18 Different Types of Hair Brushes

Hair brushes were initially used as a styling tool that only the affluent could afford. They were so precious that they were gifted during special occasions and cherished for life. In the late 1800s, hair brushes were handcrafted and consisted of carved or forged wooden handle and handstitched bristles.

The Kent Brushes is the world’s oldest hairbrush manufacturer, founded by William Kent in 1777 in Hertfordshire, England. Up to 12 workers crafted a piece of hairbrush that was made of animal hair or feathers.



Paddle hairbrush

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Paddle hair brushes have very wide bases that allow you to expose more of your hair to your blow dryer when you are drying it. One reason many people reach for this type of brush for their hair is that it will actually help the cuticles on your strands to lie flat. This is ideal for not only making your hair seem much shinier and sleeker than it is, but also to smooth and detangle it. Everyone can use a paddle brush, no matter what type of hair that you have, which means that no matter whether you have very fine hair or thick hair, your brush will work to smooth and detangle your locks.

The head of the brush is generally made from ceramic, wood, or plastic. It can be either oval or rectangular in shape, and the bristles can be made of any material. No matter what they are made of, they will generally sit on top of an air cushion, which will allow them to contour easily to your scalp when you brush your hair, distribute your oil, and massage your scalp.


Vented hairbrushes

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While the head of these brushes is not going to be nearly as large as a paddle brush, which some people fear will slow down how long it takes them to dry their hair, they can actually speed up the hair drying process, thanks to the vents that are cut into the back of the brush.

These vents, or holes, are strategically placed so that the air from your hair dryer can circulate around your strands and reach them evenly and easily, which will help to drastically cut your drying time. One benefit of using a vented hair brush is that since you won’t have to spend as much time drying your hair you can actually reduce the amount of damage that you cause your hair when you are styling it.

If you do not blow dry your hair to style it, then you can still benefit from using a vented brush, but you will not get the full benefits that others will. In this case, you may be better off choosing a different type of hair brush for your daily use. Even if you do use a blow dryer to do your hair, it’s important to note that this hairbrush doesn’t give you complete control over your style, so it is best for messy days when you don’t care if you have imperfect hair.

Wooden Round Brush

Wooden Round Brush

Round brushes are ideal for creating volume and providing a little bit of movement to your hair in the form of curls when you are brushing and styling your hair. They are ideal for all types of hair since they come in varying sizes, making it easy to find smaller ones that are perfect for your short hair or larger ones that are ideal for dealing with very long locks. The smaller the brush that you use, the tighter the curl that you will be able to create, which is why so many people opt to have a few different sizes of these brushes on hand at all times.

Wooden round brushes provide you with a lot of control over your style and are great for keeping your hair exactly where you want it to be, especially when you opt for ones with boar bristles. These brushes are great if you are worried about damaging your hair when brushing it, as they do not use any heat to dry or style your hair and won’t snag in your strands.

Ceramic Round Brush

Ceramic Round Brush

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This type of brush is perfect for anyone who wants to curl their hair, but who doesn’t like using curling irons, as the brush is able to not only detangle and smooth out your hair before you style it, but it is also able to gently heat and mold the hair into a perfect curl. While these hair brushes promise incredible results, they do take some time learning how to use them correctly, and until you know how to operate them, you may have problems getting a good style.

Make sure that the synthetic bristles on these brushes are sturdy enough to grip your hair and help hold it in place while you are styling it, or your hair will simply slip out of the bristles. This can make it very difficult for you to get the style that you have been craving.


Spornette Little Wonder Boar & Tourmaline Nylon Bristle Teasing Brush (#111 PURPLE) with Tail Handle for Back Brushing, Back Combing, Creating Volume, Teasing and Slicking Your Hair Back

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Teasing your hair is a great way to add volume to your locks, but it can be very damaging if you do not do it correctly or rely on a comb to try to create the knots in your hair. When you use a teasing brush then you won’t have to worry about damaging your hair, as these brushes have been specifically designed to allow you to backcomb your hair without causing any damage. Boar bristles are a great option on a teasing brush, as they are very gentle on your hair and won’t cause as much breakage.

Look for a teasing brush that has a handle that comes to a sharp point. You can use this to separate and style your hair so that you have the most control over your style. Without this pointed handle, you will have to learn how to hold onto a second brush or comb that you can use to separate the strands. When used correctly, this type of hair brush will instantly add a lot of volume to your hair and do it in a gentle way so that you don’t have to worry about damage.


