Best Round Brushes

Updated December 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

31 Models Considered
8 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
420 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best round brushes

Last Updated December 2019

Having the right brush is key to banishing bad hair days. With a round brush, you can lift your hair at the roots, smooth out sections, and create texture while you’re blow-drying it — which means if you want to add volume, body, and even waves or curls to your hair, a round brush is the right tool.

A round brush is exactly what it sounds like: instead of having a flat, paddle-like shape, the head of the brush is round and features bristles all the way around. The design allows you to wrap your hair around the brush so you can add lift or soft curls as you dry your hair. It can also help hold your hair taut while you blow-dry it to help straighten and smooth it. Because they’re extremely effective at adding volume to hair, round brushes are especially helpful if you have fine or thin hair.

There are so many round brushes on the market that finding the right one can be tricky. It means choosing the right size, deciding between natural and synthetic bristles, determining the best barrel material, and choosing what other features would provide the most benefit to your hair. Read on for our advice and recommendations.

A round brush makes it easy to curl the ends of your hair under or give them a little flip outward.

Key considerations

Size

Round brushes are available with barrels in a variety of sizes. The size for your styling needs typically depends on how long your hair is. Individuals with longer hair require a larger round brush than those with shorter hair.

  • For hair that’s chin-length or shorter, a one-inch round brush works well.
  • For hair that’s between chin length and shoulder length, a 1.3- to 1.7-inch round brush works best.
  • For hair that’s past your shoulder, choose a two- to three-inch round brush.

 

Natural vs. synthetic bristles

Like all hair brushes, a round brush can have either natural or synthetic bristles. When you’re choosing a brush, take your hair type into account to determine what type of bristles will work.

Natural bristles are made from animal hair. In most cases they use boar bristles, which are extremely soft and gentle on the hair. A natural bristle round brush is extremely effective in pulling your hair’s natural oils down to the ends of your hair from the roots, so your locks look extremely shiny and smooth. Because they’re gentler on the hair, they don’t cause as much breakage, either. Natural bristle brushes are usually more expensive.

A round brush with natural bristles is ideal for individuals with straight, fine, wavy, curly, thick, and damaged hair because it reduces breakage and cuts down on frizz.

Synthetic bristles are typically made from nylon or plastic. They’re extremely effective for detangling your hair and usually don’t produce as much static as a natural bristle brush. They’re usually more affordable, too, though they aren’t as gentle on the hair and may cause damage.

A synthetic bristle round brush is best for thick, coarse hair that’s prone to knots and requires frequent detangling. It can also help add more bounce to curly and textured hair when you’re blow-drying it.

You can find some round brushes that feature a combination of natural and synthetic bristles. These models are less expensive than natural bristle brushes but more expensive than synthetic options. However, they’re able to provide smooth, shiny hair like a natural bristle brush while detangling with ease like a synthetic brush.

Natural/synthetic combination round brushes work for nearly any hair type but are especially effective for grooming long or fine hair.

Barrel material

A round brush’s barrel material plays a significant role in how effective it is for heat styling. All materials are heat-resistant, but some retain heat better than others to really lock in your hairstyle. You can choose from several different materials:

  • Wood barrel brushes can withstand the heat of a blow dryer, but they don’t retain heat as well as other materials. That’s why they’re not as effective for adding waves or curls, though they can help add volume and body.
  • Metal barrel brushes are usually made of aluminum and can easily withstand heat. However, they may retain heat a little too well, so they can dry your hair out and cause other heat damage.
  • Ceramic barrel brushes are an extremely common option. They retain heat well but provide a gentle, even amount that helps the styling and drying process without damaging your hair.
  • Tourmaline barrel brushes also provide gentle heat and can help cut down on static when you’re drying your hair. They are particularly useful for smoothing and straightening the hair.
EXPERT TIP

Always apply a heat protectant to your hair before blow-drying with a round brush.


Staff  | BestReviews

Features

Ionic technology

Like hair dryers, some round brushes feature ionic technology in their barrels. That means they’re able to add negative ions to your hair as you blow-dry to reduce frizz and static. As a result, your hair looks smoother and shinier — which can be particularly helpful if you have thick, coarse, or textured hair.

