We've rounded up the best hair brushes on the market, taking into consideration hair types and styles to help find the perfect tool for you.
You wouldn't shop for one of the best hair dryers without doing your research first. And the same should apply to your trusty hair brush. Whether you have long or short hair, looking after your locks with a great hair brush is a must. The humble hair tool makes light work of detangling knots, smoothing frizz and helps to limit hair damage. You may not also realise that using the wrong hair brush for your hair type can actually result in issues like hair loss and dandruff too.
"Catering for the hair and scalp with a quality hair brush is important for good grooming, scalp care and detangling," says celebrity hairdresser and Creative & Communications Director of Headmasters, Andrew Barton. He's lent his expert time and opinion to help us pick out the best hair brushes for all hair types - including fine, curly and afro hair, in addition to locks with added hair extensions.
What to consider when looking for the best hair brush
- Star rating: Our in-house star-rating system is based on peer reviews. They’ve tried and tested the hair brushes and awarded stars based on factors such as product quality, ease of use, customer feedback, awards and value for money. Products that have received a 5 star status are rare and considered exceptional, going above and beyond our reviewer’s expectations.
- Brush material: According to hairdresser Andrew Barton, a great brush should be made from quality materials: "Value-led brushes might not be costly but they're often not made from quality elements. " A great quality brush means better quality hair and you can rest assured we considered this when testing.
- Brush shape: This is a matter of personal preference: which you find easiest to use and your desired outcome. Of course, a barrel shaped brush will create volume whereas a detangling brush will work on knots. "I’d advise trying different brush shapes and see which works best," says Barton. "They won't cause significant damage to the hair so there's no need for caution over one or the other."
- Wet or dry hair: Put simply, certain brushes work better when hair is wet and dry. So we've included brushes that cover both - from ones most suited to wet hair (to detangle after shampooing), plus brushes best for restyling dry hair. Some brushes are also great at both says Andrew Barton: "A detangling brush like The Manta is perfect for brushing & detangling both wet and dry hair."
The best hair brushes for your hair type:
1. Manta Brush
Best hair brush for thin hair
Star rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ | Brush material: Plastic bristles | Brush shape: Palm-shaped | Wet or dry hair: Both
|✅ Gentle on fine hair ✅ Durable, easy to wash material ✅ Great for scalp massage
|❌ Expensive ❌ Not sustainable materials
This palm-shaped, flexible brush works brilliantly on all hair types but is particularly effective on thin hair as it's so gentle. The flexible plastic material moulds to your hand and gives maximum control over tangles. It's easy to keep clean and very durable.
"I'm a huge fan of The Manta brush, designed to be as gentle as using hands to brush the hair and stimulate the scalp," hairdresser Andrew Barton tells us.
2. GHD Oval Dressing Brush
Best hair brush for thick hair
Star rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ | Brush material: Nylon bristles | Brush shape: Oval | Wet or dry hair: Dry
|✅ Smoothing effect on dry hair ✅ Anti-static bristles ✅ Helps distribute scalp oils through hair
|❌ Expensive ❌ Not sustainable materials
This nylon bristled oval brush glides through hair easily, not snagging or pulling at strands. The result? Smoother, softer and more groomed hair. We found it's easy to manoeuvre around the head and works particularly well on dry hair that needs restyling.
Hairdresser Andrew Barton swears by this brush for use on his client's thick hair: "I recommend using this GHD oval brush to dress out curl types and style the hair."
3. Babyliss Rose Blush Thermal Brush
Best hair brush for fine hair
Star rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ | Brush material: Plastic bristles | Brush shape: Barrel | Wet or dry hair: Dry
|✅ Thermal metal barrel speeds up drying time ✅ Great for creating volume ✅ Affordable
|❌ Not sustainable material
The 40mm barrel on this brush is brilliant for creating volume in fine hair. A factor Barton agrees with: "Round brushes are great for blow-drying hair to smooth hair textures and give fuller effects." The thermal barrel also help to speed up drying time. It's lightweight, easy to hold and the tapered handle is great for finding your parting.
"I love this brush for getting a salon-like blow dry at home," says GoodTo's Feature Writer Emily Stedman. "My fine hair usually falls limp but not when I use this brush."
