In this hair brush guide, we are going to go over the different types of hair brushes, what hair type they are best for and what they are most commonly used for.
This is The Ultimate Hair Brush Guide you have been looking for!!
I have been working with hair brushes professionally for about 12 years now and I can truly say size does matter!
For professionals, the final style is the time when the client finally start to see their new hair. It is an exciting time so being sure to give them an incredible blowout at the end of their service and highlight the work you have done!
I keep several different types of brushes at my station so I am sure to always have what I need for each client’s hairs needs.
A couple of basic to start breaking it down the different hair brushes is talking about the shape.
You can pretty much break down all hair brushes into 2 categories:
Flat Brush and Round Brush.
Simply put, a flat brush will make your hair flatter and smoother and a round brush will add bend to your hair.
How much bend depends on the size of the round brush.
The smaller the diameter of the brush the tighter your curl will be.
This also depends on the length of your hair. The length of your hair will determine how many times your hair can wrap around each brush. How many times your hair wraps around the brush will determine how much curl you have versus a bend, or even to straighten!
How many times your hair wraps around the brush will determine how much curl your hair will get versus a small bend, or even straighten!
Yea…I said it! It’s actually no secret at all…lots of people do it. You CAN straighten your hair with a round brush by blow drying your hair with a large round brush. This works especially well with short to medium length hair.
How flat and smooth your hair becomes depends on the bristles of the hair brush!
Bristles that are widely spread out do not give very much tension to the hair(the tightness of pull when brushing through the hair). This is most ideal for fine to normal hair.
It’s really the tension that makes the hair smoother and straighter.
A boar bristle brush, which has lots and lots of bristles is the strongest tension a brush will give you. The quality of bristles will determine the shine your hair gets after the blow dry. This is ideal on all normal to thick coarse hair types.
OK, we’re gone over a few basic, the shapes of hair brushes, the bristles of a brush, and the outcomes they will give the different hair types. Now,
Now, let’s break it down into 8 different hair brush types…
The Ultimate Hair Brush Guide
The Paddle Brush:
This is the most common brush you will find in a bathroom drawer!
It is a go to for combing out wet or dry hair to detangle. Perfect for a basic blow dry to style everyday hair.
This brush is good for all hair types although the wider the brush the better it is for longer hair.
With bristles pretty widely spread out around the brush, it gives little tension so not the best to turn to for straightening out curly hair but acceptable with a wavy hair type. Purchase HERE on Amazon
The Ceramic Round Brush:
The most used brush is definitely the round brush. The most popular brush for hairstylist is without a doubt the round brush and because of that a lot of women have caught on and now have one at home.
Ceramic is a plating over metal. The metal heats up and acts like a curling iron to the hair but the ceramic coating protects it from getting burned.
It is important to keep the brush turning as you use it.
This keeps the hair from sitting directly on the ceramic brush for too long. I always recommend my clients use a heat protectant to give the hair some extra insurance! This will keep the hair safe and will also keep your color from fading.
The plastic bristles of this round brush give a good amount of shine to the hair. While the bristles are still pretty spaced out but with constantly turning the brush while blow drying and the ceramic brush you help the cuticle lay flat so you can achieve a pretty smooth finish.
This brush works very well on all hair types! Purchase HERE on Amazon
The Board Bristle Round Brush:
This Brush is best suited for smoothing out frizzy hair.
Personally, I think this brush is best for normal to thick coarse hair. A finer texture of hair will be difficult to work with. A looser curl will be achieved with this brush as the tension from the boar bristles give more pull and can make it more work on the shoulders to keep the brush constantly turning.
Without the metal to worry about though this is less important. Purchase HERE on Amazon
I like to use a large boar bristle brush on long curly hair to give it a beautiful Victoria Secret style and make my clients feel like they are red carpet ready when they walk out of the salon!
The Mason Pearson Hair Brush:
We talked about boar bristle brushes a couple times already but the Mason Pearson is in a class of its own!
The bristle of the Mason Pearson is the highest of quality.
Patented over 100 years ago and still made mostly by hand in Italy this brush has a reputation that can’t seem to be broken!
The brushes bristles are a mixture of nylon and natural boar bristles so it glides through the hair easily and comfortably. Unlike plastic bristles, the nylon is completely smooth and doesn’t cause unnecessary friction or breakage to the hair when brushing through it.
This is the ultimate hair smoother. Perfect to use on any and all hair types, the finish will be the most shiny and smooth of all the finishes with any other brush.
The best part of investing in a Mason Pearson is that you really do get what you pay for! The quality of this brush is so high it will last a lifetime. I have had mine for 5 years now and it is still practically brand new. Purchase HERE on Amazon
The Denman Hair Brush:
If you are one of my clients, more specifically one of my male clients, you know I don’t go a day without touching this brush!
It is my tool for short hair because it fits perfectly in the palm of your hand and can be used to flat brush and style the hair or give it volume and bend.
It truly is a brush that takes some practice to reap its sweetest rewards but if you have short hair and you don’t think it’s possible to control…give this bad boy a shot!
You do not have to be a pro though to use a Denman.
As I said before it is simple to use. I always tell my clients to keep the brush in front of the blow dryer and brush all of the hair in each direction of the head over and over. Start brushing the hair in the place you want it to stay when it is about 85-90% dry! Purchase HERE on Amazon
Another super common use for the Denman hair brush is a detangling tool in the curly community. With few bristles that are pretty thick, it is great for removing the tangle from thick super curly hair. Give it a try!
The Back Combing Brush:
This is a pretty uncommon brush. I vaguely remember seeing one of these brushes at my grandmother’s house when I was a kid.
This could be in part to do with the fact that I grew up in California in the 90’s when volume was the last thing anyone in California was looking for!
Now that I do hair professionally I have grown to love a backcombing brush. It really is the ultimate tool for creating volume for not just everyday hair but creating an incredible cushion for up-dos.
Speaking of up-do’s the backcombing brush can also be used to smooth out hair for your special event hair!
Although this brush can definitely be used on any hair type it is most commonly used on fine to normal hair types. Remember that a little spritz of hairspray at the root area before backcombing helps grip on super fine hair! Purchase HERE
The Fine Tooth Comb:
I mean, I guess this one isn’t actually a hair brush but is it an important tool that is used to brush through hair so close enough for me!
A fine tooth comb is the most detailed brush you can use. This is why all professional hair stylist use it for cutting. The hair must be thoroughly combed through with zero signs of tangles. This type of comb is also the best way to get clean lines for sectioning the hair.
This is also how men get that perfect part. I always tell my male clients they can easily get away with a fine tooth comb as their only tool!
Anybody with hair longer than 2-3″ cannot get away with using this to blow dry…it would not work…just don’t! Purchase HERE on Amazon
The Wide Tooth Comb:
The safest way to brush tangles out of your hair, especially when wet!
The hair is most fragile when it is wet and should therefor be handled carefully. With the least amount of bristles, the wide tooth comb provides zero tension.
It is absolutely not for blow drying. It is great for medium to thick long hair that easily tangles. Purchase HERE on Amazon
Take this brush in the shower with you and use it to conditioner go through your hair and rinse for zero tangles after your shower!
As a client, you should pay attention to the brush your stylist uses on you and how it makes your hair look and feel. Pay attention to the products that are put on your hair and how they are applied.
My clients always say to me, “I wish I could come in every morning so my hair could look like this every day!”.
It seems like a more reasonable idea would be to try and do it at home, by using all the same tools your stylist does the same way that they do!
Don’t ever forget…practice makes perfect!!
Thank you so much for reading!