Best Round Brush For Blow Drying [Review] in 2021
written by nail expert Jess Rowley
Drybar Ceramic Round Brush
Olivia Garden Round Thermal Hair Brush
Cricket Technique Barrel Hair Brush
If you have spent a fair few bucks at the salon for a professional blowout because you crave the finish and now looking for ways to save a few bucks?
Well, grabbing your own round brush will be a good start.
Next up is knowing how to properly blow-dry your hair at home. With a little practice and a bit of trial and error with the products and technique, you too can achieve the salon-worthy blowout you’ve been dreaming of.
The first challenge is finding the right round brush for you; you need to find one that matches your hair type, hair length, and hair thickness– so the size of the barrel may differ—the bigger the barrel, the bigger the blowout.
But don’t let that put you off!
To make life easier for you, I have spent hours researching and trying professional round brushes for every hair type– whether you have straight fine hair or thick curly hair, I have a round brush for you.
Here’s a pro tip: I recommend combining bristles with nylon bristles and boar bristles; they create great tension and make styling much easier without causing breakage. I would also recommend going for a ventilated design for a professional finish.
Enough of me rambling; let’s jump in!
Best Round Brushes For The Perfect Blowout
Drybar Full Pint Ceramic Round Brush
Looking for a styling round brush that will give you volume as you’ve walked straight out of the hair salon? For a salon-quality blowout, you need the same brush the pros use, and Dry Bar is just that!
After using Drybar’s Full Pint Medium Round brush, you’ll be getting all the compliments.
You can rely on Drybar to create the ultimate brush for your at-home blowouts, with the round brush shape making it easier to smooth any style and offer the right level of volume to keep your hair looking good all day.
This round brush comes in a ceramic barrel designed with vents; this helps dry your hair quicker as it ventilates more airflow, but thanks to the ceramic material, it heats while you dry your hair to hold in your style for longer.
While I’ve shown you the full pint version by Drybar, they also offer a half-pint version designed for shorter/medium-length hair, so if you have slightly shorter hair, check it out here. They even have a double pint version for extra thick hair too!
But wait, here’s the best bit:
The Ionic Technology used in Drybar’s brushes reduces frizz and adds shine when styling, while the bristles offer exceptional tension and control when gripping and twirling the brush.
Ionic Technology breaks up the water particles leaving hair feeling hydrated, less likely to tangle or frizz. They work to moisturize the hair by penetrating the hair shaft. They create negative ions, which also help prevent breakage too.
This paired with the vented ceramic barrel design, you’ll have that professional blowout like never before. This professional round brush is like a curling iron inside your brush, giving you blowouts like never before.
- Reduces frizz and adds shine
- Bristles offer exceptional and control when gripping
- Easy to smooth and style
- Ceramic, ventilated design heats up to hold in styles
- Double pint is better for thick hair
Latest deal: Drybar Full Pint Ceramic Round Brush
Olivia Garden NanoThermic Ceramic Ionic Round Thermal Hair Brush
The second spot goes to the legendary Oliva Garden Nano Thermic Ceramic & Ion Round Brush, which uses the most advanced technologies designed to create beautiful volume, waves, or curls when used with a blow dryer.
So, where should I start?
Let’s start by talking about the nano thermal ceramic ionic turbo barrel with a ventilated design. It heats up faster than any other material and retains heat for longer while the extra-large vents improve airflow.
This reduces drying time, offers faster and better styling, which is super long-lasting.
This, paired with the ion-charged natural boar bristles, helps hydrate the cuticle, adds shine, and eliminates frizz and flyaways when blow-drying. They are also gentle on the hair and scalp and help stimulate blood flow and overall healthy scalp.
The ionic technology can help add negative ions back into your hair and restore its natural charge, which can help restore your hair’s natural shine so your hair will feel softer, smoother, and more manageable.
Want to know something cool?
This brush comes with a retractable sectioning pick at the end to help separate hair and section hair easily when styling with your hair dryer. All you need to do is retract it when you need it, and it won’t get in the way when you don’t
What I love about Olivia Garden’s round brushes is that she offers a wide range of sizes, from as small as 1/2″ to as big as 3 and a quarter inch barrels, making these brushes best for thick hair, thin hair, short hair, long hair, wavy hair, you name it.
To top it all off, the handle design is unique; it comes with a snag-free ring, easy-grip ergonomic handles, and the design is super lightweight, making it easy to style with your blow dryer.
Your hair will dry faster and more smoothly when you switch to this brush– this premium round brush with both ceramic and ionic technology from Olivia Garden is a winner.
