Whether you realize it or not, you might be using the wrong hairbrush for your hair type. It’s easy to reach for the first tool you see on your vanity — or get comfortable with one you’ve been loyal to for years — but using the wrong hairbrush can do damage to your hair. Xavier Velasquez from Serge Normant at John Frieda broke down the best brush to use by hair type so you can have the loveliest locks on the block.


Straight hair is all about maximizing smoothness, shine, and structure. If straight strands are damaged from heat or processing, breakage and split ends are extra noticeable thanks to the uniform nature of your mane, so use a brush that’s gentle like Harry Josh Pro Tools Premium Oval Brush ($50). “If you have straight hair, use a paddle brush,” recommends Velasquez. “A mixture of natural and synthetic bristles adds shine to dry hair but also provides a nice grip if you’re using it to blow dry.”


Embrace your waves and use a brush that brings out the best of your bends like Ibiza Hair Extra Large EX 5 ($52). “When it comes to wavy hair, I love a round, cork-centered brush with boar bristles,” he tells us. “Using that type of brush allows you to accentuate the wave and add shine.” That said, if you’re after a sleek look, Velasquez reminds us that this type of brush also allows you to pull with tension to smooth out strands.


Avoid tugging on or disrupting the shape of your curls when you take a brush to them. “To work with curly hair, use a large, round, metal brush with synthetic, spaced-out bristles,” he says. “This allows you to glide through hair with ease in order to smooth out curls and add volume.” An aluminum-barreled brush like Creative Pro Hair Tools Lightweight Aluminum Barrel Hair Brush ($14) is lightweight but still sturdy for spirals.


Work with the natural texture of your locks with a fine tooth comb like Mason Pearson Styling Comb ($26). It’s a versatile choice to use in your routine because it’s both a detangler and a styler. “A tool like this is perfect for smoothing out the hair line and creating lift at the root,” says Velasquez. “Using the fine tooth side of the comb also works to smooth out baby hairs and any lingering frizz.” 

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Illustrations by Marisa Kumtong