Best Cruelty-Free Vegan Hair Brushes
Hair brushes come in so many styles and materials and are indispensable parts of every haircare arsenal.
In addition to detangling hair and perfecting your style, brushes also serve a practical purpose. The bristles grab the sebum and oils from your scalp and distribute them along each strand of hair. This keeps your hair healthy and prevents oil from building up at the root and making a greasy look.
Swapping your toiletries out for vegan alternatives – yes, even your hair brush – doesn't have to be overwhelming or expensive. There are plenty of options out there for people who want to look and feel their best, without having to harm animals along the way.
You Mean Hairbrushes Aren't Vegan?
While we know that certain foods, makeups, and medicines contain animal products, it isn't as intuitive to check our beauty tools for sneaky non-vegan ingredients.
Hair brushes are commonly made with boar bristle, which beauty connoisseurs say reduces frizz and efficiently spreads sebum and oils throughout the hair.
Others argue that since boar bristle has been used since ancient times, it's the best material for the job. However, even boar bristle that's designated as "humanely raised" simply doesn't have a place in a vegan beauty routine.
Many brushes use bristle from shorn farm-raised boars and note that the animals aren't killed for their bristles. But, similar to wool, we know that there can be all kinds of problems associated with this. A processor that cuts corners might catch the boar's skin during shearing, or may rush and create a traumatizing process for the boar.
On top of all this, the vegan perspective is that we are not entitled to any part of the boar's body, no matter how shiny we want our hair to be. Those boars are raised on farms for the sole purpose of having humans use their hair for vanity. That's just not vegan – or nice, for that matter!
Not to worry though, vegans – this doesn't mean that you can't have shiny, healthy, beautiful hair. Synthetic brushes made with nylon bristles can also keep hair shiny, soft, and healthy, without having to take anything from an animal.
It comes down to choosing the right brush for your styling needs and hair type to minimize any breakage or frizz.
The Right Brush for the Job
Buying the right hair brush might seem straightforward, but in reality, there is a whole world of products out there. The perfect vegan-friendly brush will depend on both your hair type, as well as the effect you're looking for. Someone who needs to detangle their thick, curly hair will need a very different brush than someone looking to tease their fine, straight hair.
Before you start looking into all the brushes available, deciding on what you need your brush to do will help you narrow it down.
✓ Sculpting brush
The sculpting hair brush is a great option for those who want to blow dry their hair at home, but have trouble controlling and maneuvering a round brush.
In addition to helping heat style your wet hair, this kind of brush will smooth and soften hair while reducing static and frizz.
✓ Detangling brush
Love styling your hair with the blow dryer, but find that it creates frizzy unmanageable locks? Add a detangling brush to your toolkit.
This type of brush uses gentle bristles that won't tug or pull on the hair while removing tangles and keeping hair smooth. You can use this type of brush on wet or dry hair.
✓ Thermal brush
Another must-have for heat styling with a blow drier, a thermal brush usually has a big, round barrel made from metal or ceramic.
This type of brush is ideal for most hair types, and the size of the barrel will help you dry your hair faster – that means you can take care of your styling needs before work or right before your big date. The thermal brush also provides volume and lift, to prevent flat hair midway through the day.
✓ Volumizer brush
We've all been there – you don't want to go through the hassle of washing your hair every day, but your second-day hair lies limp and flat. With a volumizer brush, you can keep your style looking fabulous, even between shampoos.
Volumizer brushes eliminate frizz, fly-aways, and static while providing hair with lift, volume, and body.
✓ Teasing brush
When you need some volume at your roots, you might turn to your handy plastic teasing comb. However, a teasing brush will get you even better results.
Good teasing brushes will have several rows of bristles in staggering heights – this will allow you to get the most volume possible more quickly, meaning less damage to your hair. Use it to backcomb your hair and then smooth over the top.
Our Favorite Vegan Hair Brushes
Ready to add the perfect brush to your collection? Save yourself some time and guesswork, and try out one – or all! - of our favorite vegan-friendly brushes.
Aveda Wooden Paddle Brush
The wooden paddle brush from Aveda is a professional tool for sleek, beautiful styling. This brush features extended bristles, which help detangle hair without causing the stress on the follicles that can cause breakage and damage. This is also gentle on the scalp, which makes it perfect for brushing children's long hair.
