Boar bristle brushes – are they worth it?

Do boar bristle brushes really make a difference to your hair

Would you spend $100+ on a hairbrush?

After hearing so much about the benefits of boar bristle brushes I purchased my first Mason Pearson brush and have never looked back. I consider it a must have hair product.

But why is everyone talking about boar bristle hairbrushes?

Boar bristles have the same structure as our hair. They are able to hold moisture and so can lift away dirt and distribute the oils from your scalp to the ends of your hair. The bristles also gently massage your scalp, increasing blood flow to your hair follicles.

In my opinion, boar bristle brushes are completely worth the expensive price tag.

I personally recommend Mason Pearson hairbrushes. That’s not sponsored, and I purchased my brushes myself. Mason Pearson brushes are constructed to last and the bristles are set into a pneumatic pad so that they are the perfect tension to brush through your hair to your scalp.

I have also purchased Denman hairbrushes which are excellent. I’ve recently discovered YS Park professional brushes which give amazing results when blowdrying your hair.

Boar bristle brushes make my hair smoother and shinier than regular brushes. Boar bristle and nylon mix brushes are exceptional for styling hair. They grasp every hair and keep the tension in the hair so are perfect for when you are heat styling. Good quality brushes make styling your hair quicker and easier.

Would you spend $100+ on a hairbrush? Are you a convert like me?

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  1. says

    Whenever I’ve bought boar bristles brushes in the past, they have always either caused excessive static, excessive oils or made my hair way too flat on the scalp. Have you ever experienced that with the Mason Pearson brushes or recommend a way around it? All my boar bristle brushes were completely natural and I’ve used both stiff and soft types; for some reason they just don’t seem to get along with my hair.

    • Hair Romance says

      Hi Elizabeth, what type of hair do you have? I adore mine so haven’t had the same experience as you. I’ll see if I can find out why thats happening for you x

  2. Emily says

    I have naturally curly hair . I have always had a little curl but after my daughter my hair has decided tht being straight was over -rated
    The only time I can even get a brush through my hair is in the shower . While its wet and soapy I’ve heard ups and downs about this any suggestions ???? Also have you ever heard of the no -poo practice where vinegar and h2o and baking soda are all you use instead of regular shampoo it has made my hair the curliest and I feel like it is def the best I’ve had it look in along time thanks :)

    • Hair Romance says

      Hi Emily! There are definitely a lot of curly girls that convert to the no-poo method. I colour and style my hair so it doesn’t work for me but I think it;s a great practice. Check out my post on how to style curly hair for more curly hair tips x

    • franz says

      Hi, I have very curly hair and do you know what is better than vinegar and baking soda? Water only and herbal hair rinses, I feel as though in the long run the vinegar and especially baking soda would ruin your hair in the long run.

      • Lisa says

        Vinager is very good for your hairespecially if you have oily hair. Baking soda would do nothing but absorb the oils and soften it. This is something that people did for years before shampoo was invented. If you want it softer and need moisture you can put organic coconut oil in your hair as a leave in, this leaves your hair soft, shiny and is wonderful for it. You don’t want to use to much though or you will have oily hair.

  3. says

    I bought a cheap boar bristle brush a little while ago (from memory it was just a supermarket home-brand). I like the soft finish it gives, and it’s great for brushing out curls. Like Elizabeth, I fins it produces a lot of static of brushed through more than a couple of times, so I generally use it to quickly smooth down my fringe, or for curls, etc. I’ll finish with a touch of styling cream afterwards. It has it’s place, but it won’t ever replace my ordinary pin-bristle brush.
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    • Hair Romance says

      Hi Rachel, I need to look into why but there is a difference between the cheap and expensive brushes. Perhaps the contruction and bristle quality? There’s something about Mason Pearson brushes that are totally different. I never get static from mine and find it actually controls all my flyaways. Another great brush is the Tangle teezer and that’s plastic.

  4. Lecinda says

    Ahhhh I grew up with a boar bristle brush (don’t know what brand) but it lasted me well over ten years and I loved it. I haven’t been able to find a good one since, so thank you for the recommendation! I loved that it made my hair so soft, didn’t rip it, and like you said it was super good at pulling all the dirt etc out of my hair. I never experienced static, maybe it’s related to the quality of the brush?

