I’d like to think that I knew everything there was to know about the bristles in hair brushes, but it is safer to say I don’t, just in case someone out there has some little tidbit of information I will undoubtedly leave out of this post. And my disclaimer for this article right up front is that everyone’s hair is different and what works well on one may not work that way on another. Keeping this in mind, let’s get started.
Ball Or Epoxy Tipped
These particular brushes can actually be used to style all types of hair. The nice thing about these brushes is that the nylon bristles are flexible. Both ball-tipped and epoxy-tipped bristles are generally kind to the hair and scalp. They were designed to help detangle hair and hold perfectly for blow-drying. The little ball-tip or epoxy-tip bristles feature a tiny ball of resin that is there to ensure that hair is not damaged while being brushed.
Blended bristles consist of both synthetic and natural bristles. Blends are sometimes also known as a reinforced bristle, buffered bristle, or fortified bristle. Blended bristles are more commonly noted for use by those with coarse, wavy, or thick hair. The boar part of the bristle (natural) helps to polish the hair resulting in shine, and the nylon part of the bristle (synthetic) help to penetrate the hair. Typically a blended bristle brush will penetrate longer, thicker hair more easily than a 100% boar bristle brush and will not cause split ends.
Boar Bristles are also known as natural bristles or pure bristles. These brushes are generally preferred over synthetic or nylon bristle brushes. An interesting note about boar bristles and from personal experience, there are many types or qualities of boar bristles. In looking at a boar bristle brush you will see that the bristles are uneven. This is so that the bristles can penetrate more easily through your hair, and allowing for fuller and longer brush strokes. The bristles of a boar brush are judged by their stiffness I have tested what I call soft bristles and then the very hard type boar bristle. If you are looking to scratch or massage your head, the harder bristle might be just for you. 100% boar bristles are known to rejuvenate the hair by releasing the natural oil in one’s hair. Boar bristles are also similar to the keratin of your hair and absorb the dirt and oil just like your hair. Some brush manufacturers will be up front and tell you that 100% boar brushes are not necessarily the best choice for thick hair.
Ionic bristles on a brush have been charged with negative ions. This technology came from the same technology applied to your hair styling tools such as hair dryers, hair straighteners, and curling irons. These negative ions make contact with your hair as you brush through the strands, which results in sealing the hair cuticles and locking in moisture to the hair strands. Using an ionic bristle brush in combination with an ionic hair styling appliance can be only healthy for your hair.
Nylon Or Synthetic
This type bristle is generally produced as round and smooth at the tips to avoid breaking or tearing the hair. The synthetic bristle is either singular or has tufts of multiple strands that are known as “fill”, and are made from nylon or stiff plastic. Synthetic bristles are typically stiffer than boar bristles and unlike boar bristles, they ARE recommended for thicker, heavier hair. However, this type bristle can be used on all hair types.