Master the Art of the Round Brush Blow-Dry With These Expert Tips

Written by Dahvi Shira

If you’ve ever been to a hair salon, you know that achieving those red carpet-level blowouts is literally like an art. From the blow dryer to the wrist movement to the products, and, of course, the brush. You can’t just pick up any old brush from home and expect your stylist’s same results. To begin, you’ll need a round brush. “One of the many benefits to a round brush is being able to control your hair’s texture to help achieve long-lasting style results on the hair,” KEVIN.MURPHY’s STYLE/COLOR master Leland Olson tells Mane Addicts, adding that you then consider the size of the brush and types of bristles.

Mane by Mane Addicts round brushes in different sizes on blue background | Mane Addicts

Once you’ve got your basics down, the reality is you probably won’t jump into pro mode. But as the saying goes, practice makes perfect. “Take your time, especially if you're new to using a round brush,” says 30-year hair pro Emily Pinegar. “It may take a few attempts to get the hang of it, but practice having patience. You can also experiment with techniques. Depending on the look you're going for, you can create curls by wrapping the hair tightly around the brush, or achieve a straighter style by pulling the hair taut while blow-drying.”

Now that you’re ready to put your round brush to use, keep reading for the benefits and pro tips on blow-drying hair with a round brush!

About the Experts:

Emily Pinegar is the owner of Utah’s Salon M + Suites, and a hairstylist with more than 30 years of experience.


Benefits of Using a Round Brush

Provides Volume and Lift 

According to Pinegar, round brushes help create volume at the roots and then they lift the hair strands, giving your hair a fuller and thicker appearance.

Allows for Smoothness and Shine

The pro also stands by round brushes because they help smooth out the hair and the hair cuticles, resulting in shiny hair with less frizz.

Provides Versatility

Pinegar also uses round brushes to create various styles, from sleek, straight hair to bouncy curls.

Allows You to Be in Control

If you want to know how to blow dry hair without frizz, round brushes are one of the easiest tools to use. “The shape and size of the brush allow for better control while blow-drying, making it easier to direct and style your hair,” Pinegar explains. “If you want loose beach waves, you can achieve this by using a smaller brush for more control over the curl. Wrap and twist the brush several times just as you would a hot tool as your last run-through of each section. Let it cool before combing through.”

Provides Body and Movement

When used during blow-drying, round brushes add body and movement to your hair. “You can achieve volume that will last throughout the day,” Pinegar says. “If done right, you shouldn’t have to use any hot tools when going for a sleek and smooth blowout.”

How to Use a Round Brush

Start With Damp Hair

Obviously, if you’re in the hands of a pro in the salon, they may get right to it—but if you’re blow-drying at home, Pinegar advises letting your wet hair air dry to about 60%. “With slightly damp hair, it helps in setting the shape while blow-drying,” she says.

Apply Heat Protectant

This is a no-brainer, but before blow-drying, apply a heat protectant spray to do the obvious.

Divide Hair Into Small Sections

Pixie cuts need not apply, but as Pinegar puts it, “If you have manageable sections, you’ll be able to achieve better remits. Use clips or hair ties—this ensures even drying and styling.”

Select the Right Brush Size for Your Hair Type

When it comes to the size of your round brush, “size does matter,” Olson says. “A larger round brush will provide you with a wider barrel giving you tons of volume, but it might not be ideal for shorter hair. Large round brushes allow you to work more organically with larger sections, giving you a more natural, voluminous result. If you’re looking for more of a soft wave and have longer hair, opting for a more medium-sized round brush will give you that more beach wave, undone texture, with beautiful volume. If you have shorter hair, a smaller round brush size is ideal, as the smaller the brush, you’ll achieve more root lift with volume and more of a curl result on the hair.”

Angle the Brush

Hold the round brush at a slight angle, pointing the nozzle of the hair dryer down the brush. “This will help direct the airflow along the hair shaft so you don’t get any frizz,” Pinegar explains.

