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What is a Thermal Hairbrush?

By Devon Pryor
Updated May 21, 2024
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A thermal hairbrush is a special type of hair styling tool. Although a thermal hairbrush could certainly be used simply to detangle hair, like a regular hairbrush, this would not be using a thermal hairbrush to it’s full potential. Thermal hairbrushes are specially designed for use with an electric hair dryer when blowing the hair dry.

Thermal hairbrushes are usually made of materials that assist in the drying and styling of hair. For example, the barrel of a thermal hairbrush may be made out of aluminum or ceramic. The barrel of a hairbrush made from ceramic or aluminum will hold heat better than one made from plastic or wood. When the hairbrush is used with an electric hair dryer, the barrel of the brush takes on heat, and speeds the drying process.

The bristles on a thermal hairbrush may also be made of specific materials that assist in the styling of the hair. Bristles made from boar hair, a material thought to be one of the least damaging to the hair, can lessen the total impact that styling can have on the hair. Bristles may also be made of nylon, and be tipped, meaning that the end of each bristle is capped with a small amount of rubber or plastic. This helps the bristles of the brush pass more easily through the hair, without snagging or pulling the hair and causing damage.

Perhaps one of the most common features of a thermal hairbrush is that the barrel is vented. This means that the barrel of the brush has many tiny holes, through which air from the electric blow dryer can pass during styling. A vented barrel is such a common feature of a thermal hairbrush, that thermal hairbrushes are often called vented hairbrushes.

When hot air from an electric blow dryer passes through the holes in the barrel of a vented brush, this creates a constant unidirectional flow. In terms of styling the hair, this unidirectional flow of air is more advantageous. A unidirectional flow of air creates a smoothing effect on the hair, because it blows the hot air past the hair in a single, constant direction. A solid barrel hairbrush deflects the air and thereby causes hot air to blow past the hair in multiple directions. This can agitate the cuticle of the hair shaft, and create a frizzy effect.

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