Denman Brush for Natural Hair: Benefits and Best Types for Different Hair

During your natural hair journey, you may have heard that using hair brushes can damage your hair, causing wear and tear, split ends, and breakage.

However, you may have also seen videos on YouTube or TikTok where naturals use a certain type of brush called a Denman brush on their natural hair.

So, what is a Denman brush and why are naturals using it despite the advice to stay away from brushes that can ruin their hair?

In this article, I will explain what a Denman brush is and why it is safe to use it on your natural hair.
Denman brush

What is a Denman Brush?

A Denman brush is a hair styling tool that helps detangle hair without causing frizz. There are different types of Denman brushes, ranging from type D3 to D41, which are designed for different hair types.

History of the Denman Brush

In the 1930s, John Denman Dean, a man from Northern Ireland, invented the Denman brush to solve his sister's constant frustration with styling her hair.

John Denman's design, known as the Denman D3 Original Styler, was unique and easily distinguishable from other brushes due to its features.

Firstly, it had pin-like bristles made of nylon that could withstand high heat. This allowed hairstylists to use them with a hairdryer.

Secondly, the brush had a teardrop handle that made it easier to hold.

Finally, it had a half-round pad that helped to smooth the hair.

Benefits of Using a Denman Brush for Natural Hair

Using a Denman brush for natural hair has several benefits, including:

  1. Defines curls better
  2. Reduces frizz
  3. Detangles hair easily
  4. Even the distribution of hair products on hair
  5. Shapes curls effectively
  6. Adds volume to hair
  7. Creates spiral ringlets

Overall, a Denman brush is a great tool for managing natural hair and achieving a variety of hairstyles.

Does Denman Brush Cause Hair Breakage?

Using a Denman brush properly won't break your hair.

To avoid breakage, start by detangling your hair with a wide-tooth comb before using the Denman brush. This will eliminate most of the tangles and make it easier to use the Denman brush on your hair.

When using the Denman brush, be gentle and move it slowly to avoid pulling out your hair.

You can also modify your Denman brush to make sure it won't break or pull out your hair. 

How to Modify a Denman Brush: A Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1: Pull out the bristle case

woman pulling out bristle case
  • Use your thumb and forefinger to push out the bristle case from the holder.

Step 2: Open up the bristle case

woman opening bristle case
  • Turn the bristle case to the back and flip it open.

Step 3: Take out some rows

woman taking out bristles rows
woman taking out bristles rows
  • Gently pull out the middle rows of bristles until your Denman brush looks like the one in the image.

Step 4: Fix your Denman brush back

woman fixing brush back
woman fixing denman brush back
  • Close your Denman brush and fix it back in its holder.

This 3-minute video tutorial by AGrlCanMac also demonstrates an easy way to modify your Denman brush to better suit your hair.

    Best Denman Brush for Different Hair Types

    Before choosing a Denman brush, it's important to know your hair type. Different Denman brushes have different rows and bristles, so it's important to choose the right one for your hair type.

    Using the wrong Denman brush can cause hair breakage or damage, so it's important to choose the one that's right for you.

    Type 3A, 3B, and 3C: Curly Hair

    If you have curly hair (type 3A, 3B, or 3C), you probably have lots of curls that can get tangled easily.

    The D31 Denman brush is great for short to medium-length curly hair, while the D41 Denman brush is better for medium to long curly hair.

    You can also use the D3 Denman brush or D4 Denman brush to make your curls look even better.

    Denman D31

    Denman D31 Brush

    Denman D41
    Denman D41 Brush

    Type 4A, 4B, and 4C: Kinky Coily Hair

    If you have coily hair (type 4A, 4B, or 4C), you have many curls, but it can take longer to untangle knots and tangles.

    The D31 Denman brush is a good choice for type 4 hair because it can help you detangle your hair smoothly without causing damage.


    Denman D31

    Denman D31 Brush

    How to Use a Denman Brush to Define Your Curls

    What you need

    1. Hair gel
    2. Tail Comb
    3. Denman brush

    Step 1: Part your hair

    woman parting hair
    • Use your tail comb to part your hair into small sections.

    Step 2: Detangle with your Denman brush

    woman detangling hair
    • Detangle your hair with a wide-toothed comb or your fingers before using the Denman brush.
    • Ensure that your hair is damp and well-moisturized.
    • Use the Denman brush to detangle one section of your hair at a time.

      Step 3: Apply gel

      woman applying gel

      • In that same section, apply your gel from roots to tips. Next, work the gel in with your Denman brush.

      Step 4: Define your curls

      woman defining curls with Denman brush
      woman defining curls with Denman brush
      • Firmly but slowly, use the Denman brush to comb out your curls. When you get to the ends of your curls, gently tilt the brush upwards.
      • Give your curls a little shake.
      • Repeat for the other sections.
      woman showing off defined curls
      woman showing off her defined curls

      Voila! See who got her curls popping? You, girl!

      This video tutorial by Tierra Hogan will also show you how to use a Denman brush to increase your curl definition.

      Tips for Using a Denman Brush

      • Only use a Denman brush on damp hair. Using it on wet or dry hair can cause breakage.
      • Make sure your hair is moisturized before using a Denman brush to prevent breakage.
      • Don't use a Denman brush on damaged hair, as this can make the problem worse.
      • Using a Denman brush may cause your hair to shrink after styling.
      • Check the Denman brush for any broken or chipped bristles before using it to avoid hair loss.

      Now you know that Denman brushes have not been canceled in the natural hair world. As long as you use them correctly, your natural hair should be just fine.

      However, if you experience hair breakage or pain despite proper usage, it is okay not to use a Denman brush on your natural hair.