The 23 Greatest Hair Brushes Of All Time

Let's be real. When you're creating your wish list of beauty products, brushes are usually at the bottom. We get it — that fancy new blowdryer is a much more exciting addition to your hair tools collection. But while the brush you use every day is easy to overlook, having the right brush is super important when it comes to caring for your hair.

Selecting one that's optimal for your hair type will give you the best results — like less breakage and more good hair days. And there are tons of styling hacks that the right brush can deliver with a simple swipe.


But picking the right brush is no easy task, so we called in reinforcements, including red carpet hairstylist Ryan Richman, who works with Ashley Tisdale, Lorde, and Sarah Hyland. Ahead, you'll find his picks, along with other editor favorites.

At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.

The Smoothing Brush

Hair Type: Any

When To Use It: A brush that detangles, smooths, adds shines, and stimulates your scalp only sounds too good to be true, but it exists in this flat, boar-bristle paddle brush from Drybar. It's so good, in fact, that we just awarded it a 2019 Beauty Innovator Award.

Best For: Smoothing flyaways and detangling a stale blowout.
DryBar Drybar Flat Mate Boar Bristle Brush$85.00 Buy
The Sculpting Brush

Hair Type: Any

When To Use It: If you're blowdrying your hair at home and can't quite figure out how to control a round brush, pick up this instead. The bristles smooth and soften hair while reducing static once fully dried.

Best For: Styling wet hair for an at-home blowout.
Bio Ionic Bio Ionic Silver Classic Sculpting Brush$20.37 Buy
The Detangling Brush

Hair Type: Any

When To Use It: If you have unruly hair, but love giving yourself a fresh, morning blowout, this is your new go-to. The bristles are gentle for tug-free styling and it releases tangles with ease.

Best For: Styling wet or dry hair and detangling.
Harry Josh Pro Tools Detangling Brush $20.00 Buy
The Thermal Brush

Hair Type: Any

When To Use It: If you love a weekly blowout, but need to save some money, pick up this this thermal round brush. Great for thick, coarse, fine, and even curly hair, the thermal ceramic barrel mimics the results of a fancy blowout. Thanks to the size of the base, infrared heat, and negative ions, your hair will be smooth and loaded with volume in a shorter amount of time.

Best For: Adding volume and lift to any style and texture. You'll cut down on drying and styling time with this two-in-one product.
Amika Blowout Babe Thermal Brush$100.00 Buy
The Tangle Teezer

Hair Type: Medium to thick for detangling, medium to fine for volume

When To Use It: On the more robust side of the detangling-brush spectrum, the Tangle Teezer is best suited for getting knots out of thick hair, since its plastic bristles are super-firm. But most stylists use it for more than that: Medium to fine hair benefits from a light scalp massage as the last step in styling, which creates serious fullness.

Best For: Building volume on dry, fine, or medium hair; detangling thick, full hair while wet or dry. Don't use with heat (the bristles could melt).
Tangle Teezer The Original Detangling Hairbrush$15.00 Buy
The Extension Brush/Wig Brush

Hair Type: Any

When To Use It: Don't let the name fool you: Extension-removal brushes have many other uses. "This brush is amazing and was my favorite for years," Richman says. The sharp, metal bristles don't have plastic balls at the ends, which means they detangle even the worst knots, easily. But the real glory of this brush is in styling — you can comb through natural or iron-created curls and waves to soften them without pulling out the texture. Translation: You can take barrel curls from pageant to cool without ruining the shape.

Best For: Detangling and styling the lengths of dry hair. Don't use on the roots or with heat (that metal would get hot).
Sheila Stotts Removal Brush$28.00 Buy
The Metal Round Brush

Hair Type: Any

When To Use It: The easiest round brush to use, this one moves through hair easily and quickly since the sparse bristles create less tension than their boar counterparts. "The metal base heats up like an iron, which means this brush helps to tame thick hair," Richman says. "It takes the bulk out of thick hair and makes it smooth."

Best For: This brush is great for heat-styling on wet or dry hair. The additional heat it delivers also helps dry your strands faster. But be careful — overdo it and you could damage weak or fine hair.
Sephora Collection BOUNCE: Round Thermal Brush$18.00 Buy
The Boar-Bristle Brush

Hair Type: Fine to medium hair

When To Use It: Marcia Brady brushed her hair 100 times before bed to make it shiny and healthy, and while we don't recommend going to such great lengths, she was on to something: Natural boar bristles help stimulate the scalp, distributing oils through the hair while detangling. Boar is also the key to getting the soft, brushed-out texture of vintage waves (à la Grace Kelly).

Best For: Styling dry hair.
Mason Pearson Pure Boar Bristle Pocket Brush $62.25 Buy
The Scalp Brush

Hair Type: Thick, curly, and any type that tangles easily

When To Use It: This "shampoo brush," as it's sometimes called, is used during a shower to gently massage shampoo into the roots. It allows you to get a deep clean without the knots and tangles that can accompany a vigorous shampoo application with your hands. Plus, you can use it to break up dry curls (similarly to the extension brush) and detangle without removing curly or wavy texture.