- Ceramic and nano ionic technology
- Ventilated design
- Boar bristles
- Ideal for all hair types, short and long hair
Latest deal: Olivia Garden Round Thermal Hair Brush
Cricket Technique Barrel Hair Brush
best ionic hair brush
To have the perfect blowout, you need three things (well, technically four if you count products): your hairdryer, professional thermal round brushes, and the right technique.
The Cricket Technique round brush comes with tourmaline ionic bristles for the ultimate finish.
These antimicrobial ionic tourmaline bristles help smooth hair by sealing the cuticle and infusing moisture into the hair shaft and scalp. Ionic technology helps restore negative ions in the hair, which helps with overall health.
These heat-resistant bristles are also brilliant for static-free blow-drying, eliminating flyaways, and help combat frizz.
Here’s the best bit!
The seamless barrel locks in heat for high heat styling, meaning that your blow-dry will be more voluminous and longer-lasting for that professional finish that you crave. It comes in eight different sizes to match all hair types.
To top it all off, it even comes with a sectioning pick at the ends to make the brush handle easy to use and make blow drying that much easier. It can be conveniently stored in the base of the nonslip grip handle for when it is not in use.
- Tourmaline Ionic Bristles
- Help improve the health of hair
- Static-free blow drying
- Convienent ectioning pick
Latest deal: Cricket Technique Barrel Hair Brush
Moroccanoil Ceramic Round Brush
best ceramic round brush
Up next is another professional round brush by Moroccanoil. I personally love Moroccanoil round brushes as they have both ceramic and ionic properties, which enhance the condition and style of your hair.
These high-quality materials allow for even heat distribution, enhancing drying time and improving the condition of your hair, making them the best round brushes for styling.
Thanks to the wide range of sizes, it can be used on medium and long hair and will even work on curly hair. It is brilliant for creating volume and adding ions to the hair for a healthier, shinier look.
But wait, get this!
All you need to do is start at the root and gently work the brush through the length of your hair using easy strokes; you can even drag the brush upwards for a little extra volume around the root.
It even includes a sectioning tip inside the handle, ideal for sectioning and styling your hair. All in all, this Moroccanoil round brush is yet another winner for styling.
- Cutting edge boar technology
- Ion technology to tame frizz and reduce damage
- Ceramic barrel
- Lightweight design
- Issues ordering through Amazon
Latest deal: Moroccanoil Ceramic Round Brush
Spornette Deville Round Boar Bristle Brush
best round brush for bangs
Now I love boar bristles when it comes to brushing and styling my hair– can you sense a theme here? Here is one of my personal favorites by Spornette Deville, a round brush with natural boar bristles.
The Spornette Round Brush is designed for blow-drying, adding volume, and achieving natural volume in all hair types. It comes in a range of sizes from as small as 1.5″ to 2.5″ inches, making it ideal for fine, short hair or even to style bangs.
Want the full collection? You can buy the combination set too!
This boar bristle round brush is designed to smooth hair when used with heat, help distribute your natural oils down the hair shaft to help increase shine. The boar bristles stimulate the scalp, which helps to increase blood flow and promote hair growth.
The 1.5″-2.5″ diameter range wooden round brush is ideal for shorter hair, especially if you struggle with volume. It is also ideal for adding volume to bangs as the boar bristles are brilliant for catching tension on every hair strand, maximizing smoothness and volume.
But wait, let me tell you something:
Whether your end goal is to get a smooth and sleek look or a finish boosting with volume, this little gem of a round brush is ready for it all. It will be a short-haired girl’s best friend.
The scalp stimulation from hair brushing and scalp massaging can help evenly distribute your hair’s natural oils throughout the hair, leaving your locks looking shiny, resilient, and strong. You’ll notice moisture is also restored, so hair feels softer and more manageable.
It is best for fine hair, too, as it helps the balance of the sebaceous glands. The imbalance is the top culprit of hair loss, overproduction, or underproduction, which causes weakening and undernourishment of the scalp.
The lightweight wooden ergonomic handle sits nicely in your hand and offers a nice level of grip and tension as you run it through the hair. So whatever style you want to achieve, this round brush is up for the job.
- Boar bristles stimulate the scalp
- Ideal for shorter hair and bangs
- Smooths hair and adds volume
- Gently distribute oils
- Bristle shedding issues
Latest deal: Spornette Deville Round Boar Bristle Brush
Conair Nylon Bristle Round Hair Brush
Last but certainly not least is this brilliant nylon bristles round brush by Conair Pro; if you’re looking for an affordable round brush that will get the job done and will work on dry and wet hair, then this is it.
