Can you use a wet brush on dry hair

Is Wet Brush Worth It? Hairstylist’s 2024 Reviews

Here is my wet brush review. Learn if you can use a wet brush on dry hair? Or thick hair? Or curly hair? And which are the best wet brush brands.

Brushing your hair isn’t as simple of a task as it seems. Remember when our grandmothers told us, 100 strokes a day and you’re good to go? 

Well that was before hair bleaching, coloring, straightening, and whatnot. Your hair can become really fragile due to all the chemical treatments you put it through and brushing it in the wrong way can damage it. Or worse, cause breakage. 

And as hair is most fragile when it’s wet, several hair experts recommend you do not brush hair when it’s wet at all. But what about the curly-haired girlies? And ones with a lot of knots and tangles. Well this is where the wet brush comes in!

Is the Wet Brush worth It For Hair?

The Wet Brush is considered worth it by many for its ability to detangle hair with minimal breakage and discomfort. Its soft, flexible bristles glide through wet or dry hair, making it suitable for all hair types, including sensitive scalps and those prone to tangles. It helps reduce hair damage and split ends caused by rough brushing. The affordable price point and the brush’s effectiveness in managing knots without pulling or snagging make it a popular choice among both consumers and professionals in the haircare industry.

Key Takeaways:

  • The Wet Brush is highly regarded for its ability to detangle hair with minimal breakage and discomfort, making it worth the investment.
  • Designed with soft, flexible bristles, the Wet Brush is suitable for all hair types, including sensitive scalps and those prone to tangles.
  • It can be used on both wet and dry hair, with its gentle bristles effectively navigating through knots and tangles without causing damage.
  • While ideal for wet hair due to its soft and flexible bristles, the Wet Brush can also be used on dry hair, distributing products like leave-in conditioners or serums evenly.
  • The Wet Brush Pro version offers slightly thicker bristles, making it better suited for thicker or denser hair types.
  • Unlike traditional brushes, the Wet Brush’s bristles are gentle on the hair cuticle, reducing the risk of breakage and split ends.
  • Overall, the Wet Brush is a versatile tool that is gentle enough for all hair types and effective in minimizing hair damage while detangling.

What Is A Wet Brush?

wet brush thick hair

To put it simply, a wet brush is a specific type of hair brush that can be used to remove knots and tangles from wet hair in the shower without damaging it. The elastic bristles of such a brush are very soft and designed in a way to prevent fragile hair from snapping or breaking. 

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Using a wet brush can be very helpful if you have really matted hair or a lot of tangles as the conditioner applied after shampooing can add slip to hair making the detangling process easier. 

Also, certain hair types like curly or coily textures cannot be blow dried with a paddle brush and need to be set in a specific way to prevent frizz. So brushing them in the shower when they are wet is much better for these hair types. 

Wet Brush Review – Is It Worth It?

wet brush original detangler

I had high hopes when I tried the original Wet Brush Detangle and honestly, it came through on every expectation.

I have curly hair so I need to condition it and detangle while it’s wet or else my curls get frizzy and don’t set well. So this brush has been such a boon.

Yes the bristles are super soft and just as flexible as advertised. However, I am a little skeptical about using this brush on dry, thick hair. It might work through wet thick hair fine thanks to the conditioner.

But on dry thick hair the soft bristles might have a little problem moving about. In this case, I suggest going for the newer Wet Brush Pro version as it has slightly thicker bristles.

It is pricier than your average hair brush. But I feel it’s worth it especially if you have curly or type 4 hair like mine. 


  • Doesn’t tangle dry hair while brushing or damage wet hair
  • Soft bristle heads make it compatible for sensitive scalps as well


  • None that I could think of! 

Will Using Wet Brush Damage Wet Hair?

how to use a wet brush on curly hair

No, the wet brush doesn’t damage hair at all. I think this fear comes from the oft-repeated (and very true) advice that you shouldn’t brush wet hair.

Wet hair tends to get very elastic and the process of shampooing opens up hair cuticles as well.

So using any kind of force on wet hair including brushing it can stretch the hair and end up damaging the strands or even causing breakage. (Robbins C, Kamath Y. Hair breakage during combing. IV. Brushing and combing hair. J Cosmet Sci. 2007 Nov-Dec;58(6):629-36. PMID: 18305876.)

However, most wet brushes are designed with very soft elastic bristles that slip through wet hair without causing much friction and have very soft bristle heads that do not snap hair. 

So it’s perfectly fine to use them on wet hair. 

