My Two Cents: The Wet Brush vs. The Tangle Teezer

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Available on Amazon for $9
I've gone through my fair share of unusual beauty obsessions: Q-tips, uniformly curled lashes, and a perfectly straight hair part (don't ask), to name a few. It's been a while since one of my obsession phases, but for the past two months or so, I've been fixated on hair brushes.

I was in Ricky's about a month ago, eyeing up a few Denman brushes, when the highly talked about Wet Brush caught my eye. Anything that defies basic hair rules ("don't brush wet hair") is enough to pique my interest and I've spent the past few weeks playing with this unusual brush.

The whole reasoning behind not brushing wet hair is that it's more vulnerable than dry, and the bristles on an ordinary brush stretch and tug on the already fragile hair. That, combined with how tangly hair can be after a shower and you've got some considerable damage. Most people who use a brush on wet hair instead of a comb do so because their hair is incredibly tangly and a wide-toothed plastic comb just doesn't cut it for them. I don't have that problem with wet hair as I comb my conditioner through in the shower, and it's actually my dry hair that loves working itself into knots. The Wet Brush can be used on dry hair as well, but more on that later.

Obviously any hairbrush can work through tangles, so the question here is whether or not this brush stretches my wet hair in the same way and effectively damages it. I don't know if it's the longer, significantly more flexible bristles or another factor, but this brush makes working through knots incredibly easy. I think there might be the tiniest bit of gentle tugging on the wet hair as the brush works through the tangle itself, but otherwise I don't perceive any potentially damaging stretching. This is a bit difficult to explain, but something about the way the Wet Brush goes through tangles feels completely different to how a normal brush would. This unusual thing seems to tackle the knot separately from all the strands of hair that are attached to it instead of pulling on all the locks to get that tangle out. (Does that make any sense?)

Before I met the Wet Brush, I was using my Tangle Teezer (post), which has definitely received its fair share of hype. Apart from the obvious differences in design, the main distinction between the two brushes is this: the Wet Brush has long and extremely flexible bristles whereas the Tangle Teezer has short, much more stiff bristles.

With straight-out-of-the-shower hair, the Tangle Teezer requires more passes to completely untangle a section of hair, and sometimes it does hurt (though only a little). But when I'm using the Wet Brush, brushing through snarls and knots is almost completely pain-free and only requires a pass of the brush or two. The trouble is that I very occasionally do feel like the Wet Brush tugs on my hair in the kind of way that makes hairdressers warn you to only use a comb on vulnerable wet hair. The trade-off between these unusual brushes seems to be that the Wet Brush is more efficient and less painful, but might cause a bit of damage, while the Tangle Teezer requires more effort and will cause more pain with no damage. The difference between the two is probably minimal, and as I'm a lazy girl at heart, the Wet Brush is my clear favorite between the two. 

Even if I didn't like the Wet Brush on my wet hair, I would still keep it around for use on my dry hair, as I prefer it to the Tangle Teezer there as well. It's far more efficient than the Tangle Teezer at detangling my hair after a day in the wind, and it barely hurts to drag through the most painful of snarls. With the Tangle Teezer going through especially tangly dry hair, I sometimes have to hold the hair with my other hand to prevent it from tugging painfully on my scalp as I brush through, but I never have that issue with the Wet Brush. Again, it definitely has to do with the Wet Brush's longer, spindlier bristles and as I'm working with dry hair I'm not as afraid of damage and can brush through even faster than I can with the Teezer. 

I appreciate the innovative shape of the Tangle Teezer, but while it does fit nicely in my hand, I don't find it as easy to grasp and use as the traditional handle of the Wet Brush. The Tangle Teezer has a tendency to slip out of my hand sometimes, though it is the easier of the two to keep clean. 

Bottom line: The Tangle Teezer is a good hair tool, but the Wet Brush is simply better. If you're 100% satisfied with your Tangle Teezer on wet and dry hair, there's no need to try anything else. But if you're like me and have found it to be lacking some finesse in the detangling department (or if you're just as fickle as I am), I encourage you to give the Wet Brush a try. Again, the jury's still out on any potential damage this unusual brush might cause (it's incredibly difficult to perceive), but as far as I can tell, the harm is minimal. Honestly, even if it did damage my hair a little bit, I would still be using the Wet Brush over the Tangle Teezer--I like it that much better. 

Let me know if you've tried either of these unconventional hair brushes and what you thought of them!

Hope you're well!


  1. The Wet Brush is a godsend and cheap too! The great thing about it is the bristles simply bend back if they can't get through the knots! Remember to always begin from the bottom when brushing your hair working your way to the roots to gently detangle all knots. Do this with your Wet Brush until you've detangled completely. It's cheap, quick and it works!

  2. This is a really useful post, just what I was looking for. I have the original Tangle Teezer, and find it exactly as you described: not good enough at detangling, lacking finesse and a little painful at times. I had heard of the wet brush and wasn't sure whether or not to try a different Tangle Teezer or this, so I'm very great full I stumbled upon this, I will definitely give it a try, thank you :)