Best Brushes For Curly Hair [Review] in 2021
When it comes to brushing curly hair, it is no easy task; brushing it while dry will cause a whirl of frizz, and brushing it incorrectly while wet can cause breakage. You may be wondering, is there a brush suitable for curly hair?
Absolutely, but it’s not all about the brush but also the technique.
Whether your natural hair type is subtle waves or kinky coils, brushing any curl is no easy task. Instead of picking up the first brush you see at the drugstore; you need to consider some important factors first.
It is no easy task looking for the right brush for your curly hair, and there’s a lot at stake if you choose the wrong one, such as damage, snagging on your curls which can disrupt your curl pattern– the last thing we want!
But what if I told you something?
To make life easier for you, I have spent time hunting down, trying out 100s of brushes, and learning the curl anatomy to find the best brushes for curly hair and the best brushes for each curl type.
Here’s a tip: since you cannot brush your hair while dry, the best way to brush your hair is with a wide bristle wet brush while your hair is sopping wet. I would reccomend applying your leave-in conditioner and then brushing your hair from the tip to root.
You won’t want to miss my top 3 picks.
hours spent finding
The best brushes for curly hair
Denman Hair Brush
The holy grail of curly hairbrushes comes in at the number one spot, with rows ranging from as little as five rows to as many as nine, paired with strong nylon round-ended bristles and rubber cushions to create tension shape curls and tame frizz.
This durable, high-quality material is lightweight and features a balanced grip on the handle to provide optimum comfort while using. It provides enough tension to smooth out frizz while sitting comfortably in your hand.
When used on wet hair, it helps to amplify curls and spirals, increasing definition while smoothing out tangles and frizz. It also helps evenly distribute the product along with the hair, so ideal for pairing with a gel or curl-defining cream.
But wait, let me tell you something.
It’s super easy to use for defined curls, use while your hair is still wet, brushing in an outward motion, twisting as you go down the hair to create tension and define curls.
I would recommend using a water spray bottle to keep the hair damp, as otherwise, it’ll dry by the time you’re halfway through your head. Spray down with the water spray for each section and apply your product for even coverage and defined curls.
It defines, detangles, smooths, and tames frizz, and with over 50,000 glowing reviews by curly girls alike, it is a winner.
- Reduces frizz, gently detangles and smooths
- 7 rows of round-ended pins
- Durable high-quality materials
- Ideal for all curl types
- Some customers had issues buying through Amazon
Latest deal: Denman Hair Brush
Crave Naturals Glide Thru Detangling Brush
You may have heard of the tangle teaser, but I am a personal fan of their top competitors, Crave. It is the ideal shower brush to gently detangle knots without tugging or damaging your natural curl pattern.
Those with kinky hair absolutely love it.
One thing that makes this brush so excellent is that it can be used on curly hair while dry too; as long as you’re using it with a product or as a pre-poo, it does well with hair oil– use extra product to help provide the brush with extra slip to prevent frizz.
This brush promotes healthier, happier hair by detangling knots by separating hair sideways instead of pulling and tugging; this minimizes damage and split ends. The bristles are also extremely flexible and won’t lose their shape.
This brush isn’t just designed for adult hair, but it is safe to use on your little one’s hair too. Say goodbye to fussing and screaming when brushing your little ones’ hair, and hello to a peaceful morning routine.
If your little one has curly hair, then you know the pain of wash day.
It can even be used on wet or dry ends; unlike other hair brushes, the Crave Original brush doesn’t have beads on the ends, meaning it won’t dig into the scalp when brushing. The soft plastic bristles massage the scalp and increase circulation and promote hair growth.
It can also be used on various curl types: curly, natural, thin, thick, kinky, coily, and frizzy. It is even safe enough to use on extensions and even wigs.
I love this product too because the portion of the profits is donated to Wigs for Kids, a non-profit organization that provides hair replacement pieces for kids who’ve lost their hair, which was a nice touch.
It works wonders to stimulate the scalp; if you pair this brush with the Denman brush in your routine, you’ll have defined curls like never before– trust me.
- Promotes happier, healthier scalp
- Safe to use on children
- Can be used on wet curls
- Portion of profit goes to Wigs for Kids
- None it is brilliant for curly hair
Latest deal: Crave Naturals Glide Thru Detangling Brush
TANGLE TEEZER Thick and Curly Detangling Hairbrush
Now we all know that the Tangle Teaser is the holy grail of detangling hair brushes, but they’ve since gone above and beyond to create their curly girl range, specifically for those with 3c to 4c hair.
The firm flex technology used in this brush is ideal for gently detangling even the thickest and curliest of hair. The lengthened teet also helps enhance detangling, which is crucial for curly hair to prevent breakage and damaging the curl.
This brush is a real game-changer for many; it is designed for thick, curly, or textured hair. The two-tiered firm-flex teeth are much stronger and longer than any other hairbrush by tangle teaser.
It leaves curls completely tangle-free and super-defined, leaving plenty of bounce.
