A brush is just a brush, right? Wrong. Because when it comes to styling your hair, choosing the right one can be a serious game-changer.
From brushes that promise a poker-straight mane to those specifically designed to detangle, add shine or volume, getting the hairstyle you want starts with the right brush.
Vital for both the look and health of your locks, regular brushing strengthens your hair, produces healthy shine and stimulates the scalp for growth – so a hairbrush is one of the most important things you can invest in.
There has been a lot of debate about whether brushing your hair is actually good for your tresses, and while you don’t need to follow the old wives’ tale of 100 brush strokes a day, not brushing at all will cause tangled knots and extreme oil build-up.
How often you should brush your hair really depends on your hair type and texture. Generally, finer and longer hair requires more regular brushing to avoid getting knots, while those with curly or wavy hair should brush less in order to avoid unfurling their curls.
But should you opt for round, vented or paddle? Boar, metal or nylon?
Luckily, we’ve combed through the classic staples, new innovations and everything in-between to find the brushes that will tame unruly tresses.
1. Wet Brush Classic: £11.99, Cult Beauty
This is the tool of the moment – hair stylists and beauty bloggers are all talking about, and it’s easy to see why. Super simple in its design, you’d be forgiven for assuming that there’s nothing special about it but you’d also be wrong. Ideal for all hair lengths and textures, the brush glides effortlessly through hair with no tugging or pulling, as the bristles are specifically designed to bounce back to their original form after every stroke. Though it’s intended for use on post-wash hair, it also works just as well on dry locks and does a great job at taming flyaways. We also love that it comes in a multitude of colours, from black to purple to neon orange.
2. Denman Large Porcupine Style Grooming Brush: £14.35, Denman
Denman has been in business for almost 80 years and is a go-to brand for hairdressers who need high-performance, high-quality hair products. It has a range of brilliant brushes but our favourite is the large Porcupine Brush. Suitable for all hair types, but ideal for long or thick hair, this option is made with nylon bristles that are ideal for detangling and glide through your locks, leaving a super-sleek finish. Despite its substantial size, the brush is actually pretty lightweight and easy to hold but for those with shorter hair or who take their brush on-the-go, there’s also a small and medium version.
3. Tangle Angel Xtreme: £15.25, Beauty Bay
If you’re after more than just a brush, look no further because this one will satisfy your tresses and stand out on your dressing table. A sight to behold, the brush is designed with an impressive set of wings that not only look good but provide greater control when used as a handle. It’s great at detangling hair and good with extensions, weaves or Afro-Caribbean hair, as it has longer, denser bristles compared with other brushes. We found that it loosened knots seamlessly and left our hair feeling super-soft and shiny. It’s also heat resistant, anti-static and antibacterial.
4. Balmain Paris Hair Couture: £65, Net-a-Porter
High-end fashion house Balmain has taken to the beauty world in a bid to appease those who want to treat their locks to a little bit of luxury. Admittedly, this one’s quite a splurge but if it’s lavish tresses you’re after, it might just be worth it. Ideal for daily grooming, this handmade spa brush is packed full of high-quality boar and nylon bristles that work together to stimulate the scalp. Not only does this leave you with a serious shine but it also makes for easy brushing, even with the most unmanageable hair. Its sleek white design is also super-chic and makes for a comfortable hold.
5. Tangle Teezer Prepare and Perfect Hairbrush Set: £24.95, Look Fantastic
A brand that revolutionised hairbrushes as we know them, Tangle Teezer is best known for its Original Detangling Brush but this set includes its Blow-Styling Smoothing Tool too. The tool fits perfectly in the palm of your hand, with stiff bristles that work wonders on knotted hair – whether it’s wet or dry. It also manages to tame frizz well and fits comfortably in your handbag. It’s ideal for anyone attempting a professional blow dry at home too, whether you’re a novice or pro. And it’s designed to remove excess moisture from your hair, so your locks will dry quicker – ours felt smoother too.
6. Hershesons Mixed Bristle Oval Cushion Brush: £24, Hershesons
If it’s cool-girl hair you’re after then Hershesons has got you covered. It’s the go-to brand for beauty buffs and has salons and blow dry bars at Harvey Nichols, Selfridges and Topshop, but now you can get the look at home. This brush is the ideal styling tool for any look and is designed with a mix of porcupine, boar and ionic nylon pins. We found that it was gentle on our locks and helped give our hair more shine and texture. It’s also great for using on hair extensions.
7. Moroccan Oil Teasing Brush: £19.85, Look Fantastic
Limp, lifeless hair can be a real buzzkill but that’s where this teasing brush comes in. Designed by acclaimed hair brand Moroccan Oil, the hand-made brush is crafted with natural boar bristles and a heat resistant wooden handle, which makes it easy to control when styling. Use to create a full-bodied look by running the brush through your hair towards the scalp in short strokes and smooth over. This brush makes achieving voluminous hair easy and while backcombing can be risky, it didn’t cause any breakage.
8. Philip B Round Hairbrush Medium: £71, Feel Unique
For fresh, bouncy hair, a round brush should be your go-to and we recommend this one from Philip B. Made with a blend of pure boar bristles and nylon, it glides through hair without any snagging and manages to tame unruly flyaways. The long mahogany handle makes it easy to use and also means your hands are protected from heat when blow-drying. We found that this brush gave our hair a much needed lift at the roots and left it feeling silky smooth.
9. GHD Oval Dressing Brush: £20, GHD
A brand you can always rely on to deliver, GHD has a long list of salon-worthy products you can use at home and the Oval Brush is one of our favourites. Great for daily use, this tool is made from natural bristles that help to distribute the hair’s natural oils. This means the more you brush, the more shine you’ll get. Fitted with a soft-touch, non-slip handle, it’s easy to work with and we found that our hair felt seriously pampered after every use, with little-to-no fall out.
10. Mark Hill Wonder Ball Brush: £9.99, Boots
This option might look strange but give it a chance – trust us, you won’t regret it. If you find curling tongs hard to get your head around but still want to achieve classic, beach-style waves and curls then this brush is the answer. The ball shape allows you to twist your damp hair as your dry into a loose twirl, which results in a gentle ringlet, while adding lift at the roots. It’s tricky to do at first but practice makes perfect.
The Verdict: Hairbrushes
For a classic brush that works on all hair types, both wet and dry, we recommend investing in a Wet Brush. Not only is it affordable but it glides through your hair without any fuss and tackles the most stubborn of knots, without any pull-out. Alternatively, for a brush that detangles and leaves your hair feeling nourished, we also love the Mixed Bristle Oval Cushion Brush by Hershesons.
IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testingReuse content