There are many ways to keep your hair clean using No Poo methods, but one thing they all agree on is the importance of using the right type of brush to improve and enhance the beauty of your hair.
This hair brush guide will help you understand the benefits of each type of hairbrush.
There are many different types of hairbrushes on the market. Each different shape and bristle type has its own benefits. Those made from bamboo, wood, or ones that have natural boar bristles are often the preferred type of hairbrush for those who follow the No Poo movement.
Your hair type will determine which hairbrush shape and bristle type you should be using.
Read on to discover which brush shape is best for your hair, and which bristle materials suit your own hair the best.
Hair Brush Guide
It is good for your hair to be brushed on a regular basis, even if simply to detangle your locks.
Hairbrush designs have developed at a great pace over the last few decades.
Many people have now moved away from straight plastic brushes with nylon bristles to brushes of all different shapes, made from countless different materials.
The type of hairbrush that you need will depend upon your hair type and hair style.
The materials the brush is made from will be down to your own personal choice.
For example, you will likely opt for a plastic or wood hairbrush if you are vegan. Alternatively, if you are a No Poo’er then it is more likely that you select a boar bristle brush that helps pull the hair’s natural oils down the entire hair shaft.
Below are the 16 most common hair brushes available on the market:
- Round Brush
- Paddle Hair Brush
- Rectangular Hair Brush
- Vented Hair Brush
- Cushion Hair Brush
- Wet Hair Brush
- Natural Bristle Brush
- Synthetic Hair Brush
- Mixed Bristle
- Wooden Hair Brush
- Detangler Hair Brush
- Bamboo Hair Brush
- Teasing Brush
- Straightening Brush
- Thermal Hair Brush
- Long Handled Hair Brush
Different Hair Brush Shapes, Styles And Bristles
With such an array of hairbrush shapes, styles, and bristles available on the market, it is easy to see how individuals become confused!
Whilst some brushes are used mainly as hair styling brushes, others such as the boar bristle brush are specifically designed to draw the scalp’s natural oils down over the entire hair shaft.
Below is a list of the different hairbrush shapes, styles, and bristles that you will likely encounter.
I have added a detailed description underneath each hairbrush type to help you understand if it is the right brush for your own particular hair needs.
1. Round Hair Brush
Smaller round brushes are best for tight curls.
When used with a hairdryer, the round brush can add volume to all hair types.
I love this round brush sold on Amazon because it has boar bristles for ease of use.
If you have looser curls, then consider using a larger round brush instead.
Round brushes are best avoided if you have brittle hair as their bristles can make hair breakage worse.
2. Paddle Hair Brush
The paddle brush is probably the most commonly available hair brush on the market.
It helps to defeat frizz and smooths your hair, whilst also helping to pull the oils from your scalp down the entire hair shaft, to nourish your hair.
The paddle brush will not help the user add volume to their hair.
It is therefore the best brush for straight hair styles (short, long, or thick), or hair that needs to be tamed, rather than volumised.
Depending upon the bristle type, this hairbrush can be useful as a scalp massager, thereby increasing the level of blood flow to the scalp which helps to promote scalp health and hair growth.
This paddle brush by Paul Mitchell is suitable for vegans and is strong enough for long and thick hair. Take a closer look at the product details of this hairbrush by clicking on the Amazon link.
3. Rectangular Hair Brush
If you want to add volume to your hair roots, try using a rectangular brush.
One of the all-time classic rectangular hairbrushes is the Denman classic styling brush (link to Amazon).
This is a fantastic hairbrush that is ideally suited to smoothing, de-tangling, and styling your hair.
4. Vented Hair Brush
The vented hairbrush is slightly more unusual since it has vents within the actual brush handle.
If you have short to mid-length hair then the vented hair brush will be useful when you wish to blow dry your hair.
The warm air from the hairdryer travels straight through the hairbrush and blows the water away from your hair more quickly.
The vented brush will help you dry your hair more quickly, whilst also adding volume.
You will likely want to finish your hairstyle off with another brush though, that helps to add more shine and finesse to your style.
Whilst some hair brushes can cost a fortune, I love that this Cricket Static Vent Brush sold on Amazon is inexpensive but still effective. This is proof that not all hair brushes need to be expensive.
Click to view this vented brush on Amazon.
5. Cushion Hair Brush
The cushioned segment of this hairbrush helps to reduce the stress on the hair, therefore making it a great choice for hair prone to breakage.
Any hair length will benefit from this type of brush. However, the cushion hairbrush is best used on straight hair.
This is because the brush massages the scalp whilst also pulling the scalp’s natural oils down the hair shaft. These oils in turn help to add a sleek and smooth look to your hair, by reducing static and frizz.
Cushion brushes have slightly firmer bristles that help to remove the following from your hair:
- Dead Skin Cells
A great example of a cushion hairbrush is this brush sold by Denman on Amazon. This brush has round-topped bristles and a cushioned pad that eases the strain on your hair and scalp.
