The Gloss Report: Hair brushes

1 October 2016
Any products in this article have been selected editorially however if you buy something we mention, we may earn commission

1 / 9

The Gloss Report: Hair Brushes

Round brushes, paddle brushes, hair detanglers - but which one is best for your hair type? It might seem fairly easy to find the right brush - a brush after all is just a brush, right? Well, that's what we thought until we tried, tested and reviewed seven of the latest offerings to find out which are worth adding to your dressing table and which are best left on the shelf.

Click through the gallery to find out what we thought...

2 / 9

Hershesons Ceramic Ion Brush, £32

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The promise: Heat activated to cut styling time in half.

We give it: 9/10

Review: “This brush is pretty awesome. I have really crazy, wild, frizzy hair and this brush really does cut blow drying time quite a bit. The way I dry my hair is to divide it into sections and blow dry each section smooth, bit my bit. The best thing about this brush is the bristles, which really grip my hair from the root, giving a superior smoothness. The second really great thing is the ceramic barrel, which heats up when you blast it with a hairdryer, allowing you to smooth out hair and fix it faster than a brush with, say, a wooden barrel would. If you wind hair on to it and leave for a minute then you can also achieve slightly waved or flicked ends. The result is a silky smooth mane and a salon finish without leaving your bedroom.”

Reviewer: ST

3 / 9

Lee Stafford Argan Oil Paddle Brush, £9.99

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The promise: “The rounded tips massage the scalp and encourage healthy hair, whilst gradually releasing argan oil, evenly coating the stands and restoring hair’s shine and bounce.”

We give it: 5/10

Review: “As far as hair products go, my bottle of argan oil has carved a permanent place in my haircare regimen due to its abilities to give my dry ends a dose of extra nourishment and enhance my natural waves. This brush, claiming to be infused with the stuff, sounded like my perfect match. Sadly though, it looks like our relationship won’t go past the first date.

“While its size was a great fit for my thick wavy hair and its tips moved smoothly from mid-length to end, they were quite hard and weren’t the most comfortable on my scalp. It was also surprisingly loud - a bit like a low flying aeroplane...a strange thing to note I know, but my colleagues certainly concurred when I asked them in the midst of a particularly silent moment in the office. So for now, I don’t think I’ll be parting ways with my trusty bottle of argan oil nor my bristled hairbrush just yet.”

Reviewer: AM

4 / 9

Paul Mitchell Express ION Round Brush, £16.75

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The promise: Makes curls bouncy, defined and full of volume.

We give it: 9/10

Review: “I have really fine hair so I usually steer very clear of bristle brushes such as this, as my hair ends up being a mass of static frizz! I was, however, pleasantly surprised by the Paul Mitchell brush range for actually having some solid grip and not slipping through my hair leaving a mass of flyaway static in its wake. The 'bounce' and volume I can get with this brush when blow drying is pretty good - the brush is so easy to handle and gives you great control when blow drying, leaving me with both volumised and defined curls. I've actually started using this daily for a more sleek and volumised blow dry to add a little finish to my otherwise lank, straight hair!”

Reviewer: SM

5 / 9

Kent ‘Oooh, that’s nice’ Brush, £12.50

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The promise: Developed to eliminate the woes of everyday brushing, grooming and styling.

We give it: 9.5/10

Review: "This nylon and pure bristle mix brush totally lives up to its name, creating a hypnotic tingly feeling on your scalp, making you want to reach for it regardless of whether or not your hair needs brushing. I gave this to my teenage daughter to try without telling her what is was called and she didn’t so much say anything as make the same blissed out face and satisfied noises she makes when eating chocolate brownie piled high with vanilla ice cream or is having a love-in with our cat.

"I wish I’d discovered this when she was three and going through the ‘call Social Services’ screaming phase at hair brush time.  Now she says it cuts through tangles in her long, thick locks better than any brush she has tried. The head is both arched and flexible to mould into your scalp in a lovely rubbery way, which makes it feel amazing but not particularly effective as styling tool, if you want a sleek blow dry. It was also very gentle on my breakage prone locks. A winner in our house, although I still need my paddle brush for blow drying."

Reviewer: VW

6 / 9

Wet Brush, £11.99

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The promise: Effortlessly detangle wet and dry locks.