Wet Brush Pro Paddle Hair Brush, Blackout

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Trying to brush your hair when it is wet is a surefire way to damage your hair, break off your strands, and pull pieces out at the roots. It’s best to avoid using a brush at all times when your hair is wet, but if you hate the way that a comb feels when you run it through your hair and absolutely have to brush your hair when it is still wet, then you need to make sure that you use a wet brush.

These brushes are specifically designed for use on hair that is still wet and has been made so that they will not cause as much damage as using a traditional brush would. The bristles on a wet brush are made to be incredibly stiff so that they will mimic the way a comb is able to slide through wet hair.

This is the best way to make sure that you can brush your hair without causing a lot of damage. While they won’t always take the place of a comb, they are a great option to have on hand if you know that you would rather use a brush instead of a comb to smooth out your hair and are worried about breaking your strands.


Revlon Detangle & Smooth Black Cushion Hair Brush

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One problem that many people have with their hair is that it tends to get tangled, even when their hair is dry. While you can use detangling brushes on your dry hair, it is not advisable to use them on wet hair, as you can actually cause a lot of accidental damage. These brushes also do a great job of smoothing down your hair, so if you have a lot of frizz that you are trying to get under control, then you can use a detangling brush to do so.


Cushion hairbrush

If you have hair that is easily damaged and want to make sure that you do everything possible to keep your hair from breaking, then you will want to invest in a cushioned brush. These hair brushes have a very soft cushion that the bristles are connected to. This means that when you brush your hair that the bristles will move with the motion of your brushing and against your scalp.

Other types of brushes won’t have a soft cushion as a part of the brush, which means that they will not be as soft and forgiving when you use them. For this reason, if you have a sensitive scalp or damaged hair and want to make sure that you do not cause additional problems, you need to make sure that you buy a cushioned brush.


BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Rotating Hot Air Brush, 2 Inch

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These brushes are tools that are designed to take the place of both a flat iron as well as a hairbrush and are supposed to be able to brush easily through your hair while relying on incredibly high temperatures to straighten the strands.

Some straightening brushes can actually reach a temperature of 550 degrees, which is great for straightening even the most reluctant hair, but it is terribly important that you are very careful when using a brush that gets anywhere near this hot, as you can easily burn yourself. If your hair naturally only has a slight wave then you will be able to use this brush to quickly straighten your hair, while hair that is curlier will need more work and time.

The bristles on these brushes are evenly spread out and distributed across the head of the brush, which means that they can easily separate and smooth out strands of hair without some of the strands becoming straighter than others. All of the hair will have an even application of heat, which will help to greatly speed up the process.

There are some concerns when using this type of hair brush. The first is that if you get the brush too hot that you can severely damage your hair or burn yourself. The other problem that some people encounter when using this type of hair brush is that the tips of the bristles can actually catch on the hair, causing it to break or the ends of it to split into split ends. While this happens very rarely, it’s important to be aware of the problems that you can encounter with any type of hair brush.

Bristle Type


Hairbrush with synthetic bristles

Synthetic bristles are generally made from nylon. These brushes are ideal for people who have very thick hair, as the bristles will move smoothly through the strands without causing any pain. These bristles are ideal for people who deal with static, as they will not produce nearly as much static as natural bristles will. Additionally, because the bristles are firmer, they are great for detangling your hair. This is ideal for people who have very thick, long, or curly hair that tends to tangle, especially when it is wet.

Even though synthetic bristles can be a little harder on your strands than natural ones can, which is one reason that some people with thinner or finer hair tend to avoid them, they cost a lot less than brushes with natural bristles do. This makes them much more affordable and is a reason that so many people opt for this type of brush.


Hairbrush with natural bristles

Natural bristles are generally made out of boar bristles and are incredibly soft. One of the main benefits of using these brushes is that the bristles are able to evenly, quickly, and painlessly distribute the oil from your scalp down the length of your hair.

This not only means that your hair will be a lot healthier than it was before the oils were distributed, but that it will be much shinier. The downside with this type of hair brush is that they are much more expensive than other types of hair brushes. This means that they are often out of a person’s budget, even though they may be exactly the right thing for their hair.

