Boar bristle brushes – are they worth it?

by Hair Romance on April 4, 2013 · 45 comments

in Hair Products

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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{ 44 comments… read them below or add one }

Elizabeth April 4, 2013 at 9:47 am

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.

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Hair Romance April 4, 2013 at 10:10 am

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

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Emily April 4, 2013 at 10:50 am

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 :)

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Hair Romance April 4, 2013 at 10:32 pm

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

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Rachel April 4, 2013 at 11:00 am

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 April 4, 2013 at 10:35 pm

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.

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Lecinda April 4, 2013 at 11:14 am

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?

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Hair Romance April 4, 2013 at 10:36 pm

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

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crotchfairy April 4, 2013 at 12:31 pm

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 =/

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Hair Romance April 4, 2013 at 10:37 pm

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

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Kelly April 4, 2013 at 7:26 pm

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 April 4, 2013 at 10:40 pm

Thanks Kelly! On a cost per use my brush is practically free ;)

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Kayla April 5, 2013 at 1:55 am

I’ve been highly considering buying one. I do so much damage to my hair (dying, products, heat) that I feel like i’d be worth the extra measure just to keep it as healthy as possible! Thanks for the push in the right direction.

Memoirs & Mochas

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Hair Romance April 5, 2013 at 6:59 pm

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

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Jenn Klein April 5, 2013 at 2:55 am

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!

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Hair Romance April 5, 2013 at 6:58 pm

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.

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Jasper Noir April 6, 2013 at 7:54 am

I totally agree with you. I got my first Mason Pearson a couple of months ago and all of my clients have noticed the great finish it gets on their up do’s etc. The benefits way out strip the cost for me.

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Hair Romance April 7, 2013 at 11:41 pm

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.

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Kerry April 8, 2013 at 11:28 am

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!

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Hair Romance April 8, 2013 at 11:53 pm

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

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Sara-May April 10, 2013 at 11:37 pm

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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Hair Romance April 11, 2013 at 12:27 am

I haven’t heard of that brand, I’ll have to check them out!

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Carly April 13, 2013 at 3:13 pm

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

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Hair Romance April 14, 2013 at 5:28 pm

That’s amazing Carly! They are such good brushes, aren’t they?

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Anna April 14, 2013 at 12:04 am

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.

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Hair Romance April 14, 2013 at 5:28 pm

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

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Clare @ The Blossom Shed April 17, 2013 at 3:55 pm

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 April 17, 2013 at 6:48 pm

Love thinking of them as an heirloom Clare! They really are built to last x

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Judy May 13, 2013 at 9:12 am

Has anyone tried the Kevin Murphy boar bristle smoothing brush? http://www.kevinmurphy.com.au/products/tools_productdetail.php?id=30
My hairdresser recommended it to me and I’m wondering if it’s worth shelling out for or sticking with the classic Mason Pearson. Ta x

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Hair Romance May 13, 2013 at 9:16 am

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

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Sarah May 30, 2013 at 2:06 pm

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!

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Hair Romance May 30, 2013 at 7:18 pm

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

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Terry July 24, 2013 at 7:34 am

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??

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Hair Romance July 25, 2013 at 3:45 am

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

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Ami September 19, 2013 at 8:35 pm

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~

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Hair Romance November 3, 2013 at 11:07 pm

The Mason Pearson bristle brush is great. If you have thick hair go for the bristle/nylon version x

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Tove October 13, 2013 at 11:28 pm

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. :-)

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Karen February 14, 2014 at 2:21 pm

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.

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Niki March 10, 2014 at 11:56 am

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.

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Hair Romance March 10, 2014 at 10:44 pm

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.

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katie June 27, 2014 at 12:53 am

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?

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Hair Romance June 27, 2014 at 6:30 pm

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

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Andreas July 1, 2014 at 7:48 pm

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.

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Andreas July 1, 2014 at 7:52 pm

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.

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