Round brushes with ionic technology can also cut down on your drying time. This allows you to get ready faster, and it reduces your hair’s exposure to heat (and possible damage).

Ergonomic grip

It’s easy for your hand to get tired when you’re blow-drying your hair with a round brush. Models with an ergonomically designed handle are easier to hold and can help prevent hand fatigue. Opt for a brush with a contoured gel grip for the most comfortable handle.

Vented design

Some round brushes feature a vented design. This means their barrel has spaces or vents between the bristles that allow the air from your blow dryer to pass through. A vented brush can help cut down on drying time, but it doesn’t always provide the smoothest results, so it’s best if you only want a rough blow out.

EXPERT TIP

After you curl a section of your hair with a round brush, use a clip to pin the curl in place against your head so it can cool in its shape while you finish the rest of your hair.


Staff  | BestReviews

Round brush prices

Round brushes vary in price based on the type of bristles, barrel material, and size of the brush. Brushes range from $4 to $185.

Inexpensive: The most affordable round brushes have synthetic bristles. Those with metal barrels usually range from $4 to $15, while those with wooden, ceramic, or tourmaline barrels typically cost between $15 and $38.

Mid-range: Mid-range round brushes usually feature ionic technology in both the bristles and the barrel. These models range from $8 to $72.

Expensive: The most expensive round brushes feature natural bristles. Those with metal barrels range from $10 to $30, while those with wooden, ceramic, or tourmaline barrels typically cost between $17 and $185.

EXPERT TIP

When using a round brush to dry your hair, you may be more comfortable sitting down.


Staff  | BestReviews

Tips

  • Using a round brush can tire your arm quickly, so it’s easier to use it on hair that’s already partially dry.
  • You’ll get the best results with a round brush if you work in small sections. Wrapping too much hair around the brush can cause tangles and knots, so keep sections to two inches or less.
  • If you’re using a round brush to add volume to your hair, start by applying a volumizing mousse to your roots to help boost the effect.
  • If you’re using a round brush to add waves or curl to your hair, run your blow dryer over it for about 10 seconds before wrapping your hair around it. Preheating the brush helps lock in the waves or curls.

Other products we considered

With so many round brushes on the market, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding a model that fits your hair type and styling routine to a tee. VASLON Round Barrel Hair Brush is a great option for anyone looking to cut down on frizz. It features natural boar bristles to help seal the cuticle for smooth, shiny hair and a vented barrel that helps improve airflow so you can blow-dry your hair more quickly.

We also love BESTOOL Round Hair Brush if you prefer a wooden brush. It uses a combination of boar hair and nylon bristles, so it’s effective for both detangling thick hair and giving it a smooth, shiny look.

It’s easier to blow-dry your hair with a round brush if you have a concentrator nozzle for your hair dryer.

FAQ

Q. How do I prevent my hair from getting tangled around a round brush?
A.
If your hair gets tangled around your round brush frequently, it usually means you’re using the wrong size or you’re wrapping sections that are too large around it. Long hair can easily get tangled if you use a round brush that’s too small because you need to wrap your hair around it too many times. If you’re wrapping sections around the brush that are larger than two inches, you’re also more likely to experience tangles.

Q. What’s the best way to clean a round brush?
A.
Use your fingers or a comb to remove the hair from your round brush after each use. If the hair is caught, use scissors to cut it free. Once every month, clean the brush of any oils, dirt, and product build-up with shampoo and warm water. You can scrub the barrel with a clean toothbrush to remove any trapped dirt. Be sure to rinse the brush well and allow it to air dry thoroughly afterward.

Q. What size round brush is best for curling your hair?
A.
It really depends on the type of curls you want to create. If you prefer large, loose curls or waves, you’ll want a brush with a larger barrel. If you prefer tight, ringlet curls, you’ll want a brush with a smaller barrel. You may actually want to have round brushes in multiple sizes so you can change the look of your curls based on the style you’re creating.

The team that worked on this review
  • Jennifer
    Jennifer
    Writer
  • Jennifer
    Jennifer
    Writer
  • Katherine
    Katherine
    Editor
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer

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