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According to industry pros, the single best way to care for your extensions is by brushing them frequently — but it’s important that you use the right brush. To narrow down the best brushes for hair extensions, Elite Daily spoke with six top stylists and extension specialists, who share their top picks for detangling, styling, and day-to-day brushing, ahead.
Whether brushing natural or synthetic hair, “When it comes to maintaining hair extensions, brushing is the key to longevity,” Jordynn Wynn, the co-founder of INH Hair, tells Elite Daily. “Tangled hair will manipulate the actual style of the hair piece.” Wynn advises brushing your hair in sections, starting at the ends and working your way up.
“The type of brush you choose depends on the type of hair you are getting installed,” says hairstylist Sabrina Porsche. “If you typically wear your extension hair straight or with a [slight] wave pattern, chances are you would only need one type of brush for detangling,” she explains, while curlier styles may require two: a brush specifically for detangling, and another for styling. Some of this comes down to personal preference, but Yummie O., founder of Yummy Hair Extensions, generally advises a larger brush for long, thick hair.
In addition to brushing, protect your extensions by putting your hair in a loose ponytail or braid at bedtime to prevent tangles, and use gentle shampoos and conditioners to keep your hair healthy, shiny, and strong.
Scroll on to shop the best pro-recommended brushes for hair extensions, all conveniently available on Amazon.
1. The Best Brush For Long, Thick Hair Extensions
Alicia Bailey, a hair expert and global education manager at Design Essentials, has used Denman brushes for years and counts them as a trusted brand she’s comfortable using on her clients. “The Denman D90L is great for 3A — 4C hair types. It is ideal for long, thick hair and can be used on wet or dry hair. It has soft, nylon bristles that won’t snag or drag through the hair, ensuring safe detangling when brushing or styling delicate tresses.”
2. The Best Brush For Fine Hair Extensions
“Tangle Teezer makes great brushes to easily detangle and smooth hair without damaging or tugging the hair,” celebrity hairstylist Sally Hershberger tells Elite Daily. “This brush is ideal for those with hair extensions because it works on both wet and dry hair and can get out any knots without pulling the hair or the extension out. Since the bristles are fairly thin, I recommend this one for those with finer hair, as it may not be as effective on thicker, coarser hair.”
3. A Great Brush For Most Types Of Hair Extensions
Yummie O. also likes brushes from Denman, explaining it’s important to purchase quality, professional-grade brushes to protect your extensions. “A good brush does more than just detangle. It also helps with distributing natural oils throughout the hair evenly and smoothing the hair strands, reducing static, and adding shine.” This brush has a classic shape and size, with rounded nylon bristles that won’t yank at your hair while you’re using it to remove knots. For such a high-quality brush, it comes at a reasonable price, too.
4. The Best Under-$10 Brush To Use On Wet Hair Extensions
Hershberger says she doesn’t always recommend brushing your hair while it’s still soaking wet, since your hair is at its weakest then, but if you like to do it anyway, be sure to choose one that’s specifically designed for wet hair. That allows you to brush through your extensions without the risk of hair breakage (or pain). Her top pick for wet hair is the Wet Brush Original Detangler Hair Brush, which “Works great to glide through hair and get rid of any tangles,” she says. It’s also the most affordable brush on this list, ringing up at less than $10 on Amazon.
5. The Best Looped Brush For Extensions
Miss Jessie's CEO Miko Branch likes this unusual brush from The Hair Shop. She explains it’s “Different from traditional hairbrushes because it has looped bristles that gently and smoothly glide through hair without tugging on strands. Anyone that uses extensions should try out a loop brush as they can easily detangle hair without ripping out or damaging the extensions!”
6. The Best Brush For Stubborn Knots
Porsche recommends using a Tangle Teezer Brush, which she says, “Helps comb through those tough tangles caused by coils. The bristles are very small and closer together [which] gives a more precise attachment to the tangle.” This unique brush, with its handle-free shape and short, long teeth, is easy to control and was designed specifically to brush curly hair comfortably and gently.
7. The Best Wide-Tooth Comb For Curly & Wavy Hair Extensions
Wynn likes using a detangling brush or a paddle brush on straight and layered hair extensions, but for curly and wavy hair extensions, she suggests trying a wide-tooth comb: “The teeth are separated wide enough to detangle but yet keep the curls intact,” she explains. The Hercules Sägemann Magic Star Comb brush is sturdy and well-made, so it won’t break in half or lose a tooth, even if it encounters a more stubborn knot. Its durable design ensures it won’t cause damage or breakage, either.
Alicia Bailey, Hair Expert & Global Education Manager, Design Essentials
Sally Hershberger, Celebrity Hairstylist and Founder, Sally Hershberger 24K Haircare Products
Sabrina Porsche, Hairstylist
Jordynn Wynn, INH Hair Co-Founder