Tangle Teezer

Do you have any opinion on the Tangle Teezer? I generally use a wide tooth comb to detangle wet hair and a mixed boar bristle brush to smooth dry hair. Would a Tangle Teezer cause any damage to the hair? It has plastic bristles of 2 varying heights, and they are not as widely spaced as a wide tooth comb. I have one and it does seem to glide through any knots. I'm also able to use it from the roots to the ends, as opposed to starting at my ends and working my way up. It seems to separate strands better and I can detangle in seconds compared to a wide tooth comb. There's also a tool called The WetBrush, which looks like a brush, but it has widely spaced plastic bristles with "bulbs" on the ends. It seems like it would be better on dry hair.


  • Honestly I don't know. We did write a piece on boar bristle brushes a while back. Here it is in case it's helpful: Georgina asks…Are boar bristle brushes better for your hair? I’m looking at a Mason Pearson brush that’s about $100 and I want to know if it’s worth it. It’s tough to give a definitive answer because as you might imagine there aren’t many double blind, peer reviewed scientific studies comparing different hair brushes. But we DID find a couple of studies that may be helpful. The first study, “A Statistical Analysis of Hair Breakage,” pointed out the something that seems obvious: different combs and brushes will affect your hair differently depending on their structure. The researchers say that the spacing between teeth or bristles has a big influence. They also noted that “different comb or bristle materials may also have a different tendency for abrasion.” Unfortunately, the research didn’t provide any data on the differences in abrasion which would have been really helpful to answer your question! A second study compared brushes to combs and confirmed the importance of the configuration of the brush bristles (or comb teeth.) It compared hair breakage resulting from use of three different styling implements: * A Goody flat paddle style brush with featuring plastic bristles with bulbous tips with a bristle bulb diameter of 0.2134 cm. * A cylindric Prive styling brush also containing plastic bristles with a smaller bristle bulb diameter of 0.1118 cm. * An Ace comb of unspecified dimensions. Their results showed that both brushes and combs cause hair breakage because hairs become “looped” around individual bristles. Once they are looped, the friction increases and the hair can be pulled out or broken. Interestingly the data showed that brushing causes more long hairs to break while combing causes shorter hairs to break. Apparently this has to do with how brush bristles are configured in multiple rows and columns. The other interesting finding of this study is that brushes tend to distribute hair over a wider area than a comb which tends to confine the hairs to a narrow path. That means that in terms of oil distribution a brush could provide a better opportunity for even oil spreading than a comb. Finally, although we couldn’t find any data to back this up, we hypothesize that boar bristles MAY do a better job of spreading scalp oils throughout the hair. That’s because boar’s hair brushes would have a greater affinity for oils than plastic or nylon brushes. If the boar’s hair does act as a natural reservoir of oil it could lubricate hair better. Again, that’s just a guess. So the bottom line is that we don’t have a definitive answer but it LOOKS like the configuration of the bristles is more important than what material they’re made from. Based on what we’ve seen it may be best to use a combination of a wide tooth comb to detangle and a natural fiber bristle brush (like boar’s hair) to distribute oils through your hair. However, even though there MAY be some slight advantage to boar bristle brushes it’s hard to say how much money that difference is worth. You also have to consider the overall quality of the brush, how long it will last, and how it feels in your hand and so on. Even if there’s no clear scientific benefit sometimes it’s just nice to splurge on nice stuff. Reference 1:J. Cosmet. Sci., 61, 439–455 (November/December 2010) A statistical analysis of hair breakage. II. Repeated grooming experiments. Trefor A. Evans and Kimun Park. Reference 2:J. Cosmet Sci., 58, 629-636 (November/December 2007) Hair breakage during combing IV: Brushing and combing hair. Clarence Robbins and Yash Kamath.
  • Thank you! I use an ACE Detangling Comb and a Sonia Kashuk from Target Mixed Bristle brush. Do you think the SK brush, which is boar and nylon bristles, is OK?
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