Pros And Cons Of Boar Bristle Brush

The pros and cons of boar bristle brush usage have been much debated over the years.

Therefore, if you have been wondering if a boar bristle is the right choice for your hair, read on to find out the facts!

A boar bristle brush is often a wooden-backed hairbrush made from the bristles of a boar that have been harvested in several cuts. The cut will determine the hardness of the bristle. Boar bristle brushes are well known for distributing scalp oils that provide your hair with essential nutrients and a protective barrier against environmental damage.

Read on to find out about different types of boar bristle brushes and the pros and cons of using them.

Pros And Cons Of Boar Bristle Brush

A boar bristle brush can be quite an investment as far as hairbrushes go, so it is important to know which one will be the best for your hair and scalp.

Boar bristles are a natural product and come in ‘cuts’.

The first cut is often considered to be the finest and most desirable.

This is because it normally provides the hardest bristles and is known to be fantastic at removing debris and dirt from your hair.

Harder bristles are able to move more of your scalp’s natural oils down through your hair.

This means that every single strand of hair will benefit from the moisture and nutrients contained within your naturally produced sebum.

Hairbrushes can also contain 2nd and 3rd cut bristles which are far softer.

Depending upon your hair type and what you are looking to achieve, these could be the best for your hair.

2nd and 3rd cut bristles are also cheaper as they are considered slightly inferior to those brushes using first-cut boar bristles.

As you will see, there are many positives for the use of a boar bristle brush, but brushes work differently on individual scalps and hair, so trying one for yourself is ultimately the best advice.

These are my favorite boar bristle brushes.


Below are the benefits of boar bristle brushes (source 1):


Boar bristle brushes (BBB) are wonderful for pulling the scalp’s natural oils fully down each individual hair shaft.


Dirt and debris is removed from the scalp and hair through every brush stroke.


Using a boar bristle brush (otherwise known as a BBB), helps to remove dead hair leaving only healthy hair which means your hair looks as good as possible.


A boar bristle brush when drawn down the hair helps to close the hair cuticles and promote shine.


With closed cuticles and thoroughly nourished hair through natural oil distribution, your hair is less likely to frizz due to environmental conditions.


Your hair will look less greasy as the oil is moved down the hair rather than sitting on the scalp and weighing your hair down.


Anecdotally, reports state that hair volume is increased when using a BBB regularly.

Fewer Washes

You will not need to wash your hair as frequently, if using a boar bristle brush.

This is because your hair will not look as greasy, as the natural scalp oils will be more evenly distributed down each hair strand.

A BBB brush also removes dirt and debris effectively, therefore making hair washing a less regular task than you were previously used to!


The action of the brush on the scalp can stimulate the blood to the scalp.

This is important since it aids hair growth and scalp health.

Hair Type

It does not matter whether your hair is straight, curly, thick, thin, long, or short, a BBB will work with your hair.


Less breakage is a common benefit of using a BBB.

It is a natural product and produces less friction on the hair, which leads to less breakage.


A boar bristle brush will often reduce static in your hair, which could help avoid common static electric shocks.


So, having read all the pros to using a boar bristle brush above, you might be wondering are boar bristle brushes bad?

Take a look at the list below to find out:

Bristle Type

If you use too harsh a bristle you can increase hair breakage if your hair is delicate or brittle.


Be careful that you choose a reputable supplier as originally boar bristle brushes used to be harvested with little thought to animal welfare.

How Often Should You Brush Your Hair With A Boar Bristle Brush?

The regularity with which you opt to brush your hair with a boar bristle brush ultimately depends on your hair type.

Many people just brush their hair once per day.

However, others with particularly porous and frizzy hair find that brushing twice a day helps to move through the scalp oils through the hair better, thereby combating problematic frizz.

If you have non-porous, or very oily hair, then once per day, or even every other day may be a better option for you.

The type of BBB you use will also alter the frequency with which you brush your hair. This is because the quality of the individual boar bristles affect how often you should brush your hair.

If your brush is a ‘first cut’ bristle brush, i.e. it’s bristles are firmer, then over-use on delicate hair may cause unintentional breakage.

In this scenario you would be better off using it less frequently, or changing to a 2nd cut brush to minimise stress on your hair.

The best way is simply to try it and see what works best for you.

Remember that cleaning your brush after each use will keep your hair in good condition and stop returning any debris or dirt that is on your brush, back onto your hair (source 1).

Do Boar Bristle Brushes Help Hair Grow?

