I am (irrationally) excited about sharing with you the best boar bristle brush of 2017. As they say “A brush is as good as a wash!” Do they say that? Actually, right now I’m not quite sure. If they don’t, they should! We should! Let’s say it together:
A brush is as good as a wash!
The latest No Poo slogan- I’m sure it will gain popularity just like that other one I made up “Be Excellent to Your Acid Mantle!”
You haven’t heard that one either, huh?
Anyway. Technically my new slogan isn’t quite true. For not any old brushing will get your head clean. In fact, many people have been brushing their hair in good faith for years in the hope they are making their locks look even more marvellous, when in actual fact they have been breaking their hair with their cheap brushes and pesky plastic pins.
Let’s be clear:
“A brush with a Boar Bristle Brush is as good as a wash!”
Phew. I’m a stickler for the detail. (Not really.)
You may have gathered that I don’t use much to wash my hair. On a special occasion, for extra lusciousness and shine I might apply egg on hair, or give a little homemade conditioner with something from my kitchen cupboards. But mostly I simply brush, brush, brush with my boar bristle brush.
How does a boar bristle brush help my hair?
There is a reason people have been brushing their hair with the bristles of a boar for millenia (ALRRIIIIGHT sticklers out there – I exagerate sometimes, okay?) – it is because natural bristles – sometimes from a boar, sometimes a hog, sometimes a swine or a hairy pig (sorry, but is there actually a difference between a hog and a boar and a hairy pig?) (ANSWER: google says not really. I say “Definitely more likely to buy a Boar Bristle Brush than a Swine Spined Swiper” which is the only alliterative alternative I can come up with for the others.)
ANYWAY. (Sorry, bit distracted today.)
A boar bristle brush is effective on your hair by taking the sebum produced by your scalp and moving it along your hair shaft. Often when we think our hair is greasy and dirty it is simply an overproduction of the glorious scalp discharge, sebum. Sebum is a protective oil, full of good stuff, but we wash it away whenever we use traditional shampoo. Our scalp then overdischarges the sebum, and you get locked in a cycle of sebum removal and overproduction.
Your boar bristle brush gentle swipes your sebum away from your scalp and redistributes it to the dryer ends of your hair where sebum is scarce. (I see it a little bit like a healthy tax system.)
If you keep on top of brushing with your boar bristle brush (for some people this means nightly brushing, others this means a couple of times a week) you can forgo shampoo, and any shampoo alternatives, completely!
What do I need to consider when I am buying a boar bristle brush?
The brush you buy needs to take into account the thickness of your hair and how straight or curly your hair is. If you have super thick hair you might consider one with longer bristles to penetrate through to your scalp. If you have straight hair and want a wave, do consider a barrel brush. If you have curly or knotty hair a barrel brush won’t be best for you.
There is also the ethics of a company – I have tried to highlight the best ethical hairbrushes manufacturers below.
And lastly, you need to consider how much you want to spend. There is a full range below. Please do consider though that this hairbrush will last you your whole life. Or until you lose it. Ha. It is absolutely an investment in a toxin free and zero waste beauty regime.
What is the best boar bristle brush I can buy in 2017?
One of the questions I get asked the most is what boar bristle brush do you recommend and where can I buy it? Whilst I am fairly well placed to answer (I have tried quite a few different brushes in the last few years) I have been quite hesitant to say because I *really* hate the idea that I might be adding to the consumerist problem by sending people out to buy a new brush. But I have decided that if I can point people to the right brush, then it will last them for their whole life and they will save the earth a stack of toxins from their use of shampoo.
I have also chosen to point you in the direction of two stores and they ARE NOT AMAZON. You can buy these brushes on Amazon, but please don’t! These affiliate links both ship globally, are at a price that is actually CHEAPER than Amazon and Look Fantastic also includes free shipping!! Another big reason I am pointing you there is they don’t have the awful stink of evil about them that Amazon does, who time and time again score ZERO on any ethical credentials.
Click through the titles to buy.
- Ethically made
- Good for lank or straight hair
- Nice to hold
- Will last for a life time
This is my favourite brush! It is the first brush I began No Poo with, one I inherited from my Nana who had owned it for 30 years. I imagine I will be handing it down to my own children. Kent Brushes have an excellent ethical record, I feel really confident in them having had a big conversation with them, and having read through all the stuff they sent me. These boar bristle brushes are made in the UK, with ethically sourced boar bristles. They are one of the original and best produces of the boar bristle brush, having been making them since 1777. Now I have naturally fine hair (although my no poo hair has grown thicker since going no shampoo five years ago) and it is usually very straight. Using this brush gives my hair a slight wave and adds to the volume. It’s the brush that stays with me wherever I go.
- Ethically made
- Wide paddle means less brushing time
- Good for people with long hair
I love my paddle brush too – it feels good and solid and seriously gets my hair in just a few swipes. My paddle brush stays in my bathroom for when I need a quick but satisfying brush through.
- Ethically made
- Good for those with short hair or for children
An affordable, simple brush for people wanting to dip their toes in the boar bristle brush water. I wouldn’t recommend for people with a lot of hair, but for those with short hair, or for a child’s brush this is ideal.
- Industry Leaders
- Right balance of bristle sizes
- Good for medium length hair
I love the work of Moroccan Oil – they are doing real good in bringing good natural solutions for people’s hair in a non-crunchy way. Their brushes have the A listers raving.
- Industry Leaders
- Full barrel for people who want big bouncing waves and volume
This is the Jackie Collins of the Boar Bristle Brush world. A big sexy volumising barrel but 100% boar bristles. It’s the brush I dream of!
- Good for people with thick hair as it has longer pins to reach through
- Sustainable wood
I like the ethics of this company, they are also incredibly affordable and offer brushes with pins or without. I have one with pins and actually really like to feel them get down a little closer to my scalp. It is like a massage.
- Ethically made
- Good for vegans
- Good for our curly hair friends
Now this brush obviously isn’t a boar bristle brush, but suck it up – it gets on this list because there happens to be a lot of wonderful vegans digging No Poo too! They get a brush, okay? Everybody gets a brush! Sheesh!
Whilst boar bristles work really well, many vegans testify that wooden pins work just as well. There are also many curly hair people out there who swear that brushing with a boar bristle brush is a nightmare for their curls, but brushing with wooden bristles works a treat. AWESOME.
Tips for using your Boar Bristle Brush
- People often complain that it feels like the brush doesn’t go through all their hair. You must seperate hair into segments.
- Start from scalp and push your hair, keeping it on the brush, until it goes to the very ends.
- Always brush with your boar bristle brush at night. Always. Always. Then overnight your hair will soak in the extra sebum.
- Overbrushing with your boar bristle brush can stimulate your scalp and produce more sebum. For people with scalp issues or dry hair this is a good thing. Go for it. For others, this means sebum will sit on your hair for a while longer, so brush until you can feel the sebum has shifted but not enough to produce more. (You only have to do this once to know not to do it again! You will have beautiful, sebum loaded hair for a couple of days. It usually takes a lot of brushing. It happened to me once – it was late at night and I was having such a lovely sensory experience brushing my hair, I just got so into it (I know that sounds weird) and I brushed it for about 20 minutes and then I was like WOWZER. Let’s wear a hat! (Also if you do have scalp issues check out my homemade dandruff remedies)
- Keep your boar bristle brush clean. Once it gets loaded with sebum soak it either in baking soda or an eco dish washing liquid – pins down, try not to soak the wood.
Phew! Who knew I had such an awful amount to say about the trusty old boar bristle brush world?! Hope you find it helpful.
PPS- Tell me how about your boar bristle brush! Over on Instagram.