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Article: The Ultimate Hair Brush Guide

Caswell-Massey Standard Hair Brush with Pure Boar Bristles

The Ultimate Hair Brush Guide

When it comes to your hair, the perfect brush or comb makes a big difference in styling your tresses. Fine hair, curly hair, short hair, long hair, color-treated hair—in a world full of choices, you want to select the best hairbrush for your hair type. That’s precisely why the grooming experts at Caswell-Massey created this guide. Keep reading to learn about the different types of brushes and combs available, and why certain styling tools may be better for your hair than others. Trust us; your hair will thank you.

What's the difference?

Combs versus Brushes

When it comes to your hair, what’s the difference between brushing and combing? Combs have teeth that are farther apart, and when you’re dealing with wet hair, it is generally recommended that you use a comb rather than a brush. In fact, one of the biggest hair mistakes people make is brushing wet hair with a normal hairbrush. This can cause you to damage your hair, or even pull it out.

Caswell-Massey Detangler Comb


To achieve tangle-free wet hair without damage, use a detangler comb. The comb’s wider-spaced teeth detangle hair without pulling and snagging the way a brush can. Keep one in your shower to help evenly distribute conditioner while preventing tangles.

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Caswell-Massey Travel Detangler Comb shown in hand


For hair care on the go, consider using a travel detangler comb to maintain your style throughout the day. It fits perfectly in your pocket or purse and allows you to keep your hair looking flawless despite wind, rain, or snow. (And as we noted above, you always want to try to tame wet hair with a comb, not a hairbrush.)

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Pro-Tip: Use Essential Oils

One of the best tips we've gotten came from our essential oils expert, Michelle Gagnon: Add a few drops of our Isle of Roses Hair Oil to your brush or comb before styling. This distributes a bit of oil throughout your hair, helping to maintain healthy roots and moisture in your scalp, while also adding the beautiful, natural fragrance of roses to your hair. This is a great way to maintain shine with a minimal amount of product. Try it for a few days, adding to either wet or dry hair, and you'll quickly see beautiful results.

Caswell-Massey Fiber Pomade, Medium Hold and Matte Finish: shown in hands

Advice for Guys

Hair Styling

Get the most out of your pomade:

  • Work the pomade between your hands and then run it evenly through your hair to style
  • Use on dry or slightly damp hair for best results
  • Can also be used in longer beard styles to keep stray hairs in line
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Caswell-Massey Folding Pocket Comb: man shown combing hair

Advice for Guys

Fine vs. Wide Tooth Combs

A fine tooth comb is ideal for thinner hair types, especially when the goal is perfectly straight hair. In contrast, thicker or wavier hair types should use wide-tooth combs to to avoid pulling hair out. For some, a wide-tooth comb may be step 1, to detangle (especially right out of shower while hair is damp), followed by step 2, when a more fine tooth comb will get hair straight and neat.

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Caswell-Massey Face & Beard Oil - image showing barber applying to man's beard

Advice for Guys

Beard & Scalp Care

Beards are especially adept at wicking moisture away from the skin beneath, which can leave the skin feeling dry and itchy. Adding our Face & Beard Oil tames wiry beards and facial hair while repairing damaged skin underneath, which in turn helps promote the healthy growth of facial hair.

Don't forget about the scalp. In fact, oils are a great way to return moisture to over-washed hair and dry scalps that can leave hair unwieldy and brittle.

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Bristle Type, Paddle Size, and More

The Best Brush for You

We offer a range of options to best suit the needs of you and your hair. You'll first notice that we offer a range of paddle sizes, or brush sizes. Larger paddles ease brushing longer hairstyles by covering more area quickly. Smaller paddles, like that of our Pocket Hairbrush, are convenient for travel and for keeping with you for quick touch-ups on-the-go. And while we're on the topic of paddles, all of our hairbrushes have cushioned bases to ensure each and every brush stroke is comfortable and gentle to your hair and scalp.

As for bristle type, we'll dive into why different hair types require different bristle compositions below.

Caswell-Massey Standard Boar Bristle Hair Brush, woman shown brushing her hair

For Fine Hair or Color-Treated Hair


When you have hair that’s been treated with hair color, the brush you choose matters. If you have color-treated hair and prefer a glossy look, use a pure boar bristle brush. Pure boar bristles are extremely gentle on damaged or color-treated hair. The unique structure of the boar bristle carries natural oils from the scalp to the end of the hair shaft, repairing dry hair and adding lustrous shine. Because of its soft, gentle bristles, this is also often the best type of hairbrush for fine hair, regardless of whether it’s been color-treated.

Caswell-Massey Standard Hair Brush with Nylon and Boar Bristle Brushes

For thick Hair


Do you like the thought of gentle bristles but find that a traditional boar bristle brush doesn’t quite achieve your preferred look? That’s why the best brush for thicker or coarser hair is usually a hybrid boar-bristle and nylon brush. This is the most popular brush among hair stylists because it works well on almost every hair type. Boar bristles are ideal for distributing natural oils and adding shine, while nylon bristles are perfect for detangling stubborn hair.

Pro-Tip: How to Clean & Care for Your Hairbush

Simple cleaning is all it takes to increase longevity and maximize the performance of your brushes. Begin by removing all hairs from the brush. For ease of removal, dampen the bristles before removing the hairs. You'll then want to make a simple cleaning solution using your favorite shampoo.

  • Mix one part shampoo with two parts water and then wash the brush by gently massaging the bristles.
  • Once this process is complete, rinse the brush thoroughly with water and dry it with a towel.
  • Then, allow the brush to continue to air dry upside down.