6 Boar Bristle Brush Benefits for Healthy Hair

boar bristle brushing benefits

Time-honored Boar Bristle Brush Benefits

Since the 1800’s, boar bristle brushes have been used to create shiny, healthy hair without styling products. Boar bristle brushes were also a ubiquitous item on dressing tables in the first half of the 20th century. Thanks to a boar bristle brush, Lauren Bacall, Rita Hayworth, Katherine Hepburn and other Silver Screen Sirens were able to obtain their glamorous wavy hairstyles.

I’ve incorporated boar bristle brushing into my hair care routine for the past three months with fantastic results. Although I’ve mentioned it briefly in previous posts, I wanted to give a thorough discussion on boar bristle brush benefits and explain how to do it.

1. Boar bristle brushing naturally conditions hair

Above all, boar bristle brushing is a conditioning treatment. While it does boast styling benefits, it was originally designed to improve hair texture and shine before products like conditioners and hair serums existed. The unique structure of the boar bristle carries sebum – the oil produced by the scalp – from the scalp to the end of the hair shaft. By coating each hair strand with a very, very small amount of sebum, a boar bristle brush repairs dry hair and adds lustrous shine.

You’ve heard the outdated advice “brush your hair 100 strokes per day” right? This originated in reference to boar bristle brushes, since a lengthy period of brushing meant well-conditioned, healthy hair.

2. Boar bristle brushing improves hair texture


boar bristle brushing benefits The most remarkable difference I’ve seen after regular boar bristle brushing is the improvement in my hair texture. After my morning brushing, my curly hair settles into a bouncy wave. I wouldn’t say that a boar bristle brush changes hair type, it just brings out the best. If you have straight hair, it will add bouncy volume and shine. If you have curly hair, it will condition and slightly loosen the curl.

3. Boar bristle brushing reduces frizz

Sebum is the original and most effective anti-frizz serum. By using a boar bristle brush to lubricate each hair strand with sebum, you’ll notice a significant decrease in frizz!

4. Boar bristle brushing stimulates scalp

I find my daily session of boar bristle brushing a meditative and relaxing experience. A boar bristle brush feels divine on the scalp and stimulates blood flow to the hair follicles, which can improve hair growth.

5. Boar bristle brushing reduces the need for styling products

I do not recommend using heavy styling products with a boar bristle brush (see instructions below). Fortunately, you’ll end up saving time and money on styling products by incorporating boar bristle brushing into your hair care routine. As your hair becomes healthier, softer, and conditioned with regular brushing, you’ll no longer need to use leave-in conditioners or hair serums.

6. Boar bristle brushing reduces the frequency of washing

Frequent hair washing is actually a modern practice. Up until the 1960’s, before handheld hair dryers and curling irons, women would wash and set their hair once every week, and often less frequently. A boar bristle brush helped them maintain healthy, clean hair.  A boar bristle brush prevents oil build-up at the scalp, which weights hair down and makes it look greasy. By transitioning to Morrocco Method shampoos and using a boar bristle brush, most women find that they can reduce the frequency of their hair washing to every two, three, four or even five days.

How to properly use a boar bristle brush

Start with dry hair – avoid boar bristle brushing wet hair, because this can cause breakage and doesn’t distribute the sebum well.

Detangle hair first – a boar bristle brush will not detangle and will actually create more tangles if you start with a tousled head of hair. Gently detangle your hair first using a wide-tooth comb.

Always brush from root to tip – With each stroke of the brush, start at the root of the hair and work all the way down to the tip. This distributes the sebum and creates shiny, bouncy locks.

Brush in sections – Unlike a regular hair brush, you need to approach boar bristle brushing with a careful plan of action. First, start by brushing the back of the hair by bending over, then stand up and brush the hairline, as shown in the video below.

I do this a couple of times before brushing the middle portion of my hair. To do this, I section off the top half of my hair and clip it up, so I can brush from the crown of my head down to the roots.

