this thing's incredible

This Brush Smooths My Curls Like a Mason Pearson — For £40

Evo pin bristle hairbrush
Photo-Illustration: The Strategist; Photo: Retailer

About a year ago, getting ready for a night out, I decided that I’d had enough. My mid-length hair and the hairbrush I’d been pleading with needed to finally part ways. I’m somewhere between a 2C and 3A curl type, with hair thirstier than a neglected houseplant; my average wash days involve a carefully curated routine of conditioners, creams, and oils. The missing piece? A trusty hairbrush to tame flyaways — something my basic plastic one just couldn’t do.

I’d ignored the importance of a good brush before, blaming products before switching them out fruitlessly. When I went looking for an alternative, I felt overwhelmed; scrolling through Amazon reviews and YouTube hair-care hauls, a newly lucrative market for my hair type brought up thousands of options. I’d heard about the Mason Pearson, of course, but its £100-plus price felt too steep.

Instead, I found the less expensive Bradford pin bristle brush by Australian brand Evo, recommended by my hairdresser while I was in her chair. “I bought one of their brushes last year and now I don’t use anything else,” she told me. Since she’s a curl expert who shares my enthusiasm for balayage, I was intrigued. Back home, I’ll admit the prices on Evo’s UK site still made me wince slightly. But a slew of positive customer reviews and my hairdresser’s nod of approval convinced me to order the brush, which I bought at the time for £35.

Bradford Pin Bristle Brush
Photo: Evo

The brush runs small and feels light in your hands, with its spiky yet flexible bristles. It’s touted as a finishing piece — the last step in your routine — so I pre-detangled with a Denman comb. After a few brush strokes, I was convinced. The Evo glides effortlessly through parched or colour-treated strands, flattening flyaways into neat, glossy curls. I found myself reaching for it daily, including on days when I reached for my hair straighteners. It’s a reassuringly heat-resistant brush, and played well with all my styling tools.

You should know, though, that it tends to collect product build-up over time, especially if, like me, you use a hefty rotation of creams, masks, and oils. A quick rinse solves this. And I’m not alone in my adoration for this brush, which was fully out of stock on Evo’s site for a few months with a waiting list. Amazon luckily stocks it, too, where reviewers gush about how the brush looks, feels, and performs.

Evo recommend the brush for all hair types, curls or not — and I can attest to how often my pin-straight-haired friend ‘borrows’ it from me. It turned out to be an investment piece that’s still in great condition after a year of daily use. Now, wash days don’t feel like a battle. I might have to get my friend her own as a gift, though.

This is the Denman brush I use to detangle, before going in with the Evo.

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This £40 Brush Smooths My Curls Like a Mason Pearson