Usually when we review a product on Beauty Markdown, it’s something new or trending that you might not have tried before – but today’s post is about a hairbrush that has existed in one form or another for 133 years. It’s the OG fancy hair tool, and this baby doesn’t come cheap.
I’m the kind of person who appreciates a good brushing, I give my tresses a going over once or twice a day, it’s the only “hair thing” I use on a daily basis. Even a hairdryer is only something I bring out for special occasions. I used to have waist length hair that would get VERY knotty, so it’s a habit for me.
I’ve tried so many types of hairbrush – the Tangle Teezer, wooden brushes, the Wet Brush, paddle brushes and even electronic brushes like the Babyliss Big Hair. The Tangle Teezer would fly out of my hand if it hit a knot (I need a handle), my old wooden Body Shop brush used to poke my scalp, and most brushes get caught on my hair and yank it out.
The Mason Pearson gets almost universally fab reviews and they don’t even send PR out to bloggers – so it had to be worth a try.
What makes it special?
All Mason Pearson brushes are made in the UK in a factory just outside London – it’s an incredibly old brand, it was started in 1885 and the brush itself hasn’t changed much since the 1920s.
Hairdressers gush over the benefits of this particular brush and say that with proper care it should last you a lifetime. The boar bristle models are supposed to make your hair extra shiny by redistributing your hair’s natural oils from the roots down to the ends and the patented rubber cushion means that it’s more gentle on your scalp than other brushes. People also say that using a boar bristle brush on your hair can make it last an extra day between washes – which is always a bonus!
One of the weirder things about Mason Pearsons that I’ve never seen with any other brush, is that the larger brushes come with their own brush to clean them with. It’s just plastic with long plastic bristles, but it really works, it’s a lot easier than pulling hair out with your fingers. It’s made in the UK just like the brush itself, too.
Which MP brush should I buy?
There are three distinct types of Mason Pearson brush – pure bristle, bristle and nylon combined, and just nylon by itself, you might see them referred to as B, BN and N when you come to buy one. They also come in a huge range of sizes – from teeny tiny baby ones to just a bit larger than your average hairbrush.
Their own site recommends the pure bristle for people with fine hair, nylon only to people with coarse or very curly hair and the bristle/nylon mix to people whose hair is somewhere in the middle.
The Mason Pearson brushes I have are both a bristle and nylon mix which seems to suit my hair type (a lot of straight/wavy hair with reasonably fine strands). The sizes I have are junior – sometimes called medium, and pocket. I was pretty confused when it comes to sizes when I bought my first brush, as a lot of them have weird names instead of numbers – but Popular is the biggest, followed by Junior, then Handy and Pocket is the smallest.
Colour-wise they all come in ruby (which is like a dark brown-almost-black), baby pink, blue and white.
Here’s a comparison of the Junior (pink) and Pocket (white) in comparison to a standard Tangle Teezer.
How much and where can I buy it?
These prices are all for the bristle nylon mix – FYI, prices accurate in February 2018.
So, definitely not cheap – but I bought my last one when Escentual was running a 25% off everything code, and these never usually go on sale – so keep an eye out for promotions like that.
If you’re thinking about pulling the trigger – I’d definitely recommend Escentual, they’re often the cheapest, the delivery is really quick – mine was tracked Royal Mail. If you want to see them in the flesh they’re sold in independent chemists, not Boots or Superdrug unfortunately, and in London you can find them in Liberty. They are sold on Amazon, but personally fake makeup is so rife on there I wouldn’t trust them with something so pricey!
Are there dupes out there?
The most well known Mason Pearson lookalike is the Denman Grooming Brush – it’s about £12. I’ve never tried it, but the general consensus online is that people like it, but it’s not as great as an MP brush.
Is it worth it?
I bought my first Mason Pearson back in 2014, and I’m still obsessed with it. I just bought a tiny version to take on holiday with me. It glides through knots without pulling, it makes your hair shiny and the brush still looks almost new after some heavy usage.
I was surprised by how light it was when it arrived, I kind of expected it to be made of solid gold for that price – but the body is just made out of plastic. It’s really nice to hold, you don’t get a tired arm using it (you might think that’s a joke but I used to have Lady Godiva hair).
The gold writing on the handle of my Mason Pearson wore off not too long after I bought it, and the rubber looks a bit less red than on the brand new brush, but other than that it’s still in good condition, the bristles aren’t splayed out and I have no complaints.
Sometimes people justify buying very expensive products with a cost per use breakdown, or saying if you bought a new brush every year then this works out to be quite cheap. It doesn’t really work out like that for Mason Pearson brushes – because how often do you ~really~ buy a new hairbrush?
BUT, a lot of people wouldn’t think twice dropping £70 on a pair of GHDs or two bottles of Armani foundation, and this is something I use daily that’s pretty much perfect. If you’re rolling in cash, I can’t really imagine a better gift for someone who loves a good Marcia Brady moment.
What do you think? What’s your holy grail hairbrush? What was your biggest YOLO beauty spend and did it pay off?
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Hey! I’m Bronni and I’m a financial journalist and deals hunter in my mid 20s. I’m really into cats, pop music, the internet and barely substantiated celebrity gossip.