Best Boar Bristle Brush For No Poo

Whilst I’ve been investigating how to go No Poo I have found that boar bristle brushes are a definite necessity; but which is the best boar bristle brush for No Poo?

There are so many different brushes available that I decided to find out what the differences are and which are the best boar bristle brushes.

No Poo is a growing trend where traditional shampoos are shunned in favor of natural products. The boar bristle brush is widely said to be the best type of brush to use for No Poo as it moves the sebum (natural oils) down the hair shaft better which leaves hair shiny and more manageable. With so many brushes on the market, the choice is vast.

For those people who are thinking about how they can make a difference to the health of their hair and the planet, the No Poo method can be quite inviting.

Hairbrushes may not sound like something that’s going to revolutionize your day, but moving away from synthetic brushes to a natural product will be welcomed by your hair.

Best Boar Bristle Brush For No Poo

No Poo is a movement that is growing in popularity.

The basic idea is that modern shampoos are unhealthy owing to the number of chemicals they contain. These chemicals strip away the natural oils and damage your hair over time. We then combat this damage by using chemically based conditioners, and so the cycle continues!

There is not one person who can claim to have been the brains behind No Poo, but the movement gradually gained popularity from the 1960s onwards and has been growing in strength ever since.

The joy of No Poo is that you don’t have to go and buy lots of new shampoos/gadgets etc. Most of the products are already in your pantry. The exception to this is the Boar bristle brush, which is accepted to be an absolute necessity.

The boar bristle brush draws down the hair’s natural oils (sebum) right to the very tips, moisturizing every single strand and keeping your hair in amazing condition, and reduces the frizz.

Boar Bristle Brush Vs Synthetic Brushes

Boar bristle brushes do this far better than synthetic brushes as the bristles are made of keratin, the same as our hair (source 1).

Remember though that boar bristle brushes are gentle and not designed to de-tangle hair.

Instead, use a wide-toothed wooden comb for this, and only brush dry hair. This will keep your hair shiny and manageable in a way you’d never imagined was possible without using thousands of commercial products!

There are so many Boar bristle brushes on the market that friends often ask how to choose.  

So, here’s what I tell them …

1. Natural

Use a brush that is 100% boar bristle, not ‘reinforced’ which means that it also contains synthetic materials which won’t move the sebum down the hair shaft as effectively (source 1).

2. Nylon And Plastic Free

Most brushes have some elements of nylon or plastic.

This may be cost-effective for the manufacturer, but plastic and nylon are not great choices for your hair and are environmentally unsustainable

3. First Cut

The first cut bristles are those which have a rounded bulb end which is ideal for use against the scalp (source 1).

4. Length

This may sound odd, but make sure that the bristles are long enough to reach your scalp through your hair.

Boar bristled brushes work so well with No Poo as they draw the sebum from the scalp down the hair shaft – therefore, if the bristles are too short they won’t transfer your natural oils to full effect

Downsides To BBB

Boar bristle brushes (BBB) are great for adding shine to your hair and reducing its potential to frizz. However, every product has its pros and cons, so to help I’ve listed some not so great BBB points:

BBB NegativesDescription
TanglingBBB’s are not good at untangling hair as they are too gentle. A wide-toothed bamboo or wooden comb should be used instead
Wet HairLike most brushes, BBB should not be used on wet hair as it may cause hair breakage and damage to the hair shafts.
Thick CurlsSome people find that pure BBB does not penetrate the hair successfully if it’s particularly thick or curly
Cheap BrushesThe old saying ‘you get what you pay for’ is quite true for BBB. If you chose a budget version you may find that the bristles aren’t first cut and will scratch your head. Indeed, most of the bristles may be nylon rather than natural bristle, and the bristles may fall out faster. Lots of nylon may lead to frizz and static
Negatives Of Boar Bristle Brushes

Regardless of which BBB you buy, remember that the boar bristles trap dirt and excess grease from your hair and need washing regularly to keep them clean and working effectively

Which Boar Bristle Brush Is Best?

With so many BBB on the market it’s a difficult choice to make, but here are the top tips for choosing your brush:

1. Round Brush

If you’re looking for a round brush though, then the Cortex Professional also available via Amazon would be a great option. Especially for those with coarse curly hair.

This will add volume but make sure it’s small enough – or your hair is long enough – to wrap around the brush.

Round brushes are also great for curls (source 1,2).

2. Paddle Brush

Mainly used for long hair and hair that needs help to look smooth.

3. Wide-Set Bristles

For fine and thin hair so that it’s less likely that you will break or pull out your hair.

4. First Cut

These are the most expensive brushes with 1st cut bristles. Likely to be harder bristles which are great for coarse and thick hair.

5. Second Cut

These are likely to be less expensive and have softer bristles which are brilliant for those with delicate or fine hair.

