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Hairbrushes and Combs

Holy Grail Haircare

Hairbrushes & Combs

Ultimate Guide

Hairbrushes and Combs 101:

The ultimate guide to understanding the most essential parts of brushes and combs.

What you need to know to pick the right tool for the job and your hair.
Over the years, as more materials and technology advancements come about, more variants of brushes and combs have been invented. Running a quick search online to find out about them gets so confusing with the different terms and the many features available. Moreover, it doesn't help that many explanations of these features only cover specific products or brands.
So, where does one begin?
In this guide, we break brushes and combs down into their most essential parts to make it easy to understand at a glance - What each brush and comb type does, and how it might be used. So no matter what fancy terms come your way when finding that perfect set of tools, you'll never be so confused again.

The 5 Most Essential Parts of Brushes & Combs


The type of body to select depends on what the brush will be used for.
Will it be used for detangling? For thicker hair? For styling? For blow-drying, or a combination of these?

For easy detangling and straightening out of thick, long hair. Paddle brushes have broad, flat bases and are most commonly square or oval in shape in order to cover a larger surface area. This broad shape enables them to hold more hair in a single stroke making for faster detangling and smoothing of long thick hair.



For creating voluminous curls and bouncy blowdrys. Round brushes are cylinder-shaped and can be wooden or ceramic. Wooden handles give you a firm and steady grip, while ceramic conduct heat well for heat-incorporated styling. Available in a range of sizes, the smaller the rounded barrel, the tighter the curls produced.



For use with a hairdryer, the specially designed vents on the body allow ample air to flow through the brush, providing faster drying time and less heat damage. For a polished look, dry until 80% dry then switch to a round brush to get a polished finish.



For smoothing and shaping medium to long hair. Its raised, rubber base provides more flexibility for the bristles and minimises the pull on your hair, making it especially good for sensitive scalps and fragile hair types.


Olivia Garden HH Ionic Vented Paddle Brush
Olivia Garden HH Ionic Vented Paddle Brush
Out Of Stock
Olivia Garden Divine Wet Detangler Brush
Olivia Garden Divine Wet Detangler Brush
Olivia Garden Heatpro Copper Ceramic Brush [32mm]
Olivia Garden Heatpro Copper Ceramic Brush [32mm]

You could have the best shampoos for cleansing your locks
or the best hair sprays for styling that pretty up-do, but if you choose your brush in a rush,
don't expect your hair to be so lush.


The bristles of a brush can be made from various materials. In general, the more flexible and widely spaced-out the bristles are, the more gentle they are when detangling. Those with thicker hair may find stiffer bristles more effective.

Boar bristles are highly recommended for those with finer hair, as this type of bristle is softer on the scalp and doesn't cause damage when brushing. Furthermore, the natural bristles contain small amounts of sebum that coat the hair, increasing shine and distributing the natural oils from the scalp further down the hair shaft .


Synthetic (Nylon)

For those with thicker hair - These are stiffer bristles that help detangle more effectively, especially when the hair tangles get extra stubborn. Nylon bristles and most synthetic bristles do not break as easily, providing good support. For detangling purposes - boar bristles may be too flexible to provide enough support, and metal bristles are often too harsh on the hair and scalp.



For the best of both worlds, boar and nylon bristles are combined for those with thicker tresses to manage their tangles and increase that hair-shine.



For massaging the scalp, wooden bristles promote blood circulation and can help spread out hair oils. This material is also considerably more eco-friendly, and produces less static. Many brushes with wooden bristles are also cushion brushes.




This part of the brush/comb can be very versatile.
It can be shaped and modified to increase comfort for long hours of styling, or it can include add-ons to increase its functionality. For example, a pick extension can be added on to make your brush double up as a rat-tail comb.

For a more secure grip while brushing - Detangle brushes typically have this characteristic. These may not be as great to use when styling hair with high heat, as the rubber might melt over time.



This helps with creating a precise hair parting, or with the finishing touches of a hair style. The pick can be an add-on extension of some brushes, or simply found in pintail/rattail combs.



For the traveller! Or anyone who would like your brush/comb to take up less space. These fold-in handles make it more compact. They may also have two different options of teeth, a pick, or a built-in mirror.



For more control over the body of the brush/comb. This is especially useful when going through extremely tangled locks. However, this is not a good option to use with a blow-dryer, as you risk burning your hand when it's closer to the heat source.




By applying scientific methods to the practical uses of brushes and combs,
these tools can now better support us in creating a myriad of hairstyles, as well as help tame frizzy hair that's caused by static.
Heat resistant

Heat resistant combs/brushes are made of weak conductors of heat, like wood. This prevents your brush or comb from getting damaged by direct heat and getting too hot to touch when styling with other heating tools (e.g. hairdryer, curling iron, flat iron). Examples of such materials are silicon, ceramic, and some plastics.


Heat retaining

For styles created with other heating tools (i.e. hair dryer). When using round brushes that retain heat, they can effectively produce soft curls without the use of a curling iron (smaller round brush create tighter curls).


Heat producing

For creating hairstyles that require high heat. Brushes and combs that produces heat within itself, double up as curlers and straighteners (these are usually wired). Applying direct heat can be very effective in styling hair, however, frequent use of such high temperatures can cause heat damage to hair so it's important to use some form of heat protectant.



For reducing static in your hair which could give it a frizzy, unkempt appearance. This build-up of static electricity could have been caused by towel-drying, brushing, or rubbing your head against your pillow as you sleep. Also known as anti-static brush/comb, these keep the ionic charges in your hair balanced by replacing the lost negative ions in your hair. For good measure, use it with an ionic blow dryer.



Like the bristles of brushes, the teeth can be made of stiffer or more flexible materials.
To maximise the comb's detangling and trimming properties, it's important to know how the teeth differ in length and why the spaces between them varies.

With wider teeth, the comb is used to target specific tangled parts. Wide-toothed combs are better used for the initial rounds of combing, when there are more knots present, as they do not get trapped in knots as often as finer-tooth combs do.



With finer teeth, the comb is better able to smoothen out the hair even more in the later rounds of combing. Fine-toothed combs are often used for the final touches of a hairdo. Avoid using these combs when your hair is filled with tangles though, or else you'll end up snagging away at more of your hair than you should. Opt for wider-tooth combs for detangling or brushes with firmer, spread-out bristles.



Consisting of both wide and fine teeth, on each side of the comb. Many barbers use this type of comb as they are useful for trimming hair. Also known as barber combs.



Resembling a rake, this comb can help detangle and create volume in really thick, curly (permed) hair. Rake combs can also temporarily hold hair up in place - the way a hair chopstick does.


If you wanna get the best mane, you've got to find the right brush that'll tame.


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