Should Curly Hair Be Brushed?

Is It Necessary To Brush Curly Hair?

Brushing curly hair is not a bad idea if you use the proper hairbrush. Choose a wide toothed hair brush or a detangling brush with wider teeth. A great option is the to use a Denman brush 9 row brush. And here is the coolest feature of the brush in which I love is the ability to modify the brush. You can take the brush apart and take out a row of bristles. You can take a 9 row and make it into a 7 row for example. Also, taking apart the brush is epic for cleaning. How many brushes do you have that you can take it apart for cleaning? So if you have product build up on your brush or some loose hair there is no need to worry because it’s so simple and quick to take apart and give it a thorough cleaning.

To take the brush apart just simply pull the red cushion from the top down and it comes away from the handle. What a beauty! Then you can open the red part up to reveal the hard plastic bristles inside. To reassemble just close the red rubber cushion and slide it back on the handle. The brush promises to pull your hair out of knot more quickly without breaking or frizz, giving your hair beautiful curl definition and added volume.

To make a detangling brush you make choose to take out every other row. This in affect changes the brush to become more a detangle brush due to the bristle spacing. Bristle spacing greatly affects tension. The more bristles the more tension you can put on your hair. So for detangling you are most likely going to want less tension so taking out a few rows of bristles makes sense.

If you have severely damaged hair, you should avoid using brushes and combs while your hair is still damp in order to avoid breaking your hair even more. When using the brush, you may notice some shedding in the bristles.

What Does A Denman Brush Do For Curls?

A Denman hairbrush is used to smooth, style and brush through hair. In combination with a curling iron or hair dryer, it’s used for styling. And this is where the Denman 9 row brush is at it’s best. I will go into more details on the brush and recommendations. According to Stacey, our in-house hair analyst, “It has a plastic handle with hard plastic bristles and a red cushion in which the hard plastic bristles are fastened to or come out of. There are different models of this brush in which sizes vary and the number of row also vary. The 9 row brush is the largest.

According to Salon Today, “The first Denman hairbrush was invented in 1938 by Ulsterman, John Denman Dean (also known as Jack Dean). Denman hairbrushes were popularized in the swinging sixties by hairdressing legend, Vidal Sassoon, through his revolutionary blow-drying techniques. Denman is a brand. We are eternally grateful to Vidal Sassoon for changing the architecture of hairdressing and deeply proud of our association with this industry icon.”

Denman, a while back has brought in Paul Stafford who has been using Denman brushes for over 30 years. That should tell you something about the quality of Denman and it popularity. According to Modern Salon, “British company Denman, maker of the world-famous D3 and other professional tools, announces the appointment of British Hairdressing Hall of Fame member Paul Stafford as Global Creative Director.

The move brings Stafford, who has been using Denman for more than 30 years, into the heart of the long-established, family led company. He will lead its creative contribution to the industry, supporting Denman’s education efforts including mentorship of 2017 Denman’s Stage Star competition winner, Sam Carpenter.

As Global Creative Director, Stafford will also lead the soon-to-be-launched global ambassador programm, The Denman Global Collective, which features established and emerging stylists from across the globe.

Which Denman Brush Is Best For Curls?

The fact is about the Denman 9 row brush is that is the very popular in the curly hair community. A lot of curly hair women use this brush and absolutely love it. However, don’t let that reputation fool you because it’s actually made for all types of hair. And I bet after you use one for a little while you will find it to become a part of all your routines. The brush is fantastic for evenly applying hair care products though out curly hair. Apply the product to your hair and then use the Denamn brush to evenly apply on your hair.

If you use your hands and fingers sometimes you are missing some sections of your hair. The Denman brush does a much better job. This brush will make sure the product you are apply is actually penetrating into your hair. The brush has great penetration due to the hard plastic bristles. These bristles are much better than your fingers at penetrating deep into your hair.

Your hair will look amazing when it’s fully coated with your hair care products. And thanks to the Denman brush you can easily and evenly apply those products to your hair. And after you are finished you will be amazed at how little hair is in the brush. There most likely will be very little shedding. Most people find that using this brush does not pull out your hair. You will get great results ans very little hair loss when using the Denman 9 row brush.

