Tutorial: How to Style Your Hair with a Paddle Brush

When it comes to the most efficient blowout tool, size matters.

paddle brush look

Sure, it takes up a chunk of real estate on your vanity, but have you ever really used your paddle brush to its full potential? Some may use it as a last-minute blowdrying tool at times (guilty!), but more than that it’s one of the best brushes you can use in the wintertime. Yup, it helps get rid of static and halo frizz brought on by your beanies, sweaters, and winter hoodies.

What is a paddle brush?

A paddle brush is a large, flat and wide hair brush with an air-filled cushion and has plastic bristles, which helps it bend and move to the contours of your head. It’s this flexibility that means it’s perfect for detangling and smoothing out hair. It’s a must-have in any hair care kit and is suitable for all hair types but is a particularly good option for long, thick, or naturally straight hair.

Since paddle brushes are wider than other hair brushes, they’re awesome for straightening out the kinks on longer, thicker hair types. They’re also ideal for looks that don’t require a lot of volume. The brush can offer a sleek, straight, shiny look in less time than other brushes alone.

Why do you need a paddle brush?

A paddle brush is used for detangling, smoothing and polishing. And did we mention that paddle brushes are also great for winter? Let’s face it, as cute as all those woolly layers, hats and scarves are, they’re prime static-inducing materials – which is why a paddle brush is absolutely essential if you want to keep your locks looking smooth and frizz-free for as long as possible throughout the day.

What are the benefits of using a paddle brush?

Rather than adding volume, paddle brushes are ideal for creating sleek, straight looks on long, medium and shorter hair. Thanks to its flat shape, it’s anti-static and great for smoothing out frizz and flyaways, too.

How do you use a paddle brush?

There’s two different way to use a paddle brush.

  • For detangling, use the paddle brush to remove tangles and knots. Take sections of your hair and gently brush the tangles from the ends of your hair, working your way up to the roots. Repeat until all your of your hair is detangled.
  • For smoothing, blowdry hair with a hairdryer until it’s about 80-90% dry. Then use the paddle brush while you use the dryer (with nozzle) to smooth your hair while you finish drying it.

How do you keep your paddle brush clean?

To keep your paddle brush in the best possible condition, you’ll need to give it a thorough clean once a month. To do this, simply wash it using shampoo and warm water before letting it air-dry. This will not only ensure that your brush offers optimum performance, but it will also remove any dirt, hair and oils, preventing you from brushing them back into your clean mane.

Read on for a quick how-to on drying and styling your hair with a paddle brush:

How to Style Hair with a Paddle Brush + Best Paddle Brush Techniques

1. Start with clean, freshly washed hair.

three women with long bone straight hair
A paddle brush helps gives that stick-straight look without the kink. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

Prep your hair by washing with a system designed to offer sleekness. We like the silky feeling we get from Suave Professionals Lavender + Almond Oil Frizz Calming Shampoo and Conditioner. The almond oil in this product helps smooth strands, while the lavender provides a calming scent.


2. Rough-dry hair on a medium setting.

blonde woman using paddle brush to brush hair
The wide head of a paddle brush makes it ideal for thick hair types.

Before using your paddle brush, first use your fingers to rough-dry hair for around five minutes by wiggling your blowdryer nozzle around hair until strands are damp. Using a blow-dry balm, like TRESemmé Thermal Creations Blow Dry Balm is a great way to protect your hair from the heat while adding a lightweight hold to your strands

To use this product, all you need to do is evenly massage the product throughout wet hair before blow-drying, and then you’ll be able to achieve a salon-worthy blowout at home.

3. Start using your paddle brush on your fringe area.

Using your paddle brush, brush hair towards the face and over the hairline. Yes, it will fall over your forehead. However, it will help to create a sleek, side-swept finish. Continue doing this until the first half of your entire head is completely dry.

Note: Brushing hair towards the back, a.k.a. how we normally brush hair to detangle on a regular day, will create more volume.

4. Section off the sides and back.

Working one section at a time on hair that’s been rough-dried, run the paddle brush on the underside of hair while focusing airflow on the top. Do so in a gentle, tugging, downward motion to help seal down the hair strand. Put extra focus on the ends, leaving them to completely run through the bristles for a truly poker-straight look. If you want more of a bend at the ends, tilt the brush head towards you so the hair gets a slight curl as you’re passing it through the airflow. Repeat on both side sections.

To dry the back, use your paddle brush to dry hair upwards and outwards, creating a slight bump at your crown. Alternatively, you can also simply split the back section in half, incorporating these into the side sections as well.

5. Finish with an anti-frizz spray.

paddle brush blow dry look
Create a smooth look that lasts.

An anti-frizz spray that gives hair a sleek, smooth finish, like Bed Head by TIGI Get Twisted Anti-Frizz Finishing Spray, is the best finishing touch to this look. The flexi-setting polymers provide long-lasting hold stickiness. Plus, it also protects hair from humidity for up to 72 hours.


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