Choosing a brush
Why Proper Brushing is so Important
Other than the primary function of brushing or styling hair, hair brushing serves several other important purposes; cleaning and massaging the scalp, and stimulating the release of a beneficial oil called sebum. Sebum is released by the sebaceous gland at the base of the hair follicle as a result of the gentle hair tugging action caused by brushing. Brushing the hair cleans the hair shaft, follicle, and scalp by removing trapped scale, dirt, and oils. Brushing also distributes the Sebum, coating, lubricating, and protecting the hair shaft resulting in a healthy glow or sheen and soft flexible hair. Because sebum protects and moisturizes, regular brushing results in hair that is healthier, more manageable, and easier to style.
What Brushing Should Not Do
Hairbrushes with bristles that are too stiff or those that poorly comply with the shape or contour of the scalp, can not only yank the hair from the root, but can also scratch and irritate the surface of the scalp. Because nylon and other synthetic bristles tend to be stiffer than natural bristle, poorly manufactured synthetic bristle hairbrushes can be particularly rough on the hair and scalp. The most common problem with synthetic bristle materials results not from the material itself, but rather the manner in which the material is cut. Improperly cut, the synthetic bristle tips may be very sharp, or may have "flags"; sharp protrusions resulting from the material not having been cut cleanly.
For people with thin or thinning hair, using a hairbrush packed with too many bristles or with overly stiff bristles, can apply too much tension to the hair, pulling and removing healthy hair.
What Makes a Jean-Pierre Hairbrush so Different?
• Our Design
All of our cushioned hairbrushes have bristles that are set in a pneumatic cushion that gently follows the contour of the scalp. The cushion has a small vent hole making overly aggressive brushing virtually impossible. If too much pressure is applied, the cushion complies by releasing pressure from the small vent hole.
The hairbrushes are well balanced and easy to use. Handles are designed to ensure comfortable grip and use. Our round brushes are crafted from natural bristle and Bubinga, a wood chosen for it's beauty and durability.
• Our Bristles
Each tuft of boar bristle or nylon consists of individual bristles set at uneven lengths. The uneven bristle lengths gently de-tangle the hair resulting in fewer pulls, snags, and tears than most brushes. Jean-Pierre hairbrushes are available in four different types of bristles. Each bristle type having certain attributes that makes it more suitable to particular hair types or styling tasks.
Natural Boar Bristle
Natural boar bristle hairbrushes have bristles made from the hair of the adult boar. In its natural state, boar hair is approximately 6 inches in length and tapers from its' thickest point at the bulb (root) to thinnest point at the tip.
The quality of the natural bristle used in any brush is determined by two factors; the quality of the the actual bristle itself. And which "cut" of the bristle is used. "Cuts" are categorized as "First Cut" (the bulb end), "Second Cut", "Third Cut", etc. Depending on the bristle length of the hairbrush being manufactured, the manufacturer may be able to yield three or four cuts from the bristle (the tip or "flag" end of the bristle is generally discarded).
The First Cut is generally regarded as the most desirable. Because the bulb end of the bristle has a rounded tip, it is very gentle to the scalp. And because the bulb end is also the thickest portion of the bristle, it is the most effective for proper brushing. Remember that in order to be effective, the bristles must be long enough and stiff enough not only brush the hair but also to contact and gently massage the scalp. Yet they must be gentle enough that the scalp is not injured or irritated.
The "First Cut", while being the most desirable, is also the most expensive. As a result, many manufacturers reserve the use of "First Cut" bristles for their premium products, and state that they use the Second or Third Cuts because they are softer and well suited for thin or thinning hair.
We use only the "First Cut" bristles on our Natural Boar Bristle products. It's more expensive, but the result is a hairbrush of incomparable quality, feel, and effectiveness.
Is Natural Boar Bristle Better?
That depends primarily on the user's hair type. While Natural Boar Bristle is an excellent choice for nearly all hair types, people with very thick or very curly hair, may find a pure boar bristle product to be a bit too soft to penetrate the hair mass and contact the scalp. For these people, a blend of natural boar bristle and nylon may prove to be a good alternative. Mélange; our special blend of natural and synthetic bristles uses First Cut Natural Boar Bristle along with Black Nylon for added stiffness, yet retains all of the benefits of pure natural boar.
If the users' hair is extremely thick or coarse, or if the user prefers a harder bristle, hairbrush models using Crystalline Nylon and Black Nylon bristle materials are also available.
However, because natural boar bristle is scaly rather than smooth in texture, it is an extremely effective material for cleaning the hair shaft, follicle, and scalp, and distributing sebum along the hair shaft (see "Why Proper Brushing is so Important" for additional information). Synthetic bristle materials such as nylon are fairly smooth by comparison. And while they do a good job of massaging the scalp and stimulating the release of sebum, they do a relatively poor job of cleaning the hair shaft and distributing the beneficial oil throughout the hair.
If, because of hair texture or styling preferences a synthetic bristle hairbrush must be used, a pure Natural Boar Bristle or combination Natural Boar and Nylon Bristle Hairbrush should be used for "finishing". This will ensure effective and efficient distribution of sebum, resulting in healthy hair with a natural, beautiful sheen.
White Crystalline Nylon
Created as high quality alternative to natural boar bristle, white crystalline nylon works best on normal to thick straight or curly hair. The bristles are slightly stiffer than boar bristle and like natural boar are non-static, eliminating "flyaway" hair problems. White nylon incorporates many of the attributes of natural boar, I.E flexibility, gentleness, etc.
Black Nylon, the stiffest of the four Jean-Pierre bristle choices, is particularly well suited for thick to coarse and/or very curly hair. Black nylon retains many of the attributes of the more expensive Natural Boar and White Crystalline Nylon.
Mélange; Natural Boar and Black Nylon - The Best of Both Worlds
Recognizing that boar bristle, while the most effective and beneficial of all bristle materials is too soft for some hair types, we created Mélange; a special blend of First Cut Natural Boar Bristle and Black Nylon. Stiffer than pure natural boar, this bristle blend is ideal for normal to very thick hair.
How to Choose the Right Hairbrush
Referring to the chart below, locate your particular hair type, length, and styling needs (straightening, curling, etc.). Brushes having a higher score for specific categories are those best suited to your selected hair type and styling needs.