Help me buy my last hairbrush.
October 12, 2017 6:04 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for nylon or metal bristles, but the main thing is, I want it to last the rest of my life.

I liked my last hairbrush just fine, until all the nylon bristles started snapping off when it was about 10 years old. So last year I got the nicest (i.e. most expensive at the drugstore) brush with metal bristles, thinking it would be more durable. It was lovely until all the plastic beads on the ends of the bristles began to fall off, leaving behind sharp, scalp-scraping bare metal ends.

Boar bristles are out; my hair is too dense.

Buy Me Once recommends a wooden-bristle brush, but don't know if wooden bristles would work for my hair.

Shopping on the internets, I'm mainly finding brushes for less than $10, and Mason Pearson (I am thinking about this model), which seems like overkill, but if I consider the cost (monetary and sustainability-wise) of replacing cheap brushes every couple of years for 40 years, perhaps not.

On the other hand, as I recall, I didn't spend much for my last brush, and it had a pretty good run. Perhaps there's a mid-range brush that will effectively last forever?
posted by BrashTech to Shopping (13 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
I've had this brush from Aveda for a few years and it is still in good condition. It doesn't like to be left in the shower (back is wood and it absorbs water and slightly warps). If you don't brush your hair in the shower I'd expect it would remain in excellent quality. It has been my favorite brush.
posted by sulaine at 6:12 AM on October 12


I have long, very thick hair and I use and love my wooden bristle hairbrush. It was less than $20 from a pharmacy in Germany, and was made in Germany. I've had it for about five years with no signs of it falling apart. Can recommend!
posted by glitter at 6:12 AM on October 12


After years of brushes that couldn't stand up to my thick, coarse hair, I finally invested in a Mason Pearson (I have the Popular Mix, with a mixture of boar bristles for distributing oil and nylon for actually tackling the tangles). I have the travel size as well. There are a lot of brushes that are supposed "dupes" for the MP but none of the ones that I tried really were duplicates--the Sonia Kashuk hairbrush from Target is close, but the bristles are shorter which is useless on thick hair. That said the price difference between the MP and the SK is such that, you might try the latter. It's still a remarkably well made brush, I passed mine on to one of my daughters and it's in great shape after ten years.

But I do not regret a single penny of the money I've spent on Mason Pearson hairbrushes.
posted by padraigin at 6:31 AM on October 12 [5 favorites]


I have very thick hair & love wooden bristled brushes. I must prefer them to metal bristles as, like you, I get fed up of the ends falling off leaving a horrible stabby brush. I've had several of them over the years. The main problem is that the bristles are still going strong but the rubber holding them onto the handle starts to go manky. The longest I had one was 7 years before I had to replace it, but I paid like $8 Australian for it so wasn't complaining.

I currently have had a Windu brand brush from Italy for 5 years & it still going strong and looks on track to beat my 7 year record.
posted by wwax at 6:44 AM on October 12


Seconding Mason Pearson. My mother had one for 30 years (bought long before I was born and accompanied her while living in several different countries), until I bought her a new one. That one has been going strong for 25 years. I find the idea of using the same hairbrush that long rather unappealing, but this seems to be the one for that, hands down.
posted by thegreatfleecircus at 6:45 AM on October 12 [2 favorites]


To go slightly afield of your actual ask, I have very thick, wavy hair that is currently "short" (ie, six inches above my waist) and is generally between there and waist length. I gave up on brushes ages ago; they make my hair frizzy. I use a shower comb (both in and out of the shower), like this one. I have two; one for home, one for travel. They've yet to break and they have improved my life tremendously.
posted by annabear at 7:36 AM on October 12


I have the Sonia Kashuk brush that padraigin mentions and I bought it as a knockoff replacement for an MP brush.

I have very long very thick hair that I am very particular about. This brush doesn't get through my hair at all but it's been perfect for my school age daughter. It detangles gently and leaves her with such shiny hair.

We've had it for over a year and it's bounced all over the house and it is still in good condition. Probably worth a try at that price point.
posted by littlewater at 8:17 AM on October 12


I like Denman brushes and have heard that they are 90-95% as good as Mason Pearson, whatever that means. I used Sonia Kashuk for many years but now prefer Denman; I think it's easier to keep clean which is a bonus.
posted by acidic at 8:26 AM on October 12


I haven't tried the Mason Pearson, but I have a knockoff boar bristle brush that doesn't work for my hair because each individual strand (typical Asian hair) is too thick, so when they stick to each other the bristles can't get between them to detangle. That's my theory anyway, since my hair is only slightly above average in overall thickness.
posted by serelliya at 8:54 AM on October 12


I have thick straight hair. I've had it down to my waist, I've had it short, and everything in-between. I haven't used a brush in years. I use a plastic hair pick. I love that it gets out ALL the tangles. I haven't replaced mine in years, and I don't know if I ever will need to. Are you sure you need a brush?
posted by hydra77 at 9:42 AM on October 12


Denman brushes are good quality but for me, the rubber holding the pins breaks down after 5-8 years.
posted by The Toad at 12:38 PM on October 12


I've had a Mason Pearson for fifteen years now and it was worth every penny. I literally pack it in my carry-on because I don't want to be without it when I travel. It is as good as new. It's AN AMAZING BRUSH.
posted by Countess Sandwich at 2:27 PM on October 12


Another vote for the Mason Pearson. I've had mine for over 15 years. My hair is almost to my elbows and is very thick, somewhat wavy. Worth every penny. I have both the Popular and Junior sizes. My daughters have tried to swipe the brush, but they know it's mine.

Some of the bigger Bed Bath and Beyonds have them and you can use the 20% coupons. I'm pretty sure I bought one online from England via EBay. It's been a while, but take a look there.
posted by dancinglamb at 2:23 AM on October 13 [1 favorite]


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