5 Tips on Choosing a Great Brush

Alison Alhamed | July 5, 2017 | 9:37 AM
Hair: Steve Elias Assisted by: Carrie Bailon  Makeup: Sherrie Long Fashion styling: Liz Baca Photography: Will Taylor
Photo By Photography: Will Taylor

While on set with Steve Elias at Olivia Garden's recent Power to the Tools photoshoot, Elias shared his top five tips on brush selection.

The handle: Can you have a solid grip without it being overly cumbersome? “Some handles are overly ridged and it’s challenging to easily rotate the brush,” Elias says.

Ergonomics: How does it feel in your hand? “You don’t go into a beauty supply store thinking I’m going to go buy a brush that feels ergonomically good—but you need to pay attention to physical strain,” Elias says. “Hairdressers’ jobs are so physically demanding and 9 out of 10 clients are going to get blow dried.”

Heat-retention: “Heat-retention dictates the degree of shine in the hair, and the degree of damage—you don’t want it to get overly hot and break the hair,” Elias says.

Construction: Pay attention to the build of the brush and any seams. “The biggest annoyance for both the stylist and the client is that gap between the body of the brush and the handle,” Elias says. “It hurts when that hair gets stuck and can destroy your style.”

Durability: “We’re so mean to our tools, especially our brushes,” Elias says. “We’ve been taught that brushes are so necessary and so important to our arsenal yet we take them for granted and treat these tools the worst.” Make sure your brushes are of quality and can withstand the frequent drops, heat, chemical sanitation and being stuffed in a kit.

“Olivia Garden has stood the test of time by sticking to what’s important: producing quality brushes that are both functional and beautiful, and always putting the hairdresser first.” —Steve Elias

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