With so many styling options out there today, it’s hard to know which one is right for your hair and give you the result you are trying to achieve. Hopefully I can help you narrow things down today! We will start with choosing a brush category…
From left to right:
Vent Brush: One of the most classic styles of brushes, the vent brush is great for everyday grooming. When used with a blowdryer it gives a moderate amount of direction and the fastest blow dry time due to the slotted back allowing air to flow through the hair easily. It’s great for men’s styling and removing tangles but definitely not the go-to brush if you are looking for shape, body or direction.
Denman Brush: This is a great tool for detangling damp or wet hair. The denman brush is very durable, with a natural rubber removable pad and synthetic bristles. The bristles are also easy to remove and replace for thorough cleaning or modifying the brush (removing every other row of bristles will help if your hair is extremely curly, course or knotted… this is called a modified denman). It provides an easy glide through the hair, and one of my favorite qualities about this brush, the rubber pad is anti-static! When used with a blowdryer it can help you to give shape and direction.
Paddle Brush: This one I hold close to my heart. The paddle brush is perfect for long straight hair if your goal is to have a natural, smooth, flatter finish. It’s wide surface area allows you to cover more ground in less time and also holds in the heat from your blowdryer for a medium amount of polish control (getting rid of the frizz). stylist tip: make sure the air from your blowdryer is sliding over your brush from scalp to ends, not pressing IN to the pad of the brush!
Polishing Brush: This brush isn’t one that I recommend for clients very often. It’s a tool for the advanced hair person who enjoys paying attention to detail. I used this brush most often for smoothing out sections of dry hair before pinning into an updo. It can be used for styling with a blowdryer but prepare to spend some time in the bathroom using this one… small sections and slow movements are key.
Round Brush: If you like it big and bouncy this is the brush for you! This brush has the most bang for your buck and is the most versatile for styling. Depending on the size and bristle, the round brush can achieve a multitude of results ranging from adding movement or curl to smoothing out texture and straightening out natural curl. This is the category we are going to focus on for the rest of this article…. starting with core and bristle material.
The core of your brush will make a big difference in how much heat your hair is exposed to as well has the weight of the brush in your hands. Brushes that have a metal core conduct more heat, when you use it with a blowdryer it can get hot enough to deliver very high temperatures and behave more like a curling iron. This can benefit you if you desire to have a locked in shape to your blowout or if you are looking to add curl and provides a fast dry time. However I would suggest proceeding with caution and using a heat-protecting product on your hair as well as making sure your blowdryer is not on the hottest setting! This brush can cause some serious damage over time if you are not careful! My personal preference on core is a natural material such as wood or cork. It conducts less heat, giving you more time to instill a shape into the hair before it’s completely dry. It’s a much safer choice and produces a better result it just requires a bit more patience. Cork will be very lightweight, wood is heavier and produces a bit more heat.
Bristles are up next… Spacing will affect the amount of tension or drag the brush has on your hair. The farther apart the bristles are the smoother the glide will be and the less pull you will feel. This makes it a good choice for hair that behaves well and doesn’t require smoothing out texture or curl. The closer together the bristles are the more tension you will feel making this the better option if you are smoothing or straightening. Bristles also come in a few different material options. Synthetic bristles are stiff and typically made from plastic or metal, again, not my favorite option due to heat exposure and maintaining your hair’s integrity. Natural bristles are most commonly derived from boars. They provide a lot of tension for straightening and smoothing when blowdrying. You may work up some arm muscles learning how to use this type of round brush but I promise it’s totally worth it!
Lastly we come to brush size. There are countless options here! You can find round brushes as small as ¾”, as large as 5”, and everything in between. The most important thing you need to remember about brush size is how many times your hair can wrap around the brush. If you are looking for a straight finish with a small amount of body you want a brush that your hair will only wrap ¾ of the way around or less. If you want to add the most movement and curl possible with out using an iron choose a brush that your hair could POTENTIALLY wrap around 4 times. Notice my emphasis on POTENTIALLY, do not actually wind hair that is long enough to wrap 4 times around your brush from your ends to your scalp! You may never get it out haha! When you are blowdrying you only need to bend the hair one time around the brush and move from scalp to end. This will give enough bend to the section of hair to encourage a circular pattern and result in curl.
So there you have it girls! I’m happy to answer any questions I may be leaving you with and would love to hear your feedback on your new brush purchases!