Best For: Massaging shampoo into roots, and detangling wet or dry hair.
s-heart-s Scalp Brush$71.00 Buy
The Boar Round Brush

Hair Type: Fine to medium

When To Use It: Richman warns that this round brush is, by far, the most difficult one to use during a blowdry, since its dense bristles create a good amount of tension and pull on the hair. But once you master it, you'll get smooth results that look natural. It's great for adding volume, defining layers on long hair, and achieving a professional-looking at-home blowout.

Best For: Blow drying wet or damp hair.
Ibiza Hair Ibiza Hair Extended Cork Round Brush, Large EX4$44.90 Buy
The Teasing Brush

Hair Type: Any

When To Use It: Do yourself a favor and ditch the plastic teasing comb under your sink. "A good teasing brush has different levels of staggered boar bristles," Richman says. This arrangement allows you to get the best volume. Gently backcomb, and then brush over the hair for a smooth finish.

Best For: Building volume on dry hair.
Marilyn Brush Marilyn Brush Teasing and Backcombing Brush$8.49 Buy
The Plastic Paddle Brush

Hair Type: Fine, wavy, and curly hair

When To Use It: This large brush covers a good amount of surface area to detangle quickly. Curly and wavy hair can benefit from the wide bristles, which will tame frizz without breaking up the hair's natural pattern.

Best For: Detangling wet or dry hair, with heat or without.
Denman Large Cushioned Paddle Hair Brush$18.61 Buy
The Wet Brush

Hair Type: Any type

When To Use It: Does your hair tend to get really knotted in the shower? "This is a really simple cushion brush that's very effective at detangling without any pain," Richman says. It's not ideal for grooming or styling, but it will loosen tangles very easily, he adds.

Best For: Detangling wet or dry hair.
The Wet Brush Original Detangler Classic$11.99 Buy
The Boar Paddle Brush

Hair Type: Fine to medium, long

When To Use It: "An all-boar paddle brush is great for someone with long hair who wrap-dries their hair," Richman says. Wrap-drying is the technique in which you blowdry the hair close to the scalp, instead of lifting it and pulling it away from the head. This provides exceptionally smooth results. But the boar bristles are best suited for medium to thin strands, as only nylon bristles can properly get through thick hair.

Best For: An ultra-smooth and sleek blowout.
Wigo Cushion 100% Boar Bristle Brush$24.99 Buy
The Mixed-Bristle Round Brush

Hair Type: Medium to thick

When To Use It: The nylon in this combo brush makes creating a blowout much easier than it would be with a full boar-bristle brush. "The nylon bristles help to get through the hair a little better," Richman says. "Having the nylon mixed in makes it really good for thick hair." Expect a softer texture than you'd get with a metal barrel.

Best For: DIY blowouts.
Spornette Porcupine Super XL Large Rounder Brush$25.00 $14.95 Buy
The Denman Brush

Hair Type: Medium, thick, and curly

When To Use It: This brush is a true hit-or-miss among the natural-hair community. Some love it for its detangling abilities, while others claim it adds more frizz. Conveniently, you can add or remove rows depending on your length. Once you find the best number for you, you'll be able to style your hair like a dream.

Best For: Wet detangling and defining curls.
Denman 7 Row Classic Styling Brush$13.69 Buy
The Makeup Brush

Hair Type: Any type

When To Use It: No, this isn't some sort of mistake, but rather a pro trick that does actually warrant the use of a makeup brush specifically designated for your 'do. Hear us out: When it comes to smooth, shiny styles there's nothing better to calm flyaways and evenly coat hair with hairspray than a fluffy face brush. Simply mist it with hairspray and brush over hair. Et voila! The perfect application of product for smooth locks.

Best For: Taming flyaways.
e.l.f. Cosmetics Blush Brush$3.00 Buy
The Concealer Brush

Hair Type: Any type

When To Use It: When you're wearing a wig, make your part look realistic by sweeping on concealer with a small, angled number like this one.

Best For: Making fake hair look unbelievably real
Sephora PRO Airbrush Detail Brush #57$24.00 Buy
The Edge Brush

Hair Type: Textured

When To Use It: Gone are the days of keeping a toothbrush caked up with gel in your arsenal. Reach for this nifty gadget when you're assembling an updo, or after a fresh blowout. Basically, any style that commands attention cries for this tool.

Best For: Laying down baby hairs.
Camryn's BFF Gentle Edges Brush$5.49 $2.39 Buy
The Volumizing Brush

Hair Type: Fine

When To Use It: Many of us have had days when no matter what we do, our hair falls completely flat. This brush eliminates flyaways and static while giving hair the TLC it needs for maximum body.

Best For: Second-day hair.
Cricket Static Free Volumizer Brush$7.49 Buy
The Ionic Brush

Hair Type: Any

When To Use It: Whether you're styling wet or dry hair, this brush is infused with ionic technology to ensure a shiny, soft, and frizz-free style every time. Bonus: It'll cut your blowdry time in half thanks to its even heat distribution.

Best For: At-home blowouts
Moroccanoil Ionic Ceramic Thermal Brush 55mm 2-1/8"$30.00 Buy
The Heated Straightening Brush

Hair Type: Any

When To Use It: If you're looking to drop the amount of products you use when straightening your hair (a.k.a the blowdryer, brush, and flat iron) this product is an all-in-one that only requires one hand.

Best For: Straightening hair in one step

Drybar The Brush Crush Heated Straightening Brush, $145.00, available at Sephora.
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