The 8 Best Brushes For Fine Hair, According To A Stylist

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best brushes for fine hair
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By BDG Commerce
Originally Published: 

Curly or straight, keeping your hair protected from unnecessary damage is probably your biggest hair-related concern — and fine hair is particularly susceptible to damage. While heat styling tools and sulfate-free shampoos are well-known troublemakers, sub-par hair brushes are another culprit behind breakage. The best brushes for fine hair are gentle on the hair, won't tug on strands or tangles, and help evenly distribute your scalp's natural oils along the hair's shaft.

Is a boar bristle brush good for fine hair?

Boar bristle brushes are generally considered a must-have for fine hair, but why? Their bristles are stiff enough to detangle, but according to Jordi Martinez, stylist at FEKKAI SoHo, “Boar bristles are more gentle with the delicate structure of fine hair.” They also do a phenomenal job of distributing the scalp's natural oils from root to tip and softly removing dirt and debris from hair. Damaged hair can benefit from an extra-soft boar bristle brush that helps stimulate the scalp, which boosts circulation to hair follicles, and if you like a good blowout, the best round brushes for fine thin hair are often made with 100% boar bristles.

Are nylon bristles good for hair?

That said, 100% boar bristle brushes aren't the only ones you should have on your radar. Brushes with a combination of boar and nylon bristles are great for blow-drying and detangling, especially if you want a hairbrush for use on wet hair. “The nylon bristles add some strength and consistency to the boar ones,” Martinez wrote. “They also help reduce static.” Whichever materials you decide to go with, remember that brushing gently is absolutely essential.

The Best Brushes For Fine Hair


An Affordable Boar Bristle Brush With Great Reviews

With thousands of positive reviews on Amazon, this Belula hair brush is a great way to go if you're looking for an affordable option with real boar bristles. This brush for thin hair and fine hair features a bamboo handle and soft bristles that smooth your strands and distribute oils for natural conditioning. Keep in mind that it’s probably too soft to detangle medium or coarse hair and that this option isn’t necessarily recommended for styling.

Helpful Amazon review: "I love this brush. I have baby fine hair and a very sensitive scalp. This brush crosses off all the boxes for me. 1. All natural 2. Soft on my scalp and 3. Doesn't pull or tug at my already thin hair.”


An Editor-Approved Brush With Boar & Nylon Bristles

For less than $30, this boar and nylon bristle brush is an editor favorite that’s slightly more affordable than the similar Denman. “My stylist recommended that I use this Misel brush on my long, fine, very-dyed hair, and it's made a major difference in its softness and strength,” explains Bustle editor Caroline Goldstein. “It works perfectly fine as a detangler, but I like it best for evenly distributing products (and oils, if my hair is unwashed) from scalp to ends — and making it visibly shinier in the process.” Thanks to the combination of bristles, you really do get that dual functionality, with the nylon bristles helping to detangle and the boar bristles distributing products and natural oils for smoother, shinier hair. It comes in two different sizes, and Amazon reviewers with fine hair seem to be big fans of the brush as well, raving about how well it smooths and detangles without pain or pulling.

Helpful Amazon review: “I am really impressed with this brush so far. I have long and fine delicate hair that tangles very easily and I have found this brush to work through my knots so gently and effectively. I have had issues with prior brushes breaking/pulling out more hair than I liked and I am noticing this brush is not doing that as much which is a relief because I would like to retain as much hair as humanly possible!”


A Detangling Brush That Works On Wet Or Dry Hair

Knots and snarls can cause breakage regardless of hair type, but they really wreak havoc when you have fine hair, which is why it's important to invest in a good detangling brush like this award-winning one from Tangle Teezer. Featuring memory-flex bristles that are firm but still gentle on sensitive hair follicles, this brush can be used on wet or dry hair and glides through it with ease. It's constructed with a mix of long and short teeth, the former to detangle your hair and the latter to smooth it. According to the brand, the brush is so gentle that it can even be used on hair extensions, weaves, and wigs.

Helpful Amazon review: "I love, love, love this brush!! I have very fine hair and it's pretty long. [...] I did some research on brushes for fine hair and this one came up. I thought that I'd give it a try and I am so glad that I did. It works wonders on tangles! I highly recommend it for longer, fine hair!”


