Choosing a Hairbrush - Natural vs Synthetic. How About Electric? - AMR Hair & Beauty

Choosing a Hairbrush - Natural vs Synthetic. How About Electric?

Oct 26, 2021Scott Peers

Welcome to our very thorough guide to hair brushes. If you are shopping for a brush or just expanding your knowledge we're sure you will find plenty of helpful info.

Let's get into it starting with a look at natural vs synthetic bristles.

Natural vs. Synthetic Bristle Hair Brushes: The Winner

All types of brush bristles, natural or synthetic, have some benefits over others.

Here is what you need to know when deciding between natural vs. synthetic hairbrush bristles.

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Natural Hair Brush Bristles

Most natural hair brushes are made of animal hair. This is usually boar or horsehair or other types of animal hair that are similar to touch to your natural hair. Many people consider them the more luxurious alternative. However, they are not vegan and do not suit all hair procedures.

You can get the maximum benefit from natural bristle brushes when the animal bristles are placed on a wooden handle brush. However, there are plenty of other materials that can work well for your hair and beard.


As a comparison, natural makeup brushes have finer bristles made from goat, squirrel, badger, or sable hair. They benefit skin that gets aggravated by synthetic bristles.

However, natural bristles can absorb too much product or break wet hair. Therefore, you may prefer to get a synthetic brush if you need to detangle just-washed hair. 


Synthetic Brush Bristles

Synthetic hair brush bristles are made from nylon or plastic. The durable material makes them long-lasting and if you invest a little more into getting a good hairbrush, it can last you a lifetime.

Apart from saving you money, synthetic bristle brushes do not keep or cause hair static. That is the main reason every heat brush has synthetic bristles, even if the brush body and the handle are made from ceramic or titanium.

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Natural or Synthetic Hair Brush Bristles: How They Measure Up?

Let's see how natural and synthetic brush bristles weigh in and what to look for when you intend to get a new one!


Natural Hair Brush Bristles

Natural hair brushes last long but only with good upkeep. It is important to position the brush with the bristles upwards to avoid squeezing that will change the shape of the bristles. Otherwise, an expensive natural brush will last a lot more than a synthetic one, depending on the material of the body and the handle, as well as how careful you are with maintenance.

Synthetic Hair Brush Bristles

The perfect condition of a synthetic bristle brush lasts between 6 and 12 months. Nylon or plastic brushes can comb and detangle hair nicely because they can penetrate through the strands close to the scalp. However, they are not as heat-resistant and some nylon bristles can even melt under the hairdryer.

Frizzy Hair

Natural Hair Brush Bristles

Excellent for gently distributing natural oils through the hair but not good for eliminating frizz because they can cause static and flyaways.

Synthetic Hair Brush Bristles

This is the better alternative if you want smooth, silky, frizz-free hair, especially concerning blow-drying your hair with a round brush. Nylon ion pins and protective ballpoint tips can help with frizz reduction.

Thin Hair

Natural Hair Brush Bristles

When it comes to thin hair daily maintenance, natural bristles are preferential. They will gently even out any knots and tangles and massage hair without breaking or pulling hair off.

Synthetic Hair Brush Bristles

If you buy a nylon hair brush with an inflexible head and hard plastic bristles, you will have trouble with fine, thin hair. However, there are modern hairbrush alternatives with curved heads which help you have both hair and hairstyle! For great blowdries, at least use a rubber brush handle.

Curly Hair

Natural Hair Brush Bristles

A hybrid brush that has longer synthetic and shorter natural boar bristles may be the best solution for curly hair. It will get to the roots while keeping the waves in place without creating frizz.

Synthetic Hair Brush Bristles

If you can not get a blended one, this is, without a doubt, a better option than solely purchasing a hairbrush with natural bristles. An ergonomic brush you can hold with the palm provides better control of the pressure you apply along the hairline.

Thick Hair

Natural Hair Brush Bristles

If you have very thick hair with a lot of volume, natural bristles won't do the job for you because they won't reach the deeper layers and use the sebum as a hair maintenance balsam. You may end up with dry, split ends and oily roots.

Synthetic Hair Brush Bristles

Synthetic bristles on contour hair brushes will help detangle your hair wet or dry. Combing wet, thick hair can be particularly tricky. So, you don't want a brush with densely positioned pins.


Natural Hair Brush Bristles

As a general rule, boar bristle brushes can cost a bit more, with some of them going well over the triple-digit price without any extra features.

Synthetic Hair Brush Bristles

Because synthetic bristle brushes come in all shapes, sizes and a variety of materials, it is impossible to give a single cost estimate. They cost from several dozens to several hundred for a brush set. You are spoiled for choice, so pick carefully. It doesn't hurt to have one brush for detangling, one for scalp massaging, and one for blow-drying.


