The Best Hairbrush For Your Hair Type
Most of us don’t really put much thought into the purchase of a hairbrush. If anything, we tend to just grab the first we see on the shelf. But here’s the thing: a hairbrush is not a one size fits all type of purchase and in order to find the right one for you, there are several things you need to consider. Your hair is unique and as such, your hairbrush should reflect your hair’s unique structure in order to boost your hair’s styling power. The right hairbrush can mean the difference in the health of your hair and your overall style. Keep in mind though – the color and texture of your hair changes with age. As such, the hairbrush that you had in college may not be the best one for you in your 30’s.
That being said, a woman should not only own just one hairbrush. There are four different types that should be in every woman’s bathroom drawer:
- A hairbrush for straightening and drying
Paddle brushes (or flat brushes as they are sometimes called) are meant to help create a straight look for long to medium length hair. Generally they have nylon bristles and are used in conjunction with a blow dryer to dry larger areas and create a flat, smooth finish. To achieve a smooth look, hold the paddle brush with the bristles up and direct the hair dryer pointing down the hair to smooth the cuticle.
- A hairbrush for creating volume and curl
A round brush is designed to give you body and movement wherever you may need it – at the root, for curl at the bottom of the hair or for movement to frame your face. Round brushes come in different sizes and should be chosen based on the look you are trying to achieve. If you have short hair or bangs, choose a smaller brush. For volume, choose a larger barrel brush.
- A hairbrush for supporting updos and adding height
A teasing brush is a thin brush with nylon or plastic bristles. The teasing brush can be used to add height to your hair, especially at the root. Use the brush on the root area in a gentle back-brushing motion to add volume. The pointed end of the teasing brush can be used to separate sections and create parts. If you have fine or fragile hair, however, it is not recommended to use the teasing brush as it may lead to breakage.
- A hairbrush for detangling or styling
While not specifically a hairbrush, the comb is just as important in your style arsenal as the other brushes are. A wide toothed comb is good for detangling and can be used during your shower to distribute a conditioning product. A fine-toothed comb is great to have on hand to help you style your bangs or to separate and smooth hair while flat ironing. A smaller toothed comb will grab the root more effectively and will create more tension while you style. Always try to use a matte comb, not a shiny one, as the matte finish will provide more control of your hair.
While the right type of hairbrush is important, the barrel from which it is made is just as important. The right type of barrel can take you from frizzy mess to a shiny frizz-free finish. Picking the right barrel can also speed up the drying process when blow-drying and can make a world of difference for your hair type.
This type of barrel is best for everyday use. It is the most popular barrel material out there and maintains a gentle, healthy level of heat during blow-drying to help dry your hair.
This type of barrel is best for preventing static. The tourmaline barrel brushes release negative ions to help smooth hair and reduce static – especially important in the winter months. For your best blowout ever, use a brush that is a combination of both ceramic and tourmaline.
- Titanium, thermal and vented
These are variations on the ceramic and tourmaline brushes and are best for those with damaged strands and/or long hair. A titanium brush is coated with ceramic and provides similar benefits to a ceramic brush. A thermal brush is meant to regulate the heat coming from the brush to protect the hair. A vented flat brush is good for smoothing hair and helping to detangle. The holes in the vented brush help to distribute heat for evenness during your blowout.
Another factor to keep in mind when choosing your hairbrush is the type of bristles the hairbrush has. Your hair type should determine which type of bristle you choose for your brush. Most hair types would be fine with a mixed bristle brush – meaning half nylon bristles and half boar.
This bristle type is best for medium, thick and coarse hair. Hairbrushes made with boar should have bristles that are tightly packed together and feel stiff, with some flexibility. Boar bristles are gentle on the hair and help to redistribute oils evenly throughout (which helps to smooth the cuticle), and are great for achieving smooth, shiny hair. Hairbrushes with boar bristles are a lot more expensive but are worth the investment if you have thick, coarse hair. They make styling easier and promote smoothness and shine. For those with fine or normal hair, these types of brushes can also help to add volume.
This bristle type is best for fine to medium hair. Hairbrushes with nylon bristles tend to be less expensive than those made with boar but are still just as effective. The bristles are usually spaced farther apart than boar and achieve a medium to strong grip on all hair types, especially for those with finer strands. If you find that you have static issues or your brush gets stuck in your hair mid-twirl, then consider using a brush that combines both nylon and boar bristles.
This type of bristle is good for fine hair. Contrary to its name, porcupine bristles don’t contain any quills. Instead, the term porcupine is used to describe a tufted bristle – one that contains multiple bristles grouped together. Porcupine bristles tend to be a combination of boar and nylon bristles and are known for being gentle on the hair.
This type of bristle is good for all hair types. Hairbrushes with plastic or synthetic bristles are basic all purpose brushes. The bristles tend to be quite strong and are made to withstand brushing larger areas of medium to thick hair. Plastic brushes are good for detangling and for the start of your blowout.
Remember that, like your hair, your hairbrush also needs some attention and care to keep it in great shape. Every two weeks take some time to care for your brush. Remove any excess hair from the bristles with your fingers and clean the brush with warm water and shampoo. When you notice the bristles beginning to fray, then it’s time for a new brush.
It can be overwhelming standing in the hairbrush aisle. Remember, though, once you’ve found the right brush, it can make a huge difference not only in styling, but also in the overall health of your hair.
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