If you have natural African hair, here’s the tutorial for you:

Calm the “boar bristle brush static” – Because a boar bristle brush separates each hair strand to naturally condition it with sebum, you’ll notice that your hair “poofs” or becomes static-y during brushing. This is to be expected and it is simple to address. If you have wavy or straight hair, simply give your hair a twist or two and it will fall naturally. If you have curly hair, I’ve found that it helps to spritz with a few sprays of the Instant Crystal Mist (found here) conditioner and scrunch gently.

Boar bristle brushes and heavy products don’t mix – One of the reasons I recommend switching to the holistic hair care approach of Morrocco Method is that you’ll no longer need heavy styling products. Leave-in products like mousses and hairsprays just don’t mix well with boar bristle brushing because they can clog up the bristles. If you feel the need to use a leave-in conditioner or anti-frizz serum, my recommendations are the Instant Crystal Mist, Volumizer Mist, or a few drops of pure macadamia oil.

Clean your brush regularly – use a comb to remove the hair from your boar bristle brush after each use. You may also notice a white powder coating the bristles. This can be product build-up or dandruff. Also, if you use the Morrocco Method henna treatments or Zen Detox treatments that I recommend, it can leave a residue on the brush if you don’t rinse the treatment out thoroughly enough. To clean my brush, I rinse it under cool water then use a lint-free, tightly-woven towel to gently remove the residue from the bristles.

Use your boar bristle brush regularly for best results – Enjoy a few relaxing minutes of boar bristle brushing each morning and evening. Once you try it, you’ll get hooked with the gentle scalp massage and the healthy shine of your hair!

Where I got my boar bristle brush

boar bristle brush benefitsA high-quality boar bristle brush is more of an investment than a regular hairbrush, but one brush literally lasts a lifetimeLike all my other hair products, I got my boar bristle brush from Morrocco Method (here are the brushes they offer). They offer two types of boar bristle brushes. I recommend both options, although they vary slightly in benefits:

1. Nylon bristle + Boar bristle brush, found here – I used my nylon + boar bristle brush for the pictures here. the nylon bristles are longer and gently stimulate the scalp. It also helps detangle hair while allowing the boar bristles to distribute sebum. If you have very thick hair, I would recommend this option.

2. Pure boar bristle brush, found here – This has a higher concentration of boar bristles, so it will distribute more sebum than the nylon mix. This also means it may cause more static, which will not be a problem if you follow the directions above.

Coupon and additional resources

[UPDATE: This coupon is no longer active. Sign up for my newsletter to be notified of future MM coupons!]

The past MM coupons I’ve offered were such a hit that I’ve been able to get a new coupon for you! Enter coupon code “EMPOWER65″ at checkout to receive free shipping over orders of $65 at The Morrocco Method – for new and returning customers! This coupon is valid for continental US shipping only on the UPS Sure Post and UPS ground shipping options.

This is a one-time use coupon, and you must choose the option “create an account” at checkout to get the discount.  Be sure to hit the “save” button at checkout to apply the discount.

For further reading about holistic hair care, scalp care and henna, check out my other posts on the subject:

Do you use a boar bristle brush? Are you switching to holistic hair care?

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  1. Cookies n' Creme says

    Thanks for this post!!
    Boar bristle brushes DO last a lifetime, as I am currently using my Grandmother’s…..
    Since switching to Honey “Shampoo” and brushing my hair with a boar bristle, I’ve noticed that, instead of my hair getting really greasy when it needs to be washed (since I was my hair one a week – Saturday night. Traditional, huh?) it become sort of “sticky” all the way down.

    • says

      If the Honey Shampoo isn’t working for you, you could try switching to Morrocco Method shampoos – you’ll have a very short detox period, if any, because you aren’t currently using a sudsing shampoo. That’s amazing that you are using a brush passed down from your grandmother!

  2. Surekha Busa says


    I love all your posts on natural beauty. They are all awesome and very informative. I have ordered sample pack of the Morocco methods shampoos and conditioner and all excited to try them after reading your post on Holistic hair care. I have post Acne enlarged pores on my cheeks and tried several products to get rid of them. Could you suggest me some essential oils or a toner/cleanser to help reduce the appearance of them as they tend show up a lot when I am stressed and I have considerably dull skin and oily in the T-zone. Also, I am trying to find a natural sun screen lotion for face and body. What do you suggest.?

