A boar bristle brush is excellent for working out tangles and laying down the frizzies but is it a good idea for curly hair?
Should natural hair be brushed? This is a question that I get asked often and my answer is – it depends.
I’m not a big fan of brushing natural hair because it does more harm than good.
However, there are some exceptions such as a good detangling brush or a boar bristle brush for laying down the frizzes and smoothing down a style.
If you’ve never heard of a boar bristle brush or never tried one, this article is going to update you on what makes it awesome for natural and curly hair. I will cover:-
- Benefits of a boar bristle brush
- Best way to use a boar bristle brush on hair without causing damage and breakage
- How to clean and preserve your boar bristle brush
- Best and authentic boar bristle brushes for curly hair
- FAQs about using a boar bristle brush on curly hair
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What is a Boar Bristle Brush?
A boar bristle brush is made out of wild boar hair. The hair is soft and flexible, which makes it excellent for all hair types especially fine and medium density hair.
Boar bristle contains the same compound human hair is made of – keratin. As this is a natural filament, it is gentle on hair and works with your hair type.
Boar bristle brushes have been in use since the 1800s and have been popular in hair care since the Hollywood glamour days of the 50s.
Is a Boar Bristle Brush Good for Hair?
Additionally, boar bristle brushes last forever and ever. The only other product in my stash with the same abilities is my giant bone comb.
Read on for even more benefits of a boar bristle brush and the best ways to use it on the hair.
Boar Bristle Brush Benefits
1. Boar Bristle Brushes Distributes Scalp Oils Even
The unique structure of a boar bristle brush helps it to distribute the oils from your scalp to the rest of your hair.
It does this without damaging your hair, ripping it out, or causing split ends while eliminating dry hair.
2. Boar Bristle Brushes Massages the Scalp
A boar bristle brush gently massages the scalp and encourages blood flow to the scalp area promoting healthier hair growth. No, it will not make your hair grow faster.
3. Boar Bristle Brushes Promotes Shine and Prevents Frizz
A boar bristle brush helps the cuticles to lay down flat thus preventing frizzy hair and flyaways while also promoting shine.
Additionally, the sebum spread from the scalp to the rest of your hair is also a frizz deterrent.
Using a boar bristle brush to finish off a style like a bun or an updo works wonders for the final result.
4. Boar Bristle Brushes Improves Hair Texture
I’m not completely sold on this so what I’ll say is a boar bristle brush won’t change your hair texture but it can bring out the best in your hair after repeated use.
It should make a world of difference to finer hair types and make hair more bouncy.
5. Boar Bristle Brushes Extends Your Products
Because a boar bristle brush helps spread the sebum from your scalp to the rest of your hair, you don’t have to be heavy-handed with hair products.
With reduced use, expect your hair products will last longer.
Can You Use Boar Bristle Brush on Wet Hair?
Never ever use a boar bristle brush on wet hair. This is not what it was created for.
You should be using a wide-tooth comb or a detangling brush on wet hair.
Using a boar bristle brush on wet hair can cause a lot of damage and mid-shaft splits. It will also create more tangles.
A boar bristle brush is NOT a detangling brush. It’s primarily for styling and smoothing.
Related Content: Combing Natural Hair & the Best Type of Combs for Natural Hair
How to Use a Boar Bristle Brush on Curly Hair
You should not be brushing natural hair with a pure boar bristle brush. This only works on straight hair such as type 1 – 2 and maybe 3a hair.
Read more on hair types and determining your hair type at What’s My Hair Type?
You should only be using the boar bristle brushing method below if you have straightened your hair.
If you also wear your hair straight most of the time, then a boar bristle brush is an indispensable tool to have.
- Your hair should be properly detangled before you use a boar bristle brush.
- Section your hair into smaller parts as I always recommend. Keep apart with hair clips like these ones.
- Take a section and start brushing from root to tip. Gently! It takes as long as it takes.
- You can oil your scalp and hair with a few drops of oil before you start or apply the oil to the brush itself if you prefer. Argan oil, coconut oil, and grapeseed oil are good for this step. A mix of all three oils also works.
- If your hair gets caught in the brush, stop and remove the tangles with your fingers then continue.
- Once done, style your hair as you want to or throw up in a bun.
Laying Down Edges
After creating a style on damp hair, you can use a boar bristle brush on your edges to lay them down before covering with a silk or satin scarf for a few minutes. Again, brush gently.
You can use the brush to lay down frizzes and flyaways during the day as well or the next day when refreshing the style.
When you’re wearing a protective style such as braids and you’ve left your baby hair alone, you can use a boar bristle brush to smooth out the baby hair in the morning.
How to Clean a Boar Bristle Brush
As with all beauty tools, you need to take care of them properly in order to make sure they last as long as possible.
The boar bristle brush is no different. A properly taken care of pure boar bristle brush should last for a few years.
Use a fine-tooth comb to remove any hair trapped between the bristles. However, you should use your fingers to remove hair after every brushing session. Don’t let hair build up between the bristles.
