Though I’m still a few months from being able to put my hair in a full ponytail, the post-pixie-cut-grow-out-phase has presented an old, but familiar conundrum. What are the best hair brushes for me? I need something that detangles without pulling out an unnecessary amount of hair, but also something heavy-duty enough to handle my thick texture.
I’m well aware that this is a rather basic question, but as someone who has literally split even the strongest brushes into two while detangling, I’d say it’s a necessary one too. So when I had the chance to briefly chat with Kendall Dorsey, celeb hair artist to three of my favorite, textured-hair chameleons (Solange, Lizzo, and Nicki Minaj), that was exactly what we talked about.
As it turns out, there is an art to picking out the best hairbrush that goes beyond randomly picking the cheapest option in Target or Sephora (my personal method of choice). Like other styling-related products, the choice depends on your texture. For instance, a paddle brush may work for curly hair, but it’s probably not the safest for delicate, finer strands.
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Dorsey says that fine hair is particularly susceptible to damage and rough hair brushes are the number one culprit behind breakage. If you fall into this category, think less about the shape of the brush and more about the type of bristles it has. ”
“Boar Brushes are best for fine hair, they are gentle and won’t tear out the hair,” says Dorsey who also adds that “a round brush works wonders for fine strands.” The latter allows you to firmly hold onto the hair while you style or blow dry without tugging at the strands. And though electronic stylist brushes are really suitable for all hair textures, they’re especially beneficial for adding volume and reducing frizzcan help the hair with volume and reduce frizz.
When it comes to curly hair, using the wrong brush can also result in frizz and breakage. If your texture is curly, but not textured, Dorsey says to “look for intelliflex bristles that are gentle enough for wet hair or extensions so it glides through the hair without snagging.” Brands like Wet Brush or Olivia Garden are great for this.
“Also, look for a brush with a mix of boar and nylon bristles, which will distribute your scalp’s natural hair oils white it detangles. This is incredibly important with curly hair so breakage doesn’t happen,” he says.
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Finally, for those with thick or textured hair like me (and Solange), Dorsey loves a good old fashioned paddle brush because “the nylon bristles reduce flyaways and static, while the side of the brush gets all angles and brushes the hair evenly.”
If Dorsey had to describe the perfect brush, this would inevitably be it with a few custom adjustments of course. “I would say a paddle brush because you can use it on any type of hair,” he says. “I would love it to have a snag-free neck ring, so it is gentle on fine hair, curly hair as well as has enough grip to manage thick hair, and the ultimate would be if it had ant-static features.”
In the meantime, he’d gladly settle for any of these. Keep scrolling for a brief, but carefully curated list of celeb hairstylist-approved hair brushes.
For All Hair Textures: Eco Hair Bamboo Collection Paddle Brush
“I love Olivia Garden Brushes. They are quality brushes for all hair types at an affordable price. My favorite is their Eco Hair Bamboo Collection Paddle brush because it is gentle on all hair types and great for the environment.”
$20.50 at Olivia Garden
For Detangling: Olivia Garden Natural Boar Bristle Divine Brush
“And the Olivia Garden Natural Boar Bristle Divine Care Brush, which is great for fine to even extensions and curly hair and gentle enough on even the knottiest hair.”
$26.95 at Ulta
For Heat-Styling: By Gina Infrared Styling Brush
“As far as electronic brushes, I love By Gina Infared Styling Brush. It decreases frizz and the infrared smart technology infuses micro-moisture particles to revive dry, brittle tresses.”
$169 at By Gina