The Wide-Tooth Comb comes in a variety of sizes and shapes. It is generally larger than the
styling comb and can have teeth that are as much as ¼ to ½ inch apart. In many cases the teeth are wider at the spine of the comb and taper
toward the ends to aid in separating the hair. A wide-tooth comb is good for combing through wet hair and for combing dense or curly hair.
The Pick is a variation of the wide-tooth comb, although its teeth may be more closely
spaced. The pick is used for detangling and "fluffing" very curly and kinky hair. It can also be useful to separate the curls in hair that has
been styled to be curly without causing the hair to frizz.
The size of the comb you choose will depend largely on the length of your hair, its density and texture. A
good rule of thumb is to take the comb and insert it into clean, dry hair. The wide tooth comb should pass easily through the hair without any
hindrance. For a styling comb, however, you should be able to insert the comb easily into the hair and release it, having the comb stay in place
until you move your head, at which point it should fall out easily.
There are nearly as many different types of brushes as there are types of hair, and there are new designs
constantly being developed and introduced. Many of the new styles of brush are created specifically for use with a particular styling technique
and may or may not be suited to all hair types.
The Styling Brush is a brush with bristles - either synthetic or natural - and can come in
many shapes and sizes. The best styling brushes use natural fiber bristles - usually boar's hair. However, if you choose to use a synthetic
bristle brush, be sure to choose one that is well made and will be gentle to your hair and scalp. A good test is to take the brush and run it
along the soft inside of your forearm near the bend of your elbow. The bristle should feel smooth, but firm. If the bristles feel scratchy or
harsh, then the brush isn't for you. The last thing you want is a brush that is going to leave tiny scratches on your scalp or be harsh to your hair.
The Vented Brush is one that has tines instead of bristles. The tines are set into a base
that has open spaces to allow air to pass through it. The vented brush is designed for use with blow drying allowing the hair to be dried more
quickly because the brush doesn't inhibit the warm air from circulating through the hair. There are tined brushes that are not vented, but
instead have the tines set into a solid base (or a rubberized base) in a variety of shapes and designs. These "brushes" are little more than an
attempt to get the effect of using several combs at once. I personally abhor these and will not use them. Generally, they are no good for use
when drying the hair, and are more damaging to the hair than combs.
The Round Brush with Bristles is a styling tool that is best suited to short, wavy hairstyles.
They are best used to provide lift and uniformity to the hair by rolling them through the hair to create a smooth, wavy effect.
These brushes can come in a variety of sizes, though they tend to be smaller.
The Round Brush with Tines is designed for use with blow dryers for styling the hair into
soft curves and waves. Initially created as a variant of the vented brush, most current designs feature a metal- or ceramic-covered base that
holds the heat of the dryer to create soft curls and curves in the hair. These brushes are available in many sizes, from small barrels with
long tines to create smaller, tighter curls, to large barrels with shorter tines to create big, soft waves.
The Paddle Brush generally features a wide, flat base with short to mid-length tines and is
designed for use with a blow dryer for straight hair styling. Originally, these brushes were designed with vented plastic bases like the vented
brush, but now can be found with metal- and ceramic-covered bases to make better use of the dryer's heat to straighten and smooth the hair.
In all cases, the size of the brush you want depends on the density of your hair and its length. For shorter
hair, smaller brushes are generally preferred to give better control in styling. With long hair, however, a larger brush is usually beneficial
to enable you to style the hair more quickly.