If you’ve got luscious locks & curls that are susceptible to split ends & breakage, you’ll want to treat your hair to quality styling tools. Opting for a hairbrush that caters to coils can transform your styling session into a self-care routine that you & your curls look forward to.
But which brushes belong in every coily hair wearer’s toolkit? That’s why we’ve lined up an entourage of hair brushes that are gentle on hair, can support your texture & are sure to keep your locks looking & feeling their best.
#1 The Shower Brush
If you’ve been blessed with springy, joyful tresses, you know that hair styling starts before you even step a toe out of the shower. A shower brush for curly hair primes your tresses for styling by smoothing & detangling hair while it’s still damp. They’re defined by their flexible bristles, which are designed to move with your follicles (rather than pull on them).
Make the most of your wash days by following these steps in the shower:1
- Apply conditioner – After you’ve finished shampooing, split your hair into smaller sections. Evenly distribute your favorite conditioner throughout your curls. Case in point: our conditioner with slip, which helps hydrate your curls & provides ideal slippage for brushing.
- Use a shower brush – Gently brush the product through your hair with a tool like our mini styling brush. Start from your ends & work your way up to the roots. Make sure to tackle any particularly tangly sections, like the back of the head & the nape of the neck.
- Rinse well – Once you've distributed the conditioner thoroughly, use your shower brush to help get all of the product out when rinsing. Although it’s completely normal to brush out hair clumps (especially if your last wash day was a while ago), well-designed shower brushes should cause minimal hair loss.
- Apply hair oil – Your shower brush can serve you both in & out of the shower. You can also use your brush to apply deep conditioning treatments like an argan oil and jojoba oil hair serums. These keep your hair soft, smooth & moisturized in one fell swoop.
Start your hair day with smooth hair straight out of the shower. Any other brushing you do will feel like a breeze when your locks feel fresh & clean.
#2 The Boar Bristle Brush
For a day-to-day brush that keeps your curls intact, look no further than a boar bristle brush. This curly hair brush is essential for any hair toolkit & works exceptionally well after you've detangled & moisturized your hair. So, what are the most common boar bristle brush benefits?
Boar bristle brushes remain a coily hair fan-favorite as they can help:2
- Distribute natural hair oil
- Promote shine
- Seal your cuticle
- Add volume
- Capture lint or dirt
- Let you control how much frizz you want
You can often find boar bristle brushes being used as an edging tool. With the bristles' firm grip, these tools can help you flatten & shape your baby hairs for a stunning, swirling finish. However, it’s important that you know how to clean a boar bristle brush to help it last longer. For more detailed handiwork, our Edge Tool can add those final touches for framing your face with delicious swoops & spirals.
#3 The Wide Tooth Comb
It's no secret that curly hair needs attentive care (& brushes that don't cramp its style). So, switch out your fine-tooth comb for one that offers more forgiveness—wide tooth combs to the rescue.
Designed with more room to smooth & separate hair follicles, Wide Tooth Combs champion their fine-tooth counterpart in many ways, including:
- Working with wet hair – For a post-shower brush, a wide tooth comb is significantly gentler than a fine-tooth comb. With more spacing between the teeth, this comb doesn’t cause friction or disrupt your natural curl pattern. Instead, it locks your curls together to create a more consistent texture throughout your hair.3
- Detangling – Fine tooth combs can exacerbate curly tangles because they don’t provide enough room for the tresses to glide through. Use a tool like PATTERN’s Wide Tooth Comb for a more controlled detangling experience that won’t result in as much natural hair breakage or hair loss.
- Cleaning – In addition to being tender on natural hair, wide tooth combs are also much easier to clean as tools. For one thing, there are no dense bristles to worry about. To reduce excess scalp build up such as oil & dirt - clean yours by soaking it in warm, sudsy water to cleanse it daily.
Protect what's most important to you. When your tresses need a touch-up, opt for a comb to lift them up (rather than rile them up).
#4 The Detangling Brush
It’s essential to have a go-to brush for curly hair on occasions when you want to keep knots to a minimum.
When it comes to learning how to detangle hair, that's where a detangling brush comes in.
Perfect for wash day dilemmas & minor touch-ups alike, detangling brushes can come in handy in more ways than one. Besides the obvious benefit of detangling made easy, these tools can also:
- Work on all hair textures – Detangling brushes can accommodate all hair patterns, from ultra-fine waves to the tightest of coils. Whether you brush hair while it’s damp or dry, the flexible bristles can separate your hair without tugging or tearing.
