The most intimidating aisle in any beauty store is the one bursting with a gazillion hair brushes of various shapes, sizes and bristle types. I always feel that if I make the mistake of choosing the wrong brush, I’ll not only wind up wasting money, but will also cause permanent damage to my hair.
While it’s true that certain brushes are ideal for creating voluminous blowouts, while others can add shine and sleekness to straight locks, in general it’s wise to choose a hair brush for your everyday needs that suits your hair texture. And since we wouldn’t dream of sending you to the store without help, we asked Grace Ilasco, co-owner of the Color Lounge in Burbank, California, to offer up her best tips for how to select the right hair brush for your hair type.
Fine or Thin Hair. Use The Wet Brush for brushing and detangling when hair is damp. This brush should not be used with heat as it will melt. Dry the hair all the way with your fingers and then, after applying a volumizing mouse, flip your head/hair upside down and dry at the roots for body. Continue styling hair with a medium to large round brush that has soft-tip bristles that are more spaced out–this will keep the hair from getting tangles and is gentle on the hair and the scalp when styling.
Medium or Thick Hair. Use The Wet Brush or a paddle brush to detangle hair when it’s wet. Depending on how much smoothing needs to be done, you can also use a ceramic brush with soft bristles or a boar bristle brush/round brush. Ilasco recommends boar bristles for thicker hair.
Course and Thick Hair. Use a big paddle brush to detangle hair and a boar bristle brush to style when blow drying. The bristles help smooth the cuticle and tame frizz.
Very Curly Hair. Forget a brush! Comb out wet hair with a wide tooth comb or fingers only and then leave your hair alone in order to avoid frizz. Use leave-in conditioner, hair curl cream, and oil serum as needed to tame frizz and flyaways.
If you’re interested in knowing which brush is best for achieving a specific style, George Gonzalez, owner of George the Salon in Chicago, gives us the goods:
Updos and back-brushing. Use a Mason Pearson. “This brush is hairdresser’s secret weapon,” Gonzalez says. “The nylon/boar bristle combination disperses natural oils throughout the hair shaft, giving hair luster without compromising volume. It’s fantastic for styling hair up and gentle back-brushing.”
Voluminous, salon-quality blowouts. Use a boar bristle round brush. “Choose the size of your brush according to the size of curl or bend you want to achieve. The buoyancy and shine your locks will receive from the boar bristles blow dry will have you bowing to your brush.”
True bobs and short hairstyles. Use a denman brush. “The Denman is a perfect tool for a true bob and short haircuts, resulting in low volume and sealing the hair cuticle and giving a hairstyle the maximum movement and sheen.”
Textured hair. Use a vent brush. “This brush is incredibly beneficial for curly hair in keeping the texture in tact. The ball tipped nylon bristles will help get through tangles without damaging the hair.
For more beauty tips, check out what is the ideal temperature for your hair dryer? and how often you should clean your hairbrush.
[Photo: Barefoot Blonde]