The combination of short and long teeth is brilliant as while the long teeth help detangle, the short teeth help smooth, define and combat frizz, so curls look smooth and defined.
Many happy customers expressed that this product was ‘lifechanging,’ ‘the true holy grail product,’ ‘unreal,’ and those with thick curly hair particularly loved it as it gently detangles while being easy to hold.
I know I definitely had a few hair brushes caught within my curls over the years because I lost grip of the brush.
The best way to use this brush is to use it while conditioning and detangling; I wouldn’t reccomend using it with curl cream, leave-in conditioner, or gel; use your fingers instead as otherwise, your curls won’t clump back up.
Using this while conditioning will leave your curls defined and frizz-free. It is brilliant for really curly or kinky hair, especially if it is particularly thick. It will work wonders for your curls!
- Ideal for thick, curly hair
- Combination of long and short bristles
- Detangles defines and leaves hair frizz-free
- Prevents breakage
- For some curls only use while conditioning and detangling and not after using styling products.
- Cannot be used with heat
Latest deal: TANGLE TEEZER Detangling Hairbrush
Felicia Leatherwood Detangler Brush
When brushing curly hair while wet, your hair is more vulnerable to breakage and split ends; you must find a brush that will gently detangle curls without tugging or snagging on the natural curl.
This brush is brilliant for straight, wavy, curl, and even the kinkiest of curls thanks to the wide-spaced Flexi-bristles, which glide easily through hair without breaking or damaging your hair strands.
It works to gently release knots and move your hair without tugging. The wide handle is also extremely ergonomic as it provides a comfortable, sturdy grip while using the brush. It has been engineered to tame tangles and smooth coils.
But wait, here’s the best bit:
This brush is ideal for natural curls or waves as it prevents abrupt hair pulling and breaking strands, preventing damage to the natural curl shape.
The Flexi-bristles provide fluid movement allowing this detangling brush to move with your hair; The Felecia Leatherwood is the ultimate solution to brushing curly hair. This brush is brilliant, especially if you’re prone to shrinkage.
- Wide spaced bristles glide through the hair
- Prevents abrupt pulling or breaking strands
- Prevents damage to natural curl shape
- Comfortable grip
- Quite pricey
Latest deal: Felicia Leatherwood Detangler Brush
Revlon Essentials Tangle Free Comb Set
Having a comb that is up for the job is super important when it comes to managing curly hair. Having one in the shower is essential, especially if you’re doing the curly girl method.
Most curly girls prefer to comb their hair rather than brush it, so having a trusty wide-tooth comb is handy to have.
Luckily this comb or any wide tooth comb should gently detangle your curls without disturbing your natural curl pattern. It is gentle on the roots and scalp and is ideal for evenly distributing conditioner from the root to the tips.
But wait, get this:
It is recommended in the ‘Curly Girl Method’ to detangle curly hair with your fingers or a wide-tooth comb while your hair is still sopping wet. I would reccomend using after applying the conditioner and after applying your leave-in conditioner.
The hook on the comb is super handy for keeping in the shower ready for use. I love this set because you can keep one in the shower and one in your bedroom or wherever you style your hair.
The teeth are far apart, so they keep curls defined without unraveling each curl; this prevents frizz and defines curls for the optimal coil, making it perfect for detangling and defining curls.
For six bucks, these combs have a lot to offer for curly hair.
- Widely spaced teeth so won’t disrupt the curl pattern
- One comb comes with a hook for easy storing in the shower
- Evenly distributes product
- Prevents frizz
- Can be quite flimsy for thick hair
Latest deal: Revlon Essentials Tangle Free Comb Set
Wet Brush Original Detangler Hair Brush
So as we have already covered, hair is weakest when wet, but with curly hair, we have no choice to brush our hair.
Pulling it can cause it to snap like an elastic band. This is when it is prone to breakage as most hair brushes rip through and pull out knotted hair rather than gently separating it.
WetBrush is designed to bend and flex to move knots effortlessly and with minimum breakage. The ultrasoft Intelliflex bristles glide through the tangles with ease and allow you to brush with less force and without disrupting the natural curl.
The less force allows you to detangle with less damage to your hair; it also minimizes pain, split ends, and breakage of the hair. It also sits in your hair comfortably with the comfortable handle design.
Now let me tell you something.
This brush is ideal for all curl types. Anyone with unruly curls knows that brushing dry locks can break curl patterns, so buying this brush being designed to be used while wet making it ideal for curly hair.
The IntelliFlex bristles allow the brush to glide through your wet hair without snagging or pulling; it’s a dream come true for those with curls. If you’ve tried more hair brushes for detangling than you can count, then you need to give this one a go.
You’ll be shocked by the results.
- Designed to be used on wet hair
- Bends and flexes to move knots effortless without breakage
- Allows for less force
- No snagging or pulling
Latest deal: Wet Brush Original Detangler Hair Brush
Best Hair Brushes For Curly Hair-- A Buyer's Guide:
When it comes to brushing curly hair, we all have to be extra careful, we don’t want to cause frizz, breakage and we certainly don’t want to disrupt the natural curl pattern; we also shouldn’t brush our hair while dry.