For example, after sleeping or showering, a flat brush is normally used to detach hair. For styling and curling hair, a round brush can be used, especially by a professional stylist, often with a hair dryer. To straighten the hair and tame fly-away, a paddle brush is used. Many bristle materials are not suitable for babies with fine, soft hair because of the hardness; instead, some synthetic materials and horse or goat hair bristles are used.

These are classic brushes all from the Denman Brush Company. Reviewed here are 8 popular Denman brushes in order by popularity. If you are considering purchasing see the Pros and Cons information below to help you decide on the right Denman Brush for you.

Denman 9 Row Brush For Styling Curly Hair

My top recommendation is going to be the Denman brush because it’s great for your curly hair right out of the box. You can mod you brush if your wish. You can take out a row or two if needed but in most cases that will not be necessary.

You really just can’t beat an original Denman 9 row brush for styling curly thick hair. There are of course cheaper knock-offs but I am not a fan of knock-offs because of the quality. Sometimes you get a good knock-off and other times you end up with a dud. I am not going to take that chance that the knock-off is going to be good. Who knows how it’s really made and is it safe. I know Denman is and I trust their quality. If I am going to pay $15.00 or so for a bottle of leave in conditioner I am not going to skimp on my brush.

How To Style Thick Curly Hair

  1. If you have hair longer than shoulder length then the best approach is going to for you to work in sections.
  2. So you are going to need to clip you hair to prepare. And get your section of hair ready.
  3. In addition, you can apply a leave in conditioner and wet with a spray bottle as you work in the leave in conditioner (Shea Moisture strength and restore leave in conditioner) in with your hands. This will let the Denman 9 row brush glide through your hair like butter!
  4. If you are accustom of using styling lotion (Shea Moisture Jamaican castor oil) on your hair now is the time to also apply that to your hair.
  5. Work both products in with your hands.
  6. And finally if you are using a styling gel (ECO styling gel, olive oil) you can apply that as well and work in with your hands.

Now you can take the Denman 9 row brush and brush the section where you applied the hair styling products. You hair will be mostly straight. So the next step is to take the section and gently pick it up holding your hair with your fingers about midway of the length (or a little closer to your scalp) and shake it to get your light curl. You hair will look nice an uniform. In addition you will notice you will have no frizz.

Now, just let your hair dry naturally. Depending on the products you use you could have some residue. In most cases when the product dries you should see no product specks or any kind of residue. There is no need to use any heat, jut let your hair dry naturally. Nice curls for an all-day healthy, shinny hair style.

What No One Will Tell About A Denman Brush

The first thing no one will tell you is a Denman Brush 9 row can be used on dry hair and well as wet hair. The way a Denman Brush 9 row combs through hair is going to be just perfect for all hair types especially curly hair (every curl type and curl pattern). The next fact no one mentions is besides brushing hair, Denman Brushes are also great for applying hair care products like conditioners. And lastly Denman Brushes are very versatile and can also be used to detangle hair. Denmand Brushes are the perfect choice for hair care.

According to Meesh our in-house product analyst, “The Denman 9 row brush can be used either way on wet or dry hair. It can be used in the shower to detangle hair. Just be careful and work slowly due to your hair being wet it’s very easy to stretch and snap thus give you some split-ends. The Denman 9 row works great because of the handle giving you precise control over what you are doing.

I can’t live without a Denman Brush! A Denman Brush is indispensable when styling. A 9 row Denman Brush can style wet hair easily. I use a Denman Brush for applying a conditioner.

The Denman brush is used in controlled styling and natural curl definition. The Denman large 9 row styling D4 brush is best for style control and definition of wet curls. It’s used to detangle natural 3c and 4 curly type hair. The Denman brush is also used to apply many types of hair products because it can evenly distribute the product through curly hair with just a few brush stokes.

How To Modify A D5 9 Row To Use As A Deteanlger For Curly Hair

If you already have a Denman brush but it’s not the detangling brush you can modify you existing D5 9 row by taking out every other row of bristles. This effectively turn your brush into a very good detangling brush. It might be beneficial to tweak the brush so that it has fewer rows of pins. For example, if you have a lot of hair with a thicker and fuller hair texture. In this situation, remove a number of rows from your Denman Brush, so that you may disentangle your hair.