This brush has nylon bristles that can either smooth and straighten or add soft waves of curls, it is ideal for blow-drying all types of hair, but since it is quite small, it is ideal for thin, short hair.
It can be used to create soft waves and curls or even add body or fullness to your blowdry.
The ball-tipped nylon bristles glide through your strands without snagging or pulling; it works as a detangler as well as a styler, making it ideal for all your hair drying needs.
There are flutes in the barrel which can let air flow in and around your hair; this helps speed up drying time and allows for even heat distribution to prevent heat damage when styling– don’t forget your heat protectant, though!
As if that was enough…
It even comes with a soft ridged grip which gives you a comfortable hold and ultimate control when hair blow-drying; you can dry your hair straight or curly– depending on the day!
For under 10 bucks, this one is a bargain.
- Detangles, volumises and styles
- Comfortable feel
- Flexible nylon bristles
- Cheap quality
Latest deal: Conair Nylon Bristle Round Hair Brush
Best Round Brushes- A Buyer’s Guide:
When it comes to blow-drying your own hair, it is far from easy; everything feels so backward when trying to juggle your hairdryer and a brush, as well as trying to style your hair– trust me, you’re not the only one that struggles with this.
If you’ve ever tried to give yourself a salon-like blowout the first time you do it, your hair will probably look a bit like a bird’s nest… and that’s fine. No one should be expected to get it the right first time; even professional stylists struggle to style their own hair.
It’s all about finding the right round brushes for your hair, using the right products, and working out the right technique that works for you; this takes some time, patience, and some research.
While having the perfect round brush is great, it is also all about the products you use on your hair. When choosing your products, working out your hair porosity and hair type will transform your hair and your styles.
Next up is practicing the technique; before you try to juggle both the hair dryer and your large round brush, take the time to know the movement by just using the styling brush alone– trust me, this helps!
I’m here to guide you through everything you need to know, so sit back and relax– I’ve got you covered.
How To Use A Round Brush:
The best round brushes should be fairly easy to use, but it’s all about the technique and a little bit of practice. First, you need to find the right round brush for blowouts that work for you, then follow my technique.
Step One: Wash Your Hair:
This may seem like the obvious first step as to how else will you blow-dry your hair at home? This step is crucial as removing excess buildup will help your hairstyle stay in for longer.
Shampoo and condition hair like usual, doing two washes with your chosen shampoo. The first wash helps break down the dirt and the second one removes it.
So hop in the shower and begin to wash your hair like usual.
This step is super important as the best way to achieve the perfect blowout is through having the right foundation. It will help if you choose your shampoo and conditioner based on your hair porosity and hair type.
There’s no such thing as “one size fits all” when it comes to different hair types; you need to find a formula that addresses your hair type and concerns such as frizz, color-treated, or adding volume to fine hair.
Step Two: Apply Styling Products:
The next step is to prep your wet hair for heat styling; for starters, you’ll want to seal in moisture into your strands using a leave-in conditioner, and if that leave-in conditioner doesn’t have heat protectant,, then your heat protectant too.
Sealing in this moisture will help add shine to each section of hair and help protect your hair from heat damage caused by a blow dryer or flat iron.
You’ll want to remove all excess moisture; you want your hair to be damp before you pick up your blow dryer as 1: your hair is most fragile while soaking wet and 2: it will mean you can spend less time blow drying each section of hair which means less heat exposure and damage,
Too much exposure to heat will cause frizz, too, along with everlasting heat damage and split ends.
The less time you take to blow dry hair at home, the less fatigue your body feels, and the more time you have on your hands for other parts of your daily routine– such as not skipping breakfast!
Plus, as a top tip from me, never blow dry soaking wet hair; it will cause damage and frizz.
Instead of leaving your hair dripping all over the place, opt for a super-absorbant towel such as a microfiber towel. It is much better than a cotton towel, especially for hair.
They absorb excess moisture, more than traditional cotton towels, and they don’t cause friction on your strands which can cause damage and dents in each hair strand, causing weaker hair.
Towel drying using a regular bath towel can actually cause more hair damage. All in all, you won’t regret switching to a microfibre towel; your hair will love you for it too.
Step Three: Apply Heat Protectant:
When styling your hair using any hot tools, you should always apply a heat protectant no matter what hair type you have. Straight hair, curly hair, wavy hair, we need to protect our luscious locks.
Apply some heat protectant to your damp hair and brush it through your strands to help evenly distribute the product before you blow-dry and help ease any tangles.
Never forget your heat protection, guys.
