Hair Brush Types

Hair brush types can be a little confusing. Finding the right hair brush is key to creating the style you want. Some brushes are better at creating certain hairstyles than other brushes. The purpose of this article is to make it easier for you to choose the right hair brush type.

“Hair Brush Types” what you need to know. Sorting through all the “Hair Brush Types” is the first step in choosing the perfect hair brush. There are essentially 11 “Hair Brush Types”. The Vent Brush and Round Brush are the most common “Hair Brush Types”.

According to Meesh, Hair Product Analyst, “Bristle density, hair brush shape, and hairstyle determine the hair brush type you should choose.” There are 8 types of hair brushes based on bristle density: Vent Brush, Teasing Brush, Detangling Brush, Straightening Brush, Bamboo Brush, Rat Tail Comb, Wide Tooth Comb, and Boar Brush. 3 types of hair brushes based on shape are: Round Brush, Paddle Brush, Oval Brush.

What Are The Different Hair Brush Types?

Hair Brush TypesProsCons
1. Vent BrushDrying hairStyling
2. Round BrushStyling, waves and curlsNeed the right size
3. Paddle BrushFast stylingNot for short hair
4. Teasing BrushVolumeTeasing only
5. Detangling BrushDetanglingStyling
6. Oval BrushStylingNot for really short hair
7. Straightening BrushStyling, straightening, curls & wavesHard to use on short hair
8. Bamboo BrushHead massage and static controlNot for damp moist conditions
9. Rat Tail CombSectioningNot for short hair
10. Wide Tooth CombApplying treatmentsNot really for short hair
11. Boar BrushStyling and shineDetangling & static

According to Stacey, Hair Research Analyst, “Basic hair types are Thick Hair, Medium Hair, and Fine or Thin Hair. Also, there are hair type variations such as Straight, Curly, or Coils. I base hairstyles on lengths of hair like Short Hair, Medium Hair, or Long Hair.

What’s The Best Type Of Hair Brush To Use?

The best type of brush to use is based on bristle density combined with your hair type and hairstyle determines the best hair brush for you. For example, if you have thick curly hair, you are going to be better off choosing a hair brush with less bristle density. If you have short and thin hair, you will be better off choosing a hair brush with a higher bristle density. If you have medium thick hair and your style is bouncy curls then choosing a medium sized round brush is best. Different types of hair brushes are used for different hair styles. I devoted an entire article called What different hair brushes are used for. In this article I further explain the different types of hair brushes.

You may be looking for a brush to help with a specific problem or condition.  There are types of hair brushes made to help with hair problems and hair conditions. For example, if you have a frizzy or static hair condition and want a hair brush to help. In this case, I suggest you read my article called, What type of brush is best for frizzy hair. In this article, I go into detail about types of hair brushes that are going to be best at taming frizzy hair conditions.

1 Vent Brush

Vent brush – A vented brush is a type of brush used to aid in drying your hair. It’s also used as a styling tool. It’s perfect for drying because because the amount of bristles is very low as compared to other brushes, enabling the hair dryer to dry your hair quicker. Most vent brushes have just enough bristles to provide light detailing and less friction.

My favorite vent brush is the Conair Gel Grips Vent Hair Brush White, because it’s gets the job done at a very reasonable price. You really can’t go wrong with this one.

2 Round Brush

Round brush A round brush is a type of brush usually used on long hair, but it can be used on short hair if you use a brush with the correct diameter. These brushes are used under your hair to increase the volume and to create waves or curves. The more bristles you have, the more stress you can place on your hair when styling. Round brushes are ideal for integrating rolls, curves or waves. The diameter of the round brush is important in terms of the performance and the look you can achieve.

My favorite round brush is the Spornette DeVille Boar Bristle Round Brush Set, because I love the wooden handle and high quality bristles. I recommend getting the set so you have all sizes for any hairstyle.

