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Does the Denman Brush Live Up to the Hype? [Review]

• Dec 15, 2013

by Monica of Knapsgirl

A Denman brush is a tool and like all tools will not work for everyone in the same way or at all. I am not a person who swears by the Denman but I think it lives up to its claims.

In my humble opinion, the Denman brush has suffered the same fate as other instant/magical/super fixer natural hair products. It’s a good product but it isn’t instant, super or magical.

According to the manufacturer, the brush is, “effective for giving greater control over styling the hair” it is not designed for detangling. Denman actually carries a detangling brush called the Tangle Tamer.

I have always been advised by seasoned naturals to expect only curl definition from a Denman brush following detangling. I CANNOT detangle with this brush regardless of the amount of water or conditioner.

The knock-off version is great because it’s cheaper and a good way to test the waters. I bought the real deal because I was newly natural and all gung-ho.

My brush sat in a drawer for a year before someone taught me how to use it correctly. It was an eye-opening experience;

1. Use product with your brush. It’s a brush not magic! If you want curl definition use the brush and a curl definition product. As for complaints of fuzzy roots, I can relate. I could only get my ends to curl and had to rock a curly puff or up-do.

2. Removing bristles from the brush (the “modified Denman” you hear about on websites and forums) is unneccesary because Denman makes a brush with spaced out bristles. It is NOT designed for detangling either, it is a volumizing brush.

Just to summarize, a Denman brush:
  • is not designed for detangling
  • is expensive, try a knock-off
  • gives curl definition… definition — not curls. (God gives curls, products and tools define them.)
  • is not magic

Ladies, do you own a Denman brush? How does it work for you? Share your review below!

Knapsgirl is a natural hair blog by sisters Monica and Leigh Richards. Following her transition, Monica convinced her sister to transition. They work together so that more women are educated about natural hair.

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39 Comments on "Does the Denman Brush Live Up to the Hype? [Review]"

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I am not a denman fan either. I have used it a handful of times and had I done my own research, I probably would not have purchased it. I bought into the hype–literally. I do, however, love the Felcia Leatherwood brush/comb. It works wonders!


I used to fall in “like” with it …lol, last year or 2 and bought few times . It took a lot hairs than other brushes so I stopped. I started hearing how bad brushes can be so I started by my fingers ‚ppl think I am crazy. But hair is growing!

I agree. I’ve been unrelaxed for over 12 years and the denman is the only tool that helps get all the shed hair out (yes I can tell because I check to see). Yes there may be some breakage, but I’ve accepted that with my length and very kinky hair texture. I say like certain hair products, find what works for you. I recently purchased the felecia leatherwood brush and it worked okay but I still had to follow-up with the denman. maybe because it’s so new i haven’t grown accustom to is, but i’ve been using the denman for… Read more »

I love the denman brush, its like the only thing i use to detangle. I heard about it from the curly like me book and honestly i think it works way better then a wide tooth comb (atleast for me). 🙂

Over the past 3 decades, I keep a Denman brush in my tools arsenal. I have fine 3b/3c type hair. Sometimes I use it for detangling and have not had any problems, it makes the process quicker for me. Does that mean everyone should be able to use it to detangle? Not at all. Some hair textures like to wrap around the separate bristles and hold on tight, causing stretching and breakage. I have also had Denman-like brushes, from varying manufacturers. I haven’t found any of them comparable to Denmans, and here’s why: Denman charges more, because they use 100%… Read more »

The Denman caused my ENDS to curl like crazy…just the ends. This was back when I first went natural though. Hmmm…I still have it on deck for a revisit…


Huh? So people use deman brushes for curl definition. I thought it was used to detangle the hair. I used it way back in 2001when I first decided to go natural. I think it rips out the hair pretty bad. My stands are too fine for that sort of tool so I had to let it go. Wide tooth comb and my fingers are good enough.

I loooooooove the Denman brush! I think this is one of those cases when hair type comes into play. (Though I have no idea what my hair type is, ironically.) I notice that people with kinkier or more fragile hair experience breakage and hate it while people with curlier/wavier (and in my case less-breakage prone- my hair never breaks unless it gets caught on something like my watch) love it. It makes detangling a cinch. My hair comes out less frizzy b/c the bristles are close together and really help get out those shed hairs that hide out in my… Read more »

My experience with the brush has been just the opposite. I have 4A/B fine hair and I use the brush all the time. Surprisingly my hair breaks more when I finger detangle than when I use the brush, although the best option for my hair is a wide tooth comb. My son has 3B/C hair and I had to stop using the Denman with him because his hair was falling out like crazy. I now use a wide tooth comb with his hair and that works better as well.


Does the Denman Brush Live Up to the Hype?

My answer? NO!!!

I’ve never used it on my hair because 1) I was scared it was gonna take a lot of my hair out because of its stiff bristles and the fact that I have fine textured hair and 2) I haven’t used brushes on my hair in almost a year because I used to experience breakage on the crown of my head from using them. I have, however, used it on someone else’s hair. From what I’ve seen, it almost instantly defined a section of curls & I was pretty shocked. Her curls were popping. Its true though, use product before… Read more »

I’m confused, did she use the pink brush or the red brush?


I used the black D9 Denman brush.


I have a Denman but not the one everyone modifies, I have a Denman with wide enough spaces between the bristles to be a wide tooth comb, however I do not use it as much because I don’t really know what i’m doing lol. It may sound silly but when I first went natural I finger detangled so now that is all I know the brush seems like a good brush but the sound effects scare me.


