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The best hair brushes for every type of length, style and texture

Whether you want to tame frizz or smooth curly locks, these are the ones up to the task

Louise Whitbread
Wednesday 19 April 2023 13:52 BST
Use on wet hair, dry locks or during a blow dry to add volume
Use on wet hair, dry locks or during a blow dry to add volume (The Independent)
Our Top Picks

When it comes to your hair, the type of brush you use plays an important role in how healthy it looks and feels. Whether you want to detangle knots, smooth frizz or create a voluminous boost with the help of your hair dryer, there’s plenty of choice. It’s also significant what style of brush you use if you’re prone to hair loss, like to wear and maintain clip-in extensions, or simply want to make brushing strands a less tedious or painful experience.

Picking the most suitable one for you is completely personal, explains Adam Reed, UK editorial ambassador for L’Oréal Professionnel and ghd. If you’re unsure where to start, he recommends speaking to your hairdresser and asking them which brush they use and why.

You may be well overdue for an upgrade of your current brush, particularly if you’ve been using it for years. When shopping for a new one, according to Reed, a good brush should cost on average between £15 and £60.

“Good, strong bristles come at a cost.” He says. “A brush that is kept well, cleaned, washed once a week and dried with a hair dryer to prevent rotting would last between six months and a year but if you really look after it, it could be a lot more,” he says.

With that in mind, we made it our mission to find the very best designs for your haircare routine.

How we tested

Over the span of a month, we put a number of brushes to the test and have whittled it down to the top nine. Some suit all hair types and can be used on wet or dry strands, while others are specifically designed for specific hair concerns.

The hair brushes that secured a spot in this round-up (Louise Whitbread)

The best hair brushes for 2023 are:

  • Best overall hair brush – Babyliss diamond detangle brush: £11,
  • Best hair brush for styling – Ghd oval dressing brush: £23,
  • Best budget hair brush – Superdrug shower hair brush: £3.49,
  • Best hair brush for detangling – Wetbrush original detangler hairbrush: £13,
  • Best hair comb – Cloud Nine the luxury texture comb: £25,

Babyliss diamond detangle brush

Babyliss diamond detangle brush.png
  • Best: Overall
  • Benefits: Detangling
  • Use on: Wet or dry hair

This stylish brush can do it all. From easily detangling knotted wet hair to combing through dry strands, it worked quickly and efficiently. The handle is extra long and shaped to a rounded point, making it perfect for separating hair into sections when styling or finding your parting. The bristles bend with your hair so they don’t get caught or leave tresses looking frizzy when using a hair dryer. It’s an excellent all-rounder that works equally as well on dry or wet hair.

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Ghd oval dressing brush

Ghd oval dressing brush.png
  • Best: For styling
  • Benefits: Detangling
  • Use on: Dry and wet hair

The chicest brush we tried, this oval-shaped one comes in a sleek black box, with silver detailing on the handle. It easily detangled our dishevelled morning mop and it’s made with anti-static nylon bristles, so it’s not the softest but it doesn’t cause any discomfort either.

Our tester also used it to brush through tonged hair to create a more natural-looking wave. It didn’t pull on tresses, nor feel scratchy on our scalp, and was an easy way to create smooth styles, especially if you have thicker, longer hair that can be harder to brush into a polished up-do.

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Moroccanoil ceramic round brush

Moroccanoil ceramic round brush.png
  • Best: For flat hair
  • Benefits: Add volume
  • Use on: Dry hair or wet hair when blow drying

If you like oodles of volume, especially if your natural hair tends to fall flat, this round brush works wonders, especially when used at the root to guide your hair dryer. It has a striking teal handle that’s sturdy and won’t slip, and there’s also an orange sectioning tip concealed inside the handle, which we found to be a little short for longer hair but helpful nonetheless.

We loved how it left our hair looking shinier than usual, had great grip and didn’t catch. It’s lightweight too, so if you have a lot of hair, your arm won’t be aching after 20 minutes of heated styling. Eye-catching and effective, it’s a fuss-free, easy tool to ensure good hair days.

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Aveda wooden paddle brush

Aveda wooden paddle brush.png
  • Best: Paddle brush
  • Benefits: Detangling and stimulating and massageing the scalp
  • Use on: Dry and wet, can use with blow dryer

The hair experts at Aveda have created this paddle brush that’s flat and wide with a typical air-filled cushion and plastic bristles that gently detangle knottiness in dry or wet hair without making your eyes water. When used with a hair dryer, it left our hair feeling super smooth.

Running it across our scalp, it felt like a mini massage, bending to the contours of our head and gliding through locks with ease, tackling even those nightmare knots that make you consider shaving it all off. If your hair constantly moults, it won’t get caught up in this brush either.

