When a Hairbrush Is Worth the Price
A Serious Brush for Serious Hair
Glossy Shops considers YS Park – Black Carbon Tiger Brush- YS680 the best in its category. Our editors have a wealth of experience using many round brushes over the years, and we all agree that is the number one round brush for smooth, glossy blowouts. After purchasing, and using far too many round brushes, we were ready to give up trying to achieve salon-worthy blowouts. We quickly tired of low-quality bristles, cheap handles that felt clunky in our hand, and poorly engineered bristle placement.
Quick warning: If you are new to blowing out your hair or have fine or thin hair, this is not the brush for you. It’s a serious brush for those who know what to look for in a styling tool, and have perfected a good technique to a home blowout. If you are new to sectioning your hair while blowing it out, and haven’t used a round brush, we suggest trying something less expensive in the beginning.
For those who prefer a quick read, we are providing a short review here. The main review further down is long and in-depth.
- Extremely high quality boar bristles – this helps grip sections of hair
- Nylon pin between boar bristles is very high quality and heat resistant
- Each cluster of boar bristles, including one nylon pin in the center of each grouping, are perfectly spaced
- Comfortable and ergonomic handle
- Amazing craftsmanship. Long lasting and no need to purchase other round brushes while owning a YS Park brush
- Not for fine and/or thinning hair
- Not for someone new to blowing out their locks at home. More for those experienced who understand good tools for salon-worthy blowouts
- Expensive – Approx. $54.85
- Hard to find YS Park in brick-and-mortar. Most must purchase online
- Our editor’s puppy chewed off a chunk of the handle. She is still able to use it. Keep away from puppies 🙂
A friend and Glossy Shop reader perused this article and was ready to purchase the Carbon Tiger- however, she backed out at the last minute. Instead, she chose a less expensive design that popped up on Amazon. Even though the brush was only $15.79, and much less than the Carbon Tiger, she immediately regretted the purchase. “I know how to section my hair for a good blowout and dry section by section – my technique is good, but this brush didn’t provide enough grip and tension. The handle was also uncomfortable in my hand,” she recalled in an email.
Sometimes, expensive indeed means higher quality and better results. Glossy Shosp editors gawk at spending atrocious amounts on clothing. (We are huge fans of Uniqlo.) But when it comes to brushes, often the more expensive versions come out on top; especially if you have thick or dense hair. Read more below from our editor.
Say Hello to Lovely, Glossy Blowouts
Like many of you, I do my blowouts at home. There are no blow dry bars nearby and even if there were, I don’t have the budget to pop in for a weekly blowout. Over the years, I’ve perfected my blowouts with scientific precision; including purchasing an army of round brushes. Believe me, I know what works and I’ve discovered the best round brush for sleek, glossy blowouts.
The Best Round Brush – $58.90
What’s not to love about a smooth, glossy blowout? The perfect blowout makes me feel presentable, put together, and even sleeker. I wasn’t blessed with lovely curls. Instead, if left to air dry, my hair turns frizzy, and oddly feels heavy. I feel messy if I don’t take the time to properly dry my hair with a dryer and favorite round brush. However, there is an art to the perfect blowout and it’s not only the technique used that sets it apart from a bad blowout, but also the tools involved. I’ll be perfectly blunt and to the point: You can’t have a perfect blowout unless you have a good brush. A blowdryer and round brush are the foundation to smooth, glossy locks that looks like you left a high end salon. When it comes to a round brush for blowing out your hair always remember: Quality, quality, and quality. Yes, my favorite brush is expensive, but it’s also worth it. This is an instance in grooming and beauty where a high price tag actually delivers a better product which leads to better results. A cheap paddle brush from the drugstore is not going to deliver the perfect blowout- especially for those of us with thick or full hair. My favorite shampoo comes from the drugstore, but not my favorite round brush. I think we have all learned where to save money and where to splurge. YS Park hair tools are the perfect splurge – especially when it involves the perfect round brush.