6. Wet Hairbrush
It is a general unwritten rule that you should not brush wet hair because you may damage the hair and increase the likelihood of breakage.
However, you can buy hair brushes that have been specifically designed to use on wet hair.
For example, Amazon sells this natural gliding wet brush that has been designed to be used on wet hair specifically.
This hairbrush has been massively popular, most likely because it unknots your hair like the tangles never even existed!
The wet brush is sold in a variety of different colors too, so you are bound to find one that suits your personality and color preferences.
7. Natural Bristle Hair Brush
Boar bristle brushes are used by many No Poo followers.
The natural bristles pull the scalp oils down the entire hair shaft to help nourish the hair from root tip.
The boar bristles add shine and can be used on the finest and most brittle hair, helping it to become healthy and glossy. However, it is always best to detangle your hair before using this type of brush.
In addition, make sure you only use these brushes on dry hair.
If you are looking for a natural bristle brush, then this 100% boar bristle brush (link to Amazon) should not be overlooked.
You can either select the slightly firmer first cut bristles or opt for the softer bristled brush if this suits your hair and scalp better.
Each hairbrush will distribute your oils effectively and leave you with silky smooth and shiny hair.
8. Synthetic Bristle Hair Brush
This bristle brush is especially useful to those, particularly vegans, who want the benefits of a boar bristle brush, but without the animal association.
Nylon bristles are also wonderful at gliding through thick hair to de-tangle it and can lead to less static than some natural bristles can create.
If you want the benefits of boar bristle, but do not want to use animal products, then the INH paddle brush is the answer.
It works on all hair types with the same effectiveness as boar bristle brushes.
9. Mixed Bristle Hair Brush
A mixed bristle brush can provide the best of both worlds.
Stiffer bristles for de-tangling and thicker hair, and gentle bristles for smoothness, shine and pulling the oils down from your scalp.
This type of brush is suitable for all hair types and lengths.
My particular favorite is this brush made by GranNaturals and sold on Amazon because it combines nylon with boar bristles and is suited to those with long and thick hair.
10. Wooden Hairbrush
A wooden hair brush, like the boar bristle brush, is used by a large number of No Poo followers.
This brush type consists of simply a wooden base, or it can have wooden prongs in place of bristles.
These brushes can be used be all hair types and lengths and the wood provides extra nourishment and benefits to your hair.
The prongs are typically slightly wider apart so it works wonderfully as a detangling brush, however, it would not be as effective as other brushes at promoting volume.
If this hairbrush type sounds of interest to you, try using this German natural wood bristle hairbrush sold on Amazon.
It is made from pear wood and is considered to be naturally antistatic and great for your scalp and moving oil through your hair.
11. Bamboo Hairbrush
A bamboo brush is sustainable and unlikely to cause an allergic reaction.
It is great for massaging your scalp and drawing down the scalp oils through the lengths of your hair.
This brand sells a large range of bamboo hairbrushes and combs on the Amazon selling platform.
12. Detangler Hair Brushes
Along with the wet brushes, detangling brushes can be used on wet hair without you needing to worry about breakage.
They are designed with bristles set specifically to untangle your hair without pulling and discomfort.
Detangler brushes are useful for all hair types, especially hair prone to tangles and breakage.
The best detangler brush would be this one on Amazon, as it has an innovative design to help detangle your hair no matter what your hair type and length.
13. Teasing Hair Brush
With generally smaller heads, a teasing brush is used to promote volume at your roots.
The bristles are considered softer and more gentle on your hair than a teasing comb and can be used on fine hair.
This gentle teasing hairbrush (sold on Amazon) is great for shining, sectioning, and volumizing your hair.
14. Straightening Hairbrush
A straightening brush is exactly as it sounds.
The integrated heated prongs act as multiple straighteners through your hair and work best on short to mid-length hair.
A straightening hairbrush should only be used on dry hair (as with any heated straighteners) but the heat can be set to work with your hair.
The best straightening hairbrush on Amazon at the moment is this adorable pink one, which is ideal because it has different heat settings and an anti-scald feature to keep your scalp safe.
15. Thermal Hairbrush
If you regularly blow-dry your hair, then this is the brush for you!
A thermal hairbrush helps to control and distribute the heat, whilst also protecting the hair from the damage that the hair drying process causes.
The barrel size you use will depend upon the size of the waves or curls you wish to achieve.
This ceramic and ionic technology thermal hairbrush can be found on Amazon and will take your hair to the next level of style!
16. Long-Handled Hairbrush
The long-handled hairbrush is useful to those with mobility problems.
It allows the hair to be brushed and de-tangled successfully even if movement is limited.
The ergonomics of a long-handled brush are very important, so this brush in particular has been carefully designed for ease of use. Click to see the raving customer reviews!
