Paddle brush, £13.85,


I realised in a post-Christmas de-cluttering that some of my hairbrushes have been with me for 10 years, if not more. They might be of the common-or-garden variety, rather than silver-plated heirloom material, but that such things are still built to last pleases me no end.

And yes, that's brushes plural with different bristles for de-tangling, styling and general grooming. If forced to choose just one though (usually when faced with fitting actual clothing in my suitcase, rather than just the contents of my dressing table) it would be my cushioned paddle brush which is invaluably versatile.

Vented grooming brush


The master trichologist recommends smooth plastic bristles to prevent breaking weak or fragile hair; the long bristles on this reach the scalp through even the thickest hair, while vents mean your hair won't bake as you blow-dry.

Ceramic radial brush size 4


Some barrel brushes are too large to use easily, but this medium size will add adequate volume while still being manageable. Ceramic is favoured for its heat-conducting abilities, which speeds up styling time.


Back-combing brush


Backcombing can be a tricky art to master, but the right tool will ensure your bouffant doesn't steer into bird's-nest territory. While slightly scary looking, this wooden-handled brush has stiff-angled bristles for best results.

Aqua Splash


Tangle Teezer has spared millions of tears since it launched its oft-imitated detangling designs; this ergonomic update is perfect for wet hair and will stand upright so it can be kept in the shower without getting mouldy.

Paddle brush


Lightweight but not flimsy and with a round handle with silicon grip this is comfortable to hold, and the bristles can stand up to thick hair without dragging. A large surface area makes drying a quick task.