After years of learning to perfect a sleek, smooth blowout, I now have a handful of friends and family who are known to arrive with damp hair hoping I will work my magic on them. With thick, dense, longish hair, it took me a while to grasp the rules of a good blowout. In fact, it took a few years. As a teenager, I didn’t know about round brushes. (Sad, but true.) I used a wide paddle brush because I figured it was better for thick hair. At the time I also had shorter hair, so what I deem the perfect blowout now wasn’t on my radar as a teenager. Later in my 20’s, I became interested in fashion and beauty. One of my style icons still is Caroline Besette Kennedy. Not only did she have a perfectly modern wardrobe, but she had glorious, glossy hair. As I tried to emulate her long hair, I realized that my blowouts weren’t smoothing my hair the longer it grew. A paddle brush simply didn’t give a nice blowout and it left many areas frizzy. At the time, I figured I could not replicate fashionista hair since I wasn’t a hairstylist nor did I visit a high end salon. (Only later would I realize that not all hairstylists know how to do a proper blowout either.)
“A weak wrist makes a weak blowout.”
During my 20’s, I made visits to a gamut of salons. High end salons, small salons tucked away in quaint homes, and well known chains, but I still felt I couldn’t have super long hair because nearly every stylist commented on the thickness and texture of my hair. My hair exasperated even the professionals. Several stylists thought the way to solve my dense and thick hair problem was to thin it. Catastrophe. Defeated, I felt I’d never have long, glossy hair that cascaded down my back. However, one tip I did learn was to use a round brush for the ultimate blowout. This tip alone is what set me in motion to discover the best round brush in the world. If it was out there, I would track it down. I learned the barrel shape of a round brush allows hair to pass through beneath the dryer to not only dry the strands, but to also seal in the cuticle. This flow and direction of the hair traveling around and under a round brush makes the hair texture smooth. You also need firm tension from the wrist for a glossy, smooth blowout. It’s all in the wrist. When I state that it’s all in the wrist, I’m not joking or trying to be witty. If you can’t pull a round brush through a small layer of hair with a firm wrist, then don’t even attempt to try your own blowouts. A weak wrist makes a weak blowout.
For nearly a decade, I switched between various brands of round brushes. There was a period when ceramic round brushes were the holy grail. I came to realize heat from the dryer plus the ceramic lead to dry, brittle hair. And then I discovered Marilyn brushes which I loved for several years. However, there were disruptions with the company and problems with manufacturing. I tested at least 40 round brushes or probably more. Fast forward to 2015 when I discovered YS Park. YS Park’s Carbon Tiger brush provides the perfect combination of both natural and synthetic bristles. This particular round brush provided boar bristles and nylon pins. Boar bristles massage the scalp and also distribute oils from the scalp to the ends of the hair for a glossy, shiny appearance. Polyamide/nylon pins on a brush help to straighten and polish the hair. The nylon pins provides a natural grip on the hair as it brushes without stretching or breaking hair as the pins slid through. The winning combination of natural and synthetic bristles makes YS Park’s Carbon Tiger brush hands-down the best I’ve used. This particular round brush contains more boar bristles than nylon pins. The ratio between boar and nylon on the Carbon Tiger brush is engineered to perfection.
Important reminder: Nylon pins on YS Park’s Carbon tiger brushes are slightly longer than the boar bristles, so they pick up better at the root and are better suited to thick and curly hair because of it. (I’ll make a separate jpeg of this just to hit home.)
This highly focused hair tool brand is from Japan and the brainchild of Young Soo Park. YS Park seems to be an elusive man as he’s given only a handful of interviews. His beauty industry tools provide the perfect conduit between beauty professionals and their clients. The brands’ products range from state of the art combs, to many styles of brushes, hair clips, hair pins, and more. YS Park products center around hair grooming tools used in well known salons around the world. Thankfully, you don’t have to be a stylist to own one of his amazing combs or famous brushes. What strikes me the most about YS Park combs and brushes is the amount of thought and engineering that goes into developing each product. These aren’t products created simply for hype and media. There is a reason YS Park developed every comb, brush, and hair pin to certain specifications. YS Park is a designer and engineer combined. I’ve yet to use a brush so perfectly proportioned that delivered such precise results. I prefer tightly edited beauty lines and that’s what YS Park delivers. The depth of hair tools in the line is vast, but he doesn’t deviate into unnecessary categories. All of the brand’s products are essential in delivering great hair results inside and outside of a salon. YS Park spent over a decade developing his line of hair tools. These aren’t generic brushes or combs with a brand name slapped on them. A lot of design, thought, and engineering went into bringing his products to life. They are in literal terms created from scratch. As a hair styling enthusiast, I like knowing so many years went into creating a line of products. It means there is a true passion
“Beauty Industry Tools, born from a hair designer’s creativity, are made to be gentle to hair, people and with respect to the environment.” – Young Soo Park
YS Park uses both black boar and white boar in many of his round brushes. The black boar on the Carbon Tiger brush is stiffer than white boar. This stiffness means there is more tension and firmness when gripping the hair. Appropriate stiffness and tension mean a sleeker blowout. In the future, I plan to try other YS Park round brushes, but for now I’m completely satisfied with the Carbon Tiger. When you find something that works, the desire to move on to a new product diminishes.
