Comprehensive Guide to the Denman Brush for Curly Hair

September 7, 2023


Verna Meachum

Guide to the Denman brush for curly hair

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Last Updated on September 27, 2023 by showitadmin

With curly hair, many products on the market promise to give you the perfect locks. The iconic Denman brush for curly hair is one of them, but how do you know if it is right for you? This comprehensive guide will tell you all you need to know about the Denman brush for curly hair. 

A Denman brush for curly hair is a type of hairbrush with rows of relatively firm plastic pins spread evenly. It is perfect for detangling and reducing frizz and breakage. The brush also helps to separate and shape your hair, resulting in defined and bouncy curls. 

Whether you’re a curly veteran or just starting your journey, this guide will answer all your questions, from how the Denman brush works to how you should use it. We also provide you with multiple suggestions for the best Denman brush for your curly hair. 

Understanding The Denman Brush for Curly Hair 

While the Denman brush is not a new invention and has been around for years, its popularity has recently increased significantly as more curlies embrace their natural hair and search for tools and products to manage and maintain it. 

A hairbrush designed and used primarily for curly hair to create defined ringlets, the Denman brush holds rows of firm plastic pins spaced evenly across the brush’s pad and helps reduce frizz and breakage in curly hair. It also promotes bouncier curls and eases the task of detangling. 

History Of The Denman Brush 

The Denman brush (specifically the Denman D3 Original Styler) was invented by John Denman Dean in 1938. Dean was a Northern Ireland entrepreneur introduced to Nylon material and figured out how to use it to create this type of hairbrush. 

The popular Vidal Sassoon’s hairdressing revolution in the 1960s truly established the Denman and ‘hairdressers’ hairbrush. The Denman D3 Original Styler was ideal for creating Sassoon haircuts like the iconic asymmetric Mary Quant bob

The original Denman brush was a hit with hairdressers and soon became a must-have tool in salons worldwide. Today, Denman brushes are still widely used by hairdressers and are available in various sizes and styles. 

Denman Brush Benefits 

Before using any product on the market, you should always ensure that it provides quality benefits for your hair. The Denman brush does not fall short in what it offers to curly hair. 

Here are the benefits of using a Denman brush for curly hair: 

Less Breakage: The bristles on a Denman brush are spaced further apart than those on a traditional hairbrush. This allows the brush to glide through the hair without snagging or pulling, which can lead to breakage. 

Reduced Frizz: The Denman brush can help to reduce frizz by evenly distributing the natural oils from the scalp throughout the hair. 

Increased Shine: The Denman brush can also help to create a sleek, polished look by smoothing down the hair cuticle

Detangling: The Denman brush is designed to detangle hair, making it an excellent option for curly or unruly locks that tangle easily. 

Design: The weight, shape, and durable yet flexible nylon pins provide enough tension to easily create curls. The Denman brush is less likely to cause breakage than traditional hairbrushes, making it a safer option for those with delicate curls.  

Uniformity and Definition: The Denman brush can help to create uniformity in your curls, which can be challenging to achieve with other brushes. It also creates more defined ringlets and improves bounce. 

How to Use A Denman Brush On Curly Hair 

Maybe you already have a Denman brush, or you are still considering purchasing one but wondering how it works and how you would use it for curly hair. 

Using a Denman brush on curly hair is relatively simple. Follow these steps: 

  • Start with clean, damp hair after evenly distributing it with a leave-in conditioner or your favorite styling product. 
  • Use your Denman detangling brush to remove any knots or tangles in your hair. Brush through small sections of hair using gentle strokes. Start from the bottom and work your way up.  
  • Once you have brushed your hair, you can style it as usual. You can also use a diffuser to help define your curls. 
  • Whether you have straight or curly hair, a Denman brush can be a great way to add volume and texture. Just be sure to use it correctly to get the best results. 

Check out this YouTube video by Jayme Jo.

Video credit: Jayme Jo

Your hair type will also play a significant role in using a Denman brush. Here are some tips based on different hair types: 

Denman brush for wavy fine hair  

In this YouTube video, India demonstrates using the D3 brush for wavy hair to create a curl definition.  

Video credit: India Batson

Denman brush for curly hair 

In this YouTube video, Alicia shares how she uses the classic D3 Denman brush and how to use it for curl definition.  

Video credit: Voted Best Hair

Denman brush for coily hair

In this YouTube video, Tierra shares how she uses the Denman brush to achieve the best definition. 

