Tips for Choosing the Perfect Hairbrush

Updated on August 16, 2018

I'm sure you've noticed that hairbrushes come in all shapes and sizes. They are also made from a variety of materials. So, which one is right for you? With so many options available, it is important to know which types work for your specific hair type, length, and styling needs. Don’t let choosing a hairbrush become a hair-raising ordeal—check out these tips to find the one that is perfect for you!

Flat Paddle

Flat paddle brushes are tailor-made for smoothing hair immediately after blow drying. Flat paddle brushes are typically made from boar’s hair or widely-space plastic bristles and feature a broad surface to cover large sections of hair. The bristle placement of the flat paddle hairbrush helps to counteract the effects of blow drying by distributing your natural scalp oils.

A flat paddle brush is great for smoothing hair.
A flat paddle brush is great for smoothing hair. | Source

This brush is great for shoulder length to long hair and is designed to get rid of wispy strands and impart a glossy shine. Avoid this type of brush if you have layered hair. It will cause your layers to fall flat.

It is important to remember if you are using a boar bristle brush to be careful. Because these natural bristles are so rigid, running one through dry hair can cause breakage if you don't detangle your hair first.

Cushion

Oval hair brushes with bristles set in an air cushion base are the perfect match for medium length tresses. They have evenly spaced plastic or metal bristles with ball tips to help smooth dry hair without tugging or breakage. They can also be used to untangle wet hair. If you struggle with styling you fine and thinning hair, this is the brush for you!

A cushion hairbrush is perfect for shoulder-length hair.
A cushion hairbrush is perfect for shoulder-length hair. | Source

You can also find cushion hairbrushes with natural bristles that offer the same benefits as their plastic or metal bristle counterparts. Just remember not to use natural bristles on wet hair – they can cause nasty split ends.

Round

A round or barrel-shaped brush can be used to blow-dry all different textures and hair lengths. The barrel size you select will be dictated by your hair length.

Smaller diameter brushes are designed for smoothing or curling shorter hair. Longer hair requires a larger the brush diameter. Long, fine hair tends to wrap around a small barrel, creating an unfortunate tangle of hair and brush.

A round hairbrush give hair movement and curls when used with a blow dryer.
A round hairbrush give hair movement and curls when used with a blow dryer. | Source

Choose from a variety of materials like wood, plastic, natural and metal bristles. Metal bristles create curls, shape, and movement by retaining the heat of the hair dryer. Wood bristles add volume to limp hair, control frizz and stimulate the scalp’s oil production.

Plastic bristles are the least desirable—they tend to scorch fine hair during drying, and the bristles tend to wear out quicker than other materials. Natural bristles work best on thick, healthy hair that is not prone to tangles and knotting.

Narrow

Narrow hairbrushes are used to backcomb hair, much like rat-tail teasing combs. These brushes consist of two or three rows of dense bristle tufts. Narrow hairbrushes can feature synthetic, natural or mixed bristles.

Narrow hairbrushes are used for backcombing.
Narrow hairbrushes are used for backcombing. | Source

Backcombing is a styling technique used to create height on the crown. If you prefer the look of teased hair, be aware that it can cause considerable hair damage if performed over a long period of time. Rest your hair between periods of backcombing and remember to use a deep conditioning product to prevent breakage.

Wide Bristle

Wide bristle brushes are usually equipped with sparse, rigid plastic bristles. These brushes come in handy when you want to untangle wet hair. Wet hair shafts are much more susceptible to damage, so it is best to use a wide bristle brush that won’t snag or become entangled. The wide bristles gently loosen and separate wet hairs in a similar manner to a wide tooth comb.

Wide bristle brushes can be used to gently loosen tangles in wet hair.
Wide bristle brushes can be used to gently loosen tangles in wet hair. | Source

Vented

Many of us use vented brushes for everyday use. However, they are specifically designed to use with a blow dryer. The vents allow air to circulate through the hairbrush and hair strands, adding volume as you direct the brushstrokes up and out from the scalp.

When paired with a blow dryer, vented hairbrushes are great volume boosters.
When paired with a blow dryer, vented hairbrushes are great volume boosters. | Source

If you desire full, bouncy hair, a vented hairbrush may just be your new best friend!

Thermal

Thermal hairbrushes are also another good option for blow drying and styling your hair. The barrel is made from special materials, like tourmaline ceramic over aluminum. They hold and evenly distribute heat without damaging your hair. This barrel material also eliminates “hot spots” that can literally burn your hair shafts.

Thermal hairbrushes are designed to work with the heat of your dryer to give you a smooth finish, fewer frizzies and less static. For women in a hurry, thermal technology also cuts down drying time!

Thermal hairbrushes are specially designed to use with a blow dryer.
Thermal hairbrushes are specially designed to use with a blow dryer. | Source

A quality hairbrush is essential for maintaining hair and scalp health. Think of your hairbrush as an investment and purchase the best one you can afford. Your hair will thank you by giving you fewer “bad hair days”!

Weigh In!

What type of hairbrush do you use?

See results

Questions & Answers

    © 2012 lindacee

    Start a Conversation!

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      • lindacee profile imageAUTHOR

        lindacee 

        5 years ago from Arizona

        Emma, there are even more tips regarding shopping for hairbrushes that I didn't even have time to mention. I wanted to keep the Hub as concise as possible! I also use a wide tooth comb while my hair is wet, but find I need help to get added volume while drying. Do check out some of the hairbrush styles I mentioned -- the possibilities are almost limitless! Thanks for reading and commenting!

      • Emma Harvey profile image

        Emma Kisby 

        5 years ago from Berkshire, UK

        How interesting - I like to think I look after my hair, but I have never considered the type of brush I use. In fact I tend to just use a wide toothed comb and blow dry my hair.

        I think I will go hair brush shopping!

      • lindacee profile imageAUTHOR

        lindacee 

        5 years ago from Arizona

        Jackie, I never really knew the difference until I researched this Hub. Like you, now I will know which type of hair brush to buy next time. Thanks for reading and contributing! :)

      • Jackie Lynnley profile image

        Jackie Lynnley 

        5 years ago from The Beautiful South

        This is really great to know. I bet I have twenty hair brushes; every style and size and I wonder sometimes which is really best. So now I know there are different reasons, thank you!

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, bellatory.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://bellatory.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)