    Thank You

  3. Mariah says

    I’ve been using a wooden bristle brush for the past year (the brand is Widu) and it boasts the same benefits. The wood absorbs oil and brings it down the hair shaft. My hair has become much healthier because of it! Do you know how wooden bristles compare to boar bristles?

  4. Tammy K says

    I had been reading about boar bristle brushes for a while now. I’ve also been intrigued by the Wen product line. I recently took the plunge and bought a starter kit that included a round boar bristle brush. When watching Chaz on QVC talking about the brush, I thought he said to use it on your wet hair while drying. I need to go watch some more videos to make sure. I have not yet used the products, but plan to start in the next week or so. But, just like most things, you hear conflicting things or what to do and what not to do. Will keep these tips in mind.

  5. Nancy says

    I am so happy to see this today! I had ordered the sample kit last time a code was posted and wished I’d gotten the whole starter set! I got it today, thank you so much for the code. You rock!

  6. says

    I love using the boar bristle brush. Some of my kids (with thick hair) have 75% less flakes since using the boar brush for 3 days. I know as they continue to use it dandruff won’t be a problem. I am also getting the family use to using the massager.

    Thanks for your post. It was through your blog that I found MM hair products. A few weeks ago I used the Henna and love it.


  7. Archie says

    I’m currently losing much of my hair due to illness. I’m pretty eager to bring it back to health, and I own a boar bristle brush, although it gets no use because I hate seeing a bunch of hair in the bristles. Would you still suggest brushing every day for hair health, even with abnormal hair loss? Thanks.

  8. Bombshell says

    I imagine this is not to be used on African kinky hair? Especially the technique of brushing from root to end?

  9. Joanna Cardoso says

    It’s completely true about the benefits of the boar bristles brushes.!Point6: completely true, resulted with me!! I know there are a huge variety of this kind of brushes but I’m fascinated and happy with my willgood brush, so I think it’s a good option spend some money to buy this kind of products because we see the results and you will never want to use other brushes. It’s necessary to choose the brushes according with your hair for have a expected results

  10. Lilly says

    Is it okay to share one boar bristle brush? I often brush my boyfriend’s hair with my brush and I began to worry that maybe it wasn’t okay to share as the bristles absorb both my natural sebum and his.

  11. Dallas says

    Make sure your brush is ‘pure boar bristle’, as anything else will damage and scratch your scalp. The benefits of boar bristle brushing are immense, Grandma always said ‘a hundred strokes a day’, and she had fantastic hair! Try it, it feels great, and the rewards come slowly, but, it works! P.S. never use a synthetic brush ever! Happy hair to you! Hugs.

  12. Ilze says

    Nice article, I have only few points I would like to add. If You have bbb with really stiff bristles used, You will never look back for all others (There I mean so popular mixed brushes: nylon bristles with soft boar bristles). Stiff bristles can easily detangle even african hair, and there is no need for cheap plastic and nylon bristles. My personal favourite is from brand WildGood. Only wood and bb. Absolutely beautiful!

    • Crystal says

      I really appreciate your comment. I do have African American hair. I desire so badly to be able to brush my hair. I have used the most expensive brushes. ie…… mason pearson, etc. They all break my hair off. I am going to look into the brush that you recommended. May I ask what type of hair you have?

  13. says

    Great post! Thanks for sharing! I have naturally curly hair, and I’m really eager to use the boar bristle brush on my curls. You mentioned the brush loosens your curls… does the brush flatten out the curls? Could you please post a photos of how your curls look after brushing with the boar bristle brush? That would be very helpful so I get an idea on how brushing naturally curly hair with this brush looks like. My goal is to detangle my hair, but still leave my bouncy, nicely styled curls in shape without losing volume. I’m hoping this is what the boar bristle brush will achieve that. :) Thanks! :)

  14. RobinRocks says

    Boar bristle brushing has improved my scalp and hair far more than any expensive product I have ever used. I am 58 and I color my hair every 3 weeks to cover the gray. For years I have struggled with dry frizz. Finally, I like my hair again. Do this everyday and you, too, will love your hair. Amen!