Video credit: Tierra Hogan

Choosing The Best Denman Brush for Your Curls 

So you’ve witnessed the power of the Denman brush, and you’re ready to try it. But with so many different Denman brush options on the market, how do you choose the right one for your hair? 

You can always start with the infamous D3 Original Styler since it is the most versatile brush and can be used on all hair types. However, there are several other versions with different numbers of rows that offer additional benefits to various hair types and textures. 

The more rows of pins, such as the D4 with nine rows, will create tighter curls, but fewer rows of pins, such as the D14 Mini Styler with 5 rows, will produce looser curls. Remember that the best way to find the perfect Denman brush for your hair is to experiment and see what works best for you! 

Factors to consider when choosing the right brush: 

Hair Type 

There are different curly hair types. If you have fine, thin hair, you’ll want to choose a smaller Denman brush. These can be used for both wet and dry hair. Those with thick, curly hair will benefit from a larger Denman brush. 


Opt for a Denman brush with widely spaced pins to create defined, bouncy curls. Choose a Denman brush with closely spaced pins for a sleeker, more polished look. 


Denman brushes range from $10 to $38 (depending on where you shop). You can find a good quality Denman brush for under $20 on a tight budget. 

Different Denman Brushes for Curly Hair 

Below is an extensive list of Denman brush suggestions for thick and fine hair so you can choose your hair type, budget, needs, and preferences. 

D6 Be Bop Handy Detangler Brush

Perfect for massaging the scalp and hair and can be used to detangle hair. The pins are flexible and have a round end, allowing for simple product distribution throughout the hair. It works best for thicker hair as it is a larger brush.

D82M The Finisher

This brush is perfect for adding shine to hair and brushing out coils. It is a smaller brush and works best for fine and thin hair. 

D200 Skeleton Vent 

This brush is ideal for adding volume and shaping and works best on thin, fine hair with its smaller design. 

D90 Tangle Tamer Ultra Mini 

A small, wet, and dry detangling hairbrush is ideal for thin to medium hair. It may work on thicker hair for some people. 

D93M Tangle Tamer Gentle 

For fragile locks, delicate scalps, and thin hair, this smaller-size Denman is also perfect for kids with curly hair. 

D3 Original Styler 7 Row

This brush is Denman’s most popular product. It’s the ideal hairbrush for blowing dry and smoothing hair while defining curls. Curlies with thicker locks especially love it, as it works best on thick hair. 

D14 Mini Styler 5 Row  

The smallest hairdressing Denman brush for on-the-go styling. Also, it is perfect to take with you when traveling. It can target specific areas, such as the crown or nape, and works great on fine hair. 

D38 Power Paddle 

Here is the ideal option for fast and comfortable detangling and blow-drying. This Denman works best for thick hair and is a larger brush. 

D4 Original Styler 9 Row  

This is a large brush for styling and smoothing long, thick hair and defining curls. It also helps bring back bounce to those heavier curls that tend to fall loose with weight. 

D83 Paddle

The Paddle Denman hairbrush can be used for all hair types and lengths but tends to favor thicker strands. It can be used for rapid blow-styling, styling, straightening, and detangling wet and dry hair. 

D90L Tangle Tamer Ultra 

A large wet and dry detangling brush for long and thick hair. Its ergonomic shape will help provide optimum control with a comfortable grip. 

D84 Small Paddle Cushion Brush

This brush can be used in multiple ways: blow-styling, styling, straightening, detangling wet and dry hair, and creating a smooth finish for thicker hair and those with longer strands. 

D92 Edge Tamer

The Denman Edge Tamer is ideal for taming those pesky flyaways or laying down your edges

Denman Hairbrush Cleaning Brush   

Your hairbrush always needs cleaning, and this Denman brush cleaner works perfectly. It is a must-have tool for anyone with a Denman brush, especially if you have curly hair and use many products that cause buildup. 

How to Get the Most Benefits from a Denman Brush 

When you invest in a product or tool for your hair, you want to get the most out of it. Here are a few more suggestions: 

  • Use it on wet hair. Wet hair is more likely to break, and you don’t want to damage your locks, so be gentle when detangling your hair and don’t rush through it. 
  • Use a conditioner or leave it in the conditioner before brushing. 
  • Brush/detangle hair in small sections. 
  • Brush from the bottom to the top, with the pins pointing up. 
  • When you remove the brush from your hair, twist the curl around the brush a quarter turn. 

