Denman 101 | Is the Denman For Natural Hair?

Have you heard about the Denman Brush? The denman dates back to 1938 and was created by John Denman Dean (Jack Dean). It was not until the 60s when hairdressing legend Vidal Sassoon popularized the brushes using his revolutionary new blow-styling techniques.

The Infamous Denman Brush

The 76 year old styling brush is equipped with 5 – 9 rows of nylon pins. The famous Denman anti-static rubber pad provides maximum grip and control during blow-drying for shaping hair.

I know what you’re thinking curlfriend, according to the internet and the most trusted natural hair experts, brushes are a natural’s enemy! For the most part I agree that certain brushes can contribute to breakage, and if when used improperly, so can the denman.  When used properly the denman can assist in detangling wet or damp hair, even distribution of product, and in my experience, makes curls pop (if you’re going for that look)!


What I love the most about the denman is that you can alter the bristles to fit your specific needs. For a long time I have used the brush unmodified because it works perfectly for my tight coils but recently I decided to modify the brush. I removed every other row of teeth, totaling 3 of the 7 rows.

I use the Denman to evenly distribute product before I style my hair. It’s how I ensure that my entire strand is moisturized and my hair has a uniform look and feel.

How To Modify the Denman:
You may need to modify the brush based on the thickness of your hair. Essentially, you can remove the remove rows of bristles from the brush.

Naptural85 has a great video showing you how simple modification can be! Fast forward to the 4 minute mark

Combing and/or Brushing Technique Tips:

I section each time I do anything to my hair! Here, I've applied a clay wash to sectioned hair.
I section each time I do anything to my hair! Here, I’ve applied a clay wash to sectioned hair.
  1. Sectioning the hair is a MUST – I have a LOT of textured hair that can easily feel overwhelming unless I tackle it in sections. Start by dividing hair into 4 sections; from there, you can divide the sections into even smaller, workable sections.
  2. Apply products from bottom, up – When adding products do so from the bottom up, focusing on the ends of the hair
  3. Comb/Brush from the bottom, up – Take a small section of the hair and use your fingers to hold the section just above the ends and begin to comb/brush the hair. As the hair is combed/brushed out, advance your fingers up the hair shaft to the midpoint of the shaft, hold and continue to comb/brush out the hair. Finally, advance the fingers to the roots, hold, and brush the entire length of the section.


DenmanTipsTricks Denman Kinky Curly Natural Hair Don’ts:

  1. DON’T use the denman on dry hair | I usually make use of it after I’ve applied my products using the L.O.C Method to moisturize and seal
  2. DON’T brush from root to tip | This will cause unnecessary breakage
  3. DON’T use the denman to brush hair in a rough manner | This will cause unnecessary breakage
  4. DON’T use this brush (or any other brush) on a daily basis to manipulate the hair | This will cause unnecessary breakage and leads to split ends
  5. DON’T use any styling tool (the denman or otherwise) that’s unclean! Washing your brushes and combs is as easy as removing any shed hair and soaking them in either white vinegar and shampoo or plain shampoo to remove dirt. As a child we used the brush to scrub the comb and the comb to scrub the brush.

 Be kind to your strands ladies; they will reward you for it!

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