  15. Julia Testa says

    Hi Lauren!
    I love your natural hair care blogs! I recently switched over to MM thanks to you and I love it! I am looking into a boar bristle brush as well but am slightly concerned on what to do when my hair is wet. I know that the best thing to do is wait for it to dry completely them brush it, but I don’t always have that luxury. Are there any brushes / combs that you suggest for long thick hair when wet to detangle it? Also, what brand is your wooden bristle brush and do you use that when your hair is entirely dry too?
    Thanks so much,

  16. Lorrie says

    Hello and thank you for your information.
    I currently have boar bristle brushes (one from MM) and they are great.
    My question is in reference to the wood brush for detangling.
    I am not sure whether to get the wood brush or wood comb for detangling
    fine textured hair (Note I do have a lot of hair despite it being fine textured).
    Thank you kindly

  17. Marianne says

    Actually I do it different to keep my very fine little fizzy healthy. First of all I wash once a week with a baby shampoo in cold or luke warm water. Then I rub warmed pure olive oil into scalp and hair tips and comb through with my fingers. I either leave it on for an hour or rinse it out immediately again with warm not hot water. Then again I comb through with my hands. Then I use any type of big toothed comb and there simply are no more tangles and allow it to dry naturally, combing through now and again with my hands or this comb. When my hair is dry I brush it gently with a blond coloured natural bristle…my grandmothers’ brush. The technique is to brush gently and pulling the hank of hair straight and let the brush go through slowly.
    I live in the United Kingdom and use natural products of that country. I usually buy on Amazon.co.uk, my favourite shop as they have no delivery charges usually and I can read the customers reviews to get a real feeling of every product before I buy. Hope this helps!

    • Lorrie says

      Thank you again Marianne for your information.
      I have been using a homemade liquid rinse wash and so far it seems to work well for smooth hair. However I do have a lot of hair and the finger comb method is hard to do for me. Easier when hair is dry to finger through it. The large tooth comb I have pulls too much even if I am gentle. So I was looking to purchase something else. I do have to find something for my long hair because if it is tangled when wet, it is horrible when dry. (lol) Will look at the place you mentioned.
      Thank you.

  18. says

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  19. Keris says

    Hi there, I stumbled across your site while doing research on hair loss. I’m a 29-year old male and suffer from loss at the temple and crown. I hear that using a boar brush can give great re-growth results, I was wondering if anyone could help me or has had success with such a procedure. I would be most grateful if someone could help.
    Thank you for your time.

  20. priyanka says

    Hi , I have fine thin and straight long hairs so when I searched about boar bristle hair brush and I got result that mason Pearson Is best of all so.. I want you to help me which one i choose for my hair type pure boar bristle or nylon + pure

  21. says

    Thank you a lot for this incredibly useful article! I think that it is very important to clean your brushes often because in that way your scalp will be healthier too. Thank you again! Elmstead Carpet Cleaners Ltd.

  22. Heidi says

    I purchased a boar/nylon yesterday and after day 1 i was already skipping shampooing today! I have great second day hair!

  23. LS says

    Hi! I am hoping someone can provide some helpful insight. I came across this post when searching for a good product for dry brushing to improve the lymphatic system. I noticed many of the brushes used for this technique are also made with boar bristles. This may be a silly question, but does anyone know about the process by which these bristles are obtained in regard to treatment of the animals? Thank you!

    • AB says

      LS, I can’t find it now, but I seem to remember reading that both Morrocco Method and Mason Pearson do not harm the boars to get the bristles. You can probably contact both of them to ask more specifics.

  24. Melia says

    I was about to order the start package by Moroccan Method, but I’m hesitant because all the shampoos have the ingredient, xanthan gum. I then proceeded to read reviews on how they just inserted this ingredient and how it builds up in other people’s hair. Is this true? Has anyone experienced this problem?

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