3 Paddle Brush

Paddle brush Paddle brushes are widely used for styling lots and lots of hair faster than a regular brush. Thanks to its larger head, it has the capacity to hold more bristles and thus, with each brush stroke, it can cover much more hair than an ordinary brush. You need a paddle brush if you have a lot of hair or hair longer than shoulder length.

My favorite paddle brush is the Spornette DeVille Boar Bristle Paddle Brush, because I love the wooden handle and high quality bristles. The built-in air cushion is a big plus because it allows the bristles to be more flexible.

There are much better options out there. Instead you should choose a brush specifically made to detangle hair. the Wet Brush Detangling Brush mention below is a perfect example of a great detangling brush and would perform much better than a paddle brush.

Another great example of a better option for a detangling brush is a wide tooth comb like the Ultra Smooth Detangler Comb by Cricket pictured below. these wide tooth combs excel at gliding though your hair untangling with every pass.

As you can see these brushes the Wet Brush and Wide Tooth Combs are far superior for detanglng than an ordinary paddle brush. I am not sure why some very popular web sites advise paddle brushes specifically for this purpose. My only guess is they want you to purchase one.

The one thing you need to remember about paddle brushes is that they are great for efficiency due to they can brush through lots of hair much faster than other brushes. If you remember that one point you will have done good!

4 Teasing Brush

Teasing brush Teasing brushes are often used to generate volume, usually on the top of your head, and are great for people who have thin hair. By using a backcombing method, you can generate more texture for thinning hair and adding a lot more lift to hair. Those hairstyles, such as beehive or bouffant styles that were very common in the 1960s and 1970s.

My favorite teasing brush is the WOLINSPRING Little Wonder, because I love the wooden handle and high quality boar and nylon bristles. For the price you just can’t go wrong. My second choice is Drybar pictured above.

I have seen many popular websites recommend using a teasing brush as a finishing brush. And while it may be true, you can do this in a pinch, there are much better options.

Why use a tiny teasing brush with a handle made for sectioning hair to smooth and condition your hair?

The only reason I guess is those websites recommend using a teasing brush is maybe they want to sell you one. Anyway, a much better and far superior option for a finishing brush would be a Harry Josh Oval Finishing brush or a Desert Breeze Distributing oval boar brush as pictured below. Either of these brushes will run circles around trying to use a teasing brush for finishing!

5 Detangling Brush

Detangling brush – The Wet Brush – Does the wet brush work on dry hair and Is the wet brush good for your hair. The detangling brush is a type of brush that smooths wet or dry hair without causing breakage. The brush is ideal for everyone and even kids. A detangling brush is perfect for wet and dry hair, and is ideal for all hair types and is pain-free while detangling. The biggest drawback is it’s not to be used with a blow dryer, due to a dryers high heat can melt the bristles.

My favorite detangling brush is the Wet Brush Original Detangler Hair Brush, because it works fantastic for 95% or more hair types. Plus for the price you just can’t go wrong.

6 Oval Brush

Oval brush types are very similar to paddle brushes in that they are used for styling. It’s smaller than a paddle brush therefore can be used to style shorter hair as compared to a paddle brush. In addition do to it’s smaller head size it’s also better for travel. It’s just a great all around hairbrush to use to help with a ponytail for just use to smooth out your hair.

My favorite oval brush is the Spornette DeVille Boar Bristle Oval Brush, because I love the wooden handle and high quality bristles. The built-in air cushion is a big plus because it allows the bristles to be more flexible.

There are many oval brushes that are also boar brushes like the one picture above, the Spornette DeVille Cushion Oval Boar Bristle Hair Brush (#342). These brushes are a perfect choice for either a man or a woman. These brushes are perfect for finishing or smoothing hair. The 100% boar bristles redistribute your hair’s natural oils, leaving it shinier, healthier-looking and more manageable with each brush stroke. You hair will be conditioned with no greasy buildup. These brushes can be used as part of you regular daily grooming routines.

My choice would be oval brushes with a wooden handle due to their high strength that resists breakage. Wooden handles are built to last. In addition look for a brush which has a ergonomically shaped handle. This way your hand and wrist does not get tired and cramped while styling your hair.

