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How to Choose the Right Hair Brush for Your Mane

Compliment a woman on her hair and she’s apt to rave about a particular product, or wax poetic about her favorite salon. But her brush? Not so much. Yet as any stylist will tell you, everything from the bristles to the shape and construction of the brush factors into the look and overall health of your hair. New York City celebrity hairstylist Gregory Patterson takes us through the mane points.

Photography by: Yasu + Junko

Left to right:


For Volume

Gaps in the base provide “greater air circulation and better root lift for short lengths like pixie cuts,” says Patterson.

Olivia Garden NanoThermic Ceramic+Ion Styler, $19,


For Wet Hair

Soft, flexible plastic bristles blaze through snarled strands, eliminating breakage and painful yelps.

Harry Josh Pro Tools detangling brush, $20,


For Blowouts

Boar bristles stand up to heat, holding hair taut as it’s pulled straight. “After a few uses, the bristles soften, making them easier to control,” says Patterson.

Ibiza G5, $42,


For Building Body

Back-comb your way to a bombshell ’do. The pointed handle allows for easy sectioning, and the densely packed boar bristles tame even the shortest strands.

Spornette Little Wonder, $8,


For Smoothing

This iconic nylon-and-boar-bristle mix is a workhorse, distributing hair’s natural oils, detangling, straightening, and adding shine to straight locks. A mainstay in every stylist’s kit, it’s an investment but lasts forever.

Mason Pearson Popular, $205,