It creates a seal over the ends of your hair and acts as a shield for your hair. The majority of heat protectants will protect your hair up to 450°F/230°C. They’ll also last up to 4 hours.
Use a wide-tooth comb to evenly distribute the product and help detangle the hair texture.
Step Four Leave Your Hair To Partially Dry:
The top tip is not to use blow-dry wet hair; it is best to let your hair air dry for a little while (not 100%) for the best results.
You can wrap your hair up in a towel for half an hour or so before using a hot air brush; this will help absorb any excess moisture out of the hair strands.
I would recommend that you use a microfiber towel over your regular cotton bath towel. This is much gentler on hair and will prevent your hair from going frizzy.
Working with damp, not soaking wet hair is best when using a blow dryer brush; for some blow dryer brushes, you can even use it on dry hair to revive your style days after!
Step Five: Work In Sections:
You’ll next want to work in sections. The best way to use a round brush is to section your hair using claw clips and work underneath to the top of your hair.
Part your hair from ear to ear, creating a top and bottom section. Clip the top section out the way and part the bottom of the hair, bringing each side to the front of your shoulders.
You’ll firstly want to rough dry your hair until it is roughly 70-80% dry; your hair is most fragile when soaking wet, plus it will cut down drying time.
Step Six: Use A Concentrator Nozzle:
Now it’s time for the magic; grab your round brush and attach the concentrator nozzle to your blow dryer– if you don’t have one, I would recommend getting one; it saves getting out the flat iron.
I love the concentration nozzle on the blow dryer as it concentrates the hair by directing the airflow exactly where you’d like it to go; it is the key to achieving salon-worthy results.
It also prevents frizz and helps add shine to the hair. I recommend you use a round brush with boar bristles as they help smooth down the cuticle and create tension on the hair.
The larger the brush, the larger the waves, so choose your brushes accordingly.
Step Seven: Section & Style:
Roll each section around the brush and apply heat; keep the round brush in the section of hair until it has completely cooled down before moving onto the next section.
Try not to use the highest heat setting as this will overstretch the hair and take the bounce out of it; opt for a medium/cool setting as it will help keep the cuticle sealed and add volume to the strands.
Use the brush to create a bit of lift at the roots; this will help add volume to the style you’re going for. Using this technique and the right hairdryer and some practice, you’ll look like you’ve had a professional blowout!
Hold the brush vertically and twirl away from your face; this will create big, voluminous curls when blow-drying– this is a personal favorite of mine.
You can also give your hair a quick cool shot with cool air; this will help keep your style in for longer and help prevent frizz.
Step Eight: Finishing Touches:
You can either do a smooth blowout with a round brush or go for bouncy curls with more volume. If you have gone for the curly option, you might want to brush out your curls once they’ve cooled.
I would recommend that you use boar bristle brushes, it will gently loosen the curl without causing frizz. Boar bristle round brushes are also brilliant!
Make sure you apply your chosen serum or oil afterward, as this will help lock in shine and moisture.
Different Materials Used In Round Brushes:
In my list, you may have seen that I found round brushes made with different materials, from boar bristles, nylon bristles to synthetic bristles. I’ll also go through the importance of ceramic and ionic technology too.
Boar Bristles Round Brush:
I am a personal fan of boar bristles for all my brushes and not just my round brushes; they are brilliant or evenly distributing your hair’s natural oils and gently glide through tangles to prevent breakage.
They’re also brilliant for stimulating the scalp and stimulating blood flow on the scalp which can help promote hair growth and promote healthy hair shine.
They also help break down any leftover dead strands, leaving your hair feeling healthy; this can also help strengthen strands and create the ideal environment for hair growth. They also work by closing the cuticle, which helps strengthen strands and add shine.
They glide through the hair strand, which helps prevent breakage and damage when styling, no more tugging and pulling as you twirl the brush and create tension when hair-drying. It also helps tame frizz and flyaways by smoothing the cuticle.
If you don’t have one or even considered buying a boar bristle round brush, I would definitely recommend it, especially if you have weak or damaged hair. You can also buy a paddle boar bristle brush to help with detangling.
Nylon bristle round brushes are another common round brush bristle material used; they work well to detangle and help retain heat when styling. In most round brushes, nylon bristles are often combined with boar bristles.
Nylon bristles have a longer length than boar bristles, which is why the brush penetrates every hair texture. Hence, combining the two allows benefits of shine and hair health from the boar bristles and superior detangling from the nylon.
Short boar bristles hold onto the style much more efficiently, which is why they are often combined.
Now onto the technology often found in styling brushes. If you’re looking for the same results but less damage, I would recommend going for a brush that uses ionic technology.