This brush is perfect for many women for: Styling controlled. Detangling dry and wet hair to some degree depending on your hair type. Separating wet curls and defining them. Sculpture and hair styling. Blow-drying and blow-styling. Smoothing, straightening hair. Good for styles that need grip, tension and control.

The brush works by having the sculpted rounded nylon pins separate, hair and define curls when the hair is wet. There are nine rows of pins and larger head accommodate larger or longer hair and increase tension and grip. The half-round brush ‘s styling edges create tension when shaping the hair during blowing. Unique pin pattern gives extra grip and tension.

Care: Wash in warm water, soapy. Rinse and let the direct heat and sunlight dry. Remove loose hair with a comb from the brush. A hairdryer can be used.

Types of Denman Brushes

It looks at first glance that D3 and D31 and D4 and D41 are the same brushes. But there is a distinction between these brushes. The structure, length and thickness of your hair define how many rows and pins you require and hence which sort of Denman Brush you need.

Denman Brush D3 contains additional pins, which are closer together. This brush is consequently excellent for increasing your curl definition.
Denman Brush D31 features fewer pins, which are wider apart. This brush is consequently excellent for detangling your curls.

Denman Brush D4 features additional pins, which are closer together. This Denman brush is consequently excellent for increasing your curl definition.
Denman Brush D41 has fewer pins, which are wider apart. This Denman brush is consequently suited for detangling your curls.

1. D3 Styling Brush

  1. Use on wet hair Detangles
  2. Separating and defining wet curls
  3. Creating curls
  4. Straightening
  5. Fast drying
  6. Styling hair
  7. Creating sleek finishes

2. D200 Skeleton Vent Brush

  1. Use on wet hair
  2. Detangles
  3. Fast drying
  4. Styling hair

3. D83 Large Paddle Styling Brush

  1. Use on wet hair
  2. Detangles
  3. Straightening
  4. Fast drying
  5. Styling hair
  6. Creating sleek finishes

4. D70 Extra Small ThermoCeramic Curling Brush

  1. Use on wet hair – 90% dry hair only
  2. Creating curls
  3. Straightening

5. Tangle Tamer Ultra Pink

  1. Use on wet hair
  2. Detangles

Denman Brush Pros and Cons

Denman Best SellersProsCons
1. Denman Large 9 Row Styling Brush D4Fantastic for thick curly natural hairNone
2. Denman D5 9 Row Detangling BrushGreat for wet and dry curly hair. I prefer over the Tangle Teezer because it has a handleNone
3. Denman Large Professional Paddle Brush D83Features bristles that will smoothly glide through your hair, helping to untangle the most tenacious of knots as it goes, keeping your hair nice and tidy for improved style. It also incorporates a soft, air-cushioned pad.It’s large – not a travel brush
4. Denman Vent Brush or D200 Skeleton Vent BrushGreat penetration and aids in dryingNot ideal for very short hair
5. Denman Boar Bristle Oval Brush D82MLComes in L, M and S sizesNone
6. Denman Boar Bristle Round Brush D32MComes in .7, 1 and 1.2 inchesNot for wet hair
7. Denman Tangle Tamer Ultra PinkGreat for 4A, 4B and 4C natural curly hair None
8. Denman D70 ThermoCeramic Curling BrushComes in L, M, S and XS sizes90% dry hair – no wet hair

Brush Types You should Know About

Different types of brushes are used for different purposes or have special characteristics that benefit certain types of hair.

Round brush: Usually used for adding fullness and movement to the hair with a blow dryer.

Some have a base of metal or ceramic to heat up during blow drying. Round brush size chart. Best round brush for short hair. Round brushes that won’t melt while styling with heat. What is the best size round brush for bangs? What are the best round brushes for a blowout?

Vent brush: Vents allow more air to flow between the bristles, but the drying time is not affected. More about vent brushes. Add more volume using a vent brush.

Cushion brush: Bristles are mounted on a rubber cushion or mat for additional flexibility in order to minimize hair breakage during removal. A popular line of cushion brushes is produced by Denman.

Paddle brush: A broad base allows for more exposure during blow drying; flexible teeth are designed to minimize breakage, although some believe that it does not work. More on paddle brushes. The Body Shop paddle brushes a vegan alternative.

