Top Tips for How to Brush Curly Hair

Do curly hair and brushes go together? How do you use brushes on curly hair in a way that doesn’t cause frizziness or damage? Anyone with curly hair knows it’s a little tricky dealing with brushes. If you need to know how to brush curly hair, this article is for you.

You’ll learn our top tips on brushing curly hair and plenty of related questions on the topic, so read on!

Does combing hair ruin curls?

While a wide-tooth comb to gently detangle wet hair that’s curly is fine, you shouldn’t use fine-tooth combs on dry curls. It will likely damage the hair and cause frizziness. Try to limit brushing curly hair as much as possible, and use your fingers to detangle hair instead.

Should you brush your curly hair dry or wet?

Brush curly hair when it’s wet. Do it gently, though, to avoid damaging it. Brushing wet curly hair helps keep the definition of the curls. It’ll bring out your hair’s gorgeous, natural texture.

If you brush tight curls when they’re dry, you’re creating too much friction between the curls and the brush. This causes breakage and tangles. Best to avoid those issues and stick to wet-brushing!

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Is it hard to brush my curly hair?

Brushing curly hair takes a little more know-how and effort than brushing straight hair. But as long as you know how to brush it, it’s not too hard. It just takes a bit of practice.

The tough thing about brushing curls is that most brushes on the market aren’t designed for curly locks. They’re either too harsh or too fine. So, if you have the wrong brush, it’ll always be somewhat of a nightmare.

Detangling Brush for Afro America/African Hair, Textured 3a to 4c Kinky Wavy/Coily/Wet/Dry/Oil/Thick/Long/Curly Hair Detangler (Black)

Make brushing curly hair easier on yourself by getting the right brush (more on that below), brushing it only when it’s wet, and sectioning off your hair before brushing.

Which brush is best for curly hair?

Revlon, Wet Brush, Manta, and Shu Uemura are all brands with great brush options for curly-haired folks. You’ll want to look for bristles that are spread as wide as possible. Don’t go for hard bristles; choose soft ones.

Paddle brushes and Denman-style brushes are exceptional for curly hair. They won’t cause damage, but they’ll successfully detangle hair without too much of a hassle.

Brushes with boar bristles are another good choice. Boar bristles are soft, so they work well on curly hair. Plus, those soft bristles will be gentle on your scalp.

Another advantage of boar bristles for curly hair is that they do a good job of distributing natural hair oils from the scalp all the way to the ends of the hair. That’s especially useful for curly hair types since they tend to become more dried out at the ends.

What else can I do to brush my curly hair rather than use a straightener?

When your hair is wet, right after it’s been freshly washed and conditioned, just use your fingers to detangle it. Apply a leave-in conditioner or light hair oil (like argan oil) to the ends of your hair to help nourish the curls and ease frizz.

To maintain shiny, naturally curly hair, do occasional hair masks using natural products. Oils like coconut oil, amla oil, or even olive oil help hydrate the hair from root to tip, making it shinier and healthier so you can avoid straightening it down.

How to Brush Curly Hair In a Few Steps

Use the following steps to properly and painlessly brush out curly hair.

Step 1: Don’t Brush Curly Hair if It’s Dry

Denman Curly Hair Brush D3 (African Violet) 7 Row Styling Brush for Detangling, Separating, Shaping and Defining Curls - For Women and Men

Is your curly hair dry? If so, avoid brushing it. It’ll cause breakage and frizz. Only brush curly hair when it’s wet.

Brush curly wet hair after you’ve shampooed and conditioned it. Don’t use just any shampoo, though! Make sure it’s sulfate and paraben-free.

Step 2: Use Leave-In Conditioner

Leave-in conditioners like Black Vanilla Moisture & Shine or even a high-quality hair butter will work wonders for curly hair. These products smooth down the hair shaft, making your hair far easier to brush.

Carol’s Daughter Black Vanilla Moisture & Shine 4 in 1 Combing Creme for Dry Hair and Dull Hair, with Sweet Almond Oil and Vanilla Fruit Extract, Hair Detangler, 8 fl oz

Treatments that stay in the hair condition it and hydrate it. They make it easier to detangle hair, and they prevent tangles.

Step 3: Start at the Tips

Start brushing at the ends of your hair, not the scalp.

When you start at the tips, you’ll notice a world of difference. You can steadily ease out tangles and organize the hair without getting it bunched up underneath the brush.

Step 4: Brush Infrequently

Brush curly hair as little as possible! Try to avoid it in general. Using your fingers to comb through wet, conditioned hair is best.

Also, if you brush the same area over and over (like your bangs, for instance), it’ll cause damage to that specific area.

Step 5: Use a Hydrating Gel on the Ends

Hydrating gels help condition and define your curls. One you could check out is the Black Vanilla Edge Control Smoother. Simply apply a bit to the ends, then gently brush the wet hair.

How often do you need to brush your hair?

Ideally, you won’t need to brush it in between washes. Prevent getting tangles in your hair so that you don’t need to brush it too often. Curly hair shouldn’t be brushed when it’s dry more than once a week. Too much brushing when dry can lead to breakage, which isn’t ideal if you want to work on hair growth.

When is it best to brush curly hair?

After you shampoo and condition your hair in the shower, gently dab it with the towel, then get started with the brushing process.

Don’t let it dry out too much after the shower before you brush it. It doesn’t have to be dripping wet, but it should at least be thoroughly damp.

Then, apply your leave-in conditioner or hydrating gel treatment and brush your curly locks.

4 Tips for Brushing Curly Hair

Here are a few more helpful tips before we send you on your way! Brushing hair requires a little expertise, and you’ve almost completed your learning journey. Use the tips below to maximize your hair-brushing efforts.

  1. Work in Sections: Sectioning the hair helps you manage it better. If the hair’s wet (which it should be), then you’ll “section” it by starting with the bottom section, at the tips. If it’s dry, use hair claws to hold up sections of your hair and slowly, methodically work through the rest.
  2. Use Hair Oil: Whether you do weekly hair oil masks or add a little bit to your ends every day, you need hair oil if you have curly hair. Your type is prone to drying out at the ends, so it’ll love the extra hydration that comes with oil.
  3. Spray Hairspray on Your Brush: Instead of spraying your hair directly with hairspray, spray it onto your brush before working through your hair. This unique method helps ease frizz and even builds volume in curly hair. One hairspray to check out is the Volume Spray of Cactus Rose Water.
  4. Don’t Wait to Brush: When you have curly hair, you need to be strategic about your brushing schedule. Avoid letting your hair dry out or become tangled before getting started with the brush. If you’re adding leave-in treatments, brush straight afterward.