I tried using the Denman Brush when I was newly natural but all it did was rip my hair out. As far as living up to its claims…well… Less hair is easier to style.. I guess O_O


I always have issues with these type of reviews because of the simple fact that, every one’s hair is different. Its so simple, but it seems ignored in so many reviews. I have 4a-b hair, and find that it really detangles my hair, and gives definition.


I would like a pic or video showing off the hair pins as well…I can be a ltltie slow regarding hair styles. I use bobby pins but I’ve been wanting to branch out.


I tried it a few times…too much work.


I have a denman brush knock-off from Sally’s Beauty Supply’s.
At first, I was disappointed by the lack in definition.
(It only defined the last like inch of my hair)
But I detangle and smooth down my hair with my palms, then I twist my hair like usual and twirl the whole twist around my finger.(like a twisted finger-coil)
When I take out my twists, my hair is sooooooooooooooo defined!
So for me I love the denman brush (knock-off) for twists and when I trim my hair

Btw, I have like 4a/b/c really tightly spiralled hair




I have used a Denman before and after a few years of off and on use, the pink cushion tore and could no longer hold the teeth. It worked great both as is and modified, but once it broke, I wasn’t interested in the price tag and went to find a knockoff version. Now, I use the Goody brand “Denman” that is actually advertised as a detangling brush. It works just as well, I didn’t modify it, it knocks tangles out like nobody’s business with just water pressure, and I only paid $3 for it on Amazon.


I love my Denman. It’s my preferred method of detangling.


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I like my Denman brush (I have a 9-row one).
It’s better than my two-row wide-toothed comb for detangling, but I’ve decided to use my fingers to detangle instead of combing/brushing (for less damage).


i don’t have one. was always too scared to try it, but then again, i use combs narrower than wide-tooths on my hair so maybe it’s not all bad. i’d heard a lot about this brush, and so many naturals were raving about it on the net, but i didn’t see what all the hype was all about, judging by their hair. you can get the same results whether you use one or don’t.


Wait…it’s not meant for detangling? Well, that sure does explain a lot! It’s a constant struggle getting it through my hair! Been putting my poor strands through hell lol. Luckily I’ve only been using it every once in a while but no more.


I truly thought it was just me, as of this week I was getting so frustrated during detangling.


And I’ve been using the knock off all this time and never knew it.…moving forward, I’m gonna give it a try again because it does a good job of smoothing and defining but I was not shaking the hair out once was shingled so the curls didn’t clump right 🙁 Now I have to try this with the next wash and go!


I just dusted off my Denman this past week and hated how puffy my roots were. I used to love it when my hair was short though. Does anyone have another detangling tool solution? I’ve used the D8(?) and D83, the Tangle Teaser, Tangle Tamer, and a wide tooth comb, my own fingers and none of them get through the high density of my hair and completely detangle (corkscrew/3Cs). Any suggestions?


How often do you detangle and what do you do with your hair at night?? My son has the same type of hair and detangling his hair is very hard after a few days of not doing anything to it. I have to detangle his hair daily. Braiding your hair at night might help keep it tangle free.


Shocking! I actually LOVE this brush and wish I had it when my daughter was much younger. Although for some reason I’ve begin just detangling with my fingers, Denman Brush has been a life saver with detangling (though that’s not what it’s for) with my process. I would get so frustrated with detangling my hair. With the help of the Kimmaytube Leave-in Conditioner, actually working the conditioner through smoothing each strand, and this brush, it has helped make things so much better. Can not believe that’s what it was created for lol

My Baby Girls Curls

The D31 Denman although named a volumnizing brush does state that it is effective for detangling medium length hair. I’ve used it on my daughter since she was 2 with success (she’ll be turning 4 in April). Its the only tool that has throughly detangled her Type 4 hair.

I personally love this brush. I have 4c hair with thin individual hair strands but a dense, large quantity of hair. I use my wide tooth comb in the shower when my hair is covered in conditioner. Then when I am setting my hair for stretching, I add my leave in conditioner and further detangle with the Denman brush. I think it’s not a miracle brush. You still have to be careful. It’s better than other brushes because of the teeth. They’re flexible and lightweight. The teeth are thin, and they do not have any bulbs at the ends. I… Read more »

One thing that can help is the right products and not being stingy with the use of them. Get a good curl defining product and apply it liberally, especially to the roots. Practically saturate your hair, especially the roots. It is impossible to use too much. I occasionally have to wring some out but curly hair needs moisture more than anything.

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I personally use a Denman. I think it does a great job on my hair. You can’t expect to jump out of the shower and start at your roots to detangle.… You must detangle end-to-root, not root-to-end. This is important. I do this with any comb and my denman. It’s not too hard, just time consuming. But natural hair is time consuming so.… I guess it’s different strokes for different folks.


I don’t like the Denman so much for detangling as for smoothing. I like using wide tooth comb then using brush to smooth product. Paddle brush works well for me too.

Ray B Delapenha

I feel like this brush is giving me incomplete splits down my strands and causing split ends..?

Tiana Moore

Thank you for such an awesome article dear and from my experience with sheamoisture I want to share that i am using raw shea butter detangler for my hair Because this extra-moisturizing properties of this hair detangler come from raw Shea butter that deeply penetrates while restoring dry scalp and hair.

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