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Soft vs. Medium vs. Hard Brush

Soft vs. Medium vs. Hard Brush

The world of grooming has improved quite dramatically in the past couple of decades. We now have access to better equipment and more effective techniques for styling. However, we still do not have the single best grooming brush for men. It means you will have to choose between soft, medium, and stiff brushes every time you need to style yourself. It is worth noting that these three types are the major classifications. There are different subsections that you can explore.

Before you do that, however, you should understand the top differences between soft vs. medium vs. hard brush types in the market. Only after choosing the best kind of brush can you find the most suitable brush for your specific hair. For instance, if your hair is considerably thick, you need a particular type of brush. On the other hand, the brush may not work if you have wavy hair. However, in this article, we have focused on distinguishing between soft, medium, and hard brush types.

We will go through the significant differences between soft, hard, and medium brushes you can have for styling your hair. Then, we can discuss the estimated use, advantages, and disadvantages of each type. We hope it helps you choose better.

What Are the Main Differences Between the Three Brushes Mentioned Above?

Here are the most significant differences you will notice while comparing soft, medium, and hard brush types for your styling needs.

As their name suggests, soft brushes are known for their super-soft bristles. These bristles will be able to go through hundreds of hair strands at a time. Therefore, it can bring your hair to a great shape without hurting the scalp or uprooting any strand. It could also provide one of the most peaceful hairstyling experiences in town. Depending on how much you spend on them, soft brushes may have different types of handles. Most of the time, however, these handles are designed to be very flexible. Therefore, you would find it easy to style your hair from different angles using a soft brush. In case you did not know, soft brushes are also known as boar bristle brushes. There are some additional advantages to using boar bristle brushes. For instance, as they move over the scalp, the brush will stimulate the scalp area, thereby increasing the blood circulation in the area. In general, these brushes are the softest option in the market, but you can find ultra-soft ones by spending additional amounts.

Medium brushes come with bristles that are stronger than the ones found in soft brush types. Compared to a soft brush, a medium brush will impact the scalp and hair strands more. Therefore, these brushes are used to tame stronger strands of hair and the purpose of waves. You can use medium brushes for a variety of needs, including the detangling of your hair. Because of its superior build quality, a medium brush can do a better job of generating waves on your hair. It is one of the most common reasons this type of brush is popular in the hairstyling industry. Therefore, if you want to step up your styling game, you should consider getting a medium hairbrush. As we said earlier, you can find different types of brushes from the medium category. You have to make this pick based on what you want from the brush.

Last but not least, we have hard brushes, which are the strongest and the most impactful on the list. As you can guess, hard brushes come with the strongest bristles in town. These bristles can go through even the thickest strands of hair. It will also be easy for users to adjust the shape and nature of their hair using a hard brush. Once again, you can find hard brushes in different sizes and designs. For instance, you can find hard brushes that are made using complete wood. In this case, the brush’s body and bristles would have wooden construction, giving you a good base and features. As far as the brushing process is concerned, you will appreciate the additional grip and power. Hard brushes are not the go-to option for beginners at this point, though. On the other hand, you can spot them in the brush collection of experienced stylists, who will have to deal with various cases.

We hope you understand the differences between soft, medium, and hard brushes now. Now that you have a clear idea, shall we explore the advantages and disadvantages of all three types of brushes?

Soft Brush

When Should You Use One?

You should use a soft brush when you are dealing with a fine to medium type of hair. As we have mentioned in the introduction, soft brushes have thin bristles. While they are not powerful enough to impact the scalp or the root, the bristles can stimulate blood circulation within the scalp. More importantly, the brush can help you keep your hair clean and ready at all times. Most importantly, a boar bristle brush will be able to remove dust, debris, and dirt from the system.

At the same time, the brush will circulate the natural oils from your hair follicles to different parts of the scalp. Therefore, you can expect a growth of hair when you start using a soft brush. There are a couple of things you should note, though. For instance, you have to build a habit of brushing your hair using a soft brush. More importantly, you should clean the soft brush frequently so that it does not pass on the dirt from a previous brushing session to a new one. Last but not least, you may need different types of soft brushes if you want the best results in the long run.


