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The Ultimate Guide to The Different Types of Hair Brushes

Let’s talk about the different types of hair brushes!

… because if you’re anything like me, when it comes to styling your hair, you’re always looking for the best tools and products out there.

But did you know that using the right brush is crucial to achieving that perfect hairstyle? Believe it or not, your brush wields tremendous power – it can either make or destroy the hairstyle you’re striving for.

Things like the bristle-type, the brush shape, and even the material it’s made of are all important factors to consider when choosing the perfect hair brush.

So with millions of brushes on the market, how will you ever know which one will best suit your needs?

In this blog post, I’m going to break each one down: from paddle brushes to ionic ceramic options so that you can pick the best tool for your tresses! So grab a cup of coffee and join me as we explore these essential tools—it’s time to level up your hair-styling game!

💡TIP: Pin this article to your Hair Tips board on Pinterest so you can always come back when you need to!👇🏼👇🏼👇🏼

Which brush is best for your hair type? Learn about the different types of hair brushes and how to incorporate them into your routine!

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Brush Shapes

Have you ever wondered what all of the different types of hair brushes are used for?  There are many different types and they all have a different purpose.  Do you know what they are?

When choosing the perfect brush, the first thing you should consider is the shape and size of the brush. Oval, square, and rectangle paddle brushes are suitable for straight, sleek styles, while round brushes add some bend to the hair.

Oval and square paddle brushes are best for straighter hairstyles; they help distribute oils and detangle hair without adding too much tension. Rectangular brushes can add some volume to the roots while keeping the hair straight.

Flat brushes are best for someone that wants to smooth down and deflate their big hair. On the other hand, round brushes add bend, bounce, volume, and curl to the hair.


Have you ever wondered what all of the different types of hair brushes are used for?  There are many different types and they all have a different purpose. Do you know what they are?

The next thing you should consider is what type of bristles you should be using.

  • Boar bristles add the most shine to the hair. They help distribute oils from the scalp to the ends of the hair and are the best option to smooth unruly hair.
  • Nylon bristles are good for detangling hair, penetrating thick hair, and molding styles into place.
  • Mixed bristle brushes combine nylon and boar bristles to allow detangling, styling, and smoothing.

Different Types of Hair Brushes and How To Use Them

Have you ever wondered what all of the different types of hair brushes are used for?  There are many different types and they all have a different purpose. Do you know what they are?

Now that you know the basics, let’s jump into some of the most common names of hair brushes found on the market.

1. Paddle Brush

FIXBODY Paddle Brush
FIXBODY Paddle Brush, Amazon

Paddle brushes are square or oval brushes with nylon bristles that lay in a soft cushion. The cushion is designed to bend with the scalp to minimize damage from pulling.

These types of brushes are good for detangling, smoothing straight hair, and massaging the scalp. They’re a good option for smooth, low-maintenance styles without much volume.

BEST FOR: Long, thick, and straight hair without a lot of volume.


2. Vent Brush

Spornette Ion Fusion Vent Brush
Spornette Ion Fusion Vent Brush, Amazon

The vent brush is perfect for a rough blow-dry.

Vents, or hollow parts between the bristles, allow a heated stream of air to flow through the brush and disperse water molecules from the hair. This encourages a faster dry time and helps add volume at the root.

However, because the bristles are spaced far apart and made of a harder material, this brush doesn’t create a polished look.

BEST FOR: Shorter or medium-length hair with a fine or medium texture.


3. Round Brush

Cortex Round Hair Brush
Cortex Round Hair Brush, Amazon

Round brushes are commonly used with blowouts since they can work wonders on your hair. They’re great for straightening curly hair, adding volume and shape to the hair, and creating a polished look.

Here’s an insider secret: The larger your brush, the bigger your volume, but your curls might take a hit!

Bigger round brushes aren’t the best choice for someone with fine hair that’s prone to breakage. But they’re the perfect hair brush type if you want a bunch of volume and larger curls.

On the other hand, smaller diameters are great for adding curl to shorter hair.

💡TIP: Break out the round brush when your hair is 80-90% dry to save time.

BEST FOR: Creating a finished look on any hair type with a hair dryer.


4. Looped Brush

Spornette Looped Hair Brush
Spornette Looped Hair Brush, Amazon

Looped hair brushes were designed to detangle delicate hair extensions and wigs. The looped bristles glide through the hair without breaking it or ripping it out of the base.

Using this type of hair brush will prolong the life of your expensive hairpieces.

BEST FOR: Hair extensions, hairpieces, and wigs.


5. Boar Bristle Brush

Dovahlia Boar Bristle Hair Brush
Dovahlia Boar Bristle Hair Brush, Amazon

Boar bristle brushes are exactly what they sound like – brushes with bristles made with hair from wild boars (is that a tongue twister, or what?)

These hair brush types smooth and add shine to the hair. The bristles help distribute natural hair oils from the scalp to the ends, reducing the need for excess washing or using hair products. Additionally, they encourage blood flow to the scalp and promote hair growth.

