Using the Right Hair Brush

by Charlotte Wood
(last updated January 9, 2015)

Going into the beauty aisle at the store can be a very overwhelming chore, indeed. You usually see baskets and baskets full of every kind of hair brush. And while all of these hair companies apparently make all these different kinds of hair brushes, how do you know which types are good for your hair and which wouldn't do your hair any favors? Before you dismiss this topic completely—because I can see how some of you may think that a hair brush is a hair brush, regardless of what "type" it is—you need to understand that using the right hair brush is crucial for the overall health of your hair, not to mention the beauty and finished look of your hair.

The first thing to remember when choosing a hair brush is that you want your hair brush to improve your hair, not damage it. You want a brush with softer bristles that will go through your hair with ease as opposed to going through your hair with difficulty. And depending on how you are treating your hair at the moment—combing it out after a shower, blow drying it, or curling it—you'll want to use a different brush. Just one brush for every hair need isn't realistic or healthy for your hair.

One of the hair brush staples you'll need is a paddle brush. The paddle brush is a wide brush that is gentle on your hair. It's perfect for combing out tangles, brushing your hair after a shower or dip in the pool, or refreshing your hair for a night out. With a paddle brush the tips of the bristles are rounded to keep your scalp healthy and to keep your hair from splitting. You can use a paddle brush for most of your hair brushing needs.

If you blow dry your hair, you can use a paddle brush if you want, but you also might want to use a bristly round brush. Round brushes that have lots of bristles (and those bristles usually aren't rounded) are great for giving your hair shape and volume as you blow it dry. By using a round, more bristly brush when you blow dry your hair, you make it so that you can more deliberately style your hair. However, while a bristly round brush makes it easier to actually style your hair, it is a little harder on your hair. Using a bristly round brush on a regular basis could damage your hair more than just using a rounded bristle paddle brush. And never use a bristly round brush to just comb your hair, without blowing it dry. Only use this kind of brush for blow drying your hair; any other use will unnecessarily damage your hair.

Smaller round brushes with rounded bristles can be used as a regular hair brush, but they are a little more wearing on your hair. They pull your hair more than a paddle brush does but won't damage your hair like using a bristly rounded brush would. If you're still concerned or confused about what kind of hair brush to use on your hair, consult your hair stylist. He or she will be able to guide you in a more professional direction.

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