Now coming to using wet brushes on dry hair. It’s always been okay to use any sort of brush on dry hair as they are not as fragile or prone to damage as wet hair. 

And a wet brush (with its extra soft, flexible bristles) would simply be extra gentle on dry hair. So there’s no chance of a wet brush doing any sort of damage to hair – wet or dry! 

How To Use A Wet Brush On Dry Hair

how to use a wet brush

So now that we know that a wet brush can be used on dry hair, let’s get down to the how of things. Here are the steps you need to follow to brush dry hair with a wet brush.

  • Firstly, you need to stop brushing your hair from the top to the bottom of your head. This goes for any type of brushing – wet or dry. It causes your hair to break more easily and isn’t as effective at removing knots or tangles either. 
  • Start at the bottom of your hair, and gently brush out any knots or tangles there. 
  • Then, move slightly up on your hair and brush the tangles out from there to the end of your hair.
  • Follow this process till you reach the top of your scalp and brush out hair again.
  • I highly recommend using a hair serum or leave-in conditioner while brushing dry hair as a wet brush can help distribute the product much more evenly than your fingertips. And the slip added by the product helps the brush move through tresses more easily. 

Difference Between Wet Brush And Regular Hair Brush

Now if you’re wondering, hey why can’t I just use my regular ol’ hair brush on my hair, I suggest you take a minute to read this. 

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There is a world of difference between a wet brush and a regular brush even if they look the same outwardly. 

Firstly, yes, you can use “any” high quality brush on dry hair, but wet hair specifically needs wet brushes to prevent damage.

wet brush reviews

Wet brushes come with softer bristles than regular brushes. These bristles are also more flexible and bend and move through hair easily. Yet they are firm enough to work on thick hair and not break. 

These soft, flexible brushes move around wet hair without causing much friction or being too rough on the open cuticles of strands. 

Also, a lot of wet brushes are also vented to help your wet hair dry faster.

So the  bottomline is this. You can use a good-quality brush that is NOT a wet brush on dry hair. But wet hair needs only wet brushes or you might end up damaging your strands.

Therefore wet brushes are versatile as they work for both wet and dry hair.

Why You Should Trust Us?

The author of this article, Leah Marie Priest has a degree in Cosmetology with years of experience in dealing with hair care, scalp care, and hairstyling. As someone who extensively deals with all kinds of hair textures, products, styling methods and more, hair Leah Marie knows what kind of products and procedures suit each hair type and person. We have also tested these hair products and processes ourselves to provide you an unbiased review about every product. Each of our articles are also reviewed by a team of medical professionals so that you get the most accurate and expert-reviewed information.

Frequently asked questions

Can you use a blow dry brush on wet hair?

You can use a blow dry brush if you want to save time and style hair directly without going through the motions of drying it first. However, it’s recommended that you don’t use a blow-dry brush on dripping wet hair. It’s best to towel off the excess water and use the brush on damp hair. 
Even then damp or wet hair is more prone to damage as it’s in a fragile state so using heat during this time isn’t a good idea. Also

What is the difference between a Wet Brush and a Wet Brush pro?

The original Wet Brush detangler is a beloved cult hair product especially in the curly hair circles. But the main difference between the Wet Brush Original Detangler and the Wet Brush Pro Detangler is that the Pro version was created to be more versatile and work on both dry and wet hair. So you’ll find that the bristles on the Wet Brush Pro are slightly harder and inflexible than the original. 

Can You Use A Wet Brush On Dry Hair?

A wet brush is a great tool for detangling hair, especially curly hair in the shower. But can it be used on dry hair? The answer to this question is yes! A wet brush can be used on dry hair.
Its bristles are soft enough to not cause friction or mechanical damage to dry hair yet they are sturdy enough to work through knots and tangles. 
In fact, a wet brush is a fantastic tool to distribute a leave-in conditioner or cream through your dry hair when brushing.


A wet brush contains bristles that are more elastic and with softer heads than regular brushes so these do not cause friction or damage wet hair which is already fragile. 

However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t use wet brushes on dry hair. They can help detangle hair well, especially if you have damaged hair already or have a sensitive scalp that can get irritated by the toughness of regular brushes.

A lot of people also use wet brushes to distribute hair products like conditioners or serums through dry hair. 

While a wet brush works well on fine hair, it can also be used on thick hair if you choose a paddle hair brush style.

Also some of these wet brushes are vented, so you can blow dry your wet hair while detangling. 

Also Read:

How To Detangle Matted Hair

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