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Whether it’s buried deep in the recesses of your bathroom cabinet or sitting proudly on your vanity, everyone owns a hair brush. The question is, do you own the right hair brush? Just because every hair brush has some sort of bristle doesn’t mean any random one will work for you. Your hair type—straight hair, curly hair, or wavy hair—and the hair style you’re seeking should impact the kind of hair brush you find yourself reaching for. Every type of hair brush has its own purpose and a different way it should be used. With so many different options, you practically need a guide to make sure you’re getting it right. In fact, that’s exactly what you need. And thankfully, we’re sharing the ultimate guide to hair brushes right here. Keep reading and you’ll know which hair brush is right for you—and how to use it—in no time.
Let’s kick things off with a classic. If your hair care collection only houses one brush, there’s a strong possibility it’s a paddle brush. You can surely picture its square shape, with a soft cushion that typically houses plastic bristles. While paddle brushes are a popular pick for just about everyone, you’ll actually find they’re best suited to brushing through strands that are long and straight.
How to use it:
Step 1: Allow hair to air dry. When you brush through your hair while it’s wet, you run the risk of breakage. Give your hair time to dry before using a paddle brush.
Step 2: Brush. Slowly move the brush through your hair—that’s all there is to it.
Step 3: Apply smoothing hair serum. Brushing dry hair can have the unfortunate side effect of creating frizz. Use a few drops of a hair serum, like the L’Oréal Paris EverSleek Frizz Finish Oil-in-Serum, to help tame frizzy hair.
If you’ve ever step foot in a hair salon, you should be familiar with round brushes. They’re the ones your stylist likely yields as she gives you the blowout straight out of your dreams. These brushes have a barrel that’s (you guessed it) round and often covered with metal or nylon bristles, making them ideal for styling your hair with a blow-dryer. If you’re after locks with lots of volume, or want to create curls without a curling iron, this is the brush for you.
Step 1: Use heat protectant. Before you blow dry, heat protectant is a must. Spritz damp hair with the L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle BLOW DRY IT Quick Dry Primer Spray.
Step 2: Section off hair. Once your hair is partially dry, split it up into sections. Smaller chunks of hair will make drying go faster.
Step 3: Wrap hair around the brush and blow-dry. Place the round brush underneath a small section of hair and wrap the hair around the brush. Direct the blow-dryer at the top side of the section and begin to dry. As you blow-dry, slowly move the blow-dryer further down the section of hair. At the same time, pull the brush up and away from your heat. Repeat this step on each section of hair.
Step 4: Blast with cool air. A quick shot of cool air will help set the hairstyle.
For anyone who never, ever leaves the house with even a slightly damp mane—a.k.a. a total blow-dryer addict—there’s another option. In case round brushes don’t suit your style, you can reach for a vented brush instead. A vented brush may be a better match for you if you tend to find yourself rushing to get out the door, seeing as openings, or vents, in the hair brush help to speed up drying time. Not only can you get ready faster, but the less time spent blasting your hair with heat, the less damage you can do.
Step 1: Use heat protectant. You know the deal!
Step 2: Brush and blow-dry. Pull the brush through your hair, directing the heat from the blow-dry through the vents of the brush. That’s it!
No matter how much conditioner you slather on or how carefully you style your hair before bed, sometimes knots are unavoidable. You step out of the shower or wake up and you’re greeted by hair that resembles a bird’s nest—and not in a cute way. That’s when you’ll need a detangling brush. Designed specifically for ridding your hair of knots, these brushes do the job without pulling out all your hair. (We know that sounds like it should be a given, but removing knots is not always so foolproof!)
Step 1: Cleanse and condition. The best time to detangle your hair is when you’re fresh out of the shower, after using conditioner. Wash with the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Moisture Shampoo, before using the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Moisture Conditioner. Rinse out, then you’re free to vacate the shower.
Step 2: Brush. While your hair is wet, use a detangling brush meant for wet hair (not all are) to brush out any tangles or knots. Instead of brushing from roots to ends, work your way up your hair. It may seem more time consuming, but it’s gentler on the hair.
Have you ever seen a hair brush with a cord coming out of one end? Hair brushes may not normally require an outlet, but some do. Straightening hair brushes look similar to your standard paddle brush, the only difference being they have a cord that allows them to heat up. Straightening brushes accomplish two tasks at once: They brush out tangles and smooth strands, while flat ironing your hair—sans flat iron. That’s one less tool you need to keep on hand!
Step 1: Use heat protectant. Spray hair with the L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle SLEEK IT Iron Straight Heatspray.
Step 2: Section off hair. Splitting your hair into sections is key for using any kind of hair straightening tool, including a straightening brush.
Step 3: Brush. Move the straightening brush through each section of your hair, going slowly to ensure they become completely straight.
When it comes to teasing brushes, the name really says it all. A teasing brush is a slim brush featuring boar bristles that helps to create tiny knots in your hair for a boost of volume. If you’re used to taking your hair to new heights with a teasing comb, try swapping it out for a brush. The benefit of using a brush over a comb is that they aren’t quite as harsh, allowing you to tease without risking the health of your hair.
Step 1: Apply texturizer. Use a texturizing hair spray, like the L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle Boost It Air-Blown Texture Mist, to give your hair more grip and start building volume.
Step 2: Tease. It’s up to you where you tease your hair—anywhere near the roots is a solid choice. Once you have the placement picked, pull the section of hair taut and use the teasing brush to brush against the grain (toward your scalp) on the underside of the section. Keep teasing sections of hair until you’ve reached your desired look.
Step 3: Finish with hair spray. A coat of the L’Oréal Paris Elnett Satin Hairspray Extra Strong Hold will help keep everything in place.
You’re officially an expert on the topic of hair brushes, but what about makeup brushes? You’ll surely want to be in the know about those, too. If that rings true, check out The Ultimate Guide to Makeup Blenders and Brushes.