I've been using Aveda
paddle brush daily for the past 8 years and after daily use it finally started falling apart. I used it to detangle hair before washing, but lately started brushing it out at night, applying coconut oil or some other prepoo and braiding it for the night, then washing in the morning. Couldn't take the tangling of loose hair while sleeping.
So I had another Aveda brush as a back up, but got curious about others. The only one I used before, a long time ago is Denman classic (which I didn't like). I read reviews and chose a few. I got Mixed Chicks paddle brush
, Bass Bamboo paddle brush
, Annie #2204
(I found out about that one while searching on this site, couple people really liked it, I don't have BSS in my area so got it on ebay), and Hercules Sagemann Maple Paddle no bristles large size
one gets 5 star reviews both on Amazon and Mixed Chicks site. I thought it'd be a winner but it's not. Design is not the best, clunky and a bit awkward to use, handle is too bulky and slippery. It does detangle easily, but just doesn't feel that great. Compare to Aveda I'd choose Aveda, easier to use, better feel on scalp. MC has bigger balls on pins, the biggest of all the brushes I've seen, and pins seem to be further apart or something. Just different and would take getting used to (compare to what you used before of course). Pins are long though and brush is very sturdy, so I can see thick haired people liking it. On Aveyou.com site this brush looks different than what I got, and so is on one of the Amazon seller's listing. It's black with dark brown flat handle, and I was hoping to get that and emailed the seller, but was told it would look different, like it looks everywhere else. Guess those couple of pictures are an old version that's not sold anymore. Wish they kept that.
Next came Bass bamboo paddle
(striped one, got it on Amazon, didn't see it in any of the natural shops around here). It's the only brush I have with straight pins. Very sturdy as well though and detangling is a breeze, with barely any hair pulled out. But I don't love the feel of it on the scalp, not used to straight pins, feels too rough. It's easy on hair, it's just the feel on the scalp I have a problem with.
Then Annie brush
came (luxury paddle or something, forgot the exact name). Unlike the rest this one is plastic. It's a good brush, not much to say. Feels fine, detangles easily, nothing really to complain about, other than me being spoiled by the feel of a wooden brush. This one gives me static, which is not a big deal considering I oil and braid hair afterwards anyway, but if I straightened it I wouldn't use this one for regular brushing. I never tried wet brushing, only combing so far, so will use this one to experiment with that.
Finally Hercules Sagemann Paddle Brush #9249 (large)
arrived and as soon as I held it, even before it touched my hair, I wished it was the only brush I ever spend money on. After I used it I immediately ordered a back up. I want this for the rest of my life and to be the only brush touching my hair. It's The One lol. Much better than Aveda, and I used to think there was nothing better.
Quality is outstanding, perfect feel, design and weight, very user friendly, pins and balls are perfect size, just work of art all around. And the feel of it on the scalp - I was in heaven. The softest and nicest of all brushes. I think people with sensitive scalps would really like it. I can't even use other brushes now because they all feel too rough compare to this. Glides through hair and tangles like water, I barely feel it and afterwards there's maybe one or two hairs in the brush (most of my shed ones come out during washing/conditioning though, I never get much while brushing).
BTW, I also use HS comb #696
for combing through conditioner and then leave in/styler, and it's still the best comb I ever found, Mason Pearson
detangling comb (with handle) coming in second (they are both seamless).
I did a search here before buying HS brush, and couple of people used small paddle one and it ended up too small for one or both of them, so I highly recommend the HS large paddle, I know I'll never be without it and will only take other ones with me during traveling, so that it's no big deal if they are lost or stolen.
PS, Feel free to post about your own favorite brushes/combs in this thread