A hairbrush is a combing, smoothing, detangling and styling tool, commonly used on long hairs. It is a combination of teeth, made of fibers or other solid material (wood, metal, plastic) placed on a large flat surface with attached handle. The hairbrush is essential for hair’s strength and shine, as it spreads the natural fat from hairs’ roots to their ends and prevents tangling.
Presumably, the hairbrush originated in Antiquity. With its help noble Roman and Greek citizens have coifed their emblematic hairstyles and have cleaned their heads from lice. There is also a theory that the hairbrush is a modified version of the painting brush invented 2.5 million years ago. Hairbrushes have been found in Egyptian tombs alongside combs and mirrors. Young mothers and brides used to be presented with hairbrushes, as well.
Originally, the hairbrushes were made entirely from natural materials. The handles were made of wood, brass or copper, and the teeth - of wild boar or horse bristle. Over the centuries, however, the hairbrushes underlied so deeply in the beauty rituals of the people around the world that the need of mass production arose.
This stimulated Briton William Kent to establish the first factory for hairbrushes in 1777. Twelve people, to sew fibers on the brush’s base by hand were needed for making of a single hairbrush. In 1885, another Briton - Mason Pearson invented an automatic machine to make the process easier. Furthermore, at the same year, he released the first hairbrush with pneumatic rubber cushion under the teeth. Nowadays, this type of brush is still considered one of the most beneficial, as it stimulates the blood circulation and spreads painlessly and effectively the natural fat of the scalp to the entire length of the hair.
The first patent for a hairbrush, however, belongs to the American Hugh Rock, who invented a model with ornaments and a metallic handle in 1854. It quickly became a popular gift among the society - alone or in an equally impressive set with a comb and a mirror. In 1870, Samuel Firey patented a hairbrush with elastic wire teeth in combination with natural bristle. The first brush with detachable handle and air chambers appeared in 1898.
New hairbrush factories appeared over the next decades along with new hairbrush models that allow fixation of certain hairstyles - curly, straight or partially stylized.
Today, the market offers a variety of hairbrushes. Widely used are those entirely made of plastic, but hairdressers and experts recommend and insist on the natural bristle brushes, because they are the friendliest to the hair.