Another issue we curly girls come across is brushing our hair while wet; when our hair is wet, it is most fragile, weak, and most prone to damage. Tugging your knots out of wet hair actually does more damage than we realize.
While having the correct hair brush is super important, the technique is key.
As a curly girl myself, I find that brushing my hair in the shower is key. I do the initial detangling before and after rinsing out my conditioner; I then section my hair, wet it down with a water spray, and apply my styling product section by section. This ensures that the product is going on sopping wet hair rather than damp hair.
I will then grab my styling brush; I currently use a Denman Brush and twirl the brush as I run it down its section. This leaves my curls looking revived, refreshed, and defined.
Having the right brush is a great first step, but now I’m here to show you the technique and everything you need to know about brushing curly hair briefly in this section. Be sure to check out my full guide here, though.
How To Brush Curly Hair Without Disrupting The Curls:
Chosen the right brush for your curls? Great! Now we need to get the technique in the bag; this is the key to defined and luscious curls. Just changing the way you brush your hair will make more of a difference than you may realize.
Here’s how to brush curly hair without snagging or causing frizz:
Step One: Add Moisture:
You should only brush curly hair while it is sopping wet, damp, or has a layer of slip between the strands and the bristles. Brushing curly hair while dry will be the only event in frizz or damage the curl’s shape.
After washing your curly locks using either a no-poo cleansing conditioner or low-poo sulfate-free shampoo, your hair will need a little moisture. I like to detangle my curls while I have conditioner on the ends.
Then, I will rinse the conditioner and apply my leave-in conditioner or moisturizing cream; it is crucial to keep curly hair hydrated when brushing.
Step Two: Detangle:
Next step is to detangle curls without disrupting the curl pattern. The best way to detangle your curls and help keep their shape is to section your curls and brush section by section; this helps give each curl or coil more definition.
I would reccomend applying a good coating of curling cream or gel to each strand and ensuring each strand is still sopping wet by wetting down each section with a water spray before applying.
This will help the brush glide through the hair much easier and will prevent any snagging.
Step 3: Work from the bottom up:
With each section, make sure you’re working from the bottom upwards; this will help reduce the amount of tugging and potential hair shedding.
Be patient with your hair, don’t rush while brushing your hair; this will cause unnecessary breakage and disrupt your curl pattern. You also want to avoid brushing the same area too frequently as this will cause your curl to lose memory and be less defined.
Don’t forget the baby hairs, too; I would reccomend switching to a smaller hair brush to slick your edges and baby hair.
Frequently Asked Questions
How often should you brush curly hair?
A straight-haired girl will never know the struggle of brushing curly hair and preventing frizz. But how often should you brush curly hair? To prevent frizz, I would reccomend brushing your hair every time you wash and style it.
You should only brush your hair while wet, damp or if the hair brush has a little slick to it. Some curly girls dampen down their hair to brush it (when not washing it) to refresh curls.
How often you choose to brush your curls is completely up to you, but I would reccomend brushing while your hair is wet or stimulating the scalp before washing. Brushing your hair while dry can tug on curls and actually damage the natural curl shape.
Does brushing hair ruin curls?
Sometimes, but only if you’re using the wrong brush or the wrong technique. Since you have to brush your hair while wet with curly hair, this is when hair is at its weakest.
Tugging and pulling on strands to rip out knots can really damage the natural curl pattern, especially if you do this while your hair is wet, as your hair won’t bounce back like it would when it is dry.
Instead of ripping out your scalp to get rid of pesky knots, you should gently glide a wide-tooth comb or detangling brush from the bottom to the roots of your hair. I would also reccomend doing this while your hair is sopping wet with a leave-in conditioner.
This will help glide through knots and gently detangle rather than tugging on the natural curl and causing breakage.
What happens if you don’t brush curly hair?
It is ideal for you not to brush curly hair as this will maintain the integrity of your curl. Your curls will appear less frizzy and look more defined when you don’t brush your hair.
It is recommended that you keep brushing your hair to a minimum and instead detangle with your fingers or a wide-tooth comb and then scrunching, plopping, or diffusing your hair until dry.
So there you have it; while brushing curly hair is not easy, it is super important to use the right hair brush and the right technique. We want to keep frizz at bay without damaging our natural curl pattern.
Each brush I have selected for you today I have tried, tested, and been recommended by thousands of curly girls all over the globe. Whether you have loose waves or the tightest coils, having the right brush will make a world of difference.
Remember you should only brush your hair while wet, so implement it into your washing routine. I tend to brush my curls either while my conditioner is on the ends or once I’ve put on my leave-in conditioner, this helps to gently ease knots with minimal breakage.
Let’s upgrade our curl game, ladies!
Cheif Editor & Nail Technician Expert
Jess Rowley, a veteran nail tech, has been studying beauty over the last 11 years and has completed the nail technology program in California. Watching the latest trends in beauty, Jess searches for the highest quality products that make your nails feel loved.