Like your perfectly unique hair style, not all brushes are created equal. So the trick is finding the shape and bristle (boar, synthetic) that works for your hair texture. We asked Kevin Smith, a celebrity hair stylist based in Toronto, to share his expert tips on finding the best brush suited to your individual locks.
1. Find a brush that works with your hair texture. For finer hair, use a soft-bristle brush on delicate stands. “If your hair is coarse, go for something that’s stiff and sturdy,” explains Smith. “The hair brush should follow the texture of the hair.”
2. Try a boar bristle brush. The pros love it—“It works well on most hair, and I only use one,” says Smith, citing the Privilege Boar Bristle brush by House of Jean-Pierre Brushes as his go-to tool when styling on set. “It brushes well, gets through to the scalp and leaves the hair smooth and shiny.” (We’re sold.)
3. Brush your hair according to your curls. For tightly wound curls or when infusing waves into your hair, only brush the hair when wet using a wide-tooth comb. “Just enough to detangle,” notes Smith. Avoid brushing the hair again when dry.
4. Invest in styling brushes. When blow drying hair to a soft finish—while amplifying volume—Smith hops between his Beechwood paddle brush and a Denman flat brush. The cushion and wide-teeth set of the latter allows hair to slide through easily and dry to a smooth touch (note: this works best on medium-to-long hair). For volume, try Hercules Sägemann boar bristle round brush.
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5. Short hair needs to be brushed, too! Just because you tousle-dry your pixie locks, doesn’t mean they can’t be combed to a polished finish. Try a Denman vent brush, which allows air from the blow dryer to release any soft waves. “It lifts hair at the root to create volume,” says Smith.
6. Brush often. While brushing out your hair stimulates the scalp, not everyone needs to do so on a consistent basis. “It depends on how you wear your hair,” Smith explains. For long and silky hair parted down the centre, he recommends brushing every night before bed. But even with shorter locks, you may want to brush out hair that’s been caked in product all day. “Think of it as a makeup or lipgloss touchup,” says Smith. “You brush to refresh your style.”