Detangler brush: Features such as spacious, flexible, nylon teeth are designed to be gentle on tangled or knotted hair.What are some great detangling combs?

Boar bristle brush: Tightly spaced boar- hair bristles are designed to increase brushing tension and smooth the hair. Boar bristle brushes for men made in Germany. These are top quality brushes with fine craftsmanship. Do you have questions are boar bristles brushes vegan? If so you migh check out my article called: Are boar bristles brushes made from boars?

Tip: Depending on the texture and whether the hair is wet or dry, the brushing effects will be different. Usually straight hair looks smoother when brushed. When brushed dry, curly hair tends to expand. Which makes working with straight hair easier.

Denman Round Brush D32M

AdvantagesRound Brush D32M
Great for all hair typesYes
The perfect sizeMedium
Rubber safety cushionNone
Boar bristlesYes
Once-piece wooden handleYes
StylingCurls, Body and shine
Travel FriendlyLightweight
Good for Blow-OutsAverage
Maximum Penetration Average
Advanced technologyNone
Great For Adding ShineYes
Balanced HandleNone

A round hairbrush is sometimes used with a blow-dryer to style medium- long hair. Or can be used as a curling brush.

Denman Boar Bristle Oval Brush

AdvantagesDenman Oval Boar Brush D82ML
Great for all hair typesYes
The perfect sizeLarge, Medium and Small sizes
Rubber safety cushion Yes
Boar bristles Yes
Once-piece wooden handle Yes
Travel FriendlyDepends on size
Good for Blow-Outs Average
Maximum PenetrationYes
Advanced technologyNone
Great For Adding Shine Yes
Balanced Handle Yes

A hairbrush with a cushion is used to detach hair. Denman’s finishing brush with natural bristle, air- coated for comfort, brings out your natural brightness, smoothness and refresh your hair. The brushes reduce frizz and add the final polish to your style, perfect for up-styling or brushing out curls.

Denman’s Vent Brush Great For Adding Style

 A vent brush is a great tool to use to help style your hair while drying. It can perform some light detangling while adding style to your hair. It has great air circulation due to the vent holes cut into the brush head. This allows air from your hair dryer to reach your hair thus cutting drying time while performing light styling.

Denman Vent Brush Vent Brush Pros and Cons

Aids in drying hairLimited styling
Great penetrationNot ideal for short hair
Light stylingBall tips can fall off
Light volumizingMostly made of plastic
Light detangle
Scalp protection
Low static

Denman Large Professional Paddle Brush D83

AdvantagesDenman Large Professional Paddle Brush D83
Great for all hair typesYes
The perfect sizeLarge Only
Rubber safety cushionYes
Boar bristlesNone
Once-piece wooden handleNo
Travel FriendlyNo
Good for Blow-OutsAverage
Maximum PenetrationYes
Advanced technologyNone
Great For Adding Shine Yes
Balanced Handle Yes
Great For Lot’s Of Hair Yes
Faster Brushing Yes

A paddle brush is a great tool to help you save time while styling your hair. A paddle brush has a larger brush head therefore it can cover more hair with each brushstroke. If you have a lot of hair and especially long hair a paddle brush is what you want.

The Denman Large 9 Row Styling Brush D4 Brush – 8.27 Inches

How To Take Apart The Denman 9 Row Brush?

Here is one reason I recommend and love their brushes. It’s super easy to take apart the brush for cleaning. Here is how:

  1. Hold the brush in you dominate hand and use your thumb to push up on the base of the brush.
  2. Slowly remove the red rubber and the bristles that are held inside.
  3. Turn it over and take the back of the red rubber insert apart.
  4. The bristles now can be removed for cleaning.
  5. Reverse the steps to put back together.
  6. Make sure not to loose any items or parts in cause you want to put it back to it’s original state.

This brush is often confused with a detangling bush which it is not. There are many videos and articles written about using this brush to detanlge hair. While it may work depending on your hair type that’s not it’s intended purpose to a degree. To properly detangle hair and get the best results you really need a detanlge brush not a styling brush. That’s my recommendation.

So What Is The Brush’s Intended Purpose?

