On The Brady Bunch, Marcia Brady religiously brushes her hair 100 times a day in order for it to stay pretty and shiny. In reality, overbrushing can be harmful. So when it's time to brush, blow-dry or style, make sure you're kind to your hair. The first step is to choose the right brush or brushes. Joy La Rosa, a creative stylist at Brocato Salon in New York City, says most women could benefit from having two or three hairbrushes. Check La Rosa's brush-by-brush breakdown to see if you've got the right tool for the job.
Boar Bristle Brush
Best for: Boosting shine and fine hair
Buying tip: Natural boar bristles help to distribute natural oils from your scalp down through the tips for a shiny finish. This type of brush is particularly good for fine hair because the closely spaced bristles provide more for the strands to stick to. La Rosa calls it a good “brushing your hair” brush.
Try: Hana K Diamond Wood Boar Bristle Oval Cushion Brush
Best for: Creating waves and body
Buying tip: Round brushes come in a variety of barrel sizes from under an inch to 3-inches plus. La Rosa says a 1½- to 2-inch size is an easy-to-work-with standard for most since it's tough to handle the largest round brushes available. If you have longer hair, you may want to try a bigger brush. You don't want your hair to be able to go around the brush more than three or four times or you'll risk tangles. Also, if you're trying to create waves and curls with a round brush, look for one made of ceramic or tourmaline. They hold the heat like a curling iron and you can let the hair sit on the brush and cool down to create curls.
Try: Hot Tools Blue Ice XL Thermal Round Brush
Best for: Detangling and rough drying your hair before you get into styling mode
Buying tip: Paddles typically have nylon bristles spaced far enough apart to allow tangles and knots to slip through, helping you to move quickly through your hair. This style is also padded, so anytime you do tug on your hair, it will feel a little softer.
Try: Olivia Garden Ceramic + Ion Anti-Static Square Cushioned Paddle Brush
Nylon/Boar Hybrid Brush
Best for: Blowouts
Buying tip: A brush with a mix of nylon and boar bristles is La Rosa's favorite. The boar bristles help to give your hair shine, while the longer nylon bristles help you move through your hair quickly to speed up your blowout.
Try: SPI Thermal Nylon & Boar Barrel Round Brush