Something we’ve realized after years in the beauty industry is that many people are deeply invested in their hair-care routines, yet they’re still using the same paddle brush they bought at the drugstore in the seventh grade. While there’s nothing wrong with affordable drugstore hairbrushes, a high-quality paddle brush can significantly improve your hair’s health and appearance. Per hairstylist Derek Yuen, paddle brushes are primarily designed for detangling and smoothing the hair. They come in various shapes, from square to oval, and have different bristle materials depending on their intended use.
So, this begs the question: Why a paddle hairbrush? According to hairstylist Marley Xavier, “A paddle brush is more gentle on the scalp, due to the tips of the bristles having a round edge, which prevents the brush from scratching the scalp.” Say goodbye to snagging hair, too, as paddle brushes typically have wood or nylon bristles with air-cushioned nubs on the end — making them suitable even for sensitive scalps. “The bristles are often a little more malleable, resulting in less tension on the hair,” Xavier adds, resulting in less hair breakage overall. And good news for the “time is money” crowd; the larger size of paddle brushes allows you to brush through more hair in less time, compared to a typical hairbrush.
Another advantage of paddle brushes is their versatility, as they can be used on both wet and dry hair. They work excellently before shampooing to detangle and stimulate the scalp. (Just be sure to regularly clean your brush, since it’s sure to accumulate buildup.) “They also work great as a blow-dry brush to smooth, add bounce, and bring life to the hair without overstretching or flattening the cuticle,” adds hairstylist Brian Fisher.
Here, we present the 11 best paddle brushes, as recommended by hairstylists, to elevate your hair routine and ensure even Rapunzel is jealous of you.
Our Top Picks:
- Best Overall: GHD Paddle Brush, $35
- Best Hair-Care Investment: Mason Pearson Mixture Brush, $175
- Best for Shine: Crown Affair The Brush 001, $74
- Best for Fine Hair: Moroccanoil Ceramic Paddle Brush, $30
- Best for Curly Hair: Aveda Wooden Paddle Brush, $34
- Best for Fresh-Out-of-the-Shower Hair: Wet Brush Paddle Brush, $12
- Best Styling Brush: Oribe Flat Brush, $100
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