  • Soft brushes are suitable for day-to-day use without any health concerns
  • When used properly, they can remove dust and dirt from your hair strands
  • You can use soft brushes to remove a huge amount of debris from your hair strands
  • Soft brushes are great when it comes to spreading natural oils across your scalp
  • You can choose between different types of soft brushes from the market


  • The bristles on the brush may not last for a more extended period
  • You may have to replace soft brushes more often than you think you have to
  • These brushes might not work when you have a lot of hair strands

If you think you can live with the advantages and disadvantages, you should choose soft brushes from the trio introduced earlier.

Medium Brush

When Should You Use One?

As you can guess, you should move to a medium brush when dealing with coarse hair. However, we are not talking about complex cases of hair strands here. Instead, our focus is on hair strands that cannot be handled using the soft bristles from the first category. Because medium brushes come with a wide variety of bristles — including soft and hard ones —, these brushes have a higher chance of removing tangles in your hair. The best part is that you would not have to endure any pain in the first place.

Because the brush will contain boar bristles, they will take care of blood circulation and other issues. On the other hand, the harder bristles will remove tangles and make your hair strands more compact. If you have difficulty managing your hair due to a lack of strength, you should consider moving to a medium brush. By the way, you can also consider Nylon-based brushes in this category. In this case, however, the focus will be on thick hair strands. If you think a mixed-bristle brush cannot get the job done, you can turn to Nylon-based brushes as a last resort.


  • Medium brushes bring the best of both worlds for hair management
  • The bristles are made of soft materials as well as medium-intensity materials
  • You can use these brushes to remove tangles from your hair and clean them
  • The soft bristles make sure that your hair strands are cleaned in the long run
  • You can find medium brushes with different combinations of bristles


  • These brushes are not easy to take care of from a newbie’s perspective
  • Frequent replacement of bristles are required
  • You may face a massive impact on the scalp if you apply too much pressure.

As you can see, medium brushes seem to bring the best of both worlds. However, they have their own set of issues that you cannot ignore.

Hard Brushes

When Should You Use One?

Hard brushes are recommended for those who cannot handle their hair using soft or medium brushes. In this case, it means the hair strands are too coarse and need extra pressure to be tamed. It is where hard brushes come in. These brushes are equipped with many wooden bristles, which are more robust than the typical Nylon-based bristles. Therefore, the bristles can move through thick hair strands and make them stand in a well-organized manner.

Thankfully, you can choose between different types of hard brushes from the category. For instance, we can choose the standard hard brush, which follows the design of the typical bristles. On the other hand, we have round hard brushes with wooden bristles around them. The design is so effective that you can enjoy the best results after combing. You would want to use wooden brushes from the hard category to deal with curly hair. In the end, soft and medium brushes cannot do anything about curly hair, and hard brushes could be there to help you.


  • Hard brushes can remove a lot of dirt and tangle from the strains
  • They are available in different forms, including round-shaped wooden brushes
  • Hard brushes are also known for their ability to retain the curliness of the hair strands
  • These brushes are suitable for creating wavy hair in the long run
  • You can enjoy more control over your hair strands


  • These brushes have a more significant impact on the scalp
  • Hard brushes may not be the best choice for beginners
  • Hard brushes can be pretty expensive due to the build quality

As you can see, hard brushes are not made for everyone. You should choose this type of styling brush only if you are looking for something substantial.

Some Tips for Choosing the Right Brush

Here are some tips that will help you choose the right styling brush for your hair. Of course, you can ask professionals for recommendations, but these pointers will help you anyway.

  • Make sure that you do not put your hair under too much pressure. While it is a good idea to stimulate the blood circulation on the scalp, you do not want to overdo it. Overdoing it means hurting your scalp with bruises and other issues. After all, you are brushing your hair to keep it in better health, correct?
  • You should not hesitate to spend more on the right brush if you have to. However, you must understand that a random styling brush will not help you achieve the best results. Therefore, spending less on a non-effective brush is one of the dumbest decisions you can make. So, be sure that you can increase your budget according to the requirement.
  • As you know, there are thousands of styling brushes available in each category. Therefore, you must look at customer reviews, hands-on experiences, and real-life metrics before getting one of these brushes. It becomes an essential task if you want to use the brushes for professional needs. Trust us; you do not wish to make any mistakes while dealing with someone else’s hair.

We believe these tips will get you the ideal styling brush for your personal or professional needs.

The Bottom Line

Do you have any other tips that can help others choose the best type of styling brush from the market? We will be keeping our ears open for your comments. Also, do let us know which is your recommended brush for your hair texture and sensitivity.