The Belula hairbrushes available on Amazon are a wonderful example of a 100% boar bristle brush, with the added bonus of coming with a wooden comb to de-tangle your hair before brushing.

How To Use A Boar Bristle Brush

Well, how difficult can brushing your hair be?

How to brush with Boar Bristle correctly is a personal choice and is very similar to using a normal brush. However, there are a few simple ways that you can get the best out of your new purchase and maybe even save yourself time and cents in the long term.

Follow the next five steps and your hair will look like a million dollars:

1. No Poo

No Poo will get you off to the best start with your BBB as there won’t be any chemical residue in your tresses to clog up the bristles.

2. Dry Hair

BBB works best on dry hair, so de-tangle first with a wooden comb.

3. Section Long And Thick Hair

BBB brings down sebum from your scalp to naturally moisturize each strand of hair.

Therefore, if you section your hair before brushing, you’ll optimize the sebum throughout your hair

4. Bend Over

Brushing from the back of your headfirst will enable you to distribute the sebum far better than sitting up straight as you would when brushing normally.

5. Clean Your Brush

Every time you brush your hair you should remove any hair and dirt from your brush. This can easily be done by using a comb, but once a week give your brush a bath.

Honestly, this will remove the built-up sebum and leave your brush looking new.

Just 10 minutes soaking in hot water with a spoonful of honey, then rinsing with cold water will remove all the debris and mean you always start the week with a clean brush and shiny hair (source 1).

Best Boar Bristle Brush For Fine Thin Hair

A boar bristle brush for fine hair is invaluable as fine hair tends to frizz and break quickly.

A boar bristle brush has soft bristles which will not damage or break fine or thin hair.

The sebum drawn down from the scalp will tame your fine hair and leave it looking moisturized and sleek.

Most importantly, don’t brush your hair when wet as this will increase damage and breakage.

Fine hair needs soft bristles that reach right to the scalp to massage it whilst brushing.

I’ve investigated many BBB for my fine hair and the ones that stand out as the best buys are:

Belula (see latest prices on Amazon)

Black Egg (Click here to read the great Amazon reviews )

Desert Breeze (Link to Amazon)

Best Boar Bristle Round Brush

BBB’s come in all shapes and sizes.

Round brushes are best for adding volume and styling curls.

The round brush shape with 100% boar bristles is a wonderful tool for de-frizzing your hair and giving you a sleek and stylish new look.

If you want a round boar bristle brush, then these are highly recommended:

Boar Bristle
With round brushes so often used for styling
they often incorporate nylon bristles to aid
hair penetration. If you want a round boar
bristle brush and don’t mind a small amount
of nylon, then this may be the brush for you.
Click to view on Amazon
Cortex100% boar bristle. An ergonomic wooden
handle and different sizes are available
(buy now on Amazon)
Best Boar Bristle Round Brush

Best Boar Bristle Brush For Curly Hair

Curly hair will benefit from using a BBB as curly hair does not allow sebum to travel down to the hair tips readily.

Instead, curly hair needs a little help, especially when No Poo’ing, to keep the ends in good condition and your curls full of bounce.

Boar Bristle Brushes (BBB) work brilliantly for this as they move the sebum all the way to the end of the hair.

As they are made of the same keratin as our own hair, the boar bristle brushes are gentle too.

Sometimes nylon pins are sometimes used to massage the scalp and encourage penetration and stimulate oil production.

Curly hair, especially coarse curly hair will need a brush that has bristles long enough and sturdy enough to penetrate right to the scalp.

For this, it is better to use a brush with ‘first cut’ bristles as these tend to be firmer.

If I was lucky enough to have lustrous, thick curls I would look at using the URTHEONE (further details on Amazon), or one from the Belula range (view Amazon reviews).

Vegan Boar Bristle Brush

The ethos of Veganism is that its followers do not eat or use anything related to animals. Therefore, it is not possible to have a Vegan boar bristle brush.

That said, there are Vegan alternatives to the BBB that claim to work in the same way, just using Vegan alternatives such as sisal or nylon (source 1).


Boar bristle brushes are a very important part of going No Poo. They help distribute the sebum down the hair shaft to keep your hair in brilliant condition, frizz-free, and shiny.

The best boar bristle brush for No Poo depends on your hair type.

First cut bristles are used in premium brushes and are considered the top standard.

However, second-cut bristles are softer and may be beneficial for those with thin and fine hair.

Katrina Stewardson

Hello! My name is Katrina Stewardson, and I've been obsessed for almost ever with discovering the best natural hair methods for my own hair. For years I longed for one website to tell me everything I needed to know about the amazing No Poo Method movement. I just couldn't find one though, so I decided to create it myself! I dearly hope this website will save all you lovely ladies (and gents!) from wasting hours scrolling the internet looking for natural hair-related information like I did.

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