Denman also makes the D5 9 row in a detangling and volumizing brush.  It’s very similar to the heavyweight 9 row with one very important exception. The bristle density is different. It has less bristles for easy detangling. Less bristles creates less tension thus allowing the brush to work on the tangles with each brush stoke. The detangling brush also allow for easy cleaning just like the D5 heavyweight 9 row brush. Just follow the instructions above and wash with warm soapy water. Make sure to avoid putting it in direct sunlight or a high heat source. What’s the best Denman brush for curly hair? With curls comes tangles and sometimes a lot of them. It’s important to use the Denman D5 9 row detangling brush because the bristles are spread out and are not as densely packed as the other models. This feature will allow the brush to glide through your hair with less friction and thus causes less damage to your hair while detangling.

Different Types of Denman Styling Brushes

The Denman styling brush comes in different sizes made for different purposes. You want to pick the one that is right for you and your purpose.In addition to the D4 Denman Large 9 Row here are other models available. Denaman has more on their website, mentioned here are just the original classic styling models or variations.

Styling Brush Advantages

  • Great for all hair types
  • Rubber Safety Cushion
  • No Scratch Tipped Bristles
  • Good for both wet and dry hair
  • Good for Blow-Outs
  • Maximum Penetration
  • Advanced Technology
  • One Piece Handle

1. D5 – Heavyweight 9 Row Styling Brush – 8.46 Inches

The Denman D5 ‘s heaviest styling brush provides extra tension and grip. The ultimate in controlled styling and natural curl definition is our unique sculpted pins. Brush Length: 8.46 inches. Brush Width: 1.69 inches.  My favorite!

2. D143 – Small 5 Row Styling Brush – 8 Inches

Five rows of smooth, rounded nylon pins in staggered form provide exceptional grip and control to maintain hair tension during styling. The half- round rubber pad is perfect for smoothing hair and sleek bob shapes. Brush Length: 8 inches. Brush Width: 1.2 inches  

3. D3 – Medium 7 Row Styling Brush – 7.87 Inches

What type of Denman brush should I use? One of the best all-around brushes is the Denman D3 brush which is a medium 7 row styling brush. It’s size makes it very good for just about all hair types and it excels at controlled styling. The bristles pass through your hair without getting caught and thus does not promote hair breakage. It’s an excellent all-around brush. If you have thicker hair and or lots of natural curls and waves you will want to consider the Denman D4 which is a 9 row brush. It’s a little bigger giving you more control and detangling ability. British hairbrush design benchmark, our Denman D3 is loved worldwide. The ultimate in controlled styling and natural curl definition is our unique sculpted pins. Brush Length: 7.87 inches. Brush Width: 1.38 inches.  

4. D14 – Small 5 Row Styling Brush – 6.5 Inches

  Denman ‘s definitive miniature styling brush. The ultimate in controlled styling and natural curl definition is our unique sculpted pins. Its compact size makes it perfect for traveling with you. Brush Length: 6.5 inches. Brush Width: 0.98 inches.  

About Denman

Denman International Limited is part of the 1972 Denroy Group of Companies. The Group is a family owned private company with headquarters in Bangor, Northern Ireland. It employs 160 people at the time of this writing. Denman International Limited is a sales and marketing organization with offices in London and Amsterdam and a wholly owned subsidiary, Denman Inc., based in Boston, USA. Its sister company, Denroy Plastics Limited, manufactures the Denman brush and comb range and is a key supplier to a variety of industries, including aerospace, defence, automotive, handling of materials and medical equipment.

My Recommendation

I have owned a Denman 9 row hairbrush for over twenty years! It’s my favorite go-to-hairbrush. when I reach for a hairbrush I usually find a Denman 9 row in my hand. If I have to choose only one brush and be stuck with that hairbrush for the rest of my life it would be a Denaman 9 row ha! Honestly in my opinion you really can’t go wrong with an original Denman 9 row hairbrush. After reading all the great product reviews on Social Media sites like TikTok, Instagram and Twitter I’ve been know to load up my cart with Denman products, ha!


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Cloete, E., Khumalo, N. P., & Ngoepe, M. N. (2019). The what, why and how of curly hair: a review. Proceedings of the Royal Society A, 475(2231), 20190516.