Drying blond hair with hair dryer and round brush
Image: Shutterstock/alekso94

How To Find The Best Hairbrush

Have you ever held onto a hairbrush for so long all the bristles started to bend in the direction your hair pulls, some bristles fell out or the hairbrush just flat broke in half? Been there for each situation, and it’s a shame, because a bad hairbrush can lead to broken hair strands, constant knotting and even some hair thinning as you excessively pull your hair while brushing.

All because some of us get stubborn or oddly nostalgic and don’t want to invest in a good brush or replace the one we have. (“I’ve had this brush since college!”) A new brush will make it feel like you have new hair, so below is your guide to picking and maintaining the best brush for you.

Knowing When To Part With Your Bristled Friend

You may be wondering if there’s some magic number you’re supposed to follow for throwing away your hairbrush, like your pillow or that expiration date on the milk. With brushes, there isn’t one. You just need to keep a close eye on the condition of the bristles. If they start to look broken or bent, it’s time to replace the brush. Those damaged bristles will mean damaged strands.

How To Find The Best Hairbrush

The world of hairbrushes can feel a little dizzying. After all, they’re hairbrushes. You’d think they’d come in more of a one-size-fits-all choice. Not so. Below are the main types of hairbrushes and when to use which.

Synthetic bristle: These are the kind with the thick nylon bristles that are spaced far apart and have a ball at the end of the bristle. They’re good for thick hair, and they reduce static.

Natural bristle: You’ll usually see these labeled as “boar bristle brush.” They’re soft and evenly distribute the oils in your hair for greater shine and strength. They’re wonderful for fine, straight hair.

Mixed bristle: Can’t decide between the two above? Get a combo synthetic and natural bristle brush, which as the name suggests, has both types of bristles. They’re great for in-between hair that is not too thick or too fine.

Wet hairbrushes: If your hair knots badly when it’s wet, consider a special brush for wet hair. The aptly named Wet Brush has super-strong bristles that will detangle that knotted wet hair. Or for the most stubborn of hair, plastic bristled multi-height, staggered-row brushes work wonders for detangling wet hair. Look for products labeled “detangling hairbrush” and a highly curved, almost teardrop shape to the brush.

From there you go to different types of each bristle listed, like rounded brushes, each geared for different handling preferences and convenience. Shop around, try a few brushes and see which style suits your hair.