Everyone can use hair brushes with natural bristles, but there are some types of hair that will really benefit from them. Relaxed hair, straight hair, and incredibly fine hair will all benefit from being brushed with a natural bristle hair brush. This is because these brushes are so gentle on delicate strands of hair and won’t cause them to get damaged or broken.


Creative Hair Brushes Solid Barrel Ceramic Mixed Bristles, Medium, 2.9 Ounce

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These brushes have a mixture of both synthetic bristles and natural ones. Not only are they incredibly affordable, but they are also a great option for most people, regardless of their hair type, to use. The natural bristles in the brushwork by smoothing the cuticle of the hair, which helps to make it look shiny and keep it from being damaged.

Additionally, the natural bristles are able to help pull the oils from the scalp all the way down to the ends of the strands of hair. The synthetic bristles in these brushes are great for helping pull the hair and give you a little bit more control when you are styling your hair. When you opt for hair brushes that have mixed bristles, then you will get the best of both natural and synthetic bristles without all of the problems that are commonly associated with brushes made with only natural or synthetic bristles.

Since these brushes work well on most any type of hair, they are incredibly popular and a great brush to choose if you aren’t sure whether you’d benefit from a natural or synthetic brush.


Wooden hairbrush with wooden bristles

While hair brushes with wood bristles are not nearly as popular or common as ones made with other materials, there are some good reasons to opt for these brushes. Wooden bristles are incredibly durable and gentle, which means that you don’t have to worry about your brush breaking or being damaged when you use it.

The natural wood does a great job at distributing the oils in your hair, much like boar bristles do, but they will help to condition your hair, as well. These bristles are generally wider than other types, which means that they are much less likely to break, and they do not produce static. Because these bristles are crafted from a sustainable source – bamboo – you don’t have to worry about the impact of you buying a new brush, as your new brush will be eco-friendly.

Handle Material


A set of wooden hairbrushes

Hairbrushes with wood handles aren’t as common as ones with plastic handles, but one of the reasons that they are so popular is that the material is sustainable, which makes them more eco-friendly. It’s important that if you choose a wood handle for your hairbrush, you make sure that you do not allow it to get and stay wet, as it can begin to mold if you are not careful. Other than that, there are very few differences between wood handles and ones that are made of plastic.


Plastic hairbrush

This is the most popular material that is used for a hairbrush handle, and for good reason. Plastic can come in many different colors, is easily molded to the shape that you want, and is very durable. This means that unless you are very rough with your hairbrush, a plastic handle is not likely to break. They are also very lightweight and will not likely mold or have other problems, which makes them a great choice if you live in a very damp or humid area and are worried about whether or not the handle of your hairbrush will stay clean.



A set of hairbrushes

One great way to make sure that you will have the right brushes for when you are going to style your hair is to buy them in a set. This is a great way to get a few different types of brushes so that you don’t have to worry about buying individual brushes. When you opt for brushes in a set, make sure that you buy from a reputable company or else you will end up with a number of lower-quality brushes that you don’t want to use.

Look for a set that has a round brush, a vented brush, and a paddle brush in the set, as these three main types of brushes are the ones that you are going to use most often. While you may want to buy additional brushes in the future, if you have these three brushes, then you will be able to style your hair in a number of different ways.

Protected Bristles

Conair Pro Hair Brush with Nylon Bristle, All-Purpose, Colors May Vary

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While some people do not mind using bristles that are sharp or hard, if you have a sensitive scalp or are worried about your hair getting tangled when you brush it, then you will want to consider using a brush that has protected bristles.

These have bristles that have very small balls of plastic on the tips, which ensures that you will not accidentally get hurt when you use your brush. After a long time of using these brushes, it is very normal for the balls to pop off of the bristles. When this happens, you will likely notice that your hair is snagging more when you brush it, which means that it is time to buy a new brush with the balls on the bristles for the best protection and care.


Olivia Garden Divine Revolutionary Ergonomic Design Hair Brush DV-1 (Wet Detangler)

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If you are going to be using your hair brush for extended periods at a time, or if you are worried about your hand cramping or becoming uncomfortable when brushing your hair, then you will want to opt for an ergonomic brush. These are specifically designed to be very comfortable, no matter whether you use them for hours a day while at work or just to brush your hair in the morning. By opting for an ergonomic hairbrush, you won’t have to worry as much about whether or not you will hurt your hand or wrist when taking care of your hair.

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