Ionic-infused bristles help restore negative ions in the hair; this helps improve the health of the hair strand and prevent heat damage. It works to break up water particles, leaving hair feeling hydrated and nourished.
Ionic bristles also help seal, and smooth split ends; the negative ions bond with hair to close off broken hair cuticles, making the hair softer, shinier, and healthier. It locks in moisture to strands to help improve dry ends.
Ionic bristles also help reduce drying time, paired with a ceramic barrel and ventilated design, which will give you the ultimate blowout with half the damage. Since the ions help smooth the cuticle, this also helps with problems like frizz.
Ceramic Barrel Material:
Ceramic is a very popular material used in many hair styling tools, such as flat irons, curling wands, and styling brushes. Ceramic uses ionic technology to emit negative ions, which helps protect hair when styling.
These negative ions counteract positive ions to help repair and seal the damaged hair cuticle, locking in the hair’s natural oils for smooth, shiny, and healthier hair.
Ceramic is also an inorganic material that heats up quickly and evenly distributes heat. They heat brushes quickly and speed up the drying process, so your hair is exposed to heat for a shorter period of time– so less damage.
The best round brushes have a ceramic design as this helps prevent breakage, split ends, and heat damage in the long run. It also helps prevent you from having to use a flat iron after blow-drying your hair.
An ideal round brush would have a vented ceramic barrel; the vented design also helps evenly distribute airflow, which helps speed up drying time and prevent heat damage.
Vented round brushes can also help reduce static during blowdrying as they allow heat to flow in between the brush, which helps eliminate static and frizz. This, paired with ionic infused bristles and a ceramic barrel, make the best round brushes for your hair.
How To Clean A Round Hair Brush
No matter what material you use, it is natural for your hair to shed– they say you lose between 50 and 100 hair strands a day! This commonly builds up on your brushes and down your drain…
With round brushes, they can be quite awkward to clean, especially if you have long hair as it becomes wrapped around the round brush and gets caught between bristles, so when you try to pull the hairs off, it can be quite a challenge.
If you have especially long hair, you might want to go in with the scissors to help cut down the middle, so the hair is easier to remove– make sure you don’t cut the bristles though, that’s the last thing. We want!
I then like to grab a tail comb and start weaving it through the bundle of hair around the brush to help remove it; this should help lift the hair so you can easily pick it off the end of the bristles making your job a lot easier.
Got all the hair off? Brilliant, now you want to mix detergent and water in a spray bottle and spray a couple of spritz on your brush. Use a towel or cloth to get in between the bristles to polish the barrel.
If your round brushes are particularly dirty then you can soak them with a cleansing shampoo and warm water for a few hours then give them a scrub with the washing up brush. This will help breakdown the product buildup and then your brushes should look like new.
Frequently Asked Questions:
How do you use a round brush to curl hair?
Whether you’re after bouncy waves like you’ve just walked out of the salon or tight curls, this look will all depend on the size of the brush you are using; the larger the round brush, the larger and looser the curl.
When blow-drying your hair, make sure you create tension and turn the brush as you go down and hold the hair around the round brush for a few seconds, so the hair begins to heat up. This will help hold and define the curl.
Then once you’ve released, twirl the curl in your hand for a second and then cup it in your hand until it has cooled. You can also pin it up to your head using a bobby pin or roll it in rollers until you’ve finished your entire head and let it cool.
Check out my full guide here as to how to create different curls using your round brush!
What size round brush should you get?
This really depends on the thickness of your hair and how long your hair is. You should try out a few sizes to see what wraps around your hair best and which is easiest to use when blow-drying your hair.
I would recommend buying a set of round brushes as then you can have different sizes to play around with, and you can create different blowout styles.
How do you use a round brush on short hair?
Same as above, make sure you use a smaller size barrel; this will make it easier to wrap around your hair– I would recommend going between 1-2 inches if you have short hair and want a bouncy finish.
But the size is completely up to you; try out a few different round brushes and see what works for you!
How do you style side-swept bangs with a round brush?
We’ve all probably heard of the trending hairstyle of 2020/2021, which is curtain bangs; if you’re wondering how to recreate this look at home using your hairdryer, check out my full guide here.
So there you have it, the best round brushes for blow-drying, whether you’re after a bouncy blowout or a bit of volume to your what feels like lifeless hair, then getting professional round brushes may be the answer to your prayers.
Select any of the brushes I have found for you today and try out a few different techniques– remember, don’t be disheartened if you don’t get it right the first time; it’s all about practice!
You don’t need to be a professional to have a professional blow dry look; give it a go today!
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.