- Improve scalp health – You can also use detangling brushes to boost your scalp health. With exfoliating properties, these brushes can detangle your roots, eliminate scalp buildup & flakiness & boost circulation.4
- Prevent breakage – Most split ends occur from aggressive grooming with combs or brushes.5 Detangling brushes boast flexible bristles that move along with the groove of your hair, rather than pulling it in a direction it doesn’t want to go. In this way, they can help kick breakage to the curb.
Detangling brushes let you shorten your styling session without sacrificing your hair’s health. They’re a go-to styling tool that does a little bit of everything. Paired with a curly hair detangler, you’ll get touchable, hydrated strands with curls so defined they’re guaranteed to turn heads.
#5 The Hair Pick
If you're all about volume, the hair pick is curly hair’s ride-or-die. Type 3 & type 4 hair textures will especially love what this tool brings to the table: Picks can create noticeable lift without causing damage. Plus, with its compact design, you can pop it in your purse or backpack for touch-ups while you’re out & about.
Let your hair down & give it some oomph by following these best hair pick practices:
- Wash or moisturize hair before you start brushing
- Make sure your hair is completely dry
- Divide your hair into sections
- Brushing from the root using short, upwards strokes
- Aim not to over-pick (no more than twice a day)
For fabulous hair with no fuss, a hair pick can work wonders. Try out our Hair Pick for added volume that looks adorable when you pick on the go.
What’s the Best Type of Brush For My Hair?
With so many different natural curly hair types, textures & patterns, how can you decide which curly hair brush will work best for your hair?
While you may need to practice some trial & error to find the best brush for you, there are a few guidelines that can help set you up with the perfect one. To start, consider your hair's curl pattern, thickness & density to help determine which brushes to reach for (& which to avoid).
Here’s a quick guide to help you discover the perfect hair brush for your curly hair type:
- Fine hair – Reach for a gentle brush if your hair is both delicate & curly. Go for one with additional rows of spaced-out bristles. Smooth curls, undo tangles & distribute oils without adding too much friction.
- Thick hair – If you've got thick curls, you'll need a brush that combines strength with flexibility. A sturdy wet brush or detangler combines these qualities fabulously. Apply conditioner with a sturdy shower brush & detangle curls in record time.
- Soft curls – A boar bristle brush may work best for you if you've got loose curls. Due to the dense bristles, boar brushes can smooth thicker hair effectively, resulting in shiny locks without static.
- Tight curls – Instead of a densely bristled boar brush, tight curls & coils do better when they have plenty of room to breathe. A wide tooth comb could work significantly better for your hair health as it provides a gentler approach to help combat breakage.
- Sensitive scalp – Stray away from brushes with stiff, irritating bristles. Instead, go for a brush with flexible bristles, like a detangling brush. Prevent scalp damage while keeping your curly, coily or wavy hair tangle-free.
If you’re still unsure what hair type you fall under, visit our Curl Guide to get in touch with your beautiful locks. Learn about curl pattern, porosity & transitioning. Before you know it, you’ll feel well-versed in hair care methods that bring out your inner shine.
Pattern Beauty: Your New Best Friend
Your curls are a gift, & to share them with the world it’s essential to care for them kindly—which means using tools expressly designed with them in mind.
Give your curls the brushes they deserve with PATTERN’s suite of styling tools. Our hair brushes for curly hair range from shower brushes to hair picks, plus natural hair products like our Leave-In Conditioner, Hydration Shampoo & hair treatments for curls that let them claim the adoration they deserve.
Your curls were meant to be cherished. Treat them to hair care and styling products made for you with PATTERN.
- "How to Use a Brush for Curly Hair + My Favorite Brush." Curly Girl Life. Updated: 29 January, 2021. https://curlygirllife.com/how-to-use-a-brush-for-curly-hair-my-favourite-brush/
- Francois, Alyssa. "How a Boar Brush Can Help You Achieve Healthier Hair." All Things Hair. 27 January, 2022. https://www.allthingshair.com/en-us/hair-products/hair-brush/boar-bristle-brush-benefits/
- "Best Combo for Curly Hair." FOX31 Denver. https://kdvr.com/reviews/br/beauty-personal-care-br/best-comb-for-curly-hair/
- Milliner-Waddell, Jenna." 7 Detangling Brushes for Natural Hair, According to Hair Stylists." The Strategist. 15 April, 2021. https://nymag.com/strategist/article/best-detangling-brushes-for-natural-hair.html
- Rigoletto, R et al. “Semi-permanent split end mending with a polyelectrolyte complex.” Journal of cosmetic science vol. 58,4 (2007): 451-76.