My boyfriend spent a couple of weeks in London last year, and he brought this back as a surprise for me, so maybe I'm biased but this brush is one of my most treasured posessions.
Obviously it's an expensive hairbrush. Perhaps cheaper pure bristle brushes could do the exact same job. I haven't tried them all, so I don't know. What I do know, is that looking at my Mason Pearson (I've got the extra large size) laying on my dressing table makes me very happy. It's luxury. It's heirloom quality. It does a beautiful job brushing my hair. After my first few days with it, people were asking me ALL the time about what I had done to my hair. Most were incredulous when I put it all down to a new hairbrush. It feels fantastic on my scalp too.
If I am lucky enough to have a daughter one day, she will be receiving a MP for her first birthday!
I'm writing this review because I had a conversation with someone recently who had heard of MP brushes but had never tried one. She complained that when researching info on the internet, lots of people rave about them but don't explain how they work... what makes them worth the price tag. So here is my stab at that. Boar's bristles are like human hair, in the same way that you can put a pig's heart in a human and ballistics experts fire bullets into sides of pork. We have something oddly in common with the piggie, which is why in my inexpert opinion they are considered forbidden to eat by 2/3rd of monotheism (and probably were by the other third before the message got muddled). Diseases can jump the species very easily due to the similarity (and not to mention the prohibition on eating carnivores, because you never know if they've eaten something a bit human). Back to the brush... the bristles are particularly good at picking up and absorbing the sebum at the root of your hair, because they are like your hair, and then transferring it down the hair shaft. A plastic bristle will not do this (so for that matter, I actually think there's no point in the purely nylon MP brushes). This makes a tremendous difference to someone who has oily roots and dry ends, and that's why these brushes are particularly good for long hair. Second point, there are a lot of bristles clustered together in the tufts, which means they pick up more hair. There are other brushes that can do this, but in my experience they would pull (out) or tangle the hair. Because these bristles are so soft, they don't do this. So more of the individual strands are being touched by bristles. This means that if you have the type of hair already described, you get a lot of lift at the root. Third, the brush closes the hair cuticle. Again this is because it's transferring more sebum to more individual strands. I know one of the selling points is the cushy base, but I think a lot of brushes have that nowadays so it doesn't seem that relevant to me on its own, but combined with the bristles it does add to the fact that the brush doesn't pull your hair because it's so flexible. I use mine every day and it makes a tremendous difference to the volume. What it doesn't help with is static. My hair becomes more static-y while I'm using the brush, but the act of brushing creates static and I haven't come across any brush or comb (even wooden ones) that help with this. It's just the way my hair is, and the best solution for that is leave-in products or spending more time in humid environments. As for the various size of brushes, it's kind of up to the size of your head and hands. I have the 'extra' size as my main brush, which is a size down from the largest. I'm not a big person and this one feels comfortable to me. The handle fits perfectly in my hand. I also have a child size one for my handbag because it's the same size as the pocket version and was less expensive. I very much use these for 'grooming the hair' and not for styling. I comb my hair after washing, I have a big paddle brush I use during blow drying. But I will use the small MP brush to tame my hair during the course of a day, and then I use the big one every night to just brush out my hair.
Before I purchased this product, I spent a lot of time researching it. There were so many overwhelming positive reviews that I had a slight suspicion that the company paid for these reviews (it's a bit cynical, but I'm sure it happens). Plus my local department store sold the largest bristle brush at over $300 a pop hence my skepticism.
I found an online store that sold the "handy" size brush (the largest size I could stomach considering the price tag) for nearly $100 off the retail price compared to brick and mortar stores and went through with the purchase. There was instant regret followed by hesitation whilst waiting for the delivery and hoping that it does what everyone says it does, ie the HG of hair brushes.
1. The bristles hurt a lot! I stopped using brushes ages ago but at least I remember the plastic ones didn't hurt. Moment of self doubt about the purchase ensues and worry that it will hurt just as much with every use.
2. The moment of "wow" didn't happen - it just brushed my hair... but I kept using it anyway considering the price of the brush.
Current impression (with over a weeks worth of use)
1. The bristles don't hurt as much - either the bristles softened or my scalp is now use to the feeling. The bristles does (as others say) provides a massage for the scalp, and I'm finding that rather than shying away from the brush, I enjoy the feeling of bristles on my scalp.
2. I have noticed that after brushing (on freshly washed dry hair), my hair is not as flat and even gives my hair a bit of style. My hair feels thicker and stays put longer. Back brushing even gives the effect of a blow wave. There's so much added volume, I couldn't believe that a brush did so much. I'm so impressed that I've made it an instant habit to give my hair a brush before going anywhere!
*However, I have noticed that the effects don't last long without hair product.
