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How To Use A Denman Brush For Curly Hair

Last Updated on June 25, 2022

How To Use A Denman Brush For Curly Hair:

Anyone with curly hair would’ve at least heard of the Denman Brush– unless you have been living under a rock. It is the holy grail of curly hairbrushes!

But how do you use it properly?

There are many wondrous benefits of using a Denman Brush, as well as a lot of different techniques; some may work for you while others won’t

A great hair day starts with the right routine; it may take years of trial and error, a hell of a lot of product sampling, and patience. No curl is the same, so it’s all about working out what will work for you and your hair type.

Now, let me tell you something:

That being said, the Denman Brush is the best brush you can use on curly hair, with bristles ranging from 5 rows to as many as 9 rows; it is ideal for all curl types and leaves curls looking luscious and defined.

I cannot rave about the benefits of the Denman Brush for curly hair; it helps achieve perfectly defined ringlets and astonishing spirals.

Let’s jump into how you can properly use it.

What Is A Denman Brush?

First things first, what is a Denman Brush, and is it really work all the hype? Everything old is new again, and despite this brush being around for 80 years odd, it has taken the curly world by storm in recent years.

It was first created by John Denman Dean in 1930 for classic styling but years on it has taken the world by storm, especially for those with curly hair

My grandma, who is 60+ years old, has been using this brush for most of her life, so before it was a massive trend across social media, I have already used this brush myself for years.

With tips, tricks, and tutorials flooding social media, millions of viewers switching their regular brush for this brilliant curly brush and coming out with defined ringlets.

Its design sets itself apart from other brushes, thanks to the durable nylon material. These pins create insane levels of tension needed for shaping curls and won’t melt under heat.

It also has a rounded cushion which cuts back on static and frizz. Using the right technique, this brush can create the perfect curl, which will gain compliments.

It was primarily designed to sty naturally curly hair and create ringlets; it works best when curls are best. It helps amplify curls, spirals, increase definition, smooth frizz, evenly distribute styling products, and help with stubborn tangles.

There are three types of Denman brushes for curly hair. The D3 has seven rows while the D4 has nine rows– making it ideal for tighter coils.

There is also the D14 which has five widely spaced rows. There is a brush for every curl type, making it a huge hit in the curly girl community.

For years the Denman D3 has been stamped with the best brush for styling sleek bobs, but who knew a simple twist of the wrist could revolutionize curls? It has changed the curly girl game. 

denman brush

Benefits Of A Denman Brush For Curly Hair

 Despite being mainly used on long straight bobs, it has taken the curly girl industry world by storm; it has earned top honors from curly girls everywhere. 

With over 50,000 glowing reviews on Amazon and hundreds of thousands of curly girls using it all over the globe, raving about how it enhances the shape and bounce of ringlets and coils while detangling knots and fighting frizz. 

Pairing this brush with a detangling treatment will help smooth even the most stubborn knots within your curly hair. 

The brush’s shape, weight, and strong nylon pins create exactly the right amount of tension for defining spirals.

It works wonders for defining spirals and ringlets. Some professionals even compare it to curling ribbons with a pair of scissors; the Denman Brush has the same curling effect.

It doesn’t tug, snag or pull on hair, making it safe to use on sopping wet hair. It also evenly distributes products making it ideal to use in sections when styling your curls. 

Which Denman Brush Is Right For Me?

As I briefly spoke about above, there are 3 kinds of Denman Brushes for curly hair, and depending on your curl type, it is the one you should go for.

While the D3 Original Styler is the most well-known Denman Brush, the D4 and D14have different structures of bristles.

The Denman D3 Original has 7 rows of bristles, the D4 has 9 bristles, and the D14 has 5 rows of spaced-out bristles.

As a general rule of thumb, the more rows of pins, the tighter the curls, while the fewer the pins, the looser the curls. If the brush snags on your hair or doesn’t glide easily, this generally means that the pins are too close for your hair type.

If you have tight, coily hair, then the Denman D4 Brush is probably best for you. If your hair is quite curly but not coily, then the Denman D3 Original Brush is probably best, and for wavy or loose curls, then the D14 is ideal.

If it snags on your curls, you will achieve better curls with more spaced pins, your curls will also be healthier, and there will be less breakage.

One thing I love about the Denman Brush, though, is that you can customize the rows of bristles; you can take out rows and move them around, depending on the curl shape you’d like to achieve.

denman brush curly hair

How To Use A Denman Brush On Curly Hair:

So now I’ve rambled on the benefits of using a Denman brush and which one is best for each curl type; let’s get into what you actually came here for– how you use a Denman Brush.

Before we get started, you must start with sopping wet hair, a water spray, and your chosen styling products.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • – Your chosen Denman Brush
  • – Water spray
  • – Heat protectant
  • – Curl defining cream or gel (depending on your curl type)
  • – Cotton t-shirt or diffuser to either plop or diffuse your hair
  • – Shine spray or hair oil

You won’t want to use your Denman Brush on dry curls as this will cause frizz, damage, and breakage. You should wash your hair first or refresh your curls with water and your co-wash. 

After getting out of the shower or while in the shower, make sure you apply your leave-in conditioner and either uses a wide-tooth comb or detangling brush to smooth out tangles.

Since I have thick curly hair, I like to work in sections, working upwards from the bottom. It is crucial that you apply styling products and style your hair while sopping wet, so having a water spray is super handy. 

I start with my favorite heat protectant for curly hair and apply it all over, combing it through and then I work in sections to ensure even coverage before applying my leave-in conditioner and other styling products. 

I will section my curls into small sections, spray down with the water spray until it is sopping wet, and then apply my styling gel or cream. 

While there are many different techniques, I use the same simple technique to achieve my curls.

How I use my Denman Brush for my curls

For each section, I ensure that I have sopping wet hair before running the brush through. I will run the brush through and gently twirl the brush as it goes down the hair.

Once I reach the end, I will twist the brush, twisting the hair section until it forms a twist up to the top. I will then catch the curl and scrunch, squishing the hair.

I do this scrunching process a couple of times until I have the ringlet I am looking for. I will repeat this for each section and then diffuse once I’m happy with the curls.

There is also a more simple approach to achieve a similar finish, but I find this one adds definition and volume to my curls. 

The more simple technique:

Splitting your hair into sections like I just described with the technique I use, but instead turn the pins face up and work in sections.

Start at the root and slide the brush down the length of your hair, tucking the brush under before you approach the ends. Give that section of hair a little shake, and then scrunch until you’re happy with the ringlets. 

You’ll want to use thinner sections for thicker hair, and with thinner hair, you’ll want to use thicker sections; you can also break up curls into smaller sections by twisting the curl. 

Once you’ve worked through every section on your head, I tend to turn my head upside down, shake the root and scrunch the ends; it leaves my curls looking defined and voluminous. 

I either plop my hair after this using a t-shirt or diffuse my curls from the roots and making my way till the end. I dry until it is around 90% dry and then scrunch again to break down the gel cast on the outside.

To soften the curl, I then apply lightweight hair oil and serum to the end and have a little play around with the curls until I’m happy. 


The Denman Brush has revolutionized how we style our curls, from once frizzy, undefined curls to beautiful halo ringlets that get all the compliments. 

Trust me; the first technique may not work for you; it is all about trial and error with the techniques and the product you’re using. Having the right curly hair tools is really handy!

First, you will need to work out what products best suit your hair based on your curl type and hair porosity, then play with a few techniques until you’ve found the one best for you. 

The Denman Brush will transform your curls. 

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