How To Soften Hair Brush Bristles (With Pictures & Details)

How To Soften Hair Brush Bristles

Soft bristles can be great. Bristles can easily be made soft. Take your brush and lay the bristles down in warm oily water and then dry with a blow dryer to get soft bristles.

This is a good way to make use of a number of brushes you have laying around and can’t use because they are too hard. This method does not work on combs including wide-toothed combs, ha! And going through the steps a second time is not really beneficial.

List Of Hair Brushes With Soft Bristles

Soft BrushesRecommendations
1. 100% Boar Bristle Brush by BelulaOval style brush with a wooden handle. Soft on your scalp. Great for medium to thin hair.
2. Mason Pearson Pocket Sensitive Hair BrushOval style brush in a compact style. One of the best. This Sensitive Pure Boar Bristle is specifically for brushing thinning hair and sensitive scalp.
3. Johnny B Barber Brush Blue7 Row compact brush. Nice blue color, it’s a compact brush so keep that in mind. Great for beards too. Ridiculous price and quality. Great buy.
4. Kent LS9D Ladies Finest Hair Brush7 Row smoothing brush. Great for men or women with thinning hair or looking for a soft bristle brush.
Steps To Soften Hairbrush Bristles Infographic -

Steps To Soften Bristles (No Skipping Thru A Video, Here Is Your Answer)

  1. Take the cup of lukewarm water and pour it into the shallow container to hold your bristle brush.
  2. Add one table spoon of virgin olive oil to the shallow container filled with water. Mix the olive oil and water. As you mix you will notice that oil and water do not mix very (using a circular motion) well so just do the best you can and not to worry.The oil is key for softening the bristles.
  3. The warm water helps the boar bristles absorb better. Take your bristle brush and lay it down in the warm oily water for 5 minutes. Make sure the bristles are positioned face down into the water. You want as much of the bristles to be covered by the oily water.
  4. After 5 minutes take the bristle brush out of the oily water and pat the bristles lightly on the paper towels.
  5. After you have removed most of the oily water and it’s not dripping, take your blow-dryer and position it about 3 to 4 inches away from the bristles on the brush. Start blow-drying bristles on a low heat stetting. Fan the blow-dryer across the bristles for about 5 minutes.
  6. Now your bristles are nice and soft and ready for your hair. 

1). Add the warm water to a shallow container

How to soften hair brush bristles Step 1

2). Add in one table spoon olive oil

How to soften hair brush bristles Step 2

3). Mix the warm water and olive oil

How to soften hair brush bristles Step 3

4). Place brush face down in the warm water and olive oil

How to soften hair brush bristles Step 4

5). After 5 minutes of soaking remove and pat dry on paper towels

How to soften hair brush bristles Step 5

6). Dry with blow-dryer for 5 minutes

How to soften hair brush bristles Step 6

If you are attempting to soften nylon bristles don’t bother, because it’s not possible. Synthetic bristles brushes do not soften using this technique. This only works on real boar bristles. If you are interest in saving a few dollars you might try this method. Stacey, hair analyst says, “Sometimes you can revive an old hair brush. It’s worth a try due all you have to lose is your time and a little olive oil.”

My #1 Choice For A Soft Boar Bristle Hairbrush

Ladies and gentleman, if you have thin hair and are looking for a high quality soft boar bristle hairbrush, then I highly recommend the Kent LS9D. I love the brush because of the beautiful satinwood handle and soft boar bristles. I prefer wooden handles over plastic due to they just look better and are not prone to break like many two piece plastic handles do.

The Kent LS9D is not perfect, but there are some things you can do. First off, if you have thin hair, static electricity on dry days is going to be a problem. A quick fix is to use a spritz of water before brushing with the Kent LS9D. Also, you can use a good leave in conditioner. Both these methods will tame static immediately.

Also as with all wooden handle boar bristle brushes, it’s common for the brush to lose some bristles. However, if you lose an entire plug, that is considered a major defect. The brush was not tufted correctly. Here, Kent has a good return policy and stands behind their products. However I have never seen a Kent brush loose an entire plug. They have been in business for many years, so you can trust they will be around if you need them, unlike many other brush companies.

