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

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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!

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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 also modified my Denman by taking out every other row. It’s a good tool, but I am still gentle with my hair.

  7. 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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  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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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