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From forks to fibers: Brushing out the basics of hairbrushes

Remember when Ariel combed her hair with a fork in The Little Mermaid? You might give your hair-styling tool a little more consideration than she did, but many women assume hairbrushes have one sole purpose – to get the tangles out – and thus don’t think about them much.

Tackling tangles was certainly what hairbrushes were first invented to do, but we’ve come a long way since then. Once you start making specific demands from your brush,  you might just find exactly what you were looking for. What do you want out of your brush?

I want my styling time to be shorter.

A brush that cuts down your time under the dryer? Yes, it does exist! There are three types of brush designs that help your hair dry faster.

•   Round brushes with ceramic or metal barrels work by conducting heat, almost like having a heated hairbrush, giving your hair double the drying heat. Bonus: heated barrels help you style your hair into light waves – call it Curling Iron Lite.

•   Vented brushes have bristles that are far apart and plenty of space in the head of the brush (where the bristles are attached) to allow for airflow through the hair while drying.

•   A relatively new, fibrous brush is on the market now that contains micro-fiber fluff in between the bristles that absorb the moisture from your hair while you brush and blow dry. It’s like having a Sham-Wow in your brush. Wow!

I want my hair to be less frizzy after drying.

Ah, frizz, the condition that plagues us all (mostly). For the best frizz control while drying, choose a round, ceramic-coated barrel brush with small holes through which the bristles stick out. These holes allow the air to flow freely without roughing up your cuticle, like a vented brush might.

The brush should have small boar or nylon bristles. This is key to smoothing your strands into place as you style, whereas using a brush with widely spread plastic bristles gives frizzy hair a little too much leeway.

I only want to have to use one brush.

If you’re a low-maintenance kind of lady, you might be looking for a brush that has it all – it will detangle, dry and style your hair in one fell swoop. The best all-purpose brush should have a half-rounded head for straight or wavy styling, a ceramic base for fast-drying and bristles that match the level of control you want – the more closely packed the bristles are on the brush, the more control you have over where your hair goes.


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Lauren Stewart
By: Lauren Stewart

Lauren Stewart is a freelancer writer from Michigan. She enjoys writing about beauty, health and fitness! She is passionate about learning new ways to take control of her health and wellness and is a makeup and skincare junkie! You can contact her by emailing