The Kent LS9D makes a splendid gift and, with proper care, will last a lifetime.

Soft Boar Bristles Conclusion

The soft brushes are most recognized for producing glossy, lustrous and smooth strands thanks to its ability to equally disseminate and distribute your hair’s natural oils from root to tip. By doing so, they can aid in keeping the scalp and hair clean.

Also, if you have ever bought a boar brush and you find the bristles are too stiff you can to use the technique mentioned above to soften the bristles.

Many folks would like to soften their boar bristle brushes. Maybe you purchased a first cut boar bristle brush and have thin hair and as a result would like a little softer brush. You may ask what is first cut boar bristles?

“First cut bristles are taken from the root or bulb end of the bristle. First cuts are more expensive and more desirable because the bulb end of the bristle is thicker and has better penetration. First cut boar brushes have much stiffer bristles. Many manufactures reserve First cuts for their premium products.”

According to Meesh, our in-house hair and product analyst,

You want the bristles to be long enough to penetrate to your scalp. And having thinner hair the bristles have an easier time with penetrations. Sometimes too much and therefore irritates your scalp by being too stiff and penetrating too much. Having a long enough bristle is essential for massaging your scalp for stimulating the release of a beneficial oil called sebum for conditioning your hair. The trick is to find the right stiffness as not to cause pain when brushing but also get the right amount of penetration.

You can tell if you need a softer brush just by brushing your hair and if your scalp get irritated or you feel pain then the bristles are too stiff.

Some brushes are expensive so if you can salvage one by making it softer you will come out ahead.

This only works on real 100% boar bristle brushes. If you have a nylon brush or synthetic brushes, sorry you are out of luck. The techniques will not work

Ed says,

Now this can lead to a another more difficult problem. Some brushes that have a mixture of boar and nylon bristles. So if you follow these instructions for soften the bristles it only going to work on the boar bristles. The nylon bristles will still be too stiff for you. So you are better off not wasting your time on this technique. Before you begin you will need to verify if you have a nylon and boar bristle brush. The best way is to read the manufacture’s packaging or look up details online.

Both nylon and real 100% boar bristles has their own strengths and weakness If you have really thick and or curly hair you are going to need maximum penetration. A boar bristle brush alone may not provide you with the penetration you need. So this is why some manufactures also make a boar and nylon combination brush. A really stiff First Cut boar along with nylon can get you the extra penetration you need to reach your scalp. The combination give you almost all the benefits of using an all boar bristle brush. Reaching your scalp is important to be effective at spreading your natural oils throughout your hair.

An interesting HairBrushy article and information on making nylon.

The reason why boar is so effective is that it’s like your own hair. Boar has tiny scales just like a human hair. These tiny scales are real good at collecting your scalps natural oils and spreading them  from the roots to the tips of your hair. Nylon is much smoother therefore is not as effective as boar.

Tools And Materials Needed To Soften Hair Brush Bristles

This method works on most real 100% boar brushes, oval brushes, paddle brushes and even shower brushes that are 100% boar bristles. No need for white vinegar, dish soap, soapy water, mineral spirits, glass jar, baby lotion, fabric softener or anything that can cause damage.

  1. One cup of warm water
  2. A mixing container that will hold your brush. You will need something like a shallow bowl or container works best
  3. Virgin olive oil, any brand will do, small amount
  4. Paper towels
  5. Blow-dryer
  6. About 10 minutes of your time

Various types of materials are used making brushes. According to Gordon Brush these are the materials as it relates to boar bristles: “HOG BRISTLE: Relatively scarce and expensive. This material has characteristics that set it apart as the best natural filling material for a wide variety of bristle brushes. Each strand of bristle has a natural taper from the butt or flesh end to the tip, giving it resilience not found in other hairs. In addition, the tip end of each bristle is naturally split into two or more branches called the flag. Hog bristle has a slightly stiff to very stiff texture and is off white or black in color and excellent for ESD brush applications. Chung king hog bristle is the stiffest hog bristle available. It also has excellent durability and water resistance.



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