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How To Choose The Right Brush

The primary focus for using a brush is for more than just styling.  Using a brush provides multiple benefits for your hair.  Brushing the hair massages your scalp while cleaning the hair shaft, follicle, and removing any dirt on the scalp.  Brushing helps to stimulate the release of an oil called sebum created by the sebaceous (sih-bay-shus) gland which is attached to the hair follicle.  The sebum coats and protects the hair shaft while moisturizing and imparting a healthy sheen to your hair.  Therefore, you hair will be healthier,  and more manageable to style.  

While most women no longer spend the time to brush their hair 100 times, surprisingly, the number of strokes is far less important than the type of brush you use.  There are many types of hair brushes.  Choosing the right brush is the key.  Based on your hair length and what style you want to achieve, will determine which brush you should use.  Here you will find a list of hair brushes that belong in your collection and the purpose and function they serve.

1) FOR DAILY BRUSHING

The must have brush for all hair types is the cushioned, oval and square paddle natural boar and nylon bristle brush responsible for the adage, “100 strokes a day.”  This combination of boar and nylon bristles polishes hair perfectly. Nylon bristles won’t stretch or break hair as it slides past, while boar bristles easily slide through to stimulate blood circulation under the scalp and distribute the natural sebum from the scalp throughout hair length for shiny, healthy tresses.

2) FOR BLOW-DRYING TO STRAIGHTEN AND DE-FRIZZ

The cushioned, square paddle brush with natural boar bristles is top notch for straightening medium to long hair when blow-drying.  It smoothes as it lengthens the hair with very little effort.  The paddle brush encourages hair to lie flat and is better for hair which is not layered too much, as it does not create volume. The longer nylon bristles penetrate the hair to detangle unruly, knotty tresses while the boar bristles grasp the hair shaft to straighten hair, creating frizz-free looks.  

3) FOR ADDING VOLUME AT THE ROOTS

Round hair brushes are generally used to give a curl and definition to hairstyles.  Use a small to medium barrel for shorter hair to create more volume, texture and for layered styles.  The smaller the barrel the tighter the curl.  Use a large or extra large barrel for long hair to create sleek and straight hair.

A round natural bristle brush pushes the hair away from the scalp. Just brush your roots up, away from your scalp while pointing the dryer toward the roots, following the path set out by the brush.  A round vented brush will allow maximum airflow while minimizing your drying time. Use a round brush anywhere you want to see fullness.

4) FOR DETANGLING

The cushioned, square paddle brush, (with or without boar bristles) can thoroughly detangle and remove knots and tangles in the hair.  It can also be used as a daily hair brush.  While brushing, the polyamide pins of the pneumatic brush slide softly through the hair and scalp. 

The flat, wide square paddle brush is a large brush recommended for medium to long or full hair.  However, hotCombs has also provided a paddle brush just for short to medium length hair with our Square Paddle Brush (No Bristles).  

5) FOR STYLING

The cushioned, oblong paddle brush such as the Oblong Styling Brush is used to smooth, shape and polish the hair.  

The Styling Specialist Brush works well to style or detangle short and long hair.  The Styling Specialist brush can effortless tease hair when creating an up-do hair style. 

HIGH QUALITY MUST-HAVES 

  • Quality boar or other natural bristles
  • Nylon, not plastic bristles
  • Look for ball tips on nylon bristles that are molded, not glued.
  • Ergonomically-designed wood handles for best grip and control when styling
  • Bristles set in a pneumatic cushion for all paddle brushes, whether oval or square
    • The cushion releases the excess air thru the small vent hole if too much pressure is applied, thereby allowing the hair to slide through without grabbing or tearing.

Never use a metal, thermal or ceramic brush when blow-drying. When metal or ceramic brushes heat up, it burns your hair the same way a curling and flat iron does. Always use an all-wood, boar bristle brush when blow-drying your hair.

No matter which hair brush is best for certain styles, there's no stopping you from having at least one of every type. Changing your brush may ease your morning routine, or make it even faster. One thing to keep in mind is quality. Buying the cheapest brushes will only mean that they will not last very long, and may end up scratching your scalp.  A good brush is a worthwhile investment and will help your locks stay healthy and in the best possible shape. Treat your hair well, and it will love you for it!

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Portions of this writing was contributed by beauty writer Naomi Mannino for sheknows.com.



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