The Best Brushes For Your Hairstyle
It’s no secret that great products can make or break a hairstyle. But did you know that using the perfect hairbrush can do more than half the work? The right brush can give you mega volume, eliminate frizz, or turn your locks into one silky, straight creation. We spoke to Nexxus Creative Director Kevin Mancuso, who gave us the 411 on hairbrushes, to make sure we never use the wrong brush again.
1. To Neaten Curly Or Kinky Hair
When it comes to tight curls, the trick to smoothing out your locks is to loosen things up. “If you have tight curls or curls with a lot of kink, the wider you’ll want the spaces between bristles,” Kevin said.
He recommends Denman Classic Styling Brushes ($10.75, Soap.com) with six to nine rows of bristles. “These brushes feature white, nylon pin-like bristles,” Kevin said. “It is great for most hair textures, except fine or thin textures or hair that has low density.”
2. To Get Sleek, Straight Hair
My heart goes out to the big-haired girl who wants a sleek, straight look. It can be near impossible to get a frizz-free blowout. “The best way to control a curl when manipulating it with a brush or your fingers is to first care for your hair with the right shampoo and conditioner, followed by styling products that form hair into brush-able curls,” Kevin said.
“For almost any hair type or length, the Denman Paddle Brush ($11.95, Folica.com) is great to help detangle hair and very easy to use” for a fast blow out—it creates a “smooth, sleek look,” Kevin said. “This brush is great for most hair types and textures, fine or thin hair textures, or hair that has low density.”
3. To Detangle (Wet) Hair
It’s not uncommon to step out of the shower with knotty, messy hair, and unless you’re Heidi Klum, brushing it out with your fingers is not an option. “Brushes that have wider spaced bristles are best to help detangle hair, however in some instances, a comb works best for detangling. Brushes that have natural bristles, flexible nylon bristles, padded/cushioned brushes and bristles are gentler on wet hair.”
One of his favorites? Mason Pearson Nylon & Boar Bristle Brushes ($115, Sleekhair.com), which are “medium cushion brushes with natural bristles and single nylon quills that provide good grip and control for smoothing hair.”
4. To Get More Voluminous Hair
Tired of the Jennifer Aniston look, and longing for body? There’s a brush for that. While big, round brushes are great for smoothing fly-aways, little, round brushes are the trick to adding more texture.
“In general, round brushes are best for adding shape and volume; the smaller the diameter of the brush, the more bend and wave you’ll add to the curl,” Kevin said. He really likes YS Park Brush ($44, Precisionshears.com) from Japan, because it has natural boar and nylon bristles that give a glossy look, without losing volume in your hair.
Knowing what brush to use is great, but there’s one question that still remains: How much do you need to spend on a brush?
Hairbrushes well over $100 (outrageous even for a beauty writer!) have crossed our desks, and while we were shocked at the price, we soon learned that you get what you pay for.
“I find that a quality brush is worth the investment—there is a noticeable difference in the way quality brushes are balanced,” Kevin said. “It’s easy to find a less expensive brush that ‘does the job,’ but most of those brushes use bristles that are either too flexible, bristles that are not flexible enough or lose their bristles.”
Is there a brush you’d swear by?
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Simple Summer Hairstyles for All Lengths
Summer is approaching, and Natasha Sunshine, hairstylist and founder of Santa Monica’s Byu-ti Salon, wants to ensure that everyone has an easy summer go-to style no matter the length of your hair! Check out her top three suggestions and look stylish in a cinch this summer.
In the summer months, fresh is the operative word for hair. Using a light styler with a touch of hold like Pureology’s Colour Stylist Nourishing Nectar Sculpting Gel ($24.98 on Amazon), slick hair back while making a side part to keep the look feminine. To ensure that this style stays modern, make your part a little deeper than usual and use your fingers versus a comb to rake hair back. Let hair dry naturally, then run your fingers through one last time to break up any crunch from product. The result will be a clean yet soft summer style, like Victoria Beckham’s picture above.
MEDIUM LENGTH HAIR:
Go for a natural look by skipping the blow dryer. First, apply your favorite styler. I love Pureology’s Colour Stylist Cuticle Polisher Shine Serum for Colour-Treated Hair ($20 on Amazon) for most hair types. Use a quarter size for thicker hair and a dime size for finer textures, and evenly distribute throughout.
For hair with a wave or curl like Kate Hudson (above), twist two-inch sections away from the face until your whole head has twists. Let air dry, then scrunch any product crunch away for a shiny, naturally wavy look.
For straighter hair, twist each section, then clip the end into a loop with a pin curl clip (you can find these at most drugstores). Let air dry completely or use a diffuser, remove clips and scrunch. You’ll end up with a fun, new textured ‘do.
For a beautiful and easy updo, start with dry hair. Decide where your part looks best, then break the bottom section of hair into three even sections at the nape. Braid each section to the ends and secure with a rubber band. Then, take the three braids and braid them together. Roll that big braid up or under depending which way looks best, and secure with extra-long bobby pins for a classic low chignon like Jessica Alba’s (above). People will be shocked that you created such a beautiful style on your own!
ABOUT NATASHA SUNSHINE: As Founder of Santa Monica’s premier hair boutique, Byu-Ti Salon, Natasha has run her fingers through some of Hollywood’s most notable manes, including that of Ivanka Trump, Molly Sims and Eva Herzigova. Known in the Los Angeles and New York City fashion circles for her keen sense of style and unique approach to hair therapy, Natasha not only created a six-step consulting system for helping her staff identify and meet her client’s needs, she has also developed her own seven different hair care products, to supplement the line of top-notch goodies already in use at her salon. When Natasha is not helping people feel fabulous from the inside out, or making herself camera-ready for a television appearance (most recently, The Rachael Ray Show), she is working as an industry leader and educator for L’Oreal’s exclusive hair care line, Pureology.
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Curly Sue? No…Curly YOU!
We’re straight-haired girls. Always have been, always will be. But as the saying goes—you always want what you can’t have, and we have wanted curly hair since our first day of first grade. After years of trial and error, fighting with hair dressers about perms, countless dollars spent on various irons and rollers, you won’t believe what we discovered. The best stick-straight-to-curly hair transformation: Bounty Select-A-Size Paper Towels. Yes, fellow straight-haired readers, you read that correctly. In four steps (one of which is sleep!) you too can have Curly Sue ringlets via paper towels.
Here’s the how-to: First, after you shower, let your hair air-dry until barely damp. Then roll one sheet of the smallest “select-a-size” of paper towel into the familiar hair roller shape and roll half-inch sections of hair from end to root. Using the excess ends of paper towel, tie each “roller” in a loose knot to hold it in place. Third, and obviously the most appealing, get some beauty sleep. Finally, in the morning, unroll and spray your ringlets with a secure-hold hairspray. Our favorite is Aveda Control Force Firm Hold Hair Spray. A heads’ up: when you unroll your curls, don’t panic from their extreme curliness; they relax into a curly thing of beauty.—Kelly & Jaclyn Tokarz
Buy Bounty Select A Size Paper Towels- 12 Mega Rolls, $35.40, at amazon.com
Buy Aveda Control Force Firm Hold Spray, $26, at amazon.com