How to Brush Curly Hair Without it Going Frizzy

By Jane Schlosser
Published 05 May 2021

How to Brush Curly Hair Without it Going Frizzy

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Why is it that every time you take a brush to your curls, it either sparks a fire, or you end up with a massive crown of frizz?

Well, that’s because you’re probably doing it wrong and using the wrong brush.

Let me show you how to brush curly hair without it going frizzy and tangled like a bird’s nest.

The solution is simple:

  • Use water or an anti-static spray to add slip first
  • Use a wide tooth comb/brush to detangle
  • Then use a high-density boar bristle brush

Trust me; this 3-step approach will not only make your curls bounce without frizz, but it will also minimize breakage and enhance your curl texture in the long run.

Why Does Curly Hair Get Frizzy When You Brush?

Lack of moisture and friction from the bristles of a brush are the main causes of frizz when brushing curly hair.

One of the most common misconceptions about curly hair is that any brushing technique or tool, like those that work for straight hair, should work for curl textures too.

But that’s not the case.

When you brush your curls dry, you’re literally brushing the curl right out of your hair which is the main reason why the cuticles fray up, causing your locks to expand and go wild.

You need to stop doing this as it causes hair breakage every time, resulting in thinning hair from the top.

How To Brush Curly Hair Without it Going Frizzy

If you want to avoid frizz when brushing your curls, focus on these 3 things:

  • Moisturize
  • Detangle
  • Brush

In this exact order.

Why?

Because detangling and brushing have different purposes. You should never brush to detangle.

And before you start manipulating your curls, add moisture.

So let me show you the step by step process:

1. Moisturize – Don’t Brush or Detangle Dry Curls

keep your curls without frizz when brushing

Curls lose their elasticity when they are dry.

Think of them as dry spaghetti. The moment you twist or bend them they’ll snap. But once you add water to spaghetti, you can bend them in any shape. This is called elasticity.

You need to think of your curls in the same way.

Moreover, taking a brush or comb to dry hair will inevitably cause friction on the hair cuticle layer, leading to frizz and split ends.

So always start with moisture.

I recommend using water in a spray bottle, an anti-static spray, or a curl moisturizing spray to dampen your curls before starting.

Here are 2 products to try:

2. Detangle From The Bottom Up Instead Of Top Down

comb or detangle before brushing

Use gentle strokes in one direction: starting at the ends of wet curls and work towards the roots where most tangles reside.

The best tool to work your way through tangles and knots in wavy, curly, kinky, and coily hair is the ever-reliable wide-tooth detangler brush.

So here’s the best one to use:

The Felicia Leatherwood Detangler brush was created by hairstylists with curls who wanted something smaller than their size 13 brush but more powerful than your standard boar bristle brushes found at drugstores or grocery stores! It helps get through knots and tangles without making strands go flat like other detangling brushes.

This brush is a must-have for every curly girl out there like me.

When you’re finished detangling your curls, separate them into two or three sections with a clip or bobby pin on each side for quicker drying time. This will allow air to reach all parts of your curl so it won’t frizz out when dryer.

The correct way to brush curly hair is to section in the hair for control using a detangling brush. Working from the ends work your way up to the crown as brushing or combing any hair type of can cause breakage at the roots. Michelle Swiney
Editorial and Celebrity Stylist - Bustle

3. Brush to Style and Revitalize Your Curls

A hairbrush makes all the difference when you want to prevent fizz.

Based on your hair type, you need to understand what brush works best for you.

Whether the bristles should be more dense, long, short, made of nylon or natural materials, … all these things matter.

Find a brush with bristles that are not too tightly packed together but dense enough to do the job. There should be spaces between each bristle, not overly tug on your hair when brushing it out.

Brushing also helps distribute sebum along the length of the hair to keep them lubricated and elastic. So you need a brush that ticks all these boxes for curly hair:

  • No friction
  • Dense bristles
  • Able to distribute natural oils

Here’s the best brush I recommend:

The Iconic Denman Boar bristle brush is excellent for curls and will never leave you with frizzy hair due to its anti-static and friction-free bristles.

The natural boar bristles are similar to human hair, making them lighter and finer than nylon bristles.

It doesn’t have any bristles that seem to be too long, which is a common complaint with other brushes, and the handle is super comfortable to work with.

The Denman BB brush also helps massage your scalp and seal the cuticles to make your hair appear glossy and lustrous.

Every stroke from this brush adds volume and smoothness to make your curls pop.

Other Products You Can Try To Manage Frizzy Hair

Other than brushing, frizzy hair can happen due to other conditions, for example, heat and humidity.

To prevent your curls from deconstructing, you can use anti-frizz serums for curls to keep them intact throughout the day.

Related: How to stop curly hair from frizzing in humid weather

Moisturize – Detangle – Brush

So this is how you keep your hair from frizzing when you brush.

Add moisture first, loosen up the tangles, then brush to style.

Don’t brush to detangle and style at the same time. That’s why curly hair gets frizzy and unruly.