Best Vented Brushes

Updated February 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
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.
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

25 Models Considered
6 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
128 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

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

Why trust BestReviews?
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.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
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.

Shopping guide for best vented brushes

Last Updated February 2019

Struggling through a bad hair day is never any fun, particularly if you’re headed to school or the office and want to make a good impression. But while the hair care products you use can play a major role in how cooperative your tresses are, don’t overlook the importance of the most basic of tools – your hairbrush. If you blow-dry your hair regularly, a high-quality vented brush will make it easier to get the job done.

A vented brush has openings in between the bristles. These vents allow air to flow through the brush, which makes it much quicker to blow-dry your hair. A vented brush also makes it easier to add volume and bounce to your hair, so it’s an excellent option if you have fine or flat hair.

But if you want envy-worthy hair, you have to find the right vented brush. That means knowing what shape will work best for your hair type, the bristle material you prefer, and the other features you should consider when shopping for a vented brush. Our convenient shopping guide is here to help. It has all the information you need to choose the best vented brush for your hair care needs.

A vented brush can be particularly helpful if you have flat hair that lacks volume at the roots.

Key considerations

Shape

You can find vented brushes in a variety of shapes. The most common, though, are small paddle, wide paddle, and round styles.

If you’re looking for a basic brush to use for blow-drying, a small paddle-shaped vented brush is usually a good option. It’s particularly well suited for hair that’s shoulder-length and shorter.

For straighter tresses, a wide paddle-shaped brush is usually the best choice. It allows you to dry and straighten your hair more quickly, and it is particularly good for hair that’s shoulder-length and longer.

If you want to add curl and volume to your hair, opt for a round vented brush. You can wind your hair around the brush and target the heat from your blow dryer to create soft, bouncy waves. Round brushes also work well for adding volume at the roots, making them an ideal option if you have fine or thin hair.

Bristle material

Vented brushes have either synthetic or natural bristles. Both work well, but depending on your hair type, you may prefer one over the other.

Synthetic bristles are typically made of nylon and can help reduce the amount of static that’s generated when you brush your hair. This can be particularly helpful when you’re blow-drying your hair because it limits the amount of frizz. Some vented brushes have rubberized balls on the ends of the bristles to limit frizz even more. Generally, if you have thick or coarse hair, you’ll do well with vented brushes that have synthetic bristles. Because the bristles are stiffer, they make it easier to get knots and tangles out of your hair.

Natural bristles are made of animal hair, with boar bristles being the most common. They’re usually gentler and more effective at distributing oils from the scalp down the length of the hair to moisturize your locks. Vented brushes with natural bristles tend to be more expensive than those with synthetic bristles, though. If you have fine, damaged, or relaxed hair, a vented brush with natural bristles is often the best option. Since the bristles are softer, you don’t have to worry about the brush breaking or snagging your hair as much.

EXPERT TIP

If you use a styling product like mousse or gel, apply it to your hair while it’s wet and then use your vented brush to blow-dry your hair as you normally would.


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Features

Base material

Vented brush bases are usually made of wood, plastic, metal, or ceramic. All of these materials are heat-resistant, but some can withstand higher temperatures than others. Wood brushes usually have the lowest heat resistance, topping out at about 200°F, while plastic, metal, and ceramic models may be heat-resistant up to 450°F.

If you’re looking to add volume or curls to your hair, choose a vented brush with a metal or ceramic base. These materials retain heat more effectively than other options, so you have more styling control as you blow-dry your hair.

Vent size

While all vented brushes have vents to permit air flow during blow-drying, some brushes have larger vents than others. Brushes with smaller vents tend to offer more control when you’re styling your hair. Round brushes often have many small vents. Vented brushes with large, wide vents allow a great deal of air to flow through as you’re blow-drying, which can help your hair dry more quickly.

Ceramic ionic technology

Some round vented brushes have a ceramic ionic coating, which allows the brush to heat evenly and maintain a consistent temperature so you can dry your hair more quickly. Ceramic ionic technology also helps limit heat damage because you won’t need to use your blow dryer as long as you normally would.

