A friend of mine the other day asked me how I keep my long thick gorgeous hair so neat and cared for, and how do you know which hair brush is the right one for you? I never really thought about it. Over the years I’ve tried several types of brushes, and just simply stuck with what felt good on my scalp and left my hair looking and feeling healthy, but not frizzy.

So I thought I would check it out and see for myself which commonly available hairbrushes offer the best protection and the most ease of use.

Hair Brush SelectionIn order to carry healthy, manageable hair throughout your life, you need to learn and practice the following tips early in life and never forget them. The main goal is to protect and prevent your hair from being damaged.

Brush and comb your hair as infrequently and as gently as possible (Your fingers will do the trick). Do not use a brush on your hair when it is wet and start with a wide-toothed comb first. Be sure not to over-brush dry hair. Never twist, tousle or wring your hair dry in a towel, but instead squeeze it dry gently using your hands.

If your hair maintains a lot of static, it could be due to dry weather, dry indoor air or a fine hair type. However, you can also get static if your brush has plastic bristles or tines. In this instance, switch to a natural bristle brush or mist hair spray on the brush and restyle. Handle your hair as little as possible. Avoid direct sun exposure and don’t over do coloring or perms.

Now choose your brushes carefully.

As I have found over my years of brush use, all hairbrushes are not the created the same. Some are best for styling; others are ideal for creating smoothness or curvy waves. A lot of brushes are available for specific purposes. Once you find out what your needs are for your hair length, texture and style then you are on track. Check to see which type of brush your stylist uses. If you like it, buy it. This selection could change if you decide a short cut is more your style.

Here are some examples:

The Paddle Brush

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This brush is flat, wide and is best for brushing out long hair and creating straight, smooth styles. It can also give you a mini scalp massage. Because of its shape and size this brush should not be used to brush layers. It will never add volume, which is what layers are for.

The Cushion Style Brush

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This brush is for medium-length hair that is naturally smooth or straight. The flat bock reinforces the hair’s sleekness. These brushes will make the most of box shaped bob’s, the graduated cut and a disconnected outline. It’s called the bi-level cut.

Sculpting Brushes

These brushes are great for adding volume to short, textured styles that need some movement. They are great for backcombing. The best hairstyles for these brushes include short cuts, round layers and texture outlines like razor perimeters and choppy ends.

Thermal Round Brushes

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These brushes can be found in all sizes, including small, medium, large and jumbo-sized barrels. When used with the heat of a blow dryer, the smaller brushes act like rollers and create curl. The larger ones smooth out locks and add body. This is a favorite among professionals. The metal core heats up, shaping the hair from the inside out. Some good thermal brushes are Beautee Sense and Olivia Garden.

Thermal Flat Brush

This brush acts like a flat iron, smoothing and straitening the hair when used with the heat of a blow dryer, thus leaving it with not bend or lift. Whichever brush you use, hold the hair taut with the brush to create tension. This stretches the hair so it can form the new shape. It also adds shine and polish to your look.

In closing, be sure to look for brushes that have ball tips that are molded as part of the bristle. Ball tips that are glued or otherwise attached can pull hair and damage it. Good brushes are an investment; if they are good quality and well cared for, they should last for years and your hair will be much healthier because of the extra attention you have given to selecting the proper brushes.