Not all hairbrushes are created equal
If you think that all hairbrushes are created equal, it's time to think again. Having a drawer full of brushes doesn't necessarily mean that you have the right brush for your hair type and style, and those cheap brushes from the drugstore may do your locks more harm than good. According to Louise Rusk, creative director of the hair product sensation Rusk, Inc., the difference between a get-the-job-done hairbrush and a quality brush is the same as the difference between "a really good professional shampoo and a 99-cent shampoo."
Rusk and her team wanted to revolutionize how hairbrushes work, look and feel, and so designed a line of four brushes, each geared toward a specific use. Two flexible vent brushes facilitate maximum airflow and circulation while blow drying, speeding drying time. The standard size vent brush is for short and medium length hair, while the large size is for medium to long hair. Rusk's seven-row, hard rubber cushion brush is designed for styling thick or fine, short to medium length hair, and is perfect for smoothing, straightening, shaping and finishing any style. The eleven-row paddle brush smoothes and shapes large sections of hair when drying. Designed for medium to long hair, it's also great for heavy or thick hair and effective for smoothing coarse or extremely short hair.
Beyond taking into consideration your hair length, choosing the right brush depends upon the variety of hairstyles you wear. According to Louise Rusk, if you wear your hair in the same style all the time, a single brush should do the trick. "But if you have curly hair, and sometimes you wear it straight and sometimes curly, you need both a vent brush for a looser, fluffier shape and a styling brush." Likewise, the paddle brush is good for long, straight hair, but for flexibility, "sometimes you might want to use a vent brush to dry your hair fast," says Rusk.
Each of the four brushes in the Rusk line has a slip-free, soft, pliable rubber handle that is in weight balance with the brush head for maximum comfort and dexterity. The handle's gentle massaging action stimulates blood flow and prevents perspiration from forming in the palm of the hand. Plus, each brush has heat-resistant, ball-tipped nylon bristles that penetrate the hair easily, and best of all, allow you to give yourself a scalp massage.
Louise Rusk says the brushes have been a hit. When they launched the line in August at the International Source Conference, Rusk says, "We set up our booth at 10:00, the show (didn't start until) 1:00, but by lunchtime we had none left."
For a More Beautiful "Do"...
Tatjanna Czypionka, western technical director for Rusk, Inc., offers the following advice for women who want really beautiful hair.
- Is it safe to brush hair when it is wet? "Absolutely. On normal hair in good condition, choose a brush based on the finished result desired. It could be a vent, cushion or paddle brush. Greater care must be given to delicate and chemically compromised hair. This type of hair lacks elasticity and can easily break. A paddle or vent brush is a good choice because both put less stress on the hair shaft.
- Is it safe to use a diffuser on chemically treated hair? "It is safe on any kind of hair, including hair that's been chemically altered. It is ideal for textures that have natural wave or curl. These hair types tend to expand and become uncontrolled when dried with a blow dryer. The diffuser allows you to dry the hair as you mold and sculpt it into a controlled, no-frizz design."
- How do you successfully work with a blow dryer and brush together? "It's important to use these tools as one. Always keep the heat and air flow of the blow dryer on top of the brush, never in front or behind it. This allows you to get maximum benefit from the brush's shape and helps smooth the ends for a controlled finish."
- How do you smooth naturally wavy or curly hair? "Select a seven-row cushion brush. When blow drying, think of using the brush as if it's a flat iron, stretching it straight out from the head, without bending the mid shaft."
- How do you create the hot new, rugged urban look? "Once the hair has been blow dried into the desired shape, change the dryer setting to cool and use a medium sized vent brush to brush the hair in all directions. This creates a loose root movement and exaggerates the texture within the cut."