Smoothing brushes are suitable for all hair types, and the soft bristles help to distribute natural oils from the roots to the tip of each strand. They are also useful brushes for people who frequently wear their hair in a bun or ponytail. The soft, broad surface eliminates bumps while pulling the hair back.
20. Hair Scalp Brushes
Recommended Hair Type: Dandruff, thinning hair
What are Hair Scalp Brushes Used for?
These handy brushes provide the head with a gentle massage to thoroughly clean and, at the same time, stimulate the scalp to increase hair growth. These easy-to-grip, super soft brushes can deeply clean hair without damaging the scalp.
Hair scalp brushes are quite small to fit comfortably in your hand, and the soft bristles promote blood circulation and stimulate hair growth. The contoured head of the brush fits perfectly against the scalp and provides a deep clean and head treatment each time you use it.
The scalp hairbrush is made of fast-drying silicone, or rubber can be used wet or dry.
21. Folding Travel Hairbrushes
Recommended Hair Type: All. A convenient all-purpose brush when traveling or space is limited
What are Folding Travel Hairbrushes Used for?
Whether out hiking or just having a small purse, you never need to be without a hairbrush! While they may not be huge, folding hair brushes are compact and easy to tuck into small spaces. Most types unfold to release the hairbrush bristles that will quickly have you looking your best, no matter where you find yourself.
22. Hairbrushes For Babies
Recommended Hair Type: Infants with sensitive scalps and baby hair
What are Baby Hair Brushes Used for?
Just like adults, babies can have different hair types. But what they all need is an ultra-gentle brush that will stroke their precious heads while brushing their new hair. Infant hair has unique requirements, and there are some things to keep in mind when selecting a brush for a baby.
These include selecting a soft, natural bristled brush and immediately addressing issues like cradle cap that may affect a baby’s scalp.