Hair Brush Types (and Which to Use & When)

Hair Brush Types (and Which to Use & When)

With so many different hair brush types available on the market today, knowing which is the best hair brush for both you and your family can seem like an overwhelming decision.

Not many people realise just how much of an effect the types of hair brushes that you use can have on your hair.

All types of hair brushes are specifically designed to perform different functions and are suited to different hair types.

Finding the right hair brush for your hair and knowing whether to use a brush vs comb depends on a number of factors, such as the length and type of hair that you have, and when and how you intend to use it. For example, using a paddle brush when heat styling to create waves could spell disaster for both your curls and your brush!

We've compiled a list of different hair brush types (and which to use & when) to help you decide which is the best hair brush for you:

Bristle Brush

Bristle brushes can come in many different brush shapes, and the brush shape will determine whether or not that particular brush is suited to your hair.

A bristle hair brush can come in three different types: Natural, synthetic, or mixed:

1.Natural Bristle Brush

A natural bristle hair brush is made up of natural hair from animals, most common being the boar bristle hair brush or horse hair.

Boar bristle brushes are made of hair that is soft, flexible, and keratin-based, just like human hair. It's the best brush for curly hair and is ideal for not just normal hair but also brushing hair extensions as it doesn't pull or tangle hair.
As mentioned above, using natural bristles like boar bristle brushes helps to distribute natural oils from the scalp which act as a natural conditioner for your hair.

This results in smoother, shinier hair that requires less frequent washes and makes it the perfect brush for both oily and dry hair thanks to that redistribution of oils down the hair shaft.

The bristles of a boar bristle brush are also very gentle and flexible, making them a great choice for sensitive scalps, those with sensory issues, or your little ones.

Given that they use animal hair, bristles brushes are not suitable for vegans. They're also not suitable for use on wet hair as it can pull and snap, resulting in split ends. On their own, natural bristle brushes can also result in a lot of static, which when combined with naturally dry or frizzy hair can result in your hair looking like a lion's mane.

2.Synthetic Bristle Brush

Synthetic bristle brushes are made using man-made synthetic bristles that can be nylon, polyester, or other flexible plastic bristles that make them durable and long-lasting. As opposed to natural bristles, using synthetic or mixed bristle brushes will be better for very thick hair, as nylon bristles or plastic bristles are firmer and better for detangling hair.

Synthetic bristles do not contain any animal hairs, making them the only vegan-friendly bristle brush available.

Be sure to invest in a quality brush if the bristles are synthetic, as they can scratch the scalp and cause damage to the hair if they are of poor quality.

The Ugly Swan Vegan Boar Bristle Brush is a great option for those wanting a vegan detangling brush that give the same benefits as a natural boar bristle brush.

3.Mixed Bristle Brush

Mixed bristle brushes combine natural boar bristles and nylon pins to give the best brush every time.

The gentle nylon pins help detangle your tresses while the flexible boar bristles help to move the scalp's natural oils down the length of the hair, giving you smooth hair that's shiny, and reducing the need for frequent hair washing that can dry out your hair. It's a miracle brush for those with oily roots and dry ends and any hair type and length can benefit from using a quality mixed bristle brush.

As they contain natural (animal) bristles, they're not vegan-friendly.

Cushion Brush

A cushion brush has a flexible, air-filled cushion base that allows the bristles to move when pressure is applied, reducing pressure on the scalp.

These types of hair brushes are suited to hair that requires very gentle brushing, medium or slightly longer length hair, and those that suffer with static-related frizz or unruly hair issues as they help with smoothing hair down.

Cushion brushes, however, should never be used on wet hair as they can cause breakage.

Curved Brush

Curved brushes are designed to fit the contours of the scalp, making for a more comfortable brushing experience when combined with the right type of bristles or pins.

A curved brush will make it easier to grab more hair with each brush stroke making it a great choice for thick and long hair.

The brush shape also helps to pull the hair through more consistently for a more thorough brush, cutting down on brushing time.

The Ugly Swan Scream-Free detangling brush utilises a curved shape to provide the most comfortable brush possible.

Detangling Brush

Detangling brushes have soft, flexible bristles that are designed to gently detangle your hair without causing any damage and to help prevent split ends and breakage.

They're ideal for use on any hair type as well as being safe to use on both wet or dry hair, making them a great all-rounder hair brush that is perfect for the whole family.

Paddle Brush

Paddle brushes are one of the most common hair brushes, with wide bases that contain lots of bristles.

The large size of the paddle brush base makes it a great choice for those with long or thick hair types, particularly straight hair.

A paddle brush is perfect for creating a sleek, straightened look as the flat shape of a paddle brush is designed to smooth the hair, reduce frizz, and prevent breakage.

While paddle brushes can be used to help dry hair when combined with a hair dryer, they aren't the right shape to create volume, waves, curls, or body, and aren't the best shape for those with curly hair as they can damage your texture and break up your curls.

The Ugly Swan Scream-Free™ Detangling Brush

The Ugly Swan Scream-Free Detangling Brush combines the best features of a number of different brush shapes and types together to create the perfect tool for all hair lengths and types.

It is a mixed bristle brush made of a combination of soft, large nylon and boar bristles.

This dual-bristle technology paired with a flexible, curved base takes the pain out of brushing.

The brush is a vented paddle shape that comes in a range of different types and sizes to ensure the perfect brush for any hair type and length:

The Maxi

The Maxi is hands down the best hair brush for thick hair and long hair. Don't let that deter you if you have short or fine hair, though! Its dual bristle technology and curved shape make the Maxi detangling hair brush gentle enough to suit all hair lengths and hair types.