Natural Hair Brush Bristles

Unfortunately, the short answer is no. Natural bristles are made from animal hair.

Synthetic Hair Brush Bristles

Yes. Pick a brush from a brand that is dedicated to growing an ethical business in multiple spheres.

Functionality & Maintenance

Natural Hair Brush Bristles

Impossible to break, especially if you get a wooden brush. But, bristles can change shape and must be washed with gentle soap to retain their perfect condition.

Synthetic Hair Brush Bristles

Quick-drying and easy to wash with detergents but they can break or lose pins easily. Rubber and ceramic brush handles are more difficult to break.


Natural Hair Brush Bristles

You will find all sorts of brushes in a barber's salon: from wide wooden neck brushes to lathering brushes with natural bristles and scalp massage brushes you can carry in your pocket. There is no simple answer but generally, you will need to have assorted natural bristle brushes in a barbershop for daily use.

Synthetic Hair Brush Bristles

The rule of thumb is that you will need more combs and detangling and fading brushes than hair brushes and tools designed for blow-dry hairstyles. However, you still need all of them, so pick wisely.



The Verdict - Synthetic vs Natural Hair Brush Winner

Despite the prestige label associated with natural brush bristles, more people choose synthetic brushes simply because they can meet multiple needs and come in so many variations that it is unlikely you won't find what you need.

The winner (in our opinion) in the battle between the brushes is the synthetic brush.

A synthetic brush is versatile and great for a budget. If you have a little bit more to invest in your brush you may want to consider an electric brush.

An Electric Hair Brush: Does Such A Thing Exist?

Are you the type of person who loves blow-dried hair but hates putting in the effort?

What about straightening after it, it's tedious, right?

You're not alone. In fact, someone thought it was so much of a problem that they invented a new solution!

We've got a few options on the market, some even being launched in Australia at the same time as the USA. So to answer the question of whether or not an electric hair brush exists, the answer is yes!

Here we're going to discuss the types of stylised hair electrical brushes that are on offer and how to use them!

How Does An Electric Hair Brush Work?

Electric hair brushes are probably just what you're picturing. They are a cross between a traditional brush and a hot styling tool (mostly). They've been specifically designed to help shorten the time it takes to straighten your hair.

They also act as a detangler, making them a 2 in 1.

So how do they work?

Well, most electric hairbrushes heat the base and bristles to an optimum temperature to help straighten the hair. 180 degrees Celsius is recommended for the healthiest temp, with most electric brushes offering temperature control so you can alternate if needed.

New innovations are even steering away from heated styling and are looking towards cryotherapy hair treatments

BabylissPRO is the first to use freezing temperatures to manipulate hairstyles with The Coldbrush!

You use the brush to straighten your hair, reduce frizz and add shine to the hair. They tend to add more volume than if you were to use a flat iron, although they don't straighten as effectively as a single-purpose iron.

That being said, there are a few tips and tricks to getting the perfect do.


Electric Hair Brush Straightening Tips

1. Always ensure you add heat protectant to the hair!

This will help to prevent your hair from drying out and snapping. It's also more likely to reduce the frizz, woo!

2. Brush from underneath the hair. You'll be more likely to create volume this way. Also, be sure to start from the roots and work your way down to your ends slowly. It's just like using a regular brush, after all, you wouldn't ever work in the opposite direction unless teasing it!

3. Never use it on wet hair. Some stylers claim that it's safe to do so. While the idea is appealing, you don't want to risk potential heat damage. Even with a protectant, you're still likely to cause damage to the hair follicles!

4. Carefully consider the results you're hoping to achieve and be realistic. An electric brush is excellent for straightening but won't help you curl. Also, it's important to note that if you have really curly hair the results may not be as effective as using a flat iron.

5. Use on clean hair and remove knots prior to straightening.

This helps avoid snapping the hair and it getting caught. Clean hair is easier to glide through, so it will hurt less too!


Picking An Electric Hair Brush:

Firstly, when selecting any product for your hair, consider its purpose and your lifestyle. Do you need something quick and easy to use?

Perhaps you are wanting to take your time or the opposite and need something on the go? Either way, there are plenty of options out there and options to meet all budgets!


If you travel often and want something to use on the road, consider a cordless travel straightening brush. They won't get through as much hair are other brands but are perfect if you've got a planned camping trip and want to spruce up!

As Cold As Ice

Want to ensure heat damage is a thing of the past? Get your hands on the Coldbrush that gets to negative temperatures!

It is great for removing frizz and adding shine!

Good Bang for Buck

The Silverbullet Mini Hybrid brush is compact but effective. It's reasonably priced and produces quality results. It's the perfect size to take travelling too and is lightweight!

The options are limitless with so many types of hair electrical products to explore. Don't forget to always use a heat protectant and read the instructions before attempting anything! Have you used an electrical brush before?

Comment your experience below!

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