With so many options for tools to style your hair, it can often be quite confusing to know to use. Not only are there varieties in shape (round, paddle, flat etc.), there are also a number of different bristles that can make or break your hair style and health. They range in cost (for the high quality ones) from $15 upward of hundreds, depending on brand.
1. Boar Bristles
Yes indeed, these are actually the hair of a hog. There is irony that we make ourselves beautiful with the help of such an animal, but we do. These bristles are often very pliable and flexible. They are naturally soft in texture and at times are mixed with other materials to keep their strength. Though on their own, they tend to be on the weaker side, traditionally Boar bristles produce very shiny hair when used properly. Mason Pearson’s Popular Mixture brush is a customer and editorial favorite, with its patented pneumatic cushion and 100+ year history.
2. Porcupine Bristles
Unlike our friend the Boar, these bristles are not actually made from the quills of porcupines. It is rather called that to represent the layering effect used when making the brush. This is often called “tufted” and can be very beneficial for keeping fine hair in check, as well as maintaining thick locks by using a full swoop brush technique. Spornette, Sephora and Ulta offer a wide variety of these hair tools.
3. Nylon Bristles
This category is really smorgasbord of bristles. This is where you will find the majority of traditional, commercial hairbrushes falling within. Nylon bristles include any brush made from plastic, rubber, nylon and other man-made materials. Did you know the closer the bristle is placed within the frame of the brush, the more control you have with your hair? Mass drug and chain stores, like Target, CVS, Walgreens and Duane Reade offer a vast collection of brushes made from nylon bristles and often offer a much more affordable price point than the professional brands.
4. Metal Bristles
Unless you are wearing wigs, hair pieces and other man-made hair accoutrements, you should not be using a metal brush. They are known to be rather rigid and can actually damage real human hair over time.
Janet Zeitoun, Founder of SOTAH
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