4. Mason Pearson Handy Boar Bristle Hair Brush B3
Best hair brush for frizzy hair
Star rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ | Brush material: Natural boar bristles | Brush shape: Oval | Wet or dry hair: Dry
|✅ Smoothing boar bristles to control frizz ✅ Designed after 150 years of craftsmanship ✅ Handmade cushioned pad - great quality
|❌ Expensive ❌ Not vegan
Created by one of the top brush brands, this Mason Pearson boar-bristled brush is one of the best products for frizzy hair. You can tell it's made of exceptional quality and feels very luxurious. It's not all style though, as the substance is paramount too. It makes quick work of flyaways and helps get rid of frizz. Plus, it evenly distributes the scalps natural oils down the length of the hair.
"It's pricey but this is my favourite hair brush for taming my thick, unruly hair," says GoodTo's Beauty Editor, Stephanie Maylor.
5. Tangle Teezer The Wet Detangler Hair Brush
Best hair brush for curly hair
Star rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ | Brush material: Plastic bristles | Brush shape: Paddle | Wet or dry hair: Wet
|✅ Affordable ✅ Gentle on curly hair - doesn't pull or snag ✅ Light to hold
|❌ Not sustainable materials
Detangle your curls and coils with a brush that's gentle and you'll see much more defined curl patterns and a style that lasts all day. The even distribution of the bristles reduces frizz and takes the hassle out of detangling post-shower.
"My curly hair loves this brush," says Rhiannon Derbyshire, GoodTo's Senior Beauty Editor. "It detangles strands effortlessly and makes my curls so much more defined."
6. Kent Classic Shine Large Soft White Pure Bristle Hair Brush
Best hair brush for straight hair
Star rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ | Brush material: Natural bristles | Brush shape: Oval | Wet or dry hair: Dry
|✅ Natural bristles help increase shine ✅ Gentle on scalp ✅ Luxury design
|❌ Expensive ❌ Not vegan
This large cushioned, natural bristle brush feels luxurious in your hand and gentle on the scalp. It's particularly suited to fine and straight hair as it smooths the hair shaft and distributes the scalps natural oils down the length of the hair.
"I don't use any other brush than this one," says GoodTo's Beauty Director, Charley Williams-Howitt. "Since coming across it my hair has been softer, smoother and generally in better condition. It doesn't snag, pull or tear out my hair like some other brushes can."
7. Standelli Professional Detangling Brush
Best hair brush for Afro hair
Star rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ | Brush material: Plastic | Brush shape: Claw | Wet or dry hair: Both
|✅ Adjustable width to suit curls/coils ✅ Gentle on scalp ✅ Lightweight ✅ Affordable
|❌ Not sustainable materials
This adjustable, flexible brush works particularly well on tightly coiled hair that's prone to tangles. Because it has a flexible head it won't rip out any strands making the whole experience a lot more pleasant. It's also vented which will speed up blow drying.
"FINALLY! I found a detangling brush that actually works and can manage my dry curls and get rid of all those knots. I've tried every brush out there honestly, and now I can stop looking," raves one Amazon reviewer. "It glides well and it doesn't tug on my hair causing it to break further."
8. Philip Kingsley Vented Paddle Brush
Best hair brush for long hair
Star rating: ⭐⭐⭐ | Brush material: Plastic bristles | Brush shape: Paddle | Wet or dry hair: Both
|✅ Vented design for speedy blow drying ✅ Cushioned and gentle on scalp ✅ Anti-static properties
|❌ Expensive ❌ Difficult to clean
A hair brush designed by a trichologist (The famous Mr Phillip Kingsley) has to be worths its salt and this one certainly is. The vented paddle design allows warm hair to circulate through while blow drying, speeding up the process and helping to smooth the hair shafts. It feels luxurious but is also very practical. A must for those with long hair prone to tangle.
"I have waist length hair that tangles at the ends and this brush takes care of knots virtually pain-free," says GoodTo's Features Writer Emily Stedman.
9. Denman D3 Gold Crown Original Styler 7 Row
Best hair brush for short hair
Star rating: ⭐⭐⭐ | Brush material: Plastic bristles | Brush shape: Rectangle | Wet or dry hair: Both
|✅ Affordable ✅ Easy to clean ✅ Lightweight
|❌ Not sustainable materials ❌ A little scratchy on the scalp
Shorter hairstyles will revel in this smaller brush design. It's fantastic for creating flicks, smoothing hair and blow drying and works well on wet and dry hair. It's an affordable option so might lack the subtleties of a luxury hairbrush (like rounded tip bristles) but if you don't have a sensitive scalp, it'll suit you well.
