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A Hairdresser’s Secret Weapon

Like a chef choosing the right knife for the right job, or an artist finding the perfect paintbrush for a specific stroke, choosing the right hairbrush should be just as carefully thought through! Using the right hairbrush for your hair type is the secret to gorgeous, shiny locks and impeccable styling.
The right brush for your client’s hair can work wonders, as well improving its general health. Other than the primary function of brushing or styling hair, brushing also cleans and massages the scalp and stimulates the release of the beneficial oil sebum. Here’s how it works:

  • Sebum is released by the sebaceous gland at the base of the hair follicle as a result of the gentle hair tugging action caused by brushing.
  • Brushing the hair cleans the hair shaft, follicle, and scalp by removing trapped scale, dirt, and oils.
  • Brushing also distributes the sebum, coating, lubricating, and protecting the hair shaft resulting in a healthy glow or sheen and soft flexible hair.
  • Because sebum protects and moisturises, regular bushing results in hair that is healthier, more manageable, and easier to style.

Natural bristle hairbrushes are especially good at this. Because the bristle is scaly in texture rather than smooth like the synthetic material, it is an extremely effective material for cleaning the hair shaft, follicle, and scalp, and distributing sebum along the hair shaft. The bristles go either side of the hair shaft and the downward motion of brushing means each single hair strand is cleansed of dirt, dust and other products creating an effect and shine which is impossible with a plastic or nylon brush. The action of the bristle on the hairs shaft smooth’s the hair ‘scales’ so they lie in the same direction leaving the finished hair shiny and silky looking. They also help to avoid heat damage, as Edward Hemmings, Director of Alan D Hairdressing Education comments “what our students quickly realise is that with a natural bristle brush, you can’t over dry the hair, as when dry, the hair simply falls off the brush

Kent Salon Bristle Nylon Mix Curved Vent Hairbrush - KS02

It is important to find the right brush in a mix of strengths and bristle alignments, to suit your clients hair. For people with thin or thinning hair, using a hairbrush packed with too many bristles or with overly stiff bristles, can apply too much tension to the hair, pulling and removing healthy hair. If you use a brush with a combination of natural boar bristle and heat-proof nylon in different lengths, like a straightening and curling brush, it will help you glide through the hair without tugging or causing damage. “This is where education is paramount,” Edward Hemmings comments; “on day 2 at our schools our students are not only cutting hair but working on styling and finishing techniques too. Understanding what brush to use for what purpose and hair-type is as important as the tool itself.”

For wet hair - Because hair is more delicate when it’s wet, it’s much more prone to breakage, it’s best to use a specifically designed detangling brush to tease out knots and tangles before you start drying. For Afro or curly hair types, a brush with fat quills is best, while thin and extra thin quills work well for straight and fine hair. Either way, rounded quills will prevent snagging and tugging fragile wet hair in its vulnerable state.

Kent Salon Large Paddle Brush with Fat Pins - KS07

For smooth hair – A paddle brush is your best friend for smooth hair. On fine hair, a paddle brush with bristles is gentler and causes less stress, while other hair types can use a pin-style paddle brush to sweep through the hair and smooth out any kinks. Fine, ball-ended quills are great when you’re grooming and straightening the hair, while fat, rounded quills are better for detangling. Although the size of a paddle brush can vary, opt for one with a larger head for getting through long and thick hair.

For shine - Natural bristles help to promote natural shine in hair, by stimulating the scalp and distributing natural oils throughout the hair to enhance condition and increase shine. For thicker hair, look out for a brush which has a combination of nylon bristle too, to brush through the hair more effectively as well as stimulating the surface.

For volume and curls - To create volume in any hair type, use a round brush. A ceramic brush will give you quicker results as the centre heats up more quickly, acting effectively like a roller in the hair. Ceramic bodies also distribute heat more evenly, for a more reliable finish. It goes without saying that a bigger ceramic brush will create more volume, while narrower, smaller styles create tighter curls. If clients have fine for dry hair look out for a round brush with boar bristles, as its less damaging on delicate ends. For clients with thicker hair, nylon bristles are great as they grip the hair while you work but allow it to be released quickly without snagging. Edward Hemmings highlights that “education is key” when choosing the right curling brush; “understanding what result you get from your tools is the way to ensure happy clients. Are they looking for a long-lasting curl or a soft wave? We like to ensure our students have a good range of brushes to allow them to create different looks easily”.

For updos and volume – A teasing or dressing brush is an essential if you do lots of occasion hair, weddings or session work. The ideal dressing brush should have a mixture of bristles, with a combination of natural boar bristles and nylon. Nylon adds strength so it’s great for heavy-duty back brushing and styling, while boar bristle is great for adding shine and sculpting fine hair and flyaways. Look out for a dressing brush with a long-tapered handle – not only is the balance better for your hand, but it’s also helpful for sectioning and lifting hair as you work.

For a speedy blow-dry – A vented brush – one with cut-outs on the body, - allows air to pass from the hairdryer, through the brush, into the hair, much more quickly. That means it’s ideal for a fast blow-dry.

For extensions - Extensions are an expensive commitment for clients, and a good advert for your salon – both of which mean that aftercare is essential. A good brush is really important for keeping extensions tangle-free, but you need to find the right one so that they don’t get pulled or snagged as you style. A cushion brush with a combination of natural boar bristle and heat-proof nylon in different lengths will help you glide through the hair without tugging or causing damage.

Kent Salon Oval Cushion Hairbrush - KS01

With a strong history of producing the world’s finest hairbrushes, each tool in the Kent Salon line up has been designed with function in mind to allow you to create the perfect looks. The ergonomic handles have been crafted to fit every size of hand, from the dainty to the heavy weight. Starting with a slender neck, the six elevated fins offer the perfect balance between grip and glide, enabling you to work the brush easily without compromising stability and technique. In addition, the metal point has been crafted from steel to balance the brush weight perfectly in your hand.

“We’re delighted to be working with Kent Salon brushes to offer our students and clients access to the finest brushes out there”, said Edward Hemmings, “the similarities in our companies philosophy and approach to our industry makes this a great opportunity for both of us”.

Shop Kent Salon Brushes here >