Choosing the right brush looks awkward at first because you have so many varieties to choose from — dull bristles, plastic- or rubber-tipped bristles, round, square, oval and on and on. Boar bristle brushes give you control over wayward strands and contribute to your hair’s health; these brushes also come in different varieties, mainly regarding the types and hardness of the bristles. Which level of stiffness you choose depends on how sensitive your scalp is and what sort of brushing action you want to have.

Material and Types

Boar bristle brushes are made from boar hairs. These relatively stiff bristles — a common brush component — gently smooth hairs and add to their shine. Boar bristle brushes usually are made of all natural bristles or a combination of natural and synthetic bristles. The natural-bristle brushes may have tufts that are close together or placed with lots of space in between each tuft. HotCombs notes that the natural boar bristles, in a flat, square-paddle brush, are excellent for smoothing frizzy hair.

Advantages of Hard Bristles

Hard bristles have an advantage in that they don’t get pulled back by your hair. As you move a brush through your hair, the bristles should separate the hair strands and run through your hair. If your hair is tangled or unusually thick, though, weak bristles can bend backward and skim over your hair. Hard bristles won’t bend. Their ability to get through your hair increases some hair oils that the brush can spread throughout your hair, which is part of what makes your hair shiny.

Soft Has Its Good Points, Too

The flip side of hard bristles that don’t give is that they can scratch your scalp if you are very sensitive. They can also pull on tangles that they encounter instead of gliding up and over them. This is where soft bristles have an advantage — they don’t scratch, and if you have tangles, they won’t yank them. Obviously, you want to know if your hair is tangled, but not by having the brush pull a clump of hair, dragging your head to the side like someone in a slapstick comedy.


Because these bristles are made from real boar hair, the brush will not be a vegan-friendly implement. If you are trying to eliminate animal products from your life, go for a synthetic-bristle brush. If you are fine with using animal products but don’t like the idea of the animals being harmed, look for brands that use humanely gathered hair. This might be difficult to find at first, but a call to each company’s customer service number or central office should clear up questions.


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