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We ask a lot of our hairbrushes. Not only should they be able to take on tangles like a warrior going into battle but they should be strategically shaped to fit comfortably in our hand. Oh, and if they're aesthetically designed to look great on top of our vanities, well, that's just the cherry on top.
Though we'd like to say we never brush our hair when it's wet and outfitted with snarls rivaling the likes of Toddlers in Tiaras, we most definitely do. Hey, we're only human. Fortunately, there are a slew of tools designed to help alleviate the detangling process for all hair types.
Curious to see which detangling brushes you can always find stashed in our bags, desk, and vanity drawers? Keep reading for our top seven picks.
Best Overall: Christophe Robin Boar Bristle Detangling Brush
Helps boost shine
Feels soothing on the scalp
Christophe Robin is known for (admittedly pricey) artisan-made products that may nurture both the scalp and the shaft of the hair. So it comes as no surprise that this award-winning brush was created to do both. Made from 100% pure boar bristles, this detangling brush claims to soften and strengthen hair while simultaneously boosting shine and removing product buildup from the scalp.
Hair Type: All | Shape: Paddle | Bristle Material: 100% boar | Wet or Dry: Dry
Flip your head upside down while you brush, which may help make brushing easier.
Best Budget: Tangle Teezer Original Detangling Brush
Easily passes through the hair
Fits comfortably in the hand
Easy to clean
Not for styling use
No need to overthink it—this brush does just as its name promises: teasing the tangles right out of your wet (or dry) hair. It's the ultimate no-frills detangling brush—convenient thanks to its small size and fun due to a punchy color range. In other words, it's easy to stash in the gym bag and use post-shower for smooth and shiny benefits.
Hair Type: All | Shape: Paddle | Bristle Material: Polypropylene | Wet or Dry: Both
What Our Testers Say
"The before and after results from this brush were so dramatic, I thought I was hallucinating when I first saw the photos. But after examining my hair under multiple sources of light, I had to conclude that the Tangle Teezer really delivered." — Sarah Y. Wu, Product Tester
Best Splurge: Mason Pearson Detangler Hair Brush
Works well on long hair
Can make hair a little staticky
The O.G. Mason Pearson Boar Bristle Brush is and always will be one of our all-time favorites. But when our tangles need an extra dose of T.L.C., we reach for the iconic brand's Detangler Hair Brush, instead. Featuring a patented, more-than 100-year-old design (yes, really), this detangling brush features soft nylon bristles, which claim to be safe for both wet and dry hair. It's comfortable, too. According to the company, its patented cushion is designed to "conform to the contours of the scalp." Think of it as a mini scalp massage doing double-duty as an effective grooming tool.
Hair Type: All | Shape: Paddle | Bristle Material: Nylon | Wet or Dry: Both
Best Wood Handle: Aveda Wooden Paddle Brush
Achieves versatile results
Classic design has ventilation
Takes some finesse to use
Light in weight and featuring flexible, extended bristles, this pretty wood-handled paddle brush from Aveda may tackle even the most distressing snarls and knots. However, there's some strategy involved: Aveda hair pros recommend keeping the tool vertical as you brush to detangle. To add shine, keep it horizontal.
Hair Type: All | Shape: Paddle | Wet or Dry: Dry
Best for Wet Hair: Wet Brush Original Detangler
Won't pull or snarl wet hair
Comes in multiple colors
Brush quality could be improved
If you're worried about breakage and painful snagging, fear not. This cult-classic brush does anything your current brush does but a million times better. Not only is it adorable (there are plenty of colors and designs to choose from), this detangling brush features exclusive IntelliFlex bristles, which claim to move and bend with your strands (without the cringe-worthy snap) to seamlessly remove rough patches sans damage or tears. It's great for detangling wet hair, but it works on dry strands, as well.
Hair Type: All | Shape: Paddle | Bristle Material: Nylon | Wet or Dry: Wet
Best for Curly Hair: Bestool Detangling Brush
Comfortable to hold and use
Gentle on curls
Can tug hair a bit
A comfortable rubber grip and flexible head ensure ease of use for this wildly popular (and highly reviewed) brush, best used on curly, kinky, and natural hair. It works on wet or dry hair and even those with tight coils have found that it glides through hair easily.
Hair Type: Curly, coily | Shape: Paddle | Wet or Dry: Both
Best for Thick Hair: Michel Mercier Wooden Handle Ultimate Detangling Brush
Easily detangles thick hair
Boosts shine and helps to style
Shouldn't be used wet
Boasting 428 different contact points, this innovative detangling brush promises an all-around better brushing experience. Not only will it rid wet and dry hair of knots with little to no effort, but it also claims to cut your brushing time in half since the technology promises fewer brush strokes to get the job done. The product comes in Fine, Normal, and Thick Hair varieties, which can be used to detangle or blow-dry, without adding static.
Hair Type: Thick | Shape: Paddle | Wet or Dry: Dry
What To Look For In a Detangling Brush
To make sure your brush helps with tangles, opt for wide-spaced bristles with flexibility. These claim to allow more room for the strand to separate and detangle.
If you plan to use your brush when your hair is wet, go for nylon or plastic bristles. It'll still help detangle all of your stubborn knots, but won't leave you filled with worry about ruining the brush in the process.
Since combing out knots is typically a lengthy process, pick a brush that fits comfortably in your hand. An ergonomic design or comfortable handle are both great options.
Do detangling brushes really work?
Detangling brushes are made specifically to minimize damage while you brush away tangles and knots. The way they are designed may reduce the level of breakage that you would get with a normal hair brush.
Can you use a detangler brush on wet hair?
You can use a detangling brush that's made for wet hair to detangle your wet hair. Typically, the bristles are designed differently to help minimize the damage, breakage, and potential split ends.