We give it:10/10

Review: "Brushing my hair, when it’s wet or dry is the absolute bane of my life. I have long hair, which is a little damaged from once-a-year balayage and because of all of this it can be an absolute nightmare to brush. Thankfully, I’m blessed with fairly soft hair, so once I’ve found a good brush to get through it, everything becomes a little easier.

"That being said, I didn’t realise it was possible for it to be quite this easy to brush my hair. The Wet Brush is an absolute game changer. Brushing my hair usually takes several minutes to get it fully knot free, but with this it took seconds. I noticed less fall out and far less breakage. I fell in love with my neon coral brush, but if the bright shade isn’t your cup of tea then there are several other shades to choose from. This brush will be a firm staple on my dressing table from now on, I just need to get my hands on another couple to keep in my bag and in my desk at work.”

Reviewer: LP

7 / 9

SHU UEMURA ART OF HAIR Paddle Brush, £39.50

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The promise: Designed to give hair advanced shine root to tip.

We give it: 8/10

Review: "I am happy to spend money on my hair, but for some reason or another, I don’t like spending it on hair brushes. It’s strange, as very often I want my hair to look good and a hair brush is something I use every single day, but I can’t get past the financial implication.

"It’s a happy thing then that I have had the opportunity to try the SHU UEMURA ART OF HAIR Paddle Brush. On first contact with my hair, I immediately noticed how soft the bristles (a combination of nylon and boar) and cushion bed were - so soft that I immediately wanted to line a hundred brushes up together and lie on them. It felt like I was brushing through threads of golden silk and despite its large size, the brush is surprisingly light and sturdy - hand-crafted from a lacquered Japanese kotibe wood.

"After each use, my hair was indeed sleeker and softer than before brushing and sometimes I could be caught brushing unnessarily because the sensation using it was so nice. There is a risk that this brush can cause a few flyaway hairs on clean hair, but nothing a bit of finishing spray can’t handle. I really like this brush - even just to cuddle up to at night!"

Reviewer: GP

8 / 9

ghd Ceramic Vented Radial Brush,  £15

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The promise: Producing a body-full or smooth blow-dry on short to mid-length hair.

We give it: 8/10

Review: "While I seem to spend a significant portion of my life washing, drying and generally handling my voluminous head of hair, I’m actually not a big brush fan.  My usual dry and style regime involves a lot of towel squeezing, rough drying, followed by a period of rest (to de-frizz) and a concentrated session with the curling iron.  I was intrigued, therefore, to see what the humble brush could bring.  I always marvel at the way stylists work their brush and hair-dryers so perfectly in sync and have to admit it’s something I struggle with, but this ghd Ceramic Vented Radial brush made it as easy as could be.

"The first thing I noticed was just how light it was, making for easy handling and balancing with the dryer.  The ceramic barrel locked in the heat, giving that swipe of heat shine I usually look for in my curling iron.  In this instance I did towel and rough dry my hair first, as I prefer concentrated heat on my hair for as little time as possible, but as far as styling goes this brush is, light, effective and easy to use, leaving my hair feeling smooth but with just a little more volume than I’m used to, which Iove!

"It comes in a range of barrel sizes suited for different hair lengths, though I favoured the smaller Size 2 even for my Rapunzel locks, as it gives more control at the roots and hairline where my frizz is the most stubborn."

Reviewer: GB

9 / 9

Tangle Teezer® The Ultimate, £15

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The promise: The Ultimate is created for dry-styling and dressing your hair. The unique teeth are longer with softer tips to detangle, smooth and boost shine.

We give it: 5/10

Review: “I’ll start this off by saying that I’m a huge fan of the original Tangle Teezer, but unfortunately I just didn’t really ‘get’ this. As brushes go, it’s relatively clunky and unwieldy, unlike the usual palm-sized Tangle Teezer models, and its assets are fairly limited. Designed to be used as a dry styling tool, it’s not intended to be used to actually dry the hair and after a good detangling with the original Tangle Teezer to begin with when my hair was wet, I found that post-drying, my hair didn’t really need further knot clearage. The plastic bristles are longer than your average Tangle Teezer teeth, which is appropriate given that dry hair has more surface area; and while it added a little bit of shine and a taming element, I found it awkward to use to backcomb roots (a suggested specialism) due to the brush’s size.

"If you regularly brush your hair when it’s dry (I leave it be) and are plagued by knots, The Ultimate could be just the tool for you, but I wasn’t really feeling it.”

Reviewer: AH