Owning a boar bristle brush will not help your hair grow, but using it properly as part of a full haircare regime might.

Below are the key functions of a boar bristle brush:

  • Remove dirt, debris, loose and dead hairs
  • Draw the oils down the hair length to nourish each individual hair strand.
  • Helps to close the hair cuticles, aiding increased protection against environmental pollutants.
  • Stimulates the scalp to encourage blood flow.

Each of these will encourage your hair to grow to it’s full potential.

Do Boar Bristle Brushes Damage Hair?

If you are wondering can bristle brushes damage hair, or even do boar bristle brushes cause breakage then the answer is yes, it is possible.

However, if used correctly a boar bristle brush should not cause any damage to your hair. Damage would normally only occur if you are using the brush incorrectly.

If you do believe that your BBB is causing hair damage, take a closer look at how you are using your brush.

Delicate Hair

For those of you with delicate hair, consider how frequently you are brushing your hair.

To avoid further hair damage, try only brushing your hair once per day or perhaps even every other day.

Alternatively, try using a boar bristle brush that is made from the second or third cut bristles.

These bristles will still have all the positives of a 1st cut brush, but are far softer and will potentially cause less damage to hair that is:

  • Dry
  • Damaged
  • Fine

Detangle Your Hair

If possible try to detangle your hair first before brushing.

That way there is less likelihood of the brush ‘snagging’ in your hair and pulling your hair to breaking point.

You can buy special ‘detangling’ boar bristle brushes which have their bristles set further apart. Alternatively, why not try using a bamboo wide toothed comb to achieve the same effect.

Wet Hair

Remember that no brushes should be used when your hair is wet.

The only exception to this is using the brushes that are specifically designed for wet hair.

Wet hair is more likely to be damaged by brushing than dry hair, so always take that extra bit of time to keep your hair in great condition.

Do Boar Bristle Brushes Cause Split Ends?

There is no reason that boar bristle brushes should cause split ends if you use your brush on dry, well conditioned hair.

Using a boar bristle brush that is right for your hair is important though.

Whilst the first cut is generally considered to be the best, this is not always true, especially if your hair type would benefit more from using a softer, 2nd or 3rd cut brush.

Detangling your hair first, before brushing it is also an important process that should occur in order to reduce the risk of causing split ends.

Brushing tangled hair can cause damage to your hair regardless of the type of brush you use, so always allow your hair to dry first.

Do Boar Bristle Brushes Detangle?

There are boar bristle brushes that have been specifically designed to detangle hair.

They have bristles that are placed further apart so that they act more like a detangling comb than a brush.

Are Boar Bristle Brushes Good For Fine, Curly, Thick, Or Thin Hair?

Take a look at the information below to discover how your hair type impacts the effectiveness of a boar bristle brush.

Curly Hair

If you have been wondering are boar bristle brushes good for curly hair, then rest assured that there is a boar bristle brush out there for you.

Depending upon the brush you use you may find that your curls are slightly looser when using a boar bristle brush.

Many people find that their curls are more well-defined though and in much better, nourished condition owing to the way the BBB brings the natural oils all the way through each hair strand.

Thick Hair

Are boar bristle brushes good for thick hair is also a regularly asked question.

The 1st cut bristles will penetrate through even the thickest hair, so you too can benefit from the improvement to your hair that a BBB can bring.

Thin Hair

Thin hair may do best with a second or third cut hairbrush as it is softer to your hair and scalp.

Are Boar Bristle Brushes Ethical?

When you first hear about using boar bristles to brush your hair, you may automatically wonder are boar bristle hair brushes cruelty free?

Ensuring that you buy your brush from a reputable seller is the best way to ensure the highest welfare of the animal.

The very first boar bristle brushes often used bristles that had been pulled from the boar. This is obviously not very ethical.

Nowadays the boars hair is shaved.

This is obviously far better for the welfare of the boar, and is more sustainable in the long term.

Why Are Boar Bristle Brushes Expensive?

Like everything, there are very expensive brushes, and then there are far more affordable versions available, especially now that the benefits of these brushes are known.

Boar bristle brushes are generally more expensive than plastic and nylon hairbrushes. However, the benefits of the natural brushes far outweighs the extra up front cost.


As you will have seen in this article, there are many pros and cons of boar bristle brushes.

However, as BBB remove dirt and nourish your hair at the same time as protecting it and adding shine, there really is no comparison to a cheaper plastic alternative.

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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