The best round hair brushes and expert advice on how to use them

Hair that’s been snarled up and knotted round the barrel takes a lot of patience to coax free. And patience is at a premium when you’re time-poor and crap at hair anyway. Patience needs to be stored up and reserved for when we’re going to town with a hair tong or grappling with an updo.

I’d written off round brushes. Yep, they look fantastic when wielded by a salon stylist, but when you’re late to work and trying to rip it out of your hair, it seems like a heinous tool designed only to torture our poor strands.

So how do the pros manage to employ it with such precision. How come they don’t get tangled up?

Divide your hair into manageable sections, says Hollie Rose Clarke, top hair stylist at Smiths Salon. “Start at the roots and with the brush under your hair, lift up and away from your head (the bigger the brush, the more volume), says Hollie. While applying heat with the nozzle on your hairdryer, “you can either smooth the ends for a straighter style or wrap your hair from the ends up to your mid-lengths don’t go above your ear to create a bouncier more waved blow dry,” says Hollie.

“Once you begin to take the brush out of your hair, you might find it has become stuck. Don’t panic, it’s really simple – a strand or two of your hair has simply wrapped itself the opposite way around the brush and locked the brush in your hair,” explains Hollie. “Just run your finger along the length of the brush and you’ll be able to find the culprit and gently free your hair.”

“After each section is complete, wrap the curls up and clip them into place. Next, let your hair set. Don’t skip the clipping (it’s the most important part),” says Hollie. “Allow all of the hair to cool and then release that big bouncy salon-fresh feeling blow dry.”

Unsure which brush to choose? “The size of the brush makes all the difference,” says Gorka Arraras, Head of Creative at Charles Worthington Salons. Your hair length will determine what barrel size will work best for you. In general, a wide barrel will give tons of volume, but it might not work so well on shorter hair, while a smaller barrel will give more of a curl.

“The smaller the brush, the more root lift (on short hair) and a tighter curl,” says Gorka. “The medium size brushes will give volume on longer hair and a soft wave. A big round brush will give a good amount volume and a slight bend to the end, giving a very soft, flowing look,” he explains.

As for lasting power. “Bristle brushes with metal in the middle tend to hold the heat, therefore they act like a hot roller, so the style will last longer,” adds Gorka.

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