3. However, I am slightly disappointed with the brush on day old hair. I have genetically oily hair and have read so many reviews on how other people can last days without washing their hair after using this brush. Yes it does slightly help in making my day old hair look less oily but by the end of the day, it's at a point were I must wash it and no brush can help (even though I have brushed my hair throughout the day hoping it would work). Possibly the only pro is that this brush is good for styling after I use dry shampoo (compared to the comb).
Would I recommend it?
Maybe - if you can afford it with ease, sure why not. There's always satisfaction of owning the Royals Royce of brushes even if it doesn't live up to its hype. But currently I wouldn't say that I couldn't live without it (my Clarisonic - that I couldn't live without). So yes, if you have $200 to spare and it's between the MP or the Clarisonic, I would recommend the Clarisonic.
I really want to love this brush, so I will keep using it to see if there are any further improvements.Maybe my answer will change with further use, since it has already.
Okay so I took like 30mins to type a super long detailed review about this but when I submitted the review there was an error. I am soooo annoyed but because of the splendid experience I have with my dear MP, I am retyping the review just so that I can share with you how this brush changed my hair 180deg.
I never brush my hair. Like ever, because I have thick wavy hair and brushing just destroys the waves and leave my hair in a tangling mess. Probably like every other Singaporean or person who lives in hot tropical weather, I have to wash my hair everyday because of the oil buildup. Soon my hair became so dry, frizzy that every hairstylist I went to said I needed to do something about my hair. So then started the mission of buying expensive shampoos, conditioners, hair oils and treatments. I even attempted to go nopoo which by the end of the 2nd day, itches my scalp so mad and I have tons of drandruff (gross I know). Bad idea since I perspire so easilyyy.
Desperate, I did a long long long research online on how I can better improve my hair condition. FORTUNATELY I found MP... and forked out an SGD234 for the pure extra large BBB from StrawberryNet. (My fellow Singaporeans who want a reliable and cheap place to buy do check out this site)
MP transformed my hair from an unruly mess to silky shiny smoothness. I tell you the results are incredible even after just 4 days of brushing. Results are definitely quick if you ask me. The brush collects and distributes oil so efficiently that even my hair ends were smooth. I could go now without shampoo for 4days and yet not experience a single itch on my scalp. IT. IS. THAT. GOOD! Instead of applying oil 2 times a day now I only apply once every hair wash. The only time I had hair this fantastic was after doing a silky rebonding at a hair salon. I never EVER knew brushing could change my hair this way. If you want to see how good it is, view my profile pic!
Price tag is definitely on the heavy side, but it saves you money as well from all the cutting down on shampoo and oiling and, ladies, you should not be washing your hair every day unless your hair is super fine. If it does help you, I use baby powder for dry shampoo and comb it out religiously. It also gives you beautiful volumnous bed head hair if you apply it before you sleep.
So now for the downside....
The brush seems to collect alot of my hair.. Like probably 15 strands per 100strokes. I think it is because I am brushing it too much, which I should not, but also it may be because going nopoo meant shedding hair will collect on your head until something gets it out, like, a brush. I am not too worried about this since I have thick hair and sometimes wish it wasnt so thick...
Another thing is that the first use of the brush and I spot 2-3 bristles splitting into a Y shape. I heard that this is fine, as boar bristles are natural hair and definitely are prone to splitting as much as human hair does, though it should not split so quickly just from the first use. But I got a replacement from StrawberryNet so thats fine too. I did also heard that the splits may hurt your hair, and if this bothers you, you can clip it off easily with a nail clipper.
My Final Verdict: Buy the brush already!!! Pricey yes but better to do it the healthy, natural way then to dump tons of chemicals of hair care products on your hair. The brush lasts a lifetime, but I would not mind repurchasing if I lose or damage it.per.
This brush saved my life!! I have read about this brush forever and have always wanted one but the price, oh my god, I have the Extra Large Pure Bristle and it was around $250 I think. My boyfriend bought it for my birthday a little over a week ago and LITERALLY I have given up shampoo completely!
I have fine textured wavy/curly blonde/brunette hair that used to be very dry on the ends and I could go 2-3 days before the scalp would get too oily. With the Mason Pearson though I just massage my scalp under hot water in the shower, pat my hair dry, comb it then wait for it to air dry. After it is fully dry I will brush my hair from scalp to end all over, upside down, for like 15 minutes.
After I am done this routine my hair is amazing!! All the waves are perfectly sculpted and super shiny, my roots are not oily and my ends are not dry, I have so much VOLUME which is very surprising after going no 'poo. This brush just manipulates and smooths your hairs cuticle so well.
Apart from all that important stuff, the brush is beautiful and has very classic styling which I like in a beauty product. It's very light in the hand but also feels very sturdy. The packaging was adorable and seemed very authentic early 20th century.
