3.26.18

Mason Pearson Hairbrushes: Are They Worth It?

This was our first weekend at home in a month and it was so nice to be in one place with no plans other than an Orangetheory class. Saturday morning, we grabbed a bagel and an apple fritter (remember this post? Confirming that Bethesda Bagels makes a great one) and ended up walking over 17,000 steps through Dupont, Adams Morgan, the Zoo, and down to Trader Joe’s before heading home for the day. I generally spend much of my unscheduled weekend time working on the blog or freelance work, so we joked about how while this was such a nice change for us, it probably looks a lot like how many 20-somethings in the city spend weekends!

Anyway, I’m feeling especially refreshed thanks to this lack of plans + low key agenda, and am happy to report that regular scheduled programming on the blog is baaaaack. Thank you for bearing with my semi-sporadic MWF posting schedule…it’s tough because as much as I want to stick to that consistent schedule, sometimes life happens and it’s a choice between putting up sub-par content or just skipping the day entirely. I’ll always take the second option, but it doesn’t always feel good.

Onto the fun stuff in today’s post! I’ve mentioned it in passing, but J got me a Mason Pearson hairbrush for my birthday last year. I’d been debating buying one for a couple of years since they’re supposed to be especially good for thick hair (one of my former roommates had one and swore by it, and seeing it in action did enough to convince me that merely stalking them online wasn’t enough). It’s been a longtime goal of mine to be better about doing things with my hair in the way of styling–I’m embarrassed to say I’ve barely learned to use my curling wand–but I don’t really have the desire to use heat on it every day. I figured splurging on an item that would help me look and feel more put together and keep my hair healthier would surely be money well spent!

I did a lot of researched into the brushes and was surprised to discover a relatively low amount of information out there. It seems like many people who own Mason Pearson brushes have had them for years and are quiet devotees–my roommate said she and her sister had them since they were young girls–and given that the English brand released its first brush in 1885, they seem to be working with a lot of heritage, loyal customers, and word of mouth over modern marketing. If you’re curious, here’s a short history on the brand.

WHAT MAKES THESE BRUSHES SO GOOD?

Mason Pearson brushes are known for being delicate on the hair and scalp and detangling exceptionally well. They also leave your hair looking more shiny (in a non-greasy way) and healthy because they do a better job redistributing the oils from your scalp than the average brush. It’s difficult to describe how different it feels to comb a MP through your hair than a standard brush, but the bristles aren’t “plasticky” and even if things are a little knotted, it doesn’t feel like you’re ripping your hair out. It’s honestly feels like the most soothing brushing experience.

WHICH ONE SHOULD I GET?

I have the Junior Mixture Nylon & Boar Bristle brush–I originally got the Handy Mixture Nylon & Boar Bristle version and it felt a little too small. Given that we were already in the $150 range for a hairbrush, it made sense to return it and get the larger (“Junior”) one. The size difference is pretty significant and the Junior version is definitely more of a standard hairbrush size. This worked for me because it’s designed for medium to long hair that’s normal or thick. I could probably have gotten this version, but it was over $200 and my hair isn’t ever really “long,” so I went with the Junior!

The MP website has a guide to choosing your brush, but the tool is really clunky and I didn’t find it to be very helpful. I mainly relied on product reviews (Nordstrom sells most of the styles and all of them have at least a handful of reviews) and a couple articles including this one. The website does differentiate between bristles and tufts depending on your hair type, and bristle tufts and bristle + nylon are the most common. If you have any doubts, I’d recommend cross-referencing the MP website’s brush guide page and shopping page to the options on Nordstrom or Net-A-Porter.

IS IT THE ONLY HAIRBRUSH I NEED?

In short, no. I really don’t like the idea of getting mine wet, so I never use it immediately post-shower. I also used to lose hairbrushes all the time as a child, so never plan to take my MP out of the house. I use this Drybar brush when my hair is wet, has product in it, and for travel, and have this mini brush at work. It felt a little weird to have three brushes, but it works; I just leave my MP on the dresser, and have my Drybar brush in the bathroom. If you really want to splurge, you can buy a detangling-specific brush. You also aren’t supposed to use your MP brush around heat or with hair products, so I’d save it for days when you’re going au naturel!

ARE THEY WORTH IT?

In my opinion, yes! I love my hairbrush, and my hair truly does look better when I use it. I try to brush my hair (with the MP) before bed but don’t always remember to…but when I do, it looks notably better in the morning. A lot of the reviews say that brushing your hair is almost like a built in scalp massage and while I do think that’s a little exaggerated, it’s definitely the best kind of hair-brushing experience. The price tag is significant but if you plan to treat it well and keep it for years to come, it’s worth it! This would also be a really thoughtful gift for a sister, mom, or close friend–just make sure you tell them that it’s no ordinary brush :)

Do you have a Mason Pearson brush, or have you considered getting one? Leave a comment below or drop me an email (monica@monicadutia.com) if you have any more questions!

Shop the post

Leave a Comment