How to Use Denman Brush for All Natural Hair Types

Denman brush

In the course of your natural hair journey, you may have read or heard that if you want to avoid wear and tear, split ends, breakage, and overall hair damage, you should stay away from hairbrushes. However, you may have seen YouTube or TikTok videos tutorials where the naturals in them used a certain Denman brush on their natural hair.

So, what gives? What is the Denman brush and why are naturals using them despite all the stay-away-from-brushes-because-they-will-ruin-your-hair advice?

In this article, I will be discussing with you what a Denman brush is and why it is perfectly safe for your natural hair.

What is a Denman Brush?

A Denman brush is a hair styling tool whose major function is to detangle hair without frizz. This brush comes in different types – from type D3 to D41 – for different hair types.

Later on in this article, I will be showing you which of the Denman brush is most suitable for your natural hair type.

First, let us get into a short story of how Denman brushes came to be and what benefits they offer your natural hair.

The Origin of the Denman Brush

In the 1930s, John Denman Dean, a Northern Irish man, created the Denman brush, as a solution to his sister’s constant frustration with styling her hair.

John Denman’s design (known as the Denman D3 Original Styler) was unique on its own and people could easily tell it apart from other brushes because of its features. First of all, it had pin-like bristles that were created from nylon. Also, the pins could withstand high heat so, hairstylists were able to use them with a hairdryer. Secondly, the brush had a teardrop handle which made it easier for its user to hold. Finally, it had a pad that was half-round which helped to smooth the hair.

What are the Benefits of Using a Denman Brush for Curly Hair?

  • It helps to give a more curl definition
  • It helps to smooth out frizz
  • It is great for detangling
  • It helps in the even distribution of hair products on your natural hair
  • It helps to shape your curls
  • It gives your hair extra volume
  • It helps you create spiral ringlets

Do Denman Brushes Cause Hair Breakage?

The Denman brush will not break your natural hair if you use it the right way.

First of all, make sure you use a wide-tooth comb to detangle first before you use your Denman brush. The wide-tooth comb will get rid of most of the tangles while the Denman brush will properly get rid of the rest.

Another thing to do is to make sure you use your Denman brush slowly so it does not pull out your hair.

Finally, you can modify your Denman brush to ensure that it does not break or pull out your hair.

This 3-minute video tutorial by AGrlCanMac will show you an easy-peasy way of modifying your Denman brush to suit your natural hair:

Step-by-step Method of Modifying Your Denman Brush

Step 1: Pull out the bristle case

woman pulling out bristle case
  • Using your thumb and your forefinger, push the bristle case out of the holder.

Step 2: Open up the bristle case

woman opening bristle case
  • Turn the bristle case to the back and flip it open.

Step 3: Take out some rows

woman taking out bristles rows
woman taking out bristles rows
  • Gently pull out the middle rows of bristles until your Denman brush looks like the one in the image.

Step 4: Fix your Denman brush back

woman fixing brush back
woman fixing denman brush back
  • Close your Denman brush and fix it back in its holder.

Dos and Don’ts When Using a Denman Brush

  • Do not use your Denman brush on wet or dry hair. Hair in either of these states is at its weakest and as such, when brushed, can break easily. Only use on damp hair.
  • Do make sure your natural hair is properly moisturized before you use a Denman brush on it to avoid hair breakage.
  • Do not use it on damaged hair as it can worsen the problem.
  • Do not use if you mind shrinkage. Using a Denman brush will cause your hair to experience shrinkage after styling.
  • Do not use if any of its bristles are broken or chipped as this can pull out your hair.

Which Denman Brush is Good for My Hair?

To know which Denman brush is good for your hair, you must first know your hair type. It is important to know which Denman brush is suitable for your hair type as the different types of Denman brush come in different rows and bristles.

If you use a Denman brush that is not compatible with your hair type, you stand the risk of experiencing hair breakage or even hair damage.

Type 3A, 3B, and 3C: Curly Hair

Denman D31

Denman D31

Denman D41

Denman D41

If you have type 3 hair, it means you have a lot of curls and consequently, many tangles. If you have short to medium-length hair, the D31 brush is perfect for your curls. On the other hand, if you have medium to long hair, then the D41 is suitable for you. You can also use the D3 or D4 to enhance your curl definition.

Type 4A, 4B, and 4C: Coily Hair


Denman D31

Denman D31

While type 4 coils mean you have many curls, it also means more time when it comes to unraveling the knots and tangles in your hair. The Denman D31 is the right fit for this hair type as it will help you detangle your hair smoothly without breaking.

How to Use a Denman Brush

This video tutorial by Tierra Hogan will show you how to use Denman brush to increase your curl definition:

Step-by-step Guide

What you need:

  • Hair gel
  • Tail Comb
  • Denman brush

Step 1: Part your hair

woman parting hair
  • Using your tail comb, part your hair into small sections.

Step 2: Detangle with your Denman brush

woman detangling hair

(Make sure you have already detangled with a wide-tooth or finger-detangled. Also, make sure your hair is damp and well-moisturized)

  • Use your Denman brush to detangle one section of your hair.

Step 3: Apply gel

woman applying gel

  • In that same section, apply your gel from roots to tips. Next, work the gel in with your Denman brush.

Step 4: Define your curls

woman defining curls with Denman brush
woman defining curls with Denman brush
  • Firmly but slowly, use the Denman brush to comb out your curls. When you get to the ends of your curls, gently tilt the brush upwards.
  • Give your curls a little shake.
  • Repeat for the other sections.
woman showing off defined curls
woman showing off her defined curls

Voila! See who got her curls popping? You, girl!


Now you know that Denman brushes are not canceled in the natural hair world. As long as you use it correctly, your natural hair should do just fine. However, despite proper usage, if you still experience hair breakage or pain, then it is okay not to use a Denman brush on your natural hair.