Finding the right hair brush seems like a very simple task, but it can actually be complex depending on your hair texture, length and the style you’re trying to achieve. Once you choose a type of brush, say oval or round, even the size will make a difference. A small round will add volume and curl to shorter hair, a medium creates waves and loose curls on medium-length hair, and a large brush is used to create loose waves and movement on longer hair.
Sound complicated? Sure. But the right hair tool cocktail can create perfect hair. And that’s the greatest reward of all.
A larger, round brush is going to make the hair straighter with more of a curve. “If you have wavy or curly hair, large to extra large round brushes are going to decrease the volume and make the hair straighter and smoother,” says Michael Sparks, senior stylist at Suede Salon Spa and Body in New Jersey.
A smaller round brush is going to create more bend in the hair. For extra pizzazz, consider getting the round brush with a ceramic barrel—they tend to hold the heat longer, which means your curl will last longer.
If you have fine or straight hair and you want more volume, you want to use a medium to small round brush to create more bend in the hair.
Paddle or Flat
These are excellent for people who have long, straight hair. “They take out moisture and create a smoother, polished look,” says Sparks. This is the brush you probably already own— it’s the most popular type of everyday brush—and is ideal for detangling thick, long hair and for blow drying straighter styles. A great paddle brush can also be an asset for redistributing your natural oils and creating coveted shine.
This type of brush allows heat to disperse quickly and for hair to dry quicker, ensuring as little heat damage as possible.
Bristles Matter, Too
Brushes also have different types of bristles. Boar bristles help keep moisture in the hair. “They’re harder to work with at first, but once you break them in, they’re great and last for years,” says Sparks. Ceramic and aluminum brushes create more heat and polish hair a little better for someone who isn’t as handy with a brush. Nylon and boar bristles are nice too.
Depending on the style and look you’re trying to achieve, it’s best to talk to your stylist and find out which type of brush to use. We keep an assortment—you never know what styling options tomorrow will bring.
Read more: Why You Should Consider Reverse Hair Washing