Monday, 7 December 2015

Choosing the right hairbrush

Walk into any department store or chemist and there is an array of hairbrushes to choose from. The trick is to get the right one for your hair type and not to use it too often. Brushing can harm the hair. 

I asked GB Kent & Sons ( more commonly known as Kent Brushes, which has been making brushes since the eighteenth century for some guidance. Kent Brushes received its first warrant from George III and has held a warrant consistently for nine reigns which has to be a testament to the quality of its wares.

Fine hair

According to Kent Brushes, people with this type of hair often find that it is limp or lacks body. Some find that their hair won’t hold a style, especially if there is humidity. However, Kent Brushes says fine hair can be shiny and smooth.

For general brushing, Kent Brushes recommends using a soft to medium strength bristle brush. A rubber cushion adds comfort. Before buying a brush, you want to ensure that it won’t scratch your hair so rub your hands over the bristles to see how it feels.

If like me, you have fine hair but a lot of it, you might like the Kent Brushes Grooming Brush (£8.50) which is suitable for styling and smoothing shorter hair. For blow-drying, I like a round brush as it helps to get hair smooth and sleek. I tried the Kent Brushes 45mm Diameter Radial Brush (£9.50) which is ideal for shaping, straightening and curling.

Hairdressers tend to recommend boar bristles as they help to boost shine. It can be hard to find a good round natural bristle brush so ask your hairdresser for suggestions if you cannot find what you are looking for in a regular store.

Medium Hair

This is the type of hair that most of us would like to have as it is shiny, does not tend to dry out and is easy to look after.

“Although most hair brushes can be used it is still a good idea to treat yourself to a medium to stiff bristle brush to use for traditional brushing as part of a daily care regime,” says Kent Brushes.

Thick Hair

“Blow-drying can also take twice as long with this type of hair so it is worth drying 80 per cent of the moisture out it before starting to use your hair brush to style,” advises Kent Brushes.

“For daily brushing use a very stiff bristle brush or one with added nylon quills. These protrude longer than the bristle to help the brush to penetrate through your hair deep down to the scalp.”

Shape and size

The shape you choose will also depend on what style you want to create. You should also take into consideration the length of hair. In general, the smaller brushes work best on shorter hair. The larger ones work best on longer hair. However, you may find smaller ones work on longer hair to produce curls.

If you want to add volume you will want a round natural bristle brush which will also help create lift and shape. This brush is particularly good for people with fine hair.

The more tightly packed the bristles, the better for taming hair. It is often down to personal preference whether you want to use natural bristle or plastic pins. Although, if you have fine hair plastic pins can create static. 

Ceramic round stylers may dry the hair quicker (the brush retains the heat from your hairdryer than a bristle brush, but  are potentially more damaging to your hair. They can work for when you want to create waves and curls. Kent advises working with hair that is slightly damp when using this type of brush. 

Flat brushes are good for detangling and also for smoothing. Vent brushes are suitable for drying short to medium hair that does not have much curl. Paddle brushes are great if you want to dry long, thick hair straight. As they have plastic bristles you are not able to create as much tension as you would with a round bristle brush so they are not good for taming frizz. 

Ask your hairdresser if they think this type of brush is suitable for you. If your hair is fine or fragile, they are probably best avoided or at least to be used occasionally. Of course, Kent does one (Kent Brushes Ceramic Radial Brush (PF12, £11.50) but there are other brands such as Denman that you can look at. 

Finally, don’t forget to wash brushes regularly.
By Daralyn Danns