We are of the firm belief that hairbrushes don’t get the credit they deserve. Let’s take a wild guess and assume that you own one (unless you are Gisele Bundchen in which case, congratulations). You probably use it to brush, detangle, tease, and backcomb your fine, straight, wavy, frizzy, dry or damaged hair, correct? You see where we’re going with this? Chiefly, that there’s a brush out there for every hair type and style imaginable, and we’re saving you’re the trouble of going to beauty school to figure it out by arranging a brush with two hair experts so you can brush up on your facts (puns are like Pringles – once you pop, you can’t stop).
1/2 Jennifer J., coiffeur to Kristen Stewart and Julia Roberts
Wavy hair needs to be brushed with a wide tooth comb so you can keep the wave intact without causing the hair to frizz.
Curly hair must only be brushed when it is wet, never when dry. Tangle Teezers and theWet Brush are both great options because they glide right through the hair without pulling or breaking the shaft.
Fine hair calls for a natural, boar’s hair bristle brush. They’re much more expensive than regular brushes, but totally worth it. Boar’s hair bristle brushes, like the famous Mason Pearson, stimulate the scalp and add lots of shiny lustre to hair.
Thick hair can be tamed using a flat brush with plastic bristles. A brush of this type tends to be wider than most regular brushes, and this helps get through the hair faster.
Damaged hair should only be brushed when dry, because it has the tendency to break when brushed while wet. A wide toothed comb, Wet Brush or Tangle Teezer is best for this type of hair.
Don’t worry about brushing your hair when it’s damaged. If it’s especially dry or damaged, it helps to allow your hair to get a little oily at the scalp and then run a Mason Pearson brush through it. Brush your hair for a few minutes from scalp to ends and you’ll be giving your hair one of the best conditioning treatments it can get – and it’s all natural. Because your own oils are extremely conditioning, brushing it will give your damaged hair a quick boost of moisture.
DIY blowdries are best done with a round brush with a ceramic barrel – it will heat the hair up while drying, and this gives it a very smooth finish; the kind you get with a flat iron, without actually having to use one.
Frizzy hair needs a vent brush to minimize the frizz.
Also: be extra gentle when brushing wet hair; start by brushing the ends of your hair, working your way up to the scalp, instead of the other way around.
2/2 Armin Morbach, Schwarzkopf’s hair expert (and Karl Lagerfeld’s mane man)
For the Sleek Look: To reach a sleek look with long straight hair, I recommend a paddle brush. It is perfect to tame rebellious, curly hair and it’s easier to handle than a round brush. This brush is awesome- especially for a quick detangle before heading out.
For Bangs: If you’re comfortable with a round brush, it’s a great tool to create smooth, silky blow-dries or serious volume. Use a small round brush to accentuate layers in the hair and achieve some side swept bangs. A quick-tip to get mid-length bangs to sit properly is to gather the bangs on both sides of the face, hold the brush horizontally, place it behind your hair and roll it backwards while tugging the brush upwards.
For Extensions: It is important to work with a soft brush for extensions, to be sure that the fixation does not break off. This brush is also recommended when it comes to a look which requires every piece of hair to be in the right place. Using a soft brush, lock any flyaways or stray hair in place by spritzing some hairspray onto the brush. This will give your hair some extra shine as well.
An alternative to the soft brush is the looped bristle brush which is specifically designed for extensions because the loops make it possible to brush through hair seamlessly without tugging or pulling.
For Backcombing: A teasing brush is perfect for this. Spray a bit of hairspray on your roots and comb the hair downwards into the roots to achieve huge amounts of volume. Afterwards, you can gently brush down any stray hairs with the soft brush we talked about earlier and a bit of hairspray.
Anja Rubik and Lily Donaldson by Mario Testino for Allure September 2010.