"When I had shorter hair this style of brush was perfect for me. It doesn't tug on my strands and I could use it wet or dry," says Darcy Brown, GoodTo's Beauty Assistant.
10. Drybar Super Lemon Drop Detangling Brush
Best hair brush for knotty hair
Star rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ | Brush material: Plastic bristles | Brush shape: Oval | Wet or dry hair: Both
|✅ Flexible for detangling knots ✅ Use wet or dry ✅ Easy to clean
|❌ Moderately expensive ❌ Not sustainable materials
From the popular blow dry bar, Drybar, comes this brilliantly designed hair brush. The oval shape catches every hair without tugging and the uniform bristles smooth the hair shaft for increased shine. It can be used on wet and dry hair and is a great companion for your blow dryer.
"I wash my hair every day and this hair brush comes in handy when I need to detangle," says GoodTo's Beauty Director, Sarah Cooper-White. "It's gentle, effective and inexpensive too."
11. Balmain Paris Hair Extension Brush
Best hair brush for hair extensions
Star rating: ⭐⭐⭐ | Brush material: Nylon bristles | Brush shape: Oval | Wet or dry hair: Dry
|✅ Soft and gentle - doesn't tug hair extensions ✅ Anti-static properties ✅ Reduces damage to natural hair
|❌ Moderately expensive ❌ Wooden handle makes it hard to clean
Specifically designed for use on hair extensions (particularly bonded hair extensions) this hair brush won't pull or agitate the scalp. It's gentle, with extra long flexible bristles and leaves hair looking shiny and groomed. It's a little difficult to clean due to the wooden handle but it's still a great addition to your beauty kit.
"Lovely lightweight brush thats perfect for my hair extensions. Adds volume and doesn't cause static," says one Just My Look reviewer.
12. Dyson Airwrap (Smoothing Brush attachment)
Best hair brush dryer
Star rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ | Brush material: Plastic bristles | Brush shape: Rectangle | Wet or dry hair: Wet
|✅ Comes with a lot of attachments: left/right airwrap barrels, firm/soft smoothing brush & round volumising brush ✅ Create lots of styles ✅ 'Coanda' effect air flow for smoothness and shine
|❌ Very expensive
The Dyson tech team have incorporated the 'Coanda' effect into hair tools and the results are phenomenal. This amazing effect brings the hair towards the brush and allows for maximum smoothing and minimal frizz. It's expensive, but it does include a significant amount of attachments.
"When my hair is frizzy or out of control, I'll always reach for my Dyson, especially with the soft smoothing brush attachment," says Woman&Home Beauty Channel Editor, Fiona McKim. "It gives my lifeless hair some volume and keeps it sleek all day."
Does it matter what kind of hair brush I use?
If you care about the health, quality and look of your hair then choosing the best hair brush for your hair type is essential. Hair is incredibly personal and often your crowning glory so treat it with TLC and you'll not only look fabulous, you'll feel it too.
We recommend going for quality bristles that have been thoroughly tested. And hair guru Andrew Barton agrees: "Throughout an average day the hair tangles and creates mini breakage throughout the fragile tips and lengths. Regular brushing with a quality hair brush helps to avoid tangling."
He suggests opting for pricier brushes as these generally have better research behind them: "It’s a good idea to invest in quality brushes from some of the renowned brush brands like GHD, Denman, Mason & Pearson or Kent. All of which will have gone through rigorous testing and quality control.
"When I ask clients what brushes they use I’m often told their choice is made by the choice of colour which is not always ideal for the hair type."
Is a hairbrush better than a comb?
Generally speaking, a wide-toothed comb is better suited to wet hair but a bristled brush is more suited to dry hair. If you're unsure of what type of brush or comb you should be using, hairdresser Andrew Barton suggests paying attention to what your hair stylist uses at your hair appointment.
"It’s a good idea to ask your hairdresser what brush or comb best suits your hair type," he tells GoodTo. "Chances are the brush or comb your stylist uses is perfect for the job."
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Emma North is a Senior Beauty Writer who works for digital titles including woman&home, Woman, Woman’s Weekly, Woman’s Own, Chat and GoodtoKnow. Emma’s career in beauty journalism began with internships at publications including Vogue, Elle, The Telegraph and Glamour while she undertook a degree in journalism. She was then taken under the wing of Funmi Fetto, Contributing Beauty Editor at Vogue where Emma assisted with Funmi’s debut beauty book, Palette
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