14 Best Brushes for Curly Hair of 2022, According to Testers
14 Best Brushes for Curly Hair of 2022, According to Testers

14 Best Brushes for Curly Hair of 2022, According to Testers

best brushes for curly hair

Khadija Horton

You already know that brushing your curly hair can be a delicate ~task~, whether you choose to detangle your 4c hair with gobs of deep conditioner in the shower, or to gently dry-brush your 3a curls before your wash-day routine. But you may not know that the curly hair brush you use actually matters and should be chosen based not only on your curl type, but on the health and texture of your hair. “If a brush feels like it’s slipping through your hair and detangling it easily, that’s the brush for you,” says hairstylist and texture expert Jasmine “Jazzee” Green. So how do you find the best brushes for curly hair? That’s where both Green and hairstylist Erinn Courtney come in.

Together, we compiled the best brushes for curly hair that won’t create additional pulling, tension, or knots, as long as you’re using them gently and correctly. But first, a quick peek at our top favorites:

Now keep reading to find your new go-to curl brush, along with how to properly detangle your hair type, when the best time to brush your curly hair is, and more.

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Best Curly Hair Brush Overall

Tangle Teezer Naturally Curly Detangling Brush


Best Curly Hair Brush for Styling

TGIN Style & Shine Boar Bristle Brush


Best Brush for Sensitive Scalps

Rizos Curls Pink Detangling Flexi Brush


Best Brush for Defining Curls

Denman Original Styler D3


Best Curly Hair Brush for Blow-Drying

Aimike Round Brush


Best Dry Detangling Brush for Curly Hair

LUS Detangle & Style Brush


Best Curly Hair Brush for Shower Detangling

Wet Brush Shower Detangler


Best Curl Brush for Scalp Massages

Virtue Flourish Manta Brush


Best Brush for Thick, Curly Hair

Curl Keeper The Original Flexy Brush


Best Paddle Brush for Curly Hair

Urtheone Boar Bristle Paddle Brush


Best Comb for Curly Hair

Ouidad Double Row Detangler


Best Curly Hair Brush for Travel

TGIN Define & Style Detangling Brush


Best Edge Control Brush for Type-4 Curls

Baby Tress 3-in-1 Edge Styler Tool


Best Hair-Dryer Brush for Curly Hair

Hot Tools 24K Gold One-Step Blow-Dryer Brush

What type of brush should you use for curly hair?

The type of brush you use on your curly hair is entirely dependent on how you’re using it. Here’s a quick breakdown of the different types of brushes and what they’re used for:

  • Paddle brush: Most common type of brush that detangles and styles wet or dry hair, depending on the bristle type and paddle shape
  • Detangling brush: Loosens knots and tangles on wet or dry hair
  • Boar bristle brush: Smooths, lightly detangles, and adds some shine to dry hair
  • Wide-tooth comb: Detangles wet or dry hair, but best on conditioned hair in the shower
  • Edge brush: Smooths, lays, and styles edges and baby hairs

At the bare (brush) minimum, all curl types can benefit from keeping a wide-tooth comb in the shower for detangling and distributing products through wet hair. But the rest of your brush kit will depend on your styling needs. A boar-bristle brush can help detangle and smooth a fresh blowout or silk press, while a detangling brush can help you work through knots before stepping in the shower. Basically, you can never have too many brushes if you’ve got type-3 or type-4 hair.

Should you brush curly hair wet or dry?

Whether to brush your hair wet or dry will depend on your hair texture and style. For tight, type-4 textures specifically, “it’s best to detangle your hair when it’s wet and loaded with conditioner for added slip,” says Green. “When you add conditioner to wet hair, it softens and relaxes the hair cuticle, making it easier to detangle.”

In general, wet-combing will help keep your curl pattern intact (but isn’t great at detangling every last knot), while dry-brushing will easily detangle your hair, but also undo your clumps and curl pattern. Not sure which is best for your hair? Try both: Brush your dry hair before hopping in the shower, then comb through it with conditioner after shampooing. Wet hair is more fragile and prone to breakage, so detangling on dry hair first can help mitigate damage.

How can I brush my curls without ruining them?

First things first: Brushing your curls won’t permanently “ruin” them. Once you get your hair wet, your curls will spring right back to their natural pattern. Still, if you want to keep your defined curls, make sure to only brush them before or during your shower. Then, you can use a Denman-style brush or wide-tooth comb (depending on your curl type) to help section and style while the hair is still wet. And remember: Don’t rip through your hair when combing. “Detangle in small sections, working your way from tips to roots,” says Courtney, to help prevent breakage.

How often should you brush your curly hair?

How often you brush your hair will depend on your texture and damage levels, but you generally shouldn’t brush curls more than two to three times a week. “There are really only two reasons for anyone to brush their curly hair: to detangle and to style,” says Green. Brushing your hair too frequently can increase your risk of breakage from all the tugging and pulling (especially if you have a tight texture that a brush can’t glide through).

That doesn’t mean you can’t brush your hair more frequently—it’s your hair, and you know it best. But it’s not your only option, says Green, noting that “if you’re not ready to wash or wet your hair, you can gently use your fingers to separate some of the knots.” And to help prevent additional tangles between brush days, smooth a lightweight hair oil through your ends every night to help keep your strands smooth, says Courtney. Sounds basic, but the flatter your hair cuticle is, the less likely it’ll be to knot, so embrace the oil.

What to look for in the best curly hair brush:

Think about the purpose of the brush

Choose a curly hair brush based on your styling goals. Do you want a brush to define your wet curls? Go for a wide-tooth comb, which can help clump your curls while lightly detangling them. Trying to work through tangles quickly before braiding, twisting, or showering? Look for a wide paddle brush with ball-tipped plastic bristles. Need a brush that’ll help you smooth your topknots and low buns? Opt for a boar bristle brush.

Look for additional features

A backless brush won’t hold onto water or get moldy, which makes it ideal for in-shower detangling. Meanwhile, a brush with removable rows will allow you to customize the width of your teeth spacing for styling, detangling, or brushing. And a brush with stiff bristles and a beveled base will help you define your curl pattern right at the root.

Don’t get hung up on one single brush

Remember: There’s no one-size-fits-all curl brush, because curly hair has needs. You’ll likely rely on a mix of brushes depending on your texture and styling habits, so instead of looking for the unicorn brush that doesn’t exist, work on building up a kit of go-to curly hair brushes instead. You should definitely have a brush for detangling and a brush for styling, but you can always add the extras, like a dry detangling brush, an edge-control brush, and a paddle brush, depending on your goals and hair type.

Meet the experts:

Why trust ‘Cosmopolitan’?

Beth Gillette is the beauty editor at Cosmopolitan with four years of experience researching, writing, and editing hair stories that range from wavy hair products to natural hair braid ideas. She’s an authority in all hair categories but is an expert when it comes to curly hair brushes through many interviews with experts and hairstylists. She regularly tests and analyzes hairbrushes for efficacy, while working with the industry’s top hairstylists to assess new innovations and new brands.

This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io

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