Who knew buying hairbrushes was such an art?

By Alyssa Clough
Updated July 28, 2015

This article originally appeared on MIMI.

Always a low-maintenance hair gal, I recently divulged to Olivia Garden co-owner Anne Maza that I didn't even know how to give myself a proper at-home blowout. Where would I even begin? What brush would I use? Maza patiently explained every brush you have should be based on your hair length and type.

She went on to say, "When you purchase a brush, you should find the right one for your hair thickness, hair texture, hair length and your styling objectives." Adding, "This will avoid potential damage to your hair, reduce your styling time, and extend the duration of your style."

I think we can all agree that avoiding damage, shortening the time of your morning routine, and getting a longer-lasting style are all high on our list of priorities.

On barrel size:

Turns out, barrel size has nothing to do with the thickness of your hair, only the length. That means the longer your hair, the larger the barrel and paddle size of your brush. Which translates to new bob, new brushes.

On paddle brushes:

The shape doesn't matter—oval or rectangle, it's all the same. As for the size, the longer your hair the larger the brush should be, but in the end, it doesn't really matter. Larger brushes obviously cover a larger surface area, so for all the lazy girls out there, it's okay to live by "bigger is better." If you're not into barrel brushes, paddle brushes are fine to use for your at-home blowouts. Maza says it's better if they're vented or have a cushion.

On benefits of brushing your hair:

Though we can all admit to skipping a day (or two, or three) of brushing, it is actually important for the overall health of your hair. Detangling is key, but also activating blood flow in your scalp. Bonus: "Brushing" your hair can also be mini scalp massage. Olivia Garden's FingerBrush ($17-20, ulta.com) comes in three sizes and the individual, curved prongs form to fit the shape of your head, which truly feels amazing.