The Baby

The detangling Scream-Free Baby brush is the best hair brush for toddlers and babies with baby fine hair. The small size of the brush and the gentle bristles and pins make hair brushing time a breeze for both you and your little ones.

The Wet Scream-Free Brush

As the name would indicate, the Wet Scream-Free detangling hair brush is ideal for use on wet hair. If you love to brush your hair in the shower or have long, thick, or curly hair type the Wet Scream-Free brush will be a serious timesaver. And it's vegan-friendly!

The Flexi Palm

The Flexi Palm is the perfect size brush for kids' little hands and the best hair brush for fine hair. If you love keeping a brush in your handbag for a quick touch-up when you're out and about or want a compact brush for travel, you'll find the Scream-Free palm hair brush is perfect for that too. It is perfect for use on hair extensions, fine hair, or those with sensory issues.

Blow Dryer Brush

Blow dryer brushes (also known as hot air brushes) have a circular barrel shape with bristles all around the surface area and built-in heat styling capabilities.

They're best suited to short and thin hair, as they're great for creating the volume and shape of a salon blow-out at home.

Be careful with long or thick hair as it may get tangled due to the shape of the barrel.

Ensure that you use a heat protectant product before using a hot air brush, as they can be damaging to the hair. They can also be bulky, hard to maneuver, and noisy.

Round Brush

Round brushes have a circular barrel similar to blow dryer brushes but don't have heat styling capabilities.

They're designed to be used in combination with a hair dryer to create volume and shape and also perfect to blow dry curtain bangs with.

Round brushes come in different barrel sizes so that you can get the perfect fit for your hair length and thickness, as a barrel that's too small might result in hair tangling, and a barrel that's too big will make it difficult to style your hair.

The bristles themselves can be made of a number of different materials including natural bristles, such as boar bristles, and synthetic, such as nylon.

You should never use round brushes on sopping wet hair as the shape of the brush puts the hair under tension and can cause breakage and damage.

Always be sure that your hair is only damp by first drying your hair with a microfibre hair towel.

Thermal Brush

Thermal brushes are barrel brushes made from materials that conduct heat such as ceramic, titanium, and tourmaline.

Whilst the same shape as a round brush, they differ in that many round brushes are made from wood or plastic materials not designed to withstand the temperatures of heat styling.

A thermal brush is designed to make heat-styling your hair a breeze.

As with any heat styling, be sure to use a heat protectant to protect your hair from the damaging effects of heat, and always use a microfibre hair towel before blow-drying to soak up excess water.

Vented Brush

Vented brushes are designed to be used when heat styling the hair, as they have vents that allow the hot hair to pass through, but can be used on wet or dry hair.

They can come in a range of different sizes, making them suitable for all types and lengths of hair. Vented brushes come in a range of different shapes as well, including round, paddle, and curved, and depending on the materials that it's made from, a vented brush can be used for heat styling.

Whether a vented brush is a good fit for your hair or not depends on the type of bristles used and the shape of the brush head, so refer to the descriptions of the other brush types to see which is best for your hair.

The Ugly Swan Ceramic Round Brush

The Ugly Swan Ceramic Round Brush is the perfect combination of a round brush, vented brush, and thermal brush, to give you that perfect salon finish every time.

It comes in both large barrel brush and small barrel brush sizes to suit any hair type and length.

The thermal ceramic barrel is vented, and designed to quickly absorb and retain the heat for a faster blow-drying process to reduce the damage that heat styling can cause to the hair.

The bristles are soft but also heat resistant and the brush includes a sectioning pin for easy blow drying and hair styling.

If you're a fan of heat-styling your hair, the Ugly Swan Ceramic Round Brush is the best blow dryer brush alternative.

Teasing Brush

Teasing brushes are small hair brushes that are designed to help tease the hair up and create volume and texture, particularly useful to those with thin or limp hair.

They can be made with mixed bristles, natural bristles, or synthetic (nylon) bristles.

Do not use teasing brushes on hair that is weak or brittle and prone to breakage as the teasing process can damage to the hair.

Which Hair Brush Type Is the Best Hair Brush for Me?

With the Ugly Swan Scream-Free detangling brush, you can spend less time brushing both your and your family's hair and safely brush it while it's wet or dry.

The Scream-Freedetangling brush brings the best features of a number of different brushes together to create the perfect tool for all hair lengths and types: the vents of a vented brush, the shape of a curved brush, the width of a paddle brush, with the soft flexible bristles of boar bristle brush combined with gentle nylon pins. It also comes in different sizes (i.e. maxi, palm, and baby) so it's suited to all members of the family.

It's the best hair brush to prevent breakage and to keep your hair looking its smoothest, softest, and shiniest.

If you're a fan of heat styling, you can't go past the ceramic round brush for that perfect hair stylist quality blow out. Safe to use on wet and dry hair, it comes in two different sizes, has a ceramic barrel for safe and quick heat styling, and a sectioning pin to make the whole process a breeze.

The new Wet Scream-Free hair brush from Ugly Swan is ideal for detangling wet hair. It's made for those that love to brush their hair in the shower or immediately after. It's vegan-friendly, suitable to use on curly hair, and amazing at detangling the hair gently without pulling or causing hair breakage.

We hope that our expansive list of the different hair brush types will help guide you to find the perfect hair brush for you and your family.

We’re Here to Help!

If you have any more queries about which of our brushes is the perfect hair brush for you, please don't hesitate to get in contact with us.

Whichever brush you choose, your purchase is covered by our money-back guarantee, and we offer several sizes and packs of brushes so that you can find the perfect fit for both you and your family.

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