Examine these two brushes in the picture. Notice the vinyl bristles? The brush on the left has clear vinyl brushes with a "blunt cut" on the end. The brush on the right has white vinyl bristles with a "bulb" on its ends. Both brushes look similar at a quick glance, right? However, at a closer look from another angle, these two brushes are extremely different.
The Pureology brand mixed bristle flat brush on the right had me spoiled! It smoothed out hair effortlessly. Notice the "bulb" on the vinyl bristles? Well, that "bulb" is important for use on relaxed hair.
The "Cricket" brand mixed bristle smoothing brush on the left has soft vinyl bristles that hold heat similar to the Pureology smoothing brush, but the blunt end of the vinyl bristles on the Cricket brush prevents the hair from gliding through the brush. (i.e. It pulls the hair and holds it in place when trying to straighten out hair roots.) However, if you need to dry the rest of the relaxed strands, it may be too much tension. If you need a lot of tension on the hair, then choose the Cricket brush on the left, but also remember that damp, relaxed hair does not need a lot of tension neither does kinky curly hair because of the small diameter of the hair coils. The Denman brushes as discussed in a previous article have built-in round tips versus blunt tips. That is another reason that Denman brushes work well for smoothing hair. Please see my separate article on Denman brushes.
In addition, remember if your brush with the "bulb caps" starts to loose their "bulb ends," then it is time to throw the brush away. Notice that the Pureology white vinyl bristles have the bulbs pre-manufactured into the bristles so you do not have to worry about losing "bulb caps."
So it's best to spend extra money and buy brushes - vent brushes, paddle brushes, or smoothing brushes with the built-in bulb ends to save money and your hair in the long run! Here's to healthy, smooth hair!