Think that all hair brushes are the same? Think again. If you have natural hair that's curly or a textured hair type, you likely know first-hand that the wrong hairbrush can spell serious trouble. Beyond the pain and lost hair that comes from using the wrong brush, you often end up with the same number of knots and tangles you started with!
Luckily, the beauty industry has caught on that those with incredibly curly hair can't use just any hairbrush, and they've offered up a range of hairbrushes targeted towards those with curly hair. With so many options on the market, how can you pick the best for you (i.e., the one that's really going to work this time)? We've pulled together 18 of the best brushes for curly hairstyles to help you decide.
Brushes for Curly Hair
Check out the best hairbrush options on the market right now and find the one that works best for your hair and preferred style.
If you like to detangle your hair while it's still wet, go with this option from Tangler Teezer. The detangling brush can be used with a conditioner for more effortless detangling during your shower.
The flexible bristles are a nice mix of firm and bendy, giving you the ability to control the amount of pressure you put on your strands. It's not just limited to the shower, though — it also works great on dry hair.
Another made-for-the-shower hairbrush, this option from Pattern is ideal for textured hair of any type. The detangling brush separates your curls or kinks with ease.
However, one cool feature that makes this brush stand apart from the rest? The brush pad in the middle is removable, so you can just pop it out for cleaning as needed. No more gross brushes filled with hair products and old hair!
When it comes to purchasing your Denman brush, you won't be left wanting for options. The brushes come in several different shapes and sizes, so you can pick the option that best suits your needs.
Ghanima Abdullah, a cosmetologist and hair expert with The Right Hairstyles shared with us their perspective on why the Denman Brush is a great option for those with curly hair, saying, “The structure of a Denman brush is what makes it great for curly hair. The way the plastic spikes are placed on the brush help it glide through wet hair easily to detangle the hair while also clumping the hair to form curls. The rubber base helps smooth the curls to reduce frizz.”
Whatever variant you go with, though, you can rest assured that you'll enjoy a gentle detangling experience that won't leave you wincing.
If you want to go more budget-friendly rather than splurge on a $20-plus hairbrush, try this affordable Wet Brush option. Simple, minimalistic and great for use in the shower, it works best while conditioning (though you can use it on dry hair as well). Keep in mind that stylists recommend you go with the wet option to minimize overall breakage.
The Flex Detangling Brush boasts a truly unique design. It works like a standard brush at first, but once you remove a bridge that holds the bristles together, you'll discover that the brush separates into multiple, flexible parts that move with your hair while you're brushing, so you end up with fewer snags.
While the verdict is still out regarding the relationship between curly hair and boar bristle brushes (see below), if you find that you prefer boar bristle for your curls, you may want to try this option designed for thin to medium curls.
A brush created with dry brushing in mind, rather than wet, helps to move your hair's natural oils from the scalp to tips for softer curls.
Prefer to straighten your curls regularly? An Instyler straightening brush might be what you need. This particular option is favorited thanks to its quick straightening time, volumizing action and ease of use, and is a great alternative to your standard flat iron.
Another great option from the Wet Brush brand, this variant is made for shower use only. The minimal bristles and flexible design works well with wet hair of all types, including curly hair, and even if you're not using conditioner, it cuts through tangles easily. (Plus, the brush comes in a rainbow of colors, which never hurts.)
This small, hand-held, round massage brush is designed for use with both conditioner and shampoo. Once you have your shampoo or conditioner worked through your locks, use this brush to both detangle your curls and achieve a better clean for your scalp. It's particularly a good choice for those who use many hair products and are worried about build-up.
Fans of the Drybar brand will enjoy this detangler option. Suitable for wet hair, dry hair and extensions, this detangler brush is a bit of a jack of all trades. While you can go with the full-size version for use at home, if you travel a lot, you may want to get the travel-size brush as well, for easy detangling on the go.
This brush is the Rolls Royce of detangling hairbrushes. It's pricey at more than $100, but you get what you pay for. The brush is made with 100% natural boar, which makes it not very vegan-friendly, but if you love the result you get from using boar bristles, you probably won't mind. The gentle bristles help to control frizz while detangling.
If your curls are more on the softer side, you may prefer this extended cork round hairbrush. The natural boar bristles contribute to softness and shine and work well with more delicate, rounder curls that aren't so tight that they can't handle a brush with compact bristles.
Likewise, if you have curly hair that trends more toward wavy hair on most days, you can go with this Fromm Glosser Intuition hairbrush and achieve smooth, voluptuous hair without damaging your curls or ending up with flat locks. This one-sided brush is also a good option if you want blow out effects but struggle with using a round brush while blow drying your hair with the hairdryer in one hand and your brush in the other.
Yet another great pick from Wet Brush! This eco-friendly hairbrush is made from biodegradable plant starch and boar bristles. The latter is infused with watermelon seed oil, which gives you a more fabulous shine and smoothness when used on your hair.
Not only is this Milk + Sass Macaron detangling brush super-cute and super-portable, but it also actually works. With a macaron-like design, this round brush pops apart when needed, revealing a brush on one side and a compact mirror on the other. It's a great size to throw in your purse for quick brushing and detangling on the go.