Note: If you’re experiencing a lot of discomfort when brushing and your hair is breaking, the Denman brush is probably not the best fit for you, or you may need to try a different one. 

How To Clean Your Denman Brush 

As any hairstylist will tell you, keeping your tools clean is essential for maintaining healthy hair. That’s why it’s important to clean your Denman brush regularly. 

Here’s how to do it: 

  1. Start by removing loose hair from the brush with a comb, or use the Denman Hairbrush Cleaning Brush
  2. Then, soak the bristles in warm water for about 5 minutes.  
  3. Next, add a small amount of shampoo to the pins and work it into a lather. Make sure to clean the handle and the back of the brush. 
  4. Rinse the brush thoroughly with warm water and remove any excess water. Keep the brush away from direct heat and sunlight. 
  5. Finally, allow the brush to air dry before using it again. 
Video credit: Denman brush

How to Replace Denman Brush Pins 

Over time, the pins in your Denman brush can become worn down or damaged. If this happens, you can purchase an extra Denman brush to replace them yourself.  

Here’s how to replace the pins in your Denman brush: 

  1. Remove the old pins from the brush. 
  2. Then, insert the new pins into the brush. Ensure the pins are evenly spaced and pointing in the same direction. 
  3. Gently tap the pins into place. 

Why Do Curlies Modify Their Denman Brushes? 

Curlies modify their Denman brushes to get more definition in their curls, reduce frizz, increase shine, add volume, and detangle their hair. It would be a bigger question to ask why someone doesn’t do it when it is possible with the Denman brush and they can benefit substantially from it. 

There are a few different ways to modify Denman brushes. The most common way is to bend the pins. This can be done using either a pair of pliers or your fingers. 

Another way to modify a Denman brush is to cut the bristles. When a Denman brush is too big for your curls, you can cut the pins to a more manageable size for your hair. 

Check out this YouTube video by Beige Ojai.

Denman Brush Myths 

Many myths surround the Denman brush, and it can be hard to sort through all the information to figure out what is true and what is not. The Denman brush is made of nylon material. It has durable and flexible pins that are spaced evenly apart, and it is often used with a leave-in conditioner or gel. 

Some people believe that the Denman brush can cause damage to your hair, but this is debatable. The pins are very gentle and will not pull or tug on your hair (unless the hair is already damaged or you’re not using the brush properly). 

Another common myth is that the Denman brush is only for people with very curly hair. But the Denman brush can be used on any curl, from loose waves to tight coils. 


How to Avoid Hair Snagging with the Denman Brush?

Use the brush on wet hair with conditioner or leave-in conditioner before brushing to help protect your hair, or try switching to a brush with fewer rows. 

What’s the Difference Between D3 and D31 Denman Brush? 

The D3 brush has 7 rows of pins that are close together. The D31 has 7 rows of pins widely spaced into a half-round pad. 

What’s the Difference Between the D4 and D41 Denman Brush? 

The D4 brush has 9 rows of pins that are close together, which is ideal for defining curls on longer hair. The D41 brush also has 9 rows of pins with staggered bristles, suitable for detangling curls. 

What is The Best Denman Brush for Wavy Hair? 

The best Denman brushes for wavy hair will be the ones with rows of pins arranged close together to help define the hair pattern. Try the D3 or D4 brush. 

How Often Should I Replace my Denman Brush? 

If the bristles become damaged or if the pins become bent. 

What is The Best Denman Brush for Curly Hair? 

Curly hair will benefit from a Denman brush with pins spaced further apart to help avoid tangles. Try the D31 or D41 brush. For more definition, try the D3 or D4 brush. 

What is The Best Denman Brush for Coily Hair? 

The best Denman brush for coily hair will have pins spaced further apart to avoid tangles and reduce breakage. Try the D31 brush. 

Should I Use the D3 or D4 Denman Brush? 

If you have short to medium-length hair, the D3 with 7 rows of pins is a great option to add definition and shape to your curls. If you have long hair, the D4 is the best option, with 9 rows to add definition and shape to your curls while also helping to detangle your locks. 

Should I Use the D31 or D41 Denman Brush? 

If you have thick coily hair, the D31 or D41 brushes are great options. The D31 is perfect for detangling thick hair and coils. The D41 brush is ideal for defining and shaping curls and coils. 


The Denman brush is a fantastic styling tool for curly hair and can work wonders in your hair care routine to comb in product and detangle your strands. And now you have all the information, benefits, how-tos, and product suggestions to start your Denman brush journey.


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