For more reading you should read my article called choosing a boar brush on this site. In this article I go into details on how to choose the perfect boar brush. What kind of bristles to looks for, the difference between expensive brushes and cheaper ones, brush shapes and advantages and disadvantages between Boar, Nylon and Bamboo bristle bruhses.

7 Straightening Brushes

Straightening brushes or hot brushes are types of brushes used to straighten your hair or add curls and waves. Hot brush is a great way to style your hair when your hair is dry but damp. Most hot air brushes have a rounded head that is used to add volume. Did you know the volume can be quickly applied by using a hot brush to create waves and curls?

My favorite straightening brush is the ghd GLIDE, hands down!!! Why? Simply put it’s the easiest to use and protects your hair. The ghd GLIDE intelligent straightening brush takes all the guess work out of hair straightening. It’s TOP QUALITY!! And you can feel the difference when you pick it up for the first time. My second choice is the Miropure pictured above for a budget model.

8 Bamboo Brush

Bamboo brushes are great for head massage, plus it reduces static and fly-a-way conditions. Wood is not the conductor of electricity, so it will not promote the development of a static. But it’s not going to do as good a job at spreading the natural oils as a boar brush will do. Bamboo is can be used to detangle hair, somewhat. But there are much better options out there.

My favorite bamboo brush is the Nipoo Brush, because I love the wooden handle and high quality. The built-in air cushion is a big plus because it allows the bamboo bristles to be more flexible. 

9 Rat Tail Comb

Good type of brush for sectioning off hair to then be brushed or styled as needed. Usually these combs are made of plastic but many are also made of steel. The plastic ones should not be used in high heat conditions. The rat tails come in a variety of sizes and points. Some have more blunt point and other usually professional models have a sharp point.

Sorry, no real favorites here. I just go by price on this one. The link below is different from the one pictured above..

Well there is not much really to say about a plastic comb, right? Plastic need to be made not too hard and not so soft as to be able to bend some without braking. The last hing you want is a plastic comb that is too hard. The handle can snap or if dropped on a hard floor it can break. One comb that comes to mid that will break easily are carbon fiber combs. Nice idea but just does not work, at least not yet.

Another thing to look for in a comb is the teeth and surface area. It needs to be very smooth as not to snap your hair. If you want to read more you can real my article on this site called best comb for women’s hair. In this article I review some of the most popular women’s combs all from plastic, wood to steel. After reading this article you will know how to choose the best comb for stylish hair.

Also don’t forget to real my other informative article on the best wide tooth comb for detangling. Don’t forget you can use a comb in the shower. There are many advantages for having a good shower comb. And some are much better than others. To find out more read my article on this site called shampoo comb. This article I will help to choose the right shower comb for your needs. I’ll also provide my 3 favorite shower combs to help you work through those impossible hair clumps!

10 Wide Tooth Comb

A wide tooth comb will evenly distribute products such as deep conditioning therapies, hair treatments and color toners. You can also use the comb as a gentler way to detangle damp, brittle and processed hair when you get out of the shower.

My favorite wide tooth comb is the Diane Comb, because I love the price. It’s nothing fancy just a plastic comb that works. The link below is different from the one pictured above. 

11 Boar Brush

Boar brushes will excel in conditioning polishing, producing shine and styling, like blow-outs. Boars brushes are good at collecting your natural hair oils and spreading them from your roots to the ends of your hair with regular brushing. In reality, the best natural conditioner is your own hair oil. It might save you from having to buy the conditioning items. Through spreading natural oils from root to tip, it helps keep the hair shaft moisturized and healthy.

My favorite boar brush is the Mason Pearson boar brush, because it’s the best that everyone tries to copy. Very high quality you expect in a hairbrush that cost this much. The link below is different from the one pictured above.


Sherrow, V. (2006). Encyclopedia of hair: a cultural history. Greenwood Publishing Group.