Vented brushes with ceramic ionic coating also emit negative ions to neutralize the positive ions in your hair. This allows the brush to cut down on frizz and leave you with smoother, shinier hair. Ceramic ionic models also move through hair more easily, so you don’t have to worry about snagging and tugging.

Gel grip

Hair that’s extremely long or thick can take quite a bit of time to blow-dry, which means you’ll need to hold your vented brush for a while. That’s why it’s important to choose a brush with a comfortable grip so your hand doesn’t get tired as you’re styling.

Vented brushes with a gel grip are usually the most comfortable to hold because they’re contoured to the shape of your hand and soft to the touch. A textured grip also makes slipping less likely, so you won’t accidentally tug or pull at your hair.

DID YOU KNOW?

Some vented brushes have circular vents, while others have rectangular or wavy vents.

Price

Vented brushes vary in price based mainly on the bristles and base. Most models range from $5 to $40.

Vented brushes with a plastic base and synthetic bristles are usually the most affordable, ranging from $5 to $14. These brushes work well for general blow-drying, but they’re not as effective at curling or styling your hair as other options.

Vented brushes with a metal or plastic base and natural bristles are a bit more expensive, ranging from $14 to $22. They are gentler on the hair because of their softer bristles, and metal models can be more effective at styling hair.

The most expensive vented brushes are usually models with wood or ceramic bases and natural bristles, with prices ranging from $22 to $40. They often feature ceramic ionic technology, which helps smooth hair and makes styling easier.

If you’re looking for a flawless blowout, a vented brush isn’t your best option The vents that make your drying time shorter take away some of the control, giving your hair a messier look.

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BestReviews

Tips

  • To dry your hair in a hurry, run your vented brush through your hair from root to tip with one hand, while directing your blow dryer over each section with the other hand.

  • If you opt for a round vented brush, consider the size of the barrel and the length of your hair. Larger brushes with a one- to two-inch diameter are best for hair past the shoulders, while one-inch brushes work best for hair that’s shoulder-length or shorter.

  • To add volume at your roots, use a round vented brush to lift the hair up and then direct the heat from your blow dryer at the root for several seconds.

  • Create curls with a round vented brush by wrapping your hair around it and blasting it with the heat from your blow dryer for several seconds. The larger the sections of hair you wrap around the brush, the looser your curls will be.

Other products we considered

With so many vented brushes on the market, there is certain to be one that fits your budget and styling routine. The Olivia Garden Finger Brush is ideal if you want to dry your hair in a hurry because it has a wide, flat shape with large vents. The brush head is curved, so it hugs the scalp for extremely comfortable brushing. We also love the Denman D200 Flexible Hyflex Vent Brush because of its comfortable, ergonomically designed handle that makes it easier to detangle any length of hair without tugging. Its bristles are tipped with rubber balls to eliminate static and frizz, too.

A vented brush can effectively add texture and movement to the ends of hair.

FAQ

Q. What type of hair does a vented brush work best on?

A. A vented brush can work for any type of hair if you blow-dry regularly. However, a vented brush doesn’t generally produce the smoothest results, so it’s best used on hair that’s shoulder-length or shorter and lacks volume. A vented brush is particularly effective if you have a choppy or textured cut that will be complemented by a rough blow-dry.

Q. Can I use a vented brush as a general hairbrush?

A. While a vented brush is ideal for quick blow-drying because of its vents, many models can also be used as a general brush. In particular, vented brushes with synthetic bristles that have rubberized tips are effective for detangling even if you don’t intend to blow-dry your hair.

Q. How should I clean a vented brush?

A. You should clean a vented brush just like you would any other brush. Use a pair of scissors, small comb, or another tool to remove any loose hairs that are wrapped around the bristles on the brush at least once a week. On a monthly basis, wipe the base of the brush with a solution of warm water and shampoo, and rinse thoroughly to clean away any dirt and residue. If you have a wood brush, though, be careful not to get the wood too wet, and make sure it dries completely.

The team that worked on this review
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    Alvina
    Photographer
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    Amos
    Director of Photography
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    Branson
    Videographer
  • Ciera
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    Web Producer
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    Production Manager
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    Jennifer
    Writer
  • Jennifer
    Jennifer
    Writer
  • Katherine
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    Editor
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
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    Post Production Editor

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