My only tiny complaint is that a couple days after I started using it I noticed afew of the boar bristles had split (it was definitely purchased from a legitimate supplier) and after googling it found that this happens to people sometimes when they first buy it and it's no big deal. The way I see it is that the few weak ones will break within the first couple months but it wont have any impact on the brush. If this problem begins to get worse I will keep you guys posted.
It was a great brush, but I ended up sticking with the Mason Pearson Detangler (white brush), even though it tends to produce a lot of static. I decided to pass this one on because I hated having to worry about whether my hair was wet or dry. For this brush, you can only brush on dry hair. I don't blow-dry, and sometimes I just want to brush my hair out quickly. This is something I couldn't look past because function comes before luxury. I also don't have to clean my Detangler carefully like I would have had to with this one. I ended up letting it go for a bargain for someone who was really excited to own one, so all was not lost.
I love this brush! I didn't really know what to expect, and if it was worth the money - but I can honestly say that I have felt an enormous difference on my hair since I started using this only three weeks ago. My hair is softer, it doesn't break at the ends anymore and I feel like I don't get split ends either. If I had to choose between this hairbrush and any other beauty product for the rest of my life I would choose my mason Pearson pure bristle extra large any day! Last but not least my co workers thought I was crazy when I bought this and actually joked about it, after seeing my hair and trying the brush themselves 4 out of my 5 co workers bought it themselves!
I recently bought a Mason Pearson pure bristle brush for $200. I thought from all accounts it would be wonderful and make my hair smooth, etc. Not so, it is not worth the money. You can get a Fred Fekkai bristle brush (which is also expensive), but just as good as the Mason Pearson. I called them to ask if I could return, no. Once opened you have bought it! Think twice about paying the price for this brush.
Firstly, let me start by saying that my hair is very curly, but fine, and cut short. I shelled out what I thought was WAY too much money for the child size version of the pure bristle MP, but I have to say, it's totally worth it, even for my pixie-short hair. It somehow magically and simultaneously reduces puff and creates volume without the need for a heat styling tool. I don't use any product anymore. It's unbelievable. I assume that, given the reputation for quality, I will never have to repurchase unless I lose it, because these brushes are a lifelong investment.
I am certainly not one to spend $190 on a brush. But, I have honestly thought about how I wished I had this brush for a decade. I finally decided to bite the bullet and I am SO GLAD that I did! I have baby fine hair and I have been told lots of it. I feel like its thin, but every hairdresser has told me that I have a lot of it. It just seems much thinner than it is because it is so fine. It is also very curly, but I can easily straighten it, which I usually do.
Every night before I go to bed, I brush my medium length hair (4 inches below my shoulders) starting at the top and working my way through the lengths and pressing through my hair all the way to the scalp. I mention this specifically because this brush is meant to massage the scalp and evenly distribute oils. It feels amazing! Some have complained that the boar bristles hurt, but I don't think so at all. I don't brush it in the morning because I get too much static, but I will do mid-day touch ups (when its straightened). I didn't mention to my boyfriend that I got this brush, nor did he know that I brushed it every night. I caught him several days "petting" my hair. After this happened a few times, I asked what he was doing, and he said, "I don't know what you are doing differently, but your hair is so soft!"
All of this is great and fine but still not worth $190, probably. Here is the kicker: I have a horribly itchy scalp. My derm has diagnosed psoriasis on my scalp. Every two weeks or so, I have to apply a topical steroid treatment to my scalp for a few days in a row because it itches uncontrollably. And, most of the time there is some minor flaking, if you look close enough. Since I have been brushing with the pure boar bristle (I got the Handy size) brush, I have not used the steroid treatment once and I have zero flaking. I had no idea that this would be a result. I was just hoping for somewhat healthier, smoother hair. I have only had this routine for about a month, so I would have never expected these kind of results so quickly! I am now religious about brushing every night and look forward to it.
Make sure that you do your research and get the brush for your hair-type. My hair is so fine, that the pure boar bristle works great for me. If you have thicker hair, you may need the mixed nylon/boar bristle one.
UPDATE 5/19/13: It has now been another month of using this brush and I am still amazed that I have not yet had to use the steroid solution on my scalp. I started leaving my hair curly recently and didn't brush every night as I was doing. I probably skipped a whole week of brushing. I noticed that my scalp was a little itchy one night, so I brushed it out (Note to self: only brush curly hair when you have NO intention of leaving the house). Just that one time of brushing helped my scalp tremendously. So this is still HG for me. No more scalp psoriasis, no itching, no flaking.
UPDATE 12/31/13: I still love this brush AND still haven't used the psoriasis medicine since the day I started using this brush! My hair is shiny and smooth and my scalp no longer itches at all. I actually purchased the purse size for travel and love that one too. It is very small and I wouldn't want to use it for everyday use, but it is perfect for keeping in your purse and for travel. Best tool that I EVER bought for my hair!