Monday, November 15, 2010

All About Hair: How To Use A Denman Without Damaging Your Hair


The Denman brush was undeniably one of the most hated tools in my styling arsenal. I couldn't understand the hype around something that could rip and pull your hair to shreds. Needless to say, my first experience with a Denman brush was nothing to write home about. - After revisiting this brush a few times, it has become one of my go-to tools whether wearing a twist-out, or hair that has been blow-dried and pressed. The key was learning when to use it, and how to use it properly. 

Here is what I learned about using the Denman Brush
Denman D4 brush can be purchased {here}

Using a Denman brush to aid in blow-drying: Using a denman brush to blow-dry the hair makes for hair that is very silky, straight, and full of body. I use a Denman D4 for this because the rows of this brush are very close together, it aids in the sleek finish. To avoid damage, keep these tips in mind:
  • Make sure the hair has been thoroughly detangled with a seamless comb prior to blow-drying
  • Towel dry the hair carefully; the hair should be damp, not soaking wet while blow-drying
  • Use a leave-in conditioner [I love Sebastian Potion #9 for styles that require heat], it will help lubricate the strands keeping your hair free of tangles, matting and knots while working with your hair
  • Blow-dry in small 1/2 inch sections of hair 
  • Lightly blow-dry roots and entire length of your 1/2 inch section before brushing the hair with the Denman Brush, as it is better to brush hair that is slightly damp versus hair that is wet.  
  • Once hair is slightly damp, blow-dry hair as normal using your Denman brush instead of a comb. 
 Denman D31 can be purchased {here}
Denman D41 can be purchased {here}

Using a Denman brush on wet, natural hair: I use a Denman D31 to help smooth the hair out before doing a twist or braid set. This brush also helps enhance your natural curl pattern and distribute styling products evenly throughout your coarse, kinky, strands. The bristles are wider apart which means it is better for natural, highly textured hair [If your hair is uber thick and prone to excessive tangles, pick up the D41 instead]. Smoothing my hair with a Denman brush helps make my set silkier and softer. To avoid damage, keep the following in mind:
  • Even though this can be used on it's own as a detangling brush, I still recommend detangling with a wide-tooth comb beforehand, especially if you have type 4 hair.  
  • Work in small 1/2 sections of hair to prevent excess tangles, knots and matting
  • Always detangle with product in your hair, whether it be conditioner, or a detangling mixture like the one featured in {this post}. 
  • Brush hair from the bottom up to prevent unnecessary snagging and tension

Follow MTM on Twitter | Add MTM on Bloglovin'Like MTM on Facebook 


  1. In a previous post (Jan 2010 - 4 Must Have Goodies) you mentioned the denman #D81M brush. I recently ordered it online and have only used it once to smooth my wet natural hair before twisting/braiding (used a wide tooth comb to detangle first). What's the difference between the D81M and D31/D41? Can the #d81m be used for blow drying natural hair as well?

  2. @Danielle; The D81 is marketed as an all purpose styling/detangling brush. You can use this brush to detangle, smooth hair, brush into a pony and other updo's when you need a smooth, sleek look. - I wouldn't recommend it for blow-drying though, as you need something that offers more grip to get the hair as straight as possible.

    For detangling, smoothing, and all purpose brushing, this is a good investment. For blow-drying, I would recommend the D4

  3. Thanks for the feedback and I appreciate all of the insight your blog offers...keep up the fantastic work!

  4. I'm glad you clarified this for me. I have the D4 and I truly love it and I tried using it before doing a twist out and it didn't turn out so well; I was obviously using the wrong tool (blushes) . I will be adding the D31 brush to the mix before my next twist out. Thanks a bunch!

  5. love this post.....


  6. GREAT post. I'll have to pass this on. I've been considering buying a denman, and I'm glad I read this before trying it out! Thanks!

  7. I have been following your blog now for a while. And it has been a God sent for me for not just hair, but exercising, recipes and fashion. YOu go Gurl!
    well, here is my problem: I am a new natural and I have a denman classic D3 brush which i stopped using while I was still transitioning. I felt it was tearing up my ends. I recently revisited it by following some modifying instructions online. i still don't know if it is pulling out too much hair when I detangle my wet, conditioner-laden hair. So are you saying the the denman D3 brush can be used to detangle wet hair or can the Denman Detangling Brush [D81M) also be used to detangle wet hair or is that to be used on damp/dry hair? sorry i am confused. i am looking for a brush to detangle my wet hair and to smooth it well for braiding after shampooing and deep conditioning. pls. advise.
    thank you.

  8. I'm sure a lot of ladies will benefit from this post. I remember hearing scary stories about the denman before I ordered it then seeing an instructional youtube vid about modifying the denman brush. It changed the game lol.

  9. you've received sunshine award on

  10. The DENMAN is simply marvelous!!!!!!!

  11. thanks for highlighting the denman D31. I never understand why naturals use the D4 which is clearly for straight hair or hair that you want to straighten. I've always used the D31 and love it as well.

  12. the denman and i are just not friends. i guess i could modify it but it bothers me that it does not work "out the box." i use a paddle brush which is like butter to my kinks. the denman and my kinky hair just don't mix. no bueno.

  13. Any thoughts on a recommended blow dryer?

  14. freedom naturalistJanuary 2, 2011 at 3:58 PM

    Has anyone ever experienced mids splits up the shaft from the D31? I'm trying to narrow down if this is the culprit. I normally detangle with a wide tooth comb and then the denman d31 all with conditioner in my hair. Also with the paddle brush doesn't the balls at the end rip through the hair?


Related Posts with Thumbnails