Definitive Guide to Proper Hair Brushing

Hair brushing is one of the easiest things to do, right? It’s something you do every day, using the same technique and the same hairbrush. So this means you probably think there’s nothing more to know. After all, you’ve been brushing your hair like forever, so what’s more to know? 

The thing about hair brushing is that there’s always room for improvement. Just think for a moment that maybe, just maybe, you don’t know as much about hair brushing as you may think. Perhaps there’s a better brush to use than the one you have now. Or maybe there’s another brushing technique more suited to your particular hair type. 

We’ve created this ultimate guide to hair brushing.  It includes everything you need to know about your hair, hairbrushes, and how to properly brush your hair. We’ll begin by laying out the different hair types. Why? Because knowing which hair type you’re blessed with, is key to choosing the right brush and using the right brushing technique. 

Different Hair Types

  • Straight Hair: Straight hair is immediately recognizable. It’s hair without waves, kinks, or curls. If you need to confirm that you have straight hair, do this test: Run a flat iron through your hair. If it barely changes how your hair looks or doesn’t change its appearance at all, your hair is straight. 
  • Curly Hair: If you have curly hair, you know it. Just look in the mirror or run your fingers through your hair. Are your strands shaped like spirals? Then your tresses are curly. 
  • Wavy Hair: Wavy hair is a cross between straight and curly hair.  Wavy hair is beautiful and a hair type to be jealous of, so embrace those wonderful waves. However, wavy hair is frizz-prone so it needs some extra care. 
  • Thin Hair: Thin hair is the type of hair babies have. It tends to look flat and it’s not the easiest hair type to style. This type of hair needs a boost of volume. That volume can come from a proper hairbrush and products made for thin hair. 
  • Thick Hair: If you have thick hair, it probably is a struggle to brush through your hair and to style it. Thick hair has its pros and cons. It looks great but it tends to take longer to tame your mane. Thick hair needs a good deal of moisture to get it to cooperate. That’s why shampoos and conditioners made for thick hair contain lots of hydrating ingredients like essential oils. 
  • Coarse Hair: Coarse hair isn’t the same as thick hair. Why? Because the term ‘coarse’ actually refers to the width of the individual hair strands. If you have coarse hair, it feels like you have lots of hair when you touch it. It also feels a bit dry and rough. Like thick hair, coarse hair needs tons of replenishing moisture. 

Choose the Right Hair Brush for Your Hair Type 

Now that you know for sure what type of hair you have, it’s time to learn what type of hairbrush to use. When you use the right hairbrush, it can solve different problems your hair may face or even prevent them from happening at all. 

You can’t properly brush your hair if you’re using a hairbrush that’s simply not designed for your hair type. For instance, if you have thick long hair, using a round brush with lots of bristles will tangle up your hair and break it.

It’s critical to match your hair type with a brush designed for your type of hair. This is why we’re going to tell you what brush we recommend for the type of hair you have. Then we’ll go into the nitty-gritty about how to properly brush hair. 

Best Hair Brush for Straight Hair

Straight hair is very prone to tangles, knots, and breakage. That’s why a boar bristle paddle brush works great for straight hair. Hairstylists recommend the GranNaturals Boar Bristle Brush to people with straight hair. This flat paddle hairbrush glides through long hair with ease and detangles as it goes.

The soft bristles help spread the natural oils from the scalp down to the hair ends. This leaves long hair smooth and shiny. The natural bristles of the GranNaturals paddle brush don’t generate static electricity. This is great news if your straight hair is on the thin side. 

Best Hair Brush for Curly Hair

The Denman Classic Styling Brush reigns supreme when it comes to curly hair. It has seven rows of round-ended nylon bristles that lift and define curls. It’s a great brush to use when blow-drying curly hair. The brush has styling edges that create tension when shaping curly hair during blow-styling. It also does a great job of detangling unruly curls and reducing frizz. Plus, it boosts volume and adds some shine. 

Best Hair Brush for Wavy Hair

A hairbrush with flexible bristles that easily glide through hair is just what wavy hair needs. That’s why we recommend the Crave Naturals Glide Thru Detangling Brush. This brush has cone-shaped bristles that separate the hair. These unique bristles can even unravel even the toughest tangles. 

This detangling brush also fights the frizzies by massaging the scalp. This encourages the movement of natural oils out of the scalp down through the ends of the hair.

