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Long before I big-chopped my shoulder-length hair, brushes were the bane of my existence. More often than not, I would start a wash day enthusiastically, only to watch it fall apart a mere seconds after shampooing. That’s because rarely would a hairbrush be able to withstand my thick, tangled hair; even after it had been softened with a conditioner–the struggle was very real. Maybe you who can relate. And if you’re a thicker hair type that also swears by a straightening brush, then I know you can relate.
These heat tools, which I like to describe as a blow-dryer-flat-iron hybrid, are the best of both worlds. They can smooth out the strands and dry them simultaneously, making time spent in front of the mirror a lot shorter. But they also come with their own setbacks; especially if your glorious curls need ample support to truly flourish. Like certain soft or hard bristle brushes, they can have handles that aren’t easy to grip when you’re really getting to the nitty-gritty of your roots. And if the bristles themselves aren’t thick enough, they easily break off or barely make an impact.
The truth is straightening brushes are hardly in short supply–Amazon alone has hundreds to choose from. But when it comes to models that actually work on thick hair, the list is a lot shorter. Thankfully, we’ve found seven that are backed by a slew of positive reviews and won’t wreak havoc on your budget.
DryBar The Brush Crush Heated Straightening Brush
Suitable for all curl patterns, including tightly coiled, this heated brush comes with long, thick bristles that can detangle and dry curls in one full swoop.
$145 at Sephora
Jose Eber Digital Straightening Brush
Thanks to a digital heat control panel, you can set a specific and precise temperature for your curl pattern, ensuring that you won’t have to work overtime to smooth each strand.
$140 at Jose Eber
Revlon One-Step Hair Dryer and Styler
The wide paddle and tangle-free bristles of this brush mean you can dry your curls without having to go over the same section over and over and over.
$40 at Ulta
DAFNI The Original Hair Straightening Ceramic Brush
This one heats up in under a minute and maintains a 365-degree temperature so you can dry your curls without completely destroying them. Plus, the ultra-thick handle ensures you can maintain control as you work through tangles.
$49 at Amazon
Glamfields Straightening Brush 2.0
The bristle and pad area looks small at first glance but is actually denser than most brushes. Now you can truly work your way from root to tip without the risk of pulling too hard at your curls.
$41 at Amazon
Amika iRed Polished Perfection Straightening Brush
One of the biggest (and very bad) mistakes curly/thick hair types tend to make with hair tools is straightening at dangerous temps. What makes this brush a standout is beam technology that speeds the heat deeper so you can straighten faster and cause less damage.
$120 at Sephora
Kiss Ceramic Comb Straightener in Rose Gold
The long and closely-packed bristles ensure your quickest and most efficient detangling.
$25 at Bed Bath & Beyond