A Classic Brush With Boar & Nylon Bristles

Denman is a well-loved brand, and this highly rated brush combines two fantastic fine-hair helpers: boar bristles and nylon bristles. The soft boar bristles are gentle on delicate hair, and they distribute oils for natural sheen and protection. Meanwhile, the flexible nylon bristles add a little detangling power while helping to style hair. To top it off, the air-cushioned pad goes easy on the scalp. This eco-friendly option is available in three sizes.

Helpful Amazon review: “My hairdresser recommended this brush to me and I’m so happy she did. I have really fine hair and so when it’s tangled fresh out of the shower I always have to be so careful about brushing out my hair as not to accidentally cause any breakage or damage. With this brush, it detangles my hair with ease and without breakage and it also feels like a head massage every time you run it over your scalp. Highly recommend!”


A Round Brush That's Great For Blow-Drying Fine Hair

When it comes to blow drying fine hair, the biggest challenge lies in getting the hair to actually remain on the brush while you're styling it. But the 100% boar bristles in this round ceramic brush allow it to firmly hold onto fine hair while you blow dry, without tugging or snagging. On top of that, the vented ceramic barrel is designed to allow air from the blow dryer to circulate, helping your hair dry extra fast for some amazingly voluminous results. Finally, it comes in three barrel sizes, so you can achieve the style you’re looking for.

Helpful Amazon review: "My hair is waist length and fine, easily tangled. This brush never gets caught in my hair, never pulls any hair strands and easily blow dries my long hair without any problems. my hair comes out straight or loose curls, depending on how I blow dry it. You won't be disappointed.”


A Boar Bristle Brush For Less Than $10

If you don’t want to spend too much on a boar bristle brush, this Diane one is a super great deal, boasting a 4.4-star rating on Amazon overall, from more than 6,000 reviews. Best of all, it’ll cost you less than $10. The brush comes in a range of different styles intended for different types of hair, but this soft bristle version is meant for fine to medium tresses. It features 100% boar bristles and an ergonomically-shaped wooden handle that’s comfortable to hold.

Helpful Amazon review: “I have long, fine hair that's prone to oiliness at the scalp, but the rest of my hair will dry out if I wash it every day. I bought this brush to help distribute the oil throughout my hair on days when I don't wash it. It works perfectly for this. I just separate my hair into multiple small sections, brush each section a few times, and I'm done. There has been a noticeable difference in the health of my hair. Areas where my hair was brittle and damaged have started to repair, and overall my hair is much smoother. For the price of the brush, it's excellent quality.”


A Static-Fighting Cushion Brush That's Perfect For Long, Fine Hair

With more than 10,000 reviews on Amazon and a 4.6-star rating, this Denman cushion brush with nylon bristles is a popular styling tool for people of all hair types, but it also works well on fine hair because its soft rubber base and flexible bristles won't pull on hair. Instead, this static-fighting brush is like a gentle massage for your scalp, and helps shape and smooth out long hair.

Helpful Amazon review: "Perfect for fine static-ridden hair or sensitive scalps. I have fine hair. In winter, other brushes would leave me crackling. The ends of the bristles are very round and smooth, which is nice on my skin.”


The Stylist’s Pick That’s Worth The Splurge

If Martinez were to pick one brush to use on especially fine hair, “it would be the YS Park Luster Wood Styler.” Yes, this Japanese-made brush is a splurge, but according to this stylist, it’s worth it: “A bit stronger than others, which also makes it great for styling with heat, but still gentle enough to be used on fine hair.” It has a combination of boar and nylon bristles, and it’s heat-resistant for use alongside your blow dryer. The cushion helps to reduce static and ease your scalp, while the ergonomic handle is “[definitely] a plus, too.”

One reviewer wrote: “My hair dresser bought this brush at Hair Expo and recommended for hair loss. I was so happy to find them on Amazon. They are far better than Mason Pearson Popular Mixture Brush. Nylon bristles are longer [and stimulate] my scalp. Brush handle has indented finger grip so I can firmly hold the brush.”


Jordi Martinez, stylist at FEKKAI SoHo

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