- Fill a small bowl with warm soapy water then swish the brush bristles only around in the water for about 5 minutes. Do not submerge the whole brush in the water.
- Use the comb to remove any more trapped hair and swish around in the water again.
- Hold the brush bristles under running lukewarm water to rinse thoroughly then give a final rinse with a blast of cold water.
- Once clean, lay flat on a towel with the bristles facing down and allow to air dry.
What is the Best Boar Bristle Brush?
There are several different types of boar bristle brushes and the one you choose will depend on your hair type and condition.
I have broken down the different types for every hair type below:-
Vegan Boar Bristle Brush
A vegan boar bristle brush is made ethically and crafted from materials that replicate the properties of traditional boar bristle brushes.
Vegan boar bristle brushes don’t use any animal-derived materials. If you follow a strictly vegan lifestyle, this is the best boar bristle brush for you.
Some great vegan boar bristle brush recommendations for natural hair include:-
Briogeo Vegan Boar Bristle Hair Brush gently detangles straight, wavy, curly, or coiled hair.
The multi-layered bristles are able to work their way through any hair type and provide a satiny smooth finish. Learn more here.
Vegan Lush Brush Detangling Brush is lightweight and designed with boar-like bristles for a smooth finish.
It’s suitable for all hair types and can be used for styling and detangling wet hair too! Learn more here.
Pure Boar Bristle Brush
This type of brush is best for fine to normal hair types. This brush is made with 100% boar bristles. Good recommendations include:-
The Boar Bristle Hair Brush by Beauty by Earth is a sustainable bamboo medium-sized oval brush crafted with real boar hair. Learn more here.
This brand also has a paddle brush version made out of boar bristle as well. Learn more about the board bristle paddle brush here.
Spornette DeVille Cushion Oval Boar Bristle Hair Brush is perfect for blow drying and finishing hairstyles.
Crafted from 100% pure boar hair and a rubber cushion that prevents breakage and damage. Learn more here.
This brand also comes in a set with a boar bristle brush, sculpting brush, and paddle brush. See more about the set here.
Soft Boar Bristle Brush
This is a softer cut of boar bristle brush that is best for thinning, delicate, dry, or damaged hair. A good recommendation is:-
Crafted from satinwood and soft boar bristle for fine and/or thin hair, Kent Ladies’ Narrow Soft Brush provides a luxurious treat for hair. Learn more here.
Nylon Bristle Brush
The bristles on this brush are made out of nylon. Brushes made out of nylon are similar to boar bristle brushes but are stiffer and best for thick and/or coarse hair.
A good recommendation for a nylon bristle brush is:-
Mason Pearson Nylon Brush is made from pure nylon bristles and equipped with a patented pneumatic cushion.
The cushion conforms to the contours of the scalp and optimizes the brushing process. Learn more here.
Mixed Bristle Brush
A mixed bristle brush is a mix of nylon and boar bristle. This type of brush is perfect for all hair types. A good recommendation is:-
Mason Pearson Handy Mixture Nylon & Boar Bristle Hair Brush is a mix of nylon and bristle and is ideal for thick and textured hair. Learn more here.
Small, Round, Boar Bristle Brush
This type of brush is ideal for shorter hair, TWA, and hair with bangs. It’s 100% boar bristle but it’s small and round. Good recommendations include:-
Spornette deVille Rounder Boar Bristle Hair Brush adds volume to short hairstyles and is perfect for all hair types. Learn more here.
You can also get the Spornette deVille Rounder Boar Bristle Hair Brush in 2” and 2.5”.
A good boar bristle, mixed bristle, or nylon bristle brush is not cheap but remember they last for a long time.
My bone comb cost a fortune but I’ve had it since 2009 while I’ve had my boar bristle brush since 2016.
It’s a one-off investment you can expect to keep paying off for your hair for a long time to come.
Do Boar Bristle Brushes Make Hair Grow Faster?
This is being answered to bust a hair growth myth. A boar bristle brush cannot make your hair grow faster.
However, using it on your hair encourages blood flow to your scalp area, which promotes healthier hair growth.
How Often Should You Clean a Boar Bristle Brush?
You should clean your brush at least once a month but every 2 weeks is preferable. However, if you don’t use it that often then once a month is fine.
How Often Should You Brush Your Hair with a Boar Bristle Brush?
I’ve seen recommendations for 3 times a day. Unless you’re Rapunzel, I’m not sure how that’s possible.
In the morning while styling and at night while wrapping up for bed should work just as well.
If you simply don’t have that kind of time, then once a day at a time that’s convenient should suffice.
Have you tried a boar bristle brush? Is it part of your stash? Share your thoughts in the comments section.
Abi is a curly hair expert, researcher, product tester, and author of the highly-rated Healthy Hair Care Series. She is also the founder of Ade Ori Hair Care, Healthy Natural Hair Products, and Natural Oils for Hair & Beauty. HNHP has strict editorial standards and ensures all the information on Healthy Natural Hair Products is the best for natural hair care. Learn more about our Editorial Policies
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