The Yusef Cushion Paddle Brush was created by the same Hollywood hairstylist who works for big names like Rihanna. This brush is excellent for detangling and is even outfitted with a special tool to help section or part your' do. This brush works for both damp and dry hair.
If one of your primary hair problems is snagging ends, go with this detangler brush from Felicia Leatherwood specially created to help with that issue. Detangle your entire head of hair, roots to tips, with ease.
So this Sheila Stotts removal hairbrush is technically designed to help remove and detangle hair extensions, but it also works great for detangling natural and curly hair. Compared to other brushes, there are fewer bristles, meaning your locks will be pulled less, and the design untangles without unnecessary tugging. Be aware, though — this brush more on the expensive side, at nearly $40.
Combs for Curly Hair
Of course, you may also need a comb for your curly hair, and we have some recommendations for that as well.
This Diane Oil detangler comb is budget-friendly, at just a few dollars, and is excellent for dealing with super-curly hair. Those tight, wet curls need special care, and this comb gives it.
The wide-set teeth remove any tangles or knots while leaving your curls intact. The special "oil" feature makes this comb even cooler, though; a special coating infused with Vitamin E and Omega-3 oils nourishes your hair while you comb.
Another wide-tooth comb that's incredibly budget-friendly, this Conair wide tooth comb option gives you much the same experience as the Diane Oil Detangler Comb, but without the detangling oil. If you already have a hair conditioner brand or style that you love to use in the shower, go with this option instead.
If you find that the two above options aren't providing you with quite the amount of 'oomph' you need, try this double Ouidad detangler comb with its two rows of teeth. It's designed for thick hair that needs a little more work, but it's still gentle enough to handle your locks without breakage.
Another good comb pick for really thick hair, this Hercules Sagemann comb is the pricier, more durable version of the two options from Conair and Diane above. It works well for detangling, styling and overall hair care.
Okay, so sometimes you just want a relaxing hair care experience. If you have to detangle down and want to add something special to your hair care and self-care routine, treat yourself to this jade Mount Lai massaging comb. At a little over $50, it's a bit of splurge, but the jade design massages away your stress as it works out the tension from your scalp.
Frequently Asked Questions About Brushes and Combs for Curly Hair
You've got questions. We've got answers.
What about boar bristle brushes?
Often, boar bristle brushes are touted as the very best hair brushes money can buy. However, are they still a good option for those with curly hair? Unfortunately, boar bristle brushes, while generally safe for most users, can cause hair damage, just like many other brush types.
Boar bristle brushes are incredibly stiff, so if you've noticed that stiff brushes damage your locks, you may want to avoid them. If you're going to try out a boar bristle brush, though, it's recommended that you try the brush on only a small portion of hair first to see how your hair responds before using it on your entire head of hair.
All of the above won't work! Now what?
If you're still experiencing snagging and damage with the above brushes made for curly hair, you may have to look further for other options, such as modifying one of the above brushes to better fit your needs. Some users will actually remove rows of brush bristles to alleviate snagging, which is one solution to try.
You may, additionally, find that brushes simply won't work for your curly hair, and you may have to stick to combs only, or even finger detangling, which is much gentler and more comfortable on your scalp and locks.
What should I consider when buying a brush?
There are a few things to consider when buying a new brush, especially for curly hair.
You want to look at how closely the bristles are placed together, plus the total number of bristles in the brush. If you have very thick, very knotted hair regularly, you may want a brush with fewer bristles. If you're trying to style your own hair and you're not as worried about tangles, you may want a brush with more bristles.
Look at the overall size of the brush as well. Many find that brushing through curly, knotted hair is much easier when you have a smaller brush that's a bit more agile.
Look for any special features, too, like added oils that can lend your hair a little more softness and shine while improving overall hair health.
You might also like: 16 Of The Best Inexpensive Makeup Brush Sets [For Under $40]
The 23 Best Hairbrush and Comb Options for Curly Hair:
- Tangler Teezer's Ultimate Detangler
- Pattern Shower Brush
- The Denman Brush
- Wet Brush Original Detangler Hair Brush
- Flex Detangling Brush
- Goody Wood Styler Brush
- InStyler Straight Up Ceramic Straightening Brush
- Wet Brush Shower Flex
- Diane Shampoo Massage Brush
- Drybar Lemon Drop Daily Detangler Brush
- Christophe Robin Boar Bristle Detangling Hairbrush
- Ibiza Collection Extended Cork Round Brush
- Fromm Glosser Intuition Hair Brush
- Wet Brush Go Green Oil Infused Watermelon Brush
- Milk + Sass Macaron for Hair Detangling Brush
- Yusef Cushion Paddle Brush
- Felicia Leatherwood Detangler Brush
- Sheila Stotts Removal Brush
- The Diane Oil Detangler Comb
- Conair Wide-Tooth Comb
- Ouidad Double Detangler Comb
- Hercules Sagemann Magic Star Hair Comb
- Mount Lai Jade Massaging Comb