SoZo HAIR Salon Tips

Before I  became a stylist I found the task of buying a hairbrush rather daunting. There were too many choices, big, small, round, flat, more teeth, fewer teeth, plastic bristles, soft bristles, the choices seemed endless. So inevitably, I would just grab one that met my price range and hope for the best, never really knowing whether I had made the correct choice for my hair type and styling needs. Now that I am a professional stylist, I understand the uses and reasons for all of these choices, I would like to pass that knowledge on to you.

Portrait of a happy woman at the hair salon

For those who do not have formal training on hair styling and how to use the various brushes available, it’s usually just trying to make due with what we have. But what if someone had taken the time to explain to us what all of these brushes do?  Would we have had an easier time styling, with greater success at home? The answer, my friends, is yes.

styling hair dryer in a beauty salon

In this article, I hope to not only cut out the confusion of choosing the correct hairbrush, but also explain the uses for each type of brush, and how they can assist you in re-creating your desired style at home. So let’s get started!

young nervous woman in bathrobe brush her moist hair
The most logical place to begin seems to be when we just wash our hair. You get out of the shower and towel your hair, but it is tangled and the thought of ripping through it with a brush or comb doesn’t seem very appealing. This is where a WET BRUSH comes into play. Using a leave-in conditioner or detangling spray is always a great idea, not only for your hair but also because it will aid in making the process of brushing your tangled, wet hair easier. So what is a WET BRUSH? A WET BRUSH is a brush specifically designed to be gentle on your wet, and fragile hair strands as you brush through after washing. These brushes are usually oval in shape and have flexible, nylon bristles with rounded ends. Some WET BRUSHES also have shorter soft nylon bristles to help with smoothing as well as detangling. A WET BRUSH will not only make detangling your soggy locks easier and less painful, it will also decrease the amount of breakage that will occur from the stress of brushing  (or stretching) your fragile, wet hair into submission.

Next, let’s discuss styling brushes. Most of us probably own a standard STYLING BRUSH, which is medium in size ventbrushand has plastic bristles with rounded ends. These brushes are usually square or rectangular and we often use them for brushing our hair after it is dry. You can also use these brushes during your blow dry to help you control your hair and end with a smoother result after drying. STYLING BRUSHES work best on short to medium length hair due to their shape and small to medium size, and come in a solid head or vented head to allow more airflow during a blow-dry.
Another brush commonly used for brushing dry hair and controlling hair during your blow dry is a PADDLE BRUSH. PADDLE BRUSHES are large in size and usually, have a square or short rectangular shape. However, they are much wider than a styling brush and have a bit more tension to them. PADDLE BRUSHES also have shorter plastic bristles with rounded ends, however, there tend to be a greater amount of bristles on their wide, flat heads that tend to resemble the look of a paddle. PADDLE BRUSHES work well on medium to long hair lengths and are often used for smoothing curly or wavy hair during a blow-dry service. These brushes also come in a solid or vented head to allow for more airflow during a blow dry.


Pretty curly young female looking in mirror while brushing hair standing in bathroom

Many women prefer to style their hair during their blow-dry using a brush, rather than having to go through the trouble of using a heat tool to give their hair a finished look after they blow it dry. There are several reasons for this. One is that it saves time, another is that it cuts down on the amount of heat styling you are doing to your hair, which in turn improves the integrity of your hair. This is where ROUND BRUSHES come into the picture. ROUND BRUSHES have a long cylinder shaped head, and a dense amount of short nylon bristles. Their cylinder is often made of metal, which allows them to heat up when used during a blow dry, and give the hair a curling or bevel at the ends. ROUND BRUSHES also work well for smoothing curly or wavy hair during a blowdry service. Their short, dense bristles place maximum tension on the hair, allowing you to stretch curls and waves straight. Many stylists will also use these brushes to set curls into hair during a blowdry, giving a very voluminous finished style. ROUND BRUSHES come in several sizes, from extremely small, best used on short hair or for making a tight curl, to extra large, best used on long hair and for creating a more gentle or soft curl during a blow dry. These brushes are typically vented but can come solid as well.

Lastly, let’s discuss FINISHING BRUSHES. There are a few types of FINISHING BRUSHES, each with their own specific purpose. First is a TEASING BRUSH. TEASING BRUSHES are used to create volume in a style, most specifically in the crown area. TEASING BRUSHES are thin and rectangular in shape and have extremely dense soft nylon bristles. A TEASING BRUSH will help you to achieve volume in your crown area, or in a curled style, without breaking your hair strands, as a comb or pick might do. Another type of finishing brush is a SMOOTHING BRUSH. SMOOTHING BRUSHES are often larger and shaped similarly to a paddle brush. SMOOTHING BRUSHES have soft nylon or hair bristles that are medium in length and high in density. SMOOTHING BRUSHES are used to do exactly what they say, smooth out the hair after styling. Whether you are brushing curled locks or smoothing out teased volume in your crown area, the software bristles of a SMOOTHING BRUSH will not only add luster and shine to your style, they will also smooth lumps, bumps or imperfections without ruining all of your hard work.


Brunette woman brushing hair in front of bathroom mirror.

Before we part ways, let’s briefly discuss how to care for your brushes. Investing in good quality hair brushes is always a great idea. While they are more expensive, they will last you a much greater amount of time, especially with the right maintenance. I suggest using a fine tooth comb to gently remove any excess hair from your brushes after each use, or at least once a week. I also recommend spraying your debris free brushes once a week with a dilution of half rubbing alcohol and half water. This will not only sanitize your brush, it will also help remove excess product. After you spray your brushes, allow them to air dry fully before using them again.
I hope this article not only helps you to make great decisions about purchasing your next hair brush but also helps you to be able to recreate that salon look at home each time you style. Using the proper brush and caring for your brush will not only help improve the integrity of your hair, it will also extend the life of your brush by an exponential amount. As always, never hesitate to talk to your stylist about which brushes and products will work best for your hair type and styling needs. Cheers, and here’s to fabulous hair!

About SoZo HAIR:

SoZo Salon Tips is a blog about beauty salon tips, tricks, and hints.  SoZo HAIR by Bajon Salon & Spa serves the greater Cincinnati area. We are located in Olde West Chester at the corner of Cincinnati-Dayton and West Chester Rds. We’re just a short drive from Mason Oh and Fairfield Oh….a big city hair salon without the big drive and big traffic.


Chelsea S. is a passionate hair designer with an up to the minute awareness of what’s happening in the hair, beauty, and fashion industry. Her passion shows immediately along with her very caring customer service skills.