The Best Brushes For Thinning Hair
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If you have very fine or thinning hair, you may want to reconsider your hair-brushing technique. First up: get yourself the right brush. According to Philip B., hair-treatment expert and founder of Philip B. hair care, the best brushes for thinning hair are made from natural materials like boar bristles, sometimes paired with nylon bristles. He prefers wood over metal barrels, both because wood tends to last longer and be more durable, but also because when used with hot tools, metal brushes can heat up and cause hair damage.
Technique matters, as well. If you have thinning hair, there is such a thing as “over-brushing,” Dr. Julie Karen, a board-certified dermatologist, tells Elite Daily. “Over-brushing can mean both brushing too much, and using too much pressure directly on your scalp. This can cause damage to both your hair strands and to the hair follicle. A damaged or unhealthy hair follicle will impede healthy hair growth, and hair breakage will make already thinning hair appear more thin,” the doctor explains.
Both experts caution against brushing wet hair. That’s because, Dr. Karen says, wet hair is weaker and more susceptible to breakage than dry hair. A wide-toothed comb is best for gently detangling damp hair, both Dr. Karen and Philip B. say, but if you really want to brush out tangles when you hair is still wet, the stylist says to stick with synthetic bristles.
To shop the best brushes for thinning hair, keep scrolling; then, check out this guide to the best products for thinning hair, where you’ll find everything from medicated treatments to stimulating scalp scrubs.
1. Doctor’s Pick: Best Brush For Thinning Hair
Use Jupiter’s Scalp Brush on your (dry) scalp in a circular motion before shampooing, Dr. Karen advises. “Their brush is specially designed to exfoliate the scalp, and the scalp massage feels amazing, too. Their bristles are firm enough to remove build-up, and gentle enough to not irritate the scalp like some of the other brushes on the market. Brushing helps to stimulate blood flow, bringing oxygen directly to your hair follicles, which can help to stimulate hair growth,” she explains. Exfoliating also helps removes the buildup from dead skin cells and styling products, which leads to a clear scalp, and “a clear scalp can help relieve itching, and makes your shampoo and other scalp care products more effective when they can actually reach the skin,” adds Dr. Karen.
2. Best Boar Bristle & Nylon Brush For Thinning Hair
Philip B. likes brushes with ergonomically designed handles for easier holding, and one made with boar bristles and nylon bristles, like this one, which features a combination of natural and synthetic materials. Use this on dry hair, before shampooing, to move oil down the cuticle layer of the hair shaft, he advises. “Boar bristles are composed of keratin protein, similar to the makeup of human hair. They have a similar outer shell or cuticle of overlapping shingles. They can help to absorb the buildup, dead skin cells, and the sebum of our natural moisture — also the hair food — that pools in a thick coating at the scalp,” Philip B. explains. Nylon bristles, meanwhile, “help to gently work through thick, textured, curly, and wavy hair types, but are gentle enough for fine thinning hair, too.” Not only does this hybrid brush feature a durable wooden handle, but also, it comes with a handy tool to remove the buildup of hair from the brush.
3. Best Comb & Brush Set For Thinning Hair
This brush set contains both a bamboo-handled, boar bristle brush designed for people with thin hair, and a wooden wide-tooth comb to use when your hair is damp. It also comes with a washable hemp bag to hold them in when you’re traveling.
No matter what tool you’re using to brush your hair, “Be gentle with finer, thinning hair,” Philip B. cautions. “Think of it like a massage increasing circulation. Gentle strokes will be both soothing and stimulating. Touch should be light, [while] thicker, more coarse hair needs more vigorous brushing.”
4. Best Round Brush For Thinning Hair
When you’re styling your hair, “reach for a round brush to help bring more volume and height into the mix,” like this narrow-barreled boar and nylon bristle brush, Philip B. says. Pair it with a texturizing spray or another volumizing product designed for fine hair to add body and lift to thin hair that’s looking a bit flat and limp. This brush has a nice, comfortable-to-grip handle and is lightweight, so your arm won’t get tired while you’re using it. Choose from either a 1.5-inch or 1.7-inch size.
5. Best Nylon Bristle Brush For Thinning Hair
For those who strongly prefer brushes over combs to tackle tangles and knots (like me), pick one designed for the job that won’t yank at your hair, like the ever-popular Wet Brush Original Detangler. With over 25,000 five-star ratings on Amazon, this brush is truly impressive when it comes to gently detangling wet, dry, and damp hair, thanks to the brand’s signature Intelliflex bristles, which are nice and flexible. The handle is thoughtfully designed in a curved shape to make it more comfortable to hold, and it’s offered in tons of fun patterns, like Hello Kitty and sparkles.
Dr. Julie Karen, board-certified dermatologist
Philip B, hair treatment expert and owner, Philip B Hair Care
The effect of brushing on hair loss in women by Alexander Kiderman, Itzhak Gur, & Pnina Ever-Hadani https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19016066/