Brushing afro

How to use a natural bristle hair brush on afro hair

Afro hair and brushes? Yes, we're serious! 

Hair brushes and black hair – words that put fear in the hearts of naturalistas all over the world! But contrary to popular belief, you can brush afro hair without causing too much damage or breakage. The answer lies in the preparation, technique and – most importantly – brush type. But what is the correct brush type for natural hair? We hear you cry. Well, you’ll want to select yourself a natural bristle hair brush and reap all the benefits that come with it.

But don’t worry if you’re still on the fence about using a hair brush on your beloved natural locks, because we’ve made a guide to teach you how best to use a natural bristle hair brush on afro hair. So sit back, relax and read on to discover our top hair-brushing tips, now.

How to use a natural bristle hair brush on afro hair: Editor’s top tips


TWA black women's hairstyle
Warning: Natural bristle brushes are not detanglers! Credit:

Remember: it’s not a detangler!

Before you reach for your natural bristle hair brush, keep in mind that this brush was not made for tackling tangles in black hair. So, be warned: if you try to brush through your tight curls and coils without preparing your hair first, you’re likely to do more damage than good to your precious tresses!

Prepare your hair

Remember what we said about preparing your hair before brushing it? Well, we suggest spritzing your afro hair with a conditioning spray, like the TRESemmé Botanique Nourish & Replenish Hydrating Mist (£5.50*). This wonderfully scented mist is infused with a blend of coconut milk and aloe vera to help you easily detangle your mane, while providing it with plenty of moisture.

Section your hair

To make brushing your hair less taxing, divide your hair into easy-to-manage sections using clips. If you have particularly tight coils, simply create smaller, more workable sections. Once you’ve done this, release the first section of hair, near the nape of your neck. Then, using your fingers or a wide-tooth comb, gently comb your tresses. Start at the ends and slowly work your way up to the mid-lengths, and then near the roots.

short black afro hair
Remember to apply a hair oil before brushing. Credit:

Apply hair oil

Using a hair oil will not only add extra moisture to your mane, but it’ll also help smooth down your hair cuticles. All you have to do is evenly apply a pump of the Dove Advanced Hair Series Pure Care Dry Oil Nourishing Treatment (£6.99*) to your section of hair and let it work its magic!

It’s time to brush your hair!

Once you’ve detangled and moisturised your section of hair, you’re ready to brush it through. Take your natural bristle hair brush and gently brush the ends of your hair, slowly working your way up to the roots. Once you’ve done this to one section of hair, repeat the process with all other sections.

Editor’s tip: Avoid brushing straight from root to tip. Since black hair is super fragile, this method is more likely to cause hair breakage.


It’s also possible to use your natural bristle hair brush to style your afro hair, especially if you’re trying create hairstyles like sleek ponytails. Just remember to be gentle when manipulating your hair – even when you’ve prepped your tresses, it can still cause damage through rough brushing.

So, do yourself (and your ‘fro) a favour, and don’t get caught with the wrong brush again! And if you’re in need of more expert advice on looking after your natural hair, take a look at our Natural Hair Care page – it’s got everything for keeping your tresses in tip-top condition. You’re welcome!

*RRPs are Unilever suggested retail prices only, it is at the discretion of the individual retailers to set the actual price.

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