    • Hair Romance says

      Hi Lecinda, I think it must be. My Mason Pearson removes static and smooths my hair like no other brush. I love it and think it’s worth every penny x

  5. crotchfairy says

    I have thick coarse hair and according to their website, I should use their nylon tuft one. Still, pretty hefty for the pricetag since there aren’t any of the famed boar bristles in it =/

    • Hair Romance says

      The nylon/bristle are better for thick hair but I still love a pocket bristle for smoothing and styling. They are made to last but you have to work out if you’ll use it

  6. says

    Agreed, I think they are totally worth the price tag.
    I use mine on a regular basis on myself and clients, and find it is a lot kinder to hair. Also always great quality so it works out good value per use. :)
    Great post.
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    • Hair Romance says

      They’re great for when you do updos as they get a really smooth finish, especially for sleek buns or high ponytails

  7. Jenn Klein says

    Do you use the pure boar bristle brush or the bristle and nylon brush? I would hate to spend that much money and get one that isn’t the ideal choice!

    • Hair Romance says

      Hi Jenn, it depends on your hair type. The bristle & nylon is best for thick or coarse hair as the longer nylon bristles really get through your hair. I love my pocket size pure bristle as it’s so smoothing on my hair.

    • Hair Romance says

      Hi Jasper, I agree, I didn’t think a brush made such a difference but I just can’t get the same results with a cheaper brush.

  8. Kerry says

    We sell these where I work… when I saw the pricetag I was all…what the what? But its nice to hear they are worth every penny.. now I just have to crack and buy one!

    • Hair Romance says

      There’s a reason these brushes are in every hairdresser’s kit. They are worth it in my opinion x

  9. says

    It’s funny, I’ve only ever had el-cheapo boar bristle brushes, and they never seemed to be able to make it through my thick hair. However I have vague memories of my mum having one when I was a kid, and loving it…

    I use a Du Boa brush on my hair, and I LOVE it. Have you tried them?
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  10. Carly says

    I am 28, and have had a Mason Pearson bush since I was about 6. It is still going strong =)

    Once it finally dies (I actually have two), I will buy another for as long as I can <3

  11. Anna says

    Hello! Thank you for all the tips and reviews and hairdos. I’ve got a boar bristle brush too. Mine is Olivia Garden, combo bristle+. I like that it’s much softer to my hair, it doesn’t tear it. But now i’ve got another problem! I’ve got a lot of hair. (thanx, grandma), and I LOVE massaging and sсratching my scalp… but these boar brisles just can’t get though!!!! I can’t get my satisfaction))) So, is this Mason Pearson brush soo great it’ll massage even the scalp with the thickest hair???
    Oh I miss that feeling when i apply my brush above my forehead and slide it to the back of my head… but mom quickly threw away all the old brushes when i’ve got those boar brushes or us.

    • Hair Romance says

      Hi Anna, you’re lucky to have such thick hair! You’ll need a combo boar bristle/nylon brush to get through your hair. The boar bristles are too short. Mason Pearson also does a combo brush x

  12. says

    I just wanted to add here that all the girls in my family have always used Mason Pearsons – it’s what my mom always used for us growing up – and there’s some floating around that are 15+ years old, still in perfect shape. They really are heirlooms, and if you think of it that way it makes the price a little easier to swallow:) I love the combo brush personally – just seems to work best for my thick, fine hair.
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    • Hair Romance says

      Hi Judy, I haven’t tried it personally but Kevin Murphy is a good brand. Hopefully someone else will have some advice too x

  13. Sarah says

    I bought a Conair 100% boar bristle brush about a year ago and had the same static frizz problem/oily flat scalp when I tried to use it. My hair is fine and somewhat curly, but will calm down into waves by the end of the day or the second day after washing. More recently I started using all natural soap to wash my hair and decided to try to use the boar bristle brush again. I found out the problem was my hair was just really dry. I tried brushing in some coconut oil on the ends, which helped, and I started brushing it every night, the recommended 100 strokes at least. Now my hair is getting so nice! So soft and silky, like my daughter’s! Maybe the brush also needs to acquire a little oil in it to start smoothing the hair, or maybe the hair needs to adjust to it. And maybe the expensive ones just work a little better. Anyhow, now I love it so much, I always want to brush my hair!

    • Hair Romance says

      Hi Sarah, I hadn’t thought about adding oils when brushing but it makes sense if your hair is dry. Glad you’re in love with the brush now! x

  14. Terry says

    I just received my all boar bristle Mason Pearson brush in the mail. This is actually my second Mason Pearson because I left my first one (the popular mixture) back at school while I’m at home for vacation. This one feels REALLY stiff! I remember my mixture brush being less harsh on my scalp. The box says it’s the B1 model but it feels like plastic! The bristles feel like the same material as the included cleaning tool. I purchased from Amazon. What gives??