This cruelty free hair brush is also an excellent choice for people who use heat styling for smooth, straight styles. This can help you dry your hair faster, which saves you time and energy. The brush is also lightweight, so you don't have to expend much energy using and wielding it.
The brush is versatile and easy to use, too. Simply brush vertically to detangle your hair, and brush horizontally to turn your hair silky and smooth.
What We Liked
In addition to coming from a company that's committed to vegan and cruelty-free products, this brush is extremely durable. Some buyers noted they've had the same brush for nearly a decade – that's value!
What We Disliked
Some reviewers said that the bristles were a little too rough on their hair and scalp. If you have very fine hair or a sensitive scalp, you'll want to be very gentle to avoid irritation.
Paul Mitchell 413 Sculpting Brush
This cruelty-free brush from Paul Mitchell is a slim, versatile sculpting brush that's easy on your hands. You can use this on wet or dry hair, making it a staple part of your hair care tool kit.
The nylon bristles have ball tips, which help detangle hair without causing breakage or damage. The brush has an air-cushioned "ouchless" pad to prevent scalp pain, and the teeth are set far apart and specially designed to untangle knots without a lot of pull.
This sculpting brush is perfect for detangling hair before styling and will carry you completely through your styling routine. You can use this brush to assist with blow drying or to finish off your style before you head out the door.
The best part? This brush is extremely affordable, so you don't have to spend an arm and a leg to get beautiful, healthy hair.
What We Liked
This brush gets rave reviews from professional hairstylists and beauty bloggers alike! Reviewers have great things to say and are especially impressed by the durability and affordability of this brush.
What We Disliked
While the product gets great reviews, some purchasers received brushes with missing bristles and other small defects from the Amazon seller.
EcoTools Detangler Paddle Brush
Are you revamping your haircare kit not only to vegan standards, but for sustainability too? Then the EcoTools Detangler Paddle Brush should be the first tool that makes its way into your collection.
This fan favorite is made with a sustainable bamboo handle and 100% cruelty-free nylon bristles. The large paddle is perfect for those with thick or long hair, and the vented cushion provides maximum detangling with minimal pulling and damage.
In addition to being made from sustainable, cruelty-free materials, this brush also allows you to use less energy during your hair care routine. The design allows you to dry your hair in 20% less time, helping you conserve electricity. By exposing your hair to less heat, you're also keeping it healthier in the long run.
This eco friendly hair brush can be a staple in your hair care routine, as you can use it on wet or dry hair. It'll take you all the way through from detangling to blow drying and finishing.
What We Liked
This vegan paddle brush is fantastic for frizzy hair. It evenly distributes oils for shiny tresses without causing frizz or damage.
What We Disliked
This brush is not something that you'll pass down to your children or anything. Some users had issues with the entire pad and bristles falling out of the holder after a few months of use.
The oval bamboo pin brush is a great tool to have at your disposal. Small and lightweight, this brush detangles and smooths hair while improving its overall condition and appearance.
The brush helps to distribute your hair's natural oils, which create a healthy shine.
The balls on the flexible pins massage your scalp, which feels good and stimulates your hair at the root. It's ideal for all hair types and is a versatile, lightweight, and easy-to-use little tool to have in your makeup bag.
What We Liked
What We Love: This vegan hair brush is super stimulating and does a great job bringing the oils from the scalp throughout the hair shaft. It feels great as a scalp massager and helps bring a healthy sheen to your hair with regular use.
What We Disliked
The Downside: Some reviewers said that, while the brush is comfortable and suitable for many hair types, it cannot be used on wet hair. This makes it a little less versatile than some of the other options on this list.
Vegan-friendly Tools for your Tresses
You don't need a boar-bristle brush to get sleek, shiny, tangle-free hair. By choosing a vegan-friendly hair brush, you're doing something that's just as good for the animals as it is for your 'do.
Pick your hair brush based on the task you need it to achieve, whether that's removing tangles from long, thick, curly hair, or providing a little volume and lift to your fine, straight hair. Picking the best brush for the job will help achieve the exact style and result you're looking for.
In 2017, there's no need to use hair that's taken from boars, no matter how "humane" and "cruelty-free" the supplier claims to be. Beautiful hair and kindness to animals don't have to be mutually exclusive – simply choose the best nylon-bristled brush for your styling preferences and get to work on sculpting your perfect style.