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Choosing the right brush is nothing to bristle at. It can mean the difference between a flat, frizzy blowout--and a smooth, bouncy one. To finally master your mane, consider the three B’s: bristles, barrel size and brush shape. Or you could just consult the handy guide below.

detangle list

For detangling: Use a paddle brush

Get thee a paddle brush with flexible bristles and a cushioned back. Why? It pads your hair while working through knots--safely. Make sure to always start brushing at the ends of your hair and work your way up the shaft to prevent any painful snags.

vent brush list

For quick drying: Use a vented brush

If you’re looking to speed up your dry time, a vented brush is your new best friend. With evenly spaced slots throughout the back of the brush, the extra airflow cuts styling time (and static) in half. It’s also a great tool for distributing mousse.

bangs list

For styling bangs: Use a small round brush

To really get a hold of the shorter pieces around your face, use a small round brush with densely packed bristles. When blow-drying your hair, always tackle the bangs first to ensure that you get them to lie properly.

blowout list

For a bouncy blowout: Use a boar-bristled round brush

For a salon-quality blowout at home, nothing beats a boar-bristled round brush. The tightly-packed bristles and natural fibers create tons of tension and coax each strand to lay smoother and shinier. Wind sections of hair around the brush, then pull it up and out to get more lift throughout.

RELATED: The One Mistake You're Making with a Flat Iron

curly blowout

For tighter curling: Use a ceramic round brush

Similar idea as above, but look for a round brush with a smaller barrel and a ceramic base. (That part is really important.) The ceramic holds onto the heat from your dryer and distributes it evenly throughout your hair, mimicking a curling iron. Concentrate mostly on the ends but hold the brush vertically to prevent pageant curls.

rat tail comb list

For the perfect part: Use a rat-tail comb

Whichever way you part your hair, a rat-tail comb can help you get a more precise line every time. Once you section off your part, lightly mist the comb with hairspray and tame the pesky flyaways around your crown.

teasing list

For major volume: Use a teasing brush

While you could use your rat-tail comb to tease hair, the plastic teeth aren't really meant for rough use. A bristled teasing brush is sturdier and won't snap in half while you go to town on your roots. Looking to boost volume around the crown? Flip your hair upside down for better control.

Opening Image: Simone Digital

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