    • Hair Romance says

      Hi Terry, I’m not sure. Can you take it to a store and compare how it looks to another mason pearson?

  15. Ami says

    I love your review, thank you so very much for it.
    I have normal hair a bit longer than shoulder length. My scalp gets oily rather fast so I can’t go without a shower for more than 2 days. I really long for silky shiny hair so have you got some advice? I’m interested in Mason Pearson hairbrushes but not sure what kind I should get, with nylon or not and whatnot. I hope you can help me out a bit~

  16. Tove says

    I have the exact same problem as Elisabeth who wrote the first comment. My hair gets flat and static whenever I use my brush. I have thin strands of hair, but also a lot of them so it’s very thick. It tend to get dry easily, so I guess that’s one of the main reasons why my hair becomes frizzy… And when it does, I look like a freakin’ hedgehog. :-)

  17. Karen says

    I prefer my nylon brush to a natural boar bristle brush simply because boar brushes give me the opposite look of what I like…full hair that’s full of volume. I read somewhere recently that if you are looking for volume, steer clear of boar brushes because they make the cuticle “skinny” and make the hair lie flat. Boar brushes are wonderful if you are looking to make your hair look straighter, or more sleek. I find that the static thing happens to my hair as well with the boar brush.

  18. Niki says

    I just got a boar bristle brush but I’m not sure if the bristles will last. Is their any way to tell? I have curly hair and I use the brushing method from bottom to top. Though I need to make sure it’s a strong brush.

    • Hair Romance says

      Hi Niki, I know people who have had the same Mason Pearson for 30+ years. If you clean the hair off your brush regularly and occasionally wash it as per the instructions on the box it should last for many years.

  19. katie says

    I have pin straight hair, a lot of it, but its pretty fine so its not necessarily really thick. what type of brush should i get?

    • Hair Romance says

      The bristle brush would be perfect for your hair, you could even get the small brush if your hair isn’t that long

  20. Andreas says

    I had nice long hair after some years using this my wife said I had nice hair when I met her but now it’s bad.

    I just took the denman and dragged it over my arm gently and it scratched my arm pretty much so I know why my hair got damaged and prior the bbb brush my hairs inside we’re not bad bud now the inside hair is damaged from brushing the inside with splitted hair straws and it looks really bad.

  21. Andreas says

    Maybe broken straws is a better word so if I make my hair straight there will be single hair straw sticking out everywhere it’s like where the hair band sits there the hair gets damaged so my whole hair now looks like this instead of only where the hair band use to be. Drag the brush over your arm and see for your self.

  22. anna says

    I have normal hair . My scalp gets oily fast so I can’t go without a shower for more than 2 hair is thin also what kind og brush I should get, with nylon ?. I hope you can help me..

  23. alexa says

    y.s. park the G series (the round brushes shown above) are absolutely amazing. I found them out by my bosses a few years ago. they are not just boar bristles it also has strong durable pins intertwined in them to give it that tension in the brush (which is what creates that shine & non frizzy look) these are by far the best brushes and will last you a lifetime. for all the girls that says that it boar brushes gives a frizzy finish its because your 1) not using that good of a brush and 2) you are not giving the right tension or nozzle..which can be hard because blow drying your own hair is obviously not as easy. has the best prices on these brushes. good luck yall.

  24. Gina says

    I have extremely coarse/thick wavy hair. I bought a boar bristle brush to see how I liked it but it doesn’t feel like it gets all the way through my hair to the underneath layers. It feels like I’m not really brushing anything but the top. I don’t mind spending a lot on a brush but I don’t know that the Mason Pearson will make much difference?

    • Hair Romance says

      Hi Gina, for thick hair the nylon/boar bristle combo is best. It has longer nylon bristles to get through your hair while the boar bristles still smooth the top.

  25. alexa says

    Hair romance is correct, but when you are dealing with a boar bristle brush with nylon boar bristles it will still make you feel like you’re not getting the brush through your hair when you really are. You just have to get use to it if that makes any sense.

  26. Heather says

    I have really thick hair and I’ve always brushed my hair in layers. Perhaps that would help the people writing that their brushes don’t brush through their hair.

  27. Bridget says

    Heather, thank you for the tip about brushing your hair in layers. My hair texture is fine but I have a LOT of it. This made a big difference. Doing it this way seemed to make sure all of my hair got a good amount of moisture distributed to it evenly from my scalp.

    • Hair Romance says

      Denman brushes are fab and pretty similar to Mason Pearson. They are so fantastic though, I’ve never regretted this purchase.