Best Hair Brush for Thin Hair

If you have thin hair, you need a hairbrush that will give you some volume. A good way to squeeze some volume out of thin hair is to use a vent brush like the Wet Brush Pro Epic Quick Dry Hair Brush. This hairbrush has vents or openings in the back. These vents allow air to move through the brush while you’re blow-drying. This helps lift your thin hair for greater volume. 

Best Hair Brush for Thick Hair

Thick hair needs a real workhorse of a brush with bristles that can reach down through the strands to detangle and smooth hair. Thick hair also needs a brush that can speed up drying time. That’s why we choose the Wet Brush Flex Dry Hair Brush for thick hair. This brush detangles without damage. It also significantly speeds up drying time with its widely-spaced bristles and big air vents. 

Best Hair Brush for Coarse Hair

Coarse hair is dense and dry. It needs a brush that can massage the scalp while brushing. The Michel Mercier Detangler Hair Brush can do just that and more. This no-tangle brush gently massages the scalp to bring natural oils into the hair for nourishing hydration. This brush can make tending to coarse hair a whole lot easier. 

How to Properly Brush Your Hair (according to hair type)

Once you’ve identified the type of hair you’ve got and had a hairbrush designed for your hair type, it’s time to get to work! We’ll walk you through the steps of how to properly brush your hair. Look for your hair type below to see what technique works best for you. 

How to Properly Brush Straight Hair

As a straight-haired gal or guy, learning to brush your hair the right way is easy. The best technique for brushing straight hair goes like this: 

  • Bend over from your waist with your head down
  • Slowly & gently brush from the nape of your neck, up through the sides of your crown, working your way to the front of your head.
  • Stand up straight and repeat the entire process

That’s it. While you can brush straight hair safely when it’s wet or dry, it’s best to do it when your mane is dry. Wet hair stretches out and can break off. So don’t take any chances. Brush your hair using the above technique once it’s completely dry. 

How to Properly Brush Curly & Wavy Hair

We’ve lumped together curly and wavy hair because the brushing technique is the same. It’s best to brush curly & wavy hair when it’s wet to avoid breakage and split ends. 

If you have curly or wavy hair, you need to section your hair when brushing for more control. But before you starting sectioning, give your hair a few sprays of a detangler to make brushing easier.

When it’s time to start brushing, take a section of your hair in one hand and brush your strands gently with the other hand holding the brush. Avoid tugging at your hair if the brush gets caught or tangled. Simply unsnag the problem and continue sectioning and brushing until you’re done. 

How to Properly Brush Thin Hair 

The right technique for brushing thin hair is to use the classic brushing technique for straight hair. This technique involves bending over and brushing your hair from the nape of your neck up to the sides of your crown. This will give your hair a boost of volume to plump it up. Just make sure you use a brush with volume-boosting. openings in the back. 

How to Properly Brush Thick & Coarse Hair 

Both thick and coarse hair should be brushed starting with the tips first. Once you’ve made your first brushstroke, slowly move your hairbrush up higher and repeat. When your hair is almost completely brushed, you should go over all of it again. This extra step will remove any tangles you’ve missed. 

People with thick or coarse hair often find knots during the day they thought they brushed out. If this sounds familiar, we’re here to tell you that you shouldn’t ignore those hair knots. If you do ignore them, they’ll get worse and turn into bigger knots or even mats. 

This is why you should carry a hairbrush with you. Take the time to briefly brush your hair throughout the day. You could use a wide-tooth comb to do this if you’d like. Whatever tool you decide to use, don’t brush all your hair out. It’s only necessary to brush out the largest knots. 

It’s a Wrap

We hope this definitive guide to proper hair brushing has taught you something. Brushing your hair shouldn’t be a chore. You must arm yourself with the right hairbrush (for your hair type) and learn the proper brushing technique. If you’ve been brushing your hair all wrong, you’re going to be pleasantly surprised at the results you get when you start doing it the right way! 

Don’t ‘brush off’ hair brushing as something that’s not all that important. It is important.  Your hair needs to be brushed every day using the right hairbrush. Hair brushing makes your hair beautiful. It also prevents it from becoming a big tangled or matted mess. 

Bonus Tip

All the recommended brushes above are approved by stylists everywhere. They’re also surprisingly affordable. There’s really no excuse for not getting yourself the best hairbrush for your hair type. Have fun shopping and remember to treat your hair with TLC because it’s the only head of hair you’ve got!

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