Apply Tension With Direction

Place a section of hair around the brush and roll it away from the scalp. “If you roll it in the opposite direction of how you want the hair to lay, this will give you more volume,” Pinegar says. “It also creates tension and smooths the cuticle, all while adding volume.”

Blow-Dry Gradually

Patience is a virtue. “Work your way around your head, drying each section gradually,” Pinegar advises. “Focus on one section at a time for better control.”

Apply Cool Shot

Use the cool shot button on our Ionic Hair Dryer to set the style. “Blast the cooled air onto the hair while it's still wrapped around the brush to lock in the shape,” Pinegar says.

Apply Finishing Products

Once you've styled your hair, you can apply a small amount of hair serum, oil, or hairspray to set the style and add shine.

Best Round Brushes

Olivia Garden Ceramic + Ion Thermal Brush

$25.95 at

Olivia Garden Ceramic + Ion Thermal Brush | Mane Addicts

A key standout about this brush is it includes tourmaline ion technology that hydrates the cuticle.

“I reach for ceramic brushes when I have a client with very fine hair that can’t hold a shape,” Olson explains. “This is someone with hair that tends to lean toward more Type 1 Straight. This type of brush will help promote more movement in the hair. On the flip side, these are also great brushes for clients who have thick, curly hair, as they can provide more of a detangling effect, making it easier to work through the hair.”

Pro tip: If you have thick and curly hair, we have a whole guide on how to dry curly hair properly.


$100.83 at


This go-to from KEVIN.MURPHY is made from 100% naturally sustainable bamboo, and pure, natural boar bristles to ensure that there is no damage to the hair.

“Boar bristles or natural bristle brushes help create optimum shine, and smoothness, and refine the texture of your hair,” Olson says. “This makes them ideal for clients who have more textured hair types wanting a smoother finish.”


$18 at


This is the smaller version of No. 2. We recommend this size if you have shorter or finer strands.


$65 at

YS PARK 65G0 CURL & SHINE | Mane Addicts

Made from natural teakwood, Olson loves this type of brush because of the incredible tension it creates when blow-drying. This allows the hair to become smoother and shiner as a result. “I reach for this type of brush when my clients are looking for a flawlessly smooth result on their hair with a high shine,” Olson says. “I also love these brushes when I’m looking to create movement or wave/curl paired with smoothness and shine. Type 2 and Type 3 hair is ideal when using more natural bristles.”


$67 at


This carbon-coated natural wood brush offers shine, gloss, and anti-static properties. It’s recommended to provide sleek, straight strands, or that red carpet-level glam.


$49.95 at

ERGO Styling Tools ER53 IONIC CERAMIC ROUND BRUSH | Mane Addicts

This professionally-designed rec from Olson is a must for frizz-free results and medium to coarse hair.

“Ceramic brushes or brushes with stiff bristles are ideal for any clients who struggle with creating long-lasting shape in their hair,” Olson explains. “When heated up, ceramic brushes act like a hot roller, allowing the hair to create a stronger curl pattern or shape as the hair cools down.”


$50 at


Want those face-framing beachy waves? This is the brush for you. Designed with a cork handle, this brush is lightweight and easy for beginners.

Mane by Mane Addicts BRB Ceramic Round Brush 43MM

$25 at

Mane by Mane Addicts BRB Ceramic Round Brush 43MM | Mane Addicts

In addition to our beloved pink and white packaging that sits beautifully on our sinks, this brush is our key to creating voluminous curls or sleek, straight strands. Infused with negative ion technology, this lightweight ceramic brush is specially designed for shoulder-length hair or longer.

Mane by Mane Addicts BRB Ceramic Round Brush 33MM

$25 at

Mane by Mane Addicts BRB Ceramic Round Brush 33MM | Mane Addicts

Short hair? Check. Bangs? Check. Layers? Check. Our 33MM round brush is specially designed for short to medium-length hair, shielding it against static while serving up major shine.

You’re clear on round brushes, but what about the rest? HERE are the different types of brushes you should have in your arsenal.