From curls and coils to hair that is super-fine.

By Sara Dickinson
July 20, 2020
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Getty / Ponchai Soda / EyeEm

The right brush can upgrade your beauty routine and even improve the health of your hair over time; similarly, using the wrong option for your hair type can cause major damage, which is why it's so important to choose wisely. The right tool should ultimately change how you feel about brushing your hair, notes Kiley Fitzgerald a stylist at Mare Salon in West Hollywood. "Over the years I've learned that people hate brushing their hair, which is so funny to me," Fitzgerald says, "but it's because they aren't using the right brushes. A good brush makes the experience so much more pleasant."

Another reason why brushing feels more like a chore than a luxury? Most of us assume that brushes work across most hair types, which is incorrect, says Alicia Bailey, the Global Education Manager at Design Essentials. "Think of hair like fabric. Silk or satin are not cared for the same as cotton or wool, and hair should be treated the same way," she says. "A good brush should address the specific needs of the hair you are working with and will aid in detangling, provide shine, smooth the cuticle, stimulate the scalp, and will not pull or snag." Ahead, both Bailey and Fitzgerald share the best brushes for every hair type, from coily and curly to ultra-fine and straight.

Curly or Tangled Hair

Brushing in the shower can help maintain curl definition and reduce frizz, so Fitzgerald recommends the Sheila Stotts Removal Brush ($36, and the Ibiza Hair Airwave Shower Brush ($30, "Neither brush has tiny balls at the end of the bristles, so they don't catch on my hair," she explains. If you have medium to thick hair, select a detangling brush with nylon bristles, which helps distribute products more easily. A detangling hairbrush with boar bristles, on the other hand, is more versatile and suited for hair of any length and texture, Fitzgerald notes.

Bailey, on the other hand, reaches for The Wet Brush ($7.19, for any and every client with curly hair. "This brush glides through the curls without pulling or snagging making detangling super easy and quick," she notes, adding that it's also a great option for detangling straight hair.

Coily Hair

For those with thick, coily hair, Bailey reaches for the 9-Row Denman D4 brush ($21.95,, which is best suited for medium to long lengths. "The Denman has nylon pins with an anti-static natural rubber pad," she explains, noting that it's an essential in her tool kit. "It removes tangles, separates, defines, and distributes curls—plus, it's amazing for styling and smoothing when blow drying."

Frizzy Hair

The correct styling brush is key if you struggle with frizzy hair, whatever the texture. Fitzgerald says to look for an option with metal bristles, which will heat up easily. When using this type of brush, however, you'll want to make sure to pre-treat your hair with a heat protectant spray or serum to avoid damage. "For blow drying, any Ibiza round brush, like the CC3 ($44,, is amazing," Fitzgerald notes. "If you have shorter hair I'd recommend getting a smaller brush; go larger if you have longer hair."

Fine, Fragile Hair

"Fine hair is more fragile," says Bailey. "In this case, not all brushes were created equal." She suggests reaching for the Mason Pearson Sensitive Boar Bristle Hairbrush ($225, "It is gentle to the hair and scalp, distributes natural oils, and stimulates circulation," she notes.


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