They’re excellent for taming curls and reducing frizz.

Since the bristles are densely-packed, they provide maximum tension in a blowout. This makes them the best choice for smoothing coarse hair textures.

💡TIP: Use caution on wet hair since the bristles may rip through. If possible, only use on dry hair, and make sure to detangle before using this type of brush. When using for blowouts, only use towards the end, when your hair is 90% dry.

BEST FOR: All hair types. They encourage a healthy environment for fine or damaged hair and help smooth out coarse hair textures.


6. Mixed Bristle Brush

Bestool boar bristle hair brush with nylon pins.
Bestool Boar Bristle Hair Brush with Nylon Pins, Amazon

A mixed bristle brush is a wonderful combination of the previously mentioned types of hair brushes.

The stiffer nylon bristles can better penetrate thick hair and are better for detangling. The soft boar bristles smooth the hair, distribute natural oils, and add shine. They’re the best of both worlds.

BEST FOR: Thick or normal hair.


7. Detangling Brush

A close-up of an eye with dramatic winged eyeliner and shimmery eyeshadow.
Crave Naturals Glide Thru Detangling Brush, Amazon

These hair brushes are designed to detangle wet (or dry) hair without causing breakage.

Flexible bristles’ knack for untangling knots without painful tugging is a blessing. They’re perfect for all hair types… and I must tell you, they’ve changed the game for my curly-headed kids!

Last, but not least, they’re strong enough for thick, coarse hair types but gentle enough for fine, damaged hair.

BEST FOR: All hair types.


8. Teasing Brush

Paul Mitchell Pro Tools Teasing Brush
Paul Mitchell Pro Tools Teasing Brush, Amazon

Teasing brushes were made with a single mission in mind – to ramp up the volume in your hair.

The differing bristle heights are perfect for creating the right tension to tease your hair just enough. Plus, their softness ensures a smoothed out finish. And let’s not forget that handy “rat tail” that makes hair-sectioning a breeze!

If teasing is your regular deal, this brush is an absolute must-have.

BEST FOR: Adding volume and texture to any type of hair.


9. Thermal Hair Brushes

Suprent Round Brush
Suprent Round Brush, Amazon

Thermal brushes are made of materials like ceramic and aluminum that heat up with the blow dryer to act as a hot iron. Additionally, they’re typically vented to allow air to pass through.

These beauties are designed to shape your hair into specific styles and even speed up your drying process. Bigger brushes, no surprises here, will give you a head full of voluminous bounce.

Tip:  Don’t forget to use a high-quality heat protectant to prevent damage.

BEST FOR: Heat styling any hair type.


10. Denman Brush

Denman Berry Martini Brush
Denman Berry Martini Brush, Amazon

In all honesty, my dad has used one of these brushes for… well, pretty much my whole life.

Once believed to be average brushes suited for anything, the humble Denman brushes have since proven to be exceptional tools for managing curly hair and natural textures.

The perfectly spaced bristles are perfect for detangling and defining natural curls.

BEST FOR: Curly hair.



FAQ Icon
What are some different hair brush names?

Boar bristle brushes, nylon bristles, mixed bristle brushes, vent brushes, thermal brushes, round brushes, Denman brushes, paddle brushes, looped brushes, teasing brushes and detangling brushes are all common types of hair brushes used in the hair industry.

How do I choose a hair brush?

You should determine what type of hair you have and what your desired result is. This will help you find the perfect brush for your needs.

What hair brush is best for volume?

A teasing brush will help you add volume to your hair. A round brush can be used to add extra volume while blow drying your hair.

Should I use a comb or a brush?

Combs are good for detangling and are much gentler on your hair than a brush. However, you have more control and can do a lot more with a brush when it comes to styling.

Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts Icon

When considering what type of hair you have and what you’re trying to achieve, you should easily be able to find the perfect brush for your needs. Things like the shape, bristle type, and diameter are all things you should consider.

Just like shoes, different brushes suit different hair needs. Some brushes are best for smooth strands, others for pumping up the volume. Whether you wish for a sophisticated look or just something that helps with easy management, there’s a brush designed just for that.

Regardless of your particular hair type or the goal you’ve got in mind, trust me, there’s an ideal brush waiting to meet your hair.

Until next time,

Hollee Wood Headshot


Hollee is a licensed cosmetologist with over nine years of professional experience in the hair industry. With her unique insight and versatile experience, she’ll help you discover the latest hair trends or even crush your next DIY hair project.

Learn more!

🌟 Your Turn: Are there any other types of hair brushes I left out? What do you use, and why? Drop your thoughts in the comments section below! 👇🏼👇🏼👇🏼

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Tuesday 8th of November 2022

Hello, do you have advice on brushes with vs without handles? I want to get my preschooler a new brush, but I can't figure out which she and I will both find more comfortable to use.