These are the main types of hairbrushes and their uses.
To choose the best brush for you, consider your hair type and length, and what style you wish to achieve.
What Is The Best Brush For My Hair?
The best hairbrush for your hair type will glide effortlessly through your hair, with no breakage, and leaving it smooth and shining with health.
Before you can decide upon which brush type is right for you, you need to determine what hair type you have, its length, and what type of styling you require.
How to know what hairbrush to use is often trial and error, so take a look at the list below to determine which hairbrush is ideal for you:
- Long and Curly: A mixed bristle brush will help with this type of hair. The synthetic bristles will effectively de-tangle and separate the curls whilst the natural bristles will bring down the oils and nourish all the hair.
- Long and Straight: A natural bristle cushioned paddle brush will smooth your straight hair leaving it shiny and sleek.
- Short and Curly: A detangling brush, possibly a thermal round brush if you often blow dry your hair, will be a necessity in your hair toolkit. Choose a small brush for ease of brushing and styling.
- Short and Straight: A vented brush or small paddle brush will help make your style look as impressive as possible. A natural bristle or wooden/bamboo brush will draw down the oils effectively.
- Thin: A soft boar bristle brush will stimulate your scalp, aiding hair growth. If you avoid the first cut bristles your hair will appreciate the soft nature of the brush.
- Thick: Thick hair will do well with a paddle brush of mixed bristles.
How To Clean Your Hair Brush At Home
Cleaning your hair brush regularly is incredibly important.
Brushes remove dirt and debris from your hair, so if they are not cleaned properly the previously removed dirt is transferred back into your hair when you next brush it.
See below for your quick step by step (non-electric) hairbrush cleaning guide:
- Fill a shallow bowl with warm water.
- Remove any stuck hairs and dispose.
- Dip the bristles of the brush horizontally in the water making sure that the cushioned section is not placed under the water, or the wooden backing. If the brush is plastic with synthetic bristles feel free to submerge the entire brush.
- Using your regular shampoo or cleansing hair wash formula, massage the bristles to remove any stubborn grease and dirt.
- If the bristles are close together you many find it easier to use a toothbrush.
- Rinse the bristles under warm running water.
- Check that the base of the brush is now free from dirt, grease and product build up. Wash and rinse again if necessary.
- Dab off the excess moisture with a microfibre cloth and allow to dry off naturally.
- If the brush has a cushioned section place bristles downwards so that any water that has made its way into the cushion can exit effectively.
- Once dry, use as normal.
It is important to clean your brush regularly.
Even if you do not have time to wash it fully, then wiping through the bristles with a cotton cloth will remove much of the dirt after each use.
Hair Brush For Men
If you have hair, regardless of if you are male or female, you need a hairbrush to keep your hair looking at its best.
Hair brushing stimulates the scalp, removes dirt and grease, and moves the oil down the hair shaft nourishing the whole length of hair.
There is a growing market for hairbrushes specifically designed for men.
However, whilst men’s hair does tend to grow more quickly, there really is not too much difference between men’s hair and women’s.
As such, it is your hair type, length, and style, that are the most important aspects to consider when choosing a brush.
Therefore, the men’s hairbrush guide is virtually the same as the women’s. The main difference is in the aesthetics i.e. the look of the brush.
How To Brush Your Hair With A Round Brush
A round brush is great for curly hair.
A wider barrel should be used for waves and looser curls, whereas a thinner barrel will be more effective on shorter hair, and hair in tighter coils.
Use these steps to successfully style your hair:
- Wash hair as usual.
- If desired use a wet brush in the shower to de-tangle your hair.
- Section your hair into thin strands.
- Place the brush under each strand and the blow dryer on top.
- Slightly raise the brush and dryer at the top of the strand to add lift to your roots.
- Pull down the remaining length of your hair bringing the hairdryer down the section over the top of the hair.
- Flick in or out at the bottom of your hair depending upon the style you want to achieve.
- Do this for each section until all are dry.
Using this method, you should find that your hair is silky smooth, effortlessly volumized, and looking great.
Best Comb For Your Hair
Just like hairbrushes, combs come in many shapes, sizes, and materials.
Wooden and bamboo combs will draw the oils down from your scalp, whilst wide-toothed combs are better for easy and gentle detangling of your tresses.
Avoid any comb that has sharp ends as you do not want to aggravate the skin on your scalp.
Hopefully this hair brush guide has given you all the information you need to choose the right brush for your hair type.
In a nutshell, smaller brushes work best on shorter and finer hair, whilst a large paddle brush with mixed bristles will make short work of long and thick hair.
Vented brushes are useful for styling whilst blow-drying, with cushion pads adding comfort to any brush.
How To Create A Hair Brush
Create your own bespoke hairbrush from wood. Choose pearwood or similar and cut to the desired shape. Drill holes for the dowel-shaped bristles and glue them into place. Oil for longevity and appearance.