  28. Aditi says

    Hi, I have heard that wood bristle brushes do everything you spoke about in your post as well. have you tried wooden brushes? which do you feel work better? (boar or wood)

  29. Krista says

    I’ am still really confused at the price difference in all these 100% boar bristle brushes. $6- $300?! Doesn’t make sense. I’d really like to know the difference that would cause that obscurity .. Other then obvious construction…which I can’t see that alone causing that huge of a leap in price.

    • Hair Romance says

      Hi Krista, I’m not sure where to buy $6 brushes and I’d say they are probably nylon. Most boar bristle are $80+ and the difference would be in the handle construction and maybe a bit of marketing. The good brands like Mason Pearson and YS Park are really built to last so are worth it, in my opinion x

      • ducttapediva says

        My 100% boar bristle wooden conair paddle style brush cost me $13 at Giant Eagle, my goody brand mixed boar and nylon bristle brush was $6 at Target…. They are both incredible and designed to last, who in the world would spend that much on a brush ?? Lol

  30. Krista says

    Please dismiss the spelling/grammar errors in my previous post… Lol. Typed fast and didn’t check back. There ya go lol

  31. Deb says

    I have fine colored hair. My hair seems to have a lot of static lately. I found this website, which brush should I get? All boars or boars/ nylon?


  32. Kripa says


    I have very fine thin hair and to add to the problem I have a oily scalp. I have to wash my hair everyday, do you think the pure boar bristle brush is a good match for my hair?

    • Hair Romance says

      Hi Kripa, it depends how you want to style your hair. A boar bristle brush is great for smoothing hair and creating shine. Check the type of shampoo you’re using. Sometimes an oily scalp is a reaction to overwashing your hair. Once you break out of the everyday wash cycle it can be easier to style x

  33. Tabitha says

    I have an Le-Cheap-O bore brush with nylon bristles. I love it. I lost it once and cried. Found it a month later in my travel bag and did a jig. LOL. I have never had a static problem with it and I have thin wavy hair , one daughter with supper curls, and one with thick long hair.

  34. Emilie says

    I also have very thin and fine hair and oily (and long) and I haven’t yet found a brush that I feel works for me.
    My hair is not particularly unhealthy, but still it gets really oily and flat with no volume, and no matter what I do, and how I style it, in the end of the day I always end up with flat greasy hair.
    Will this brush help? And if so, which one do you think would suit my needs?
    (I apologies for my English, i’m still learning :P)

    • Hair Romance says

      Hi Emilie, brushes help but you also need to look at the type of shampoo and conditioner you’re using if your hair is so oily. Also overwashing your hair can make it seem oilier. Use a volumising shampoo and only put conditioner on the ends of your hair, never on the roots x

  35. marijka says

    A few years ago I splurged on a Mason Pearson “Popular”, which is a mix of boar + nylon bristles. According to their website, this would work on my very thick, coarse hair. LOVE LOVE LOVE!! I’ve never had a brush that I could use without sectioning off my hair, or one that didn’t seem to be tearing at my scalp or hair, so I just didn’t brush at all. Now I can actually brush my hair from scalp to ends (mid-back), all the while feeling an amazing scalp massage and spreading those important oils throughout. Now don’t get me wrong – I still only brush right before I shampoo or anytime my hair is blow-dried straight; if I’m curly, I still can’t brush or I’ll end up frizzy. No static, but definitely frizzy. I no longer consider it a splurge, but a necessity! P.S. Please be aware that you CANNOT use this brush with a blow dryer.

    • Hair Romance says

      Thanks Marijka, aren’t they fantastic? Great tip about not using them with a blowdryer x

  36. MelKay says

    Hi! I plan on investing in a Mason Pearson brush in the near future! (Maybe Christmas? 😀 )For now I have a Bass pure boar brush and it works pretty well. My question is…is it OK to brush your hair if you have gel in it?! Or other styling products? I don’t want to end up doing more harm than good…
    My hair is fine and a little more curly than yours (3a/3b type curls) . I try to use non-sticky type gels that won’t “glue” my hairs together and make it hard to detangle before brushing. Do yo brush in sections? Any advice on this would be much appreciated!


    • Hair Romance says

      Hi, that’s a great question! If you’re using a lot of products, it’s worth giving your brush a gentle wash and there are instructions here – It’s fine to brush your hair with products in it but just clean your brush more regularly. I tend to use the brush more when I blowdry my hair or use a curling wand to create waves and rarely brush out my natural curls x

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