How to Choose the Best Hair Brush for Your Hair Type

Finding “the one” is never easy—especially when it comes to choosing the right brush for your hair type.

Maybe you’re attracted to a certain hair brush because of its design, color, or the way it feels in your hand or on your scalp, but it doesn’t quite style your hair the way you’d like it to. Maybe a friend introduces you to one that works magic for her, but she doesn’t consider how different your hair is from hers—in which case giving the brush a try can turn out like a date gone bad.

Choose a hair brush based on your hair type and texture.
Choose a hair brush based on your hair type and texture.

Social media is another popular source for best hair brush recommendations. It’s tempting to get caught up in sorting through all the likes and loves for an endless array of hair brushes. But you can cut to the chase if you wrap your head around the fact that it’s critical to choose a brush based on your hair type and texture. Want to prevent breakage, get great style, reduce frizz, and generally keep your hair looking healthy and beautiful? As with any relationship, you need to know your “type.”

If you have a love/hate relationship with your go-to hair brush, or if you’re looking for a brush that works better for you, take heart: Conair has a full selection of brushes for all hair types.

The right hair brush for your hair type will give you lots to love as it massages your scalp, distributes oils, and helps your hair maintain its luster. On the other hand, the wrong hair brush can create frizz, knots, and even break your hair. This is especially true with fine hair, since brushing is a major cause of damage for those of us who struggle to add volume and lift to our locks.

A hair brush that’s compatible with your hair type can be the tool you've been missing to achieve gorgeous hair that is manageable and easy to maintain. Here’s how to choose the best one for your hair, plus how to boost its styling and staying powers.

Finding Your Perfect Match: Pair Your Hair with a Hair Brush You’ll Love

Experts agree that brushing is the major cause of breakage for fine hair. If your hair is fine, you need to be extra careful about what kind of brush you use. Remember that whenever you pull your brush through fine hair, the result is likely to be more damaging than it would be with other hair types.

For fine hair, brushes designed to add volume and reduce frizz tend to be the most compatible. Available in vented, paddle, porcupine, and round models, they feature a variety of hair-enhancing properties, including ionic nylon, boar bristles, and ceramic technology.

Boar bristles distribute oils evenly to achieve a smooth, shiny blowout, especially if you have thick, coarse hair. They can also add volume to fine and normal hair types. Everyone is unique, however, and you may find that a synthetic bristle brush, or a combination of boar and nylon bristles, can glide through your strands more easily. After washing and thoroughly drying your hair, try using a light detangling spray before you begin brushing. A soft, flexible bristle hair brush that can be used whether hair is wet or dry gives you added versatility.

Whatever your hair type, gentler is better. Try brushing your hair from the ends upward to your scalp, working  in small sections, moving up to the mid-shaft and finishing at the roots.

If you have short to medium hair (and your busy life keeps you short on time), you may want to consider a vented brush to help speed up drying. Brushes with vented barrels allow airflow from your blow-dryer to reach hair more easily for fast styling.

Perfect for daily brushing of any hair type, a paddle brush with boar bristles will distribute natural oils from your scalp down to the ends for healthy-looking, natural shine. The flexible bristles help detangle wet hair, however delicate, without breaking it. Because boar bristles are so gentle, the brush works through knots without snapping fine strands. If the brush also has a soft cushion, even better—the cushion flexes along your scalp to prevent further breakage.

Different Strokes for Different Folks: Ways to Use Popular Hair Brush Types

A brush with a vented barrel is the key to the ultimate blowout, provided it’s sturdy enough to grab even the slipperiest strands, yet gentle enough for finest hair.

If you want a blowout with major volume and a little bit of curl, use a round hair brush. Round brushes come in tons of sizes, but the rule of thumb is the smaller the brush, the tighter the curl. To help lock in the style, hold each section of hair taut in the brush and blast it with the cool touch on your blow-dryer after drying.

1. Round brush   2. Flat square paddle brush   3. Oval cushioned paddle brush
1. Round brush    2. Flat square paddle brush    3. Oval cushioned paddle brush

Cushion-base brushes (a.k.a. “flat brushes”) tend to be the best straightening brush for fine hair. Perfect for creating smooth, straight looks that work on both long hair and straight-styled bobs, they typically have nylon bristles and are used to dry hair to a flat, smooth finish.

Looking for optimal smoothness and fast results? Smooth the cuticle, and style with a paddle brush, which reaches more hair at once. Try holding the brush with the bristles up and blow dry down the hair from crown to nape, then dry the sides to the top from roots to ends. For the front of your hair, use a round brush on the front of your hair to shape the sections that frame your face.
1. Synthetic bristle brush   2. Natural bristle brush (boar)   3. Natural/synthetic bristle brush
1. Synthetic bristle brush    2. Natural bristle brush (boar)    3. Natural/synthetic bristle brush

When choosing a brush, bear in mind that the type of barrel is key. Thermal barrels hold heat to dry fast and regulate it efficiently to protect against damage. The vented barrels allow air to flow freely for fast blow-drying, and smooth the hair as you detangle. Ceramic and tourmaline ionic barrels help speed up drying, reduce frizz, and add shine.

For general brushing to maintain healthy-looking luster and body, soft- to medium-strength bristles with a cushion base for comfort, tends to work well.

1. Thermal barrel brush   2. Vented barrel brush.  3. Titanium/ceramic barrel brush
1. Thermal barrel brush    2. Vented barrel brush.    3. Titanium/ceramic barrel brush

Love at first sight is an unlikely way to find the best hair brush for you. Looks can be deceiving. Take the time to explore. Your options can go a long way toward finding a brush you can not only live with, but love. And Conair can help! For all your styling needs, check out Conair’s industry-leading product lineup now.