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Can the wrong brush be responsible for a bad hair day or damaged locks? Experts say that using the right hairbrush for your hair type, texture and style can be the difference between good and poor hair health.
A trip down the drugstore hair aisle will reveal a mountain of brush varieties, but finding the right one can be a difficult task.
Luckily, TODAY has done the legwork for you to identify the most common hairbrushes. We asked professional hairstylists to break it down to the basics. Find your perfect match with our easy guide — you might be surprised by some of the recommendations!
The best hairbrush for long hair
Mark Garrison of Mark Garrison Salon told TODAY that nothing gets the job done for our long-haired sisters quite like a handy paddle brush. If you like to flip your hair upside down to blow-dry or brush your hair, the paddle will help distribute your natural oils — which Garrison calls “God-given conditioner” — throughout your strands.
This Amazon Choice paddle brush has racked up over 2,500 verified five-star reviews online and claims to easily glide through dry and wet hair without pulling.
According to the brand, this bamboo bristles of this paddle brush help stimulate blood flow for the scalp.
The best hairbrush for curly hair
While it's said that most curls shouldn't be brushed at all, Garrison says that the Denman brush is an exception to the rule.
The strong bristles can cut down on detangling time and help distribute the oh-so-important products that curly girls hold dear, shared Garrison. And if you find that the brush snags on your hair, simply remove one row of bristles.
The best hairbrush for wet hair
Vented brushes are ideal for blow-drying sopping wet hair quickly. "The space between the bristles allows ample air flow from the hair dryer to heat up and dry the hair quickly," said Adam Bogucki, owner of Lumination Salon.
Plus, the comfort-tip bristles that are typical for this type of brush won't snag or pull delicate, wet hair.
Vented brushes works best when you start at the ends and work your way up the head so that the brush is not forced through each section. It’s also great for fluffing up shorter cuts, according to Garrison.
This Amazon Choice brush has over 300 verified five-star reviews and seems to work well on all hair types. It's meant to easily detangle hair as you dry it.
This set comes with two boar bristle brushes that are meant to stimulate the scalp and distribute natural oils from root to tip.
The best hairbrush for frizzy hair
These bristles excel at gripping strands to create a sleeker style. Remember to section small areas of your hair at a time to reap the gorgeous benefits. Don't rush the process! “It’s especially awesome for smoothing wavy to curly hair,” said Garrison.
Hairstylist at Pierre Michel Salon Nicole Contrastano recommended looking for round brushes with boar hair bristles. "Not enough bristles with this type of brush can entangle hair around the barrel," explained Contrastano. "Most people get frustrated and rip or cut the hair out of the brush."
This is the Amazon Choice pick for "boar bristle round brush." It has an impressive 4.5-star rating and comes in multiple sizes for different hair lengths.
This brush can be used for volume, lift, shine, styling, smoothing, blowouts, adding waves, curling hair and more, according to the brand.
The best hairbrush for a bouncy blowout
If you go for a blow-dry session, you'll likely encounter this brush. Round brushes inherently enhance volume, curls and waves, especially at the roots. The smaller the barrel, the tighter the waves. Opt for larger barrels for bouncy, voluminous strands.
Stylists love ceramic options because they heat up and act like a curling iron — though, not nearly as hot or damaging — to beautifully set the shape and curve while smoothing and styling.
This round brush is made with boar bristles and nano ionic technology that helps reduce frizz and add shine.
This popular round brush is said to have bristles made with ions that repel water — causing moisture to quickly evaporate. The ceramic base helps retain heat more efficiently to improve drying time and help smooth hair.
These temperature-resistant nylon bristles are infused with ions to be soft and gentle on hair. They may reduce frizz and make for a faster blow-drying time.
The best hairbrush for bangs
Baby round brushes get right in under bangs for pro-like styling. Plus, they can help battle unruly cowlicks, said Garrison. You can also go into small sections at the crown of your head with a blow dryer to work in more volume.
Although this brush is technically made for men, it's perfect for getting underneath small bangs to add volume and lift.
This tiny, thin brush has holes that allow heat from a blowdryer to easily reach your hair.
The best hairbrush for wavy hair and heat-styled hair
Do you ever put in a set of hot rollers or work a curling iron over your hair, only to have your brush pull out most of the style afterward? This type of brush smooths, straightens and adds shine to hair.
The boar bristles distribute natural oils from the scalp through the hair shaft, creating a polished look. "The tightly packed boar (bristles) increases tension to the hair for straighter results," said Kerastase celebrity stylist Matt Fugate
Garrison specifically recommended this iconic brush which was made to add a finishing touch to your waves. It’s also great for light brushing through natural waves.
This brush from GranNaturals is perfect for thick or long hair. If your hair is thin, this similar one from Dovahlia comes with a comb and is designed to groom thin, fine and normal hair.
This Allure Best of Beauty Award winner will cost you a pretty penny, but it's a Sephora-favorite and known to be great for detangling straight, wavy, curly or coiled hair.
The best hairbrush for sectioning hair
When you’re sectioning your strands — whether it’s for blow-drying, prepping for rollers or nailing that perfect part — this widely-recognized tool still strikes a line better than anything else, said Garrison.
Use the pointed end of the heat-resistant plastic comb for sectioning hair before styling or drying. The comb side can be used for teasing or smoothing hair.
The best hairbrush for applying treatments
The wide teeth on this comb can evenly distribute products like deep-conditioner treatments, hair masks and color toners. You can also use the comb as a gentler option to detangle wet, fragile and processed hair when you get out of the shower.
This Amazon Choice set comes with two plastic wide-tooth combs, one with a handle and one without.
The best hairbrush for creating volume
Stumped on how to create volume? The '80s launched this handy little tool into notoriety, and it still lives on in the kits of pros today.
Bogucki advised separating hair into two sections: a thin top layer and one underneath. Start by teasing the bottom layer by backcombing to the root. Then, smooth the top section over the teased hair for a polished but voluminous look.
“Teasing works best when it’s done close to the scalp,” said Garrison.
Fugate uses this to add thickness to braids by backcombing sections before braiding. "I also like to mist the brush itself with strong hairspray [...] for pinpoint precision to tame unwanted flyaways," he said.
This little gadget is a brush and comb in one. The combination of boar bristles and nylon bristles improve styling control, while the handle makes it easy to part and separate hair.
This article was originally published on August 2017.
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