YS Park Carbon Tiger Brush
YS Park’s Carbon Tiger brush series has a sleek black design with hallowed carbon wood handles. The nylon pins are longer than the boar bristles for a better grip. I like the handle width as it doesn’t cause fatigue or feel overly large as I dry my hair. In the hand, Carbon Tiger is a light brush. It doesn’t feel heavy or cumbersome. If you have mastered the art of a good blowout, it’s important to find a brush that feels comfortable in your hand. (My puppy likes the brush as well as she’s chewed off a small chunk of the handle. It’s the reason, I’m not showing my own Carbon Tiger brush. It’s still the only brush I use for blowouts.) In this post I won’t go into great depth how to do a blowout on long or medium length hair, but I do section and dry one at a time. The first thing that struck me about the Carbon Tiger round brush is I didn’t need to coat the hair sections in too much serum. I still use serum, but sparingly. Right away the brush grips hair, but in perfect proportions so it doesn’t feel overly aggressive. The tension on this brush is what you need to tame wavy, frizzy, and curly hair. The tension doesn’t hurt the scalp or feel as if it’s too tight. Carbon Tiger straightens even the most unruly hair. If you have fine hair, it will still work, but you may need a smaller size. As mentioned above dark boar is used on the Carbon tiger. The density of these boar bristles are part of the foundation to smooth, sleek hair.
The first time I used YS Park’s Carbon Tiger, I knew I’d found the best brush for salon worthy blowouts. The search was over. I haven’t purchased another brush or gone down the rabbit hole researching better alternatives as I did so often in the past. You shouldn’t depend on salons or blow dry bars for a luxurious blowout every time you need one. There is nothing wrong with learning good techniques to master the perfect blowout. I part my hair into four sections and dry one section at a time. Youtube is full of good tutorials how to part and layer hair for drying. I’m always surprised how many stylists haven’t mastered the art of a good blowout. I’ve been know to take over drying since I don’t want to leave a salon with frizzy hair. Taking a paddle brush to long frizzy hair will not give sleek results. Nor will using a round brush, but with no strength or tightness in the wrist give me the blowout I want. Drying in layers, a strong wrist and firm grip, and of course the best round brush are three important steps for mastering the best blowout. Don’t be afraid to learn how to dry your own hair!
What Size Carbon Tiger is Right for Me?
The brush barrel size is really up to you and your blowdrying preferences. YS Park’s Carbon Tiger collection has 7 different sizes. I like that there are several sizes to choose from; more is better in this particular case. For short hair, you will want to go with a smaller barrel. Longer hair = larger barrel. I use the 680 Carbon Tiger brush. It’s the largest size in the series and perfect for my below the shoulders hair. Keep in mind my hair is dense. I have a lot of hair. The 680 grabs hair perfectly and the barrel doesn’t seem too large. I dry my hair in sections and don’t rotate the brush too much. If I want more curl on the ends, I will rotate the brush more in that area. (Personally, I feel when stylists rotate a brush too much throughout each section of the head, it puts too much unnecessary stress on the hair.) If you have a bob and your hair isn’t too thick you may want to go with the Carbon Tiger 650.
Go for it!
Wouldn’t you rather not spend $50 (or more) on a blowout when you could just work the same magic (or possibly better) at home? If you get blowouts a lot, you must look into YS’ Park’s Carbon Tiger round brush. Take time and learn how to master your own professional blowout. For one moment, don’t even think you can’t learn. You can! It takes practice, but don’t give up and don’t be afraid to learn. Once you’ve grasped the proper techniques, it’s very rewarding, and easier on the bank account. Visiting a high end salon or Instagram-worthy blow dry bar doesn’t necessarily mean your stylist will deliver a glossy, frizz-free blowout. Trust me. I’ve learned the hard way. Decor and a glass of wine do not mean you will have a Vogue-worthy blowout. One of the best round brushes in the industry. Metal brushes fry your hair- they tend to leave a dry texture which can lead to breakage. Create your own expert blowout today!
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