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Kent Brushes perfect for smoothing narrow oval bristle nylon mix brush

Kent Brushes perfect for smoothing narrow oval bristle nylon mix brush.png
  • Best: For smoothing
  • Benefits: Control static and smoothen hair
  • Use on: Dry hair

This budget-friendly nylon bristle brush is compact and handbag-friendly. The aforementioned bristles control static so you can smooth hair into a low bun or slick ponytail with ease. It can also be used to brush out tight curls to leave a soft, bouncy wave. Best suited to medium to long hair lengths, it feels soothing on the scalp and the natural bristles leave a subtle shine on slick up-dos.

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Superdrug shower hair brush

Superdrug shower hair brush.png
  • Best: Budget option
  • Benefits: Detangling
  • Use for: Best on wet hair

For the budget-conscious, this affordable plastic brush is ideal for combing through knotty hair just before you wash it. The curved handle also allows you to hang it on your shower rail for safekeeping. Our reviewer has used this before every hair wash for the past year, and it makes a transformative difference to brushing hair afterwards. If you get your hair wet once it’s brushed through, it’s a million times easier to comb it once clean and wet, meaning less tangles, painful clumps or time-consuming brushing. Cheap and cheerful, it’s well worth adding into your shower routine to make your life easier.

  1. £3 from
Prices may vary
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Hair Rehab LDN eco-friendly hairbrush

Hair Rehab LDN eco-friendly hairbrush.png
  • Best: For extensions
  • Benefits: Detangling and anti-static
  • Use on: Dry and wet

If you like a perfectly sleek hairdo or often wear clip-in extensions, this detangling brush is for you. It’s part of Hair Rehab’s eco-friendly range and is made from biodegradable wheat straw. The bristle design is anti-static too and glides through even the knottiest strands. It’s a great all rounder brush that can be used on wet or dry hair and the ergonomic design is a comfortable addition. It’s extremely lightweight too, so perfect for travel.

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Wetbrush original detangler hairbrush

Wetbrush original detangler hairbrush.png
  • Best: For detangling
  • Benefits: Detangling and preventing breakage
  • Use on: Dry and wet hair

Wetbrush’s range is catered to detangling knotted hair and its original design is our pick of the bunch. No matter how matted or untamable, this brush glides through strands to leave it knot-free. Super sturdy and durable, it requires such little effort to loosen knotted clumps without any of the pain and it prevents breakage too. Suitable for all hair types and textures, you can use it on wet or dry hair, and the soft, flexible bristles never snap strands or irritate your scalp.

  1. £13 from
Prices may vary
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Cloud Nine the luxury texture comb

Cloud Nine the luxury texture comb.png
  • Best: Hair comb
  • Benefits: Detangling and touching up on-the-go
  • Use on: Dry or wet hair

Don’t dismiss the usefulness of a hair comb such as this. The wide tooth design means it doesn’t get caught on big strands and it can be used to brush out tight curls into tousled waves. If you’re prone to lots of knots, we’d recommend starting at the ends of your hair to gently detangle and working your way up. It’s a lot more painful – we know from experience – to try and brush out a clump of knots from root to tip. This comb allows you to do just that without snagging or snapping delicate strands, not to mention it fits perfectly in a handbag for touching up your hairdo on the go.

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Hair brush FAQs

What type of brush is best for different hair types?

If you’re looking to detangle long, thick hair, try a nylon ceramic brush, as the rigid bristles can get rid of knots quickly while leaving smoother strands. For fine or thinning hair, try to use boar bristles, which are super soft and gentle.

Round brushes are fantastic for adding volume from the root, especially when used with a hair dryer. Dressing brushes are useful for smoothing hair into slicker styles, such as a chignon bun or high ponytail, while adding shine. They can also be used to brush through curls if you want a bouncier look.

For afro and curly hair, wide paddle brushes work well without snagging, tugging or painful pulling, as do wide-tooth combs.

The verdict: Hair brushes

We loved the versatility of the Babyliss diamond detangle brush, which did a brilliant job at detangling knotty clumps after a restless night’s sleep, smoothing curls and reducing frizz. Its extra-long handle design comes in handy for sectioning hair too, and it works equally well on wet and dry hair.

Voucher codes

For the latest haircare discounts and offers, try the links below:

For more on detangling knotty hair, read our review of the Wetbrush flex dry

Voucher Codes

TUI Discount Code
£100 off all bookings over £1000 - TUI discount code
ASOS Discount Code
20% off everything with this ASOS app discount code
Travelodge Discount Code
5% off all bookings with this Travelodge discount code
The Body Shop Discount Code
20% off everything with The Body Shop discount code
The Perfume Shop Discount Code
15% of all orders with The Perfume Shop birthday discount
Domino's Voucher Code
Get 40% off mains, sides, and desserts - Domino's voucher code

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