Whether you have unruly curls, ultra-coarse hair or fine strands, we have the best tools for your texture.
Good hair days are elusive. When hair is misbehaving it’s easy to blame the hair type we’ve been blessed—or cursed—with, or the shampoo, conditioner and styling products on our shelves. And, while they do have a say on if it’s going to be a good or bad hair day, the unsuspecting culprit is often our tools, specifically brushes. We ask Kristjan Hayden, creative director for Aveda Canada, for his best tips on breaking down the most common brushes and the hair type and task they’re best suited for.
Detangling wet hair
Proceed with caution when using a comb or brush on drenched strands. “Hair is more delicate when wet, the cuticle swells which makes it susceptible to breakage,” says Hayden. For thick, coarse, long hair try a square nylon paddle brush. Not only does it help with detangling post shower but Hayden suggests bringing it into the stall to help evenly distribute a hair mask or treatment, “it’s more effective than using a comb because the number of bristles, it covers more area.” For fine, thin, medium length hair use a comb with wide-set teeth to untangle snarls. Start at the ends and work your way up.
Best for blowouts
What's the special ingredient in perfecting a bouncy blowout? A round brush, says Hayden. For thick hair try a ceramic round brush with ball-tipped bristles. Once heat is applied the tourmaline and ceramic blend emits ions to help flatten, smooth and speed up drying time. For fine to medium hair types a soft boar and nylon bristle brush will provide gentler tension, creating volume without the damage. If you’re looking for a speedy blowout with no bounce try a vented brush.
If you’re keen on creating a voluminous updo or bestowing a second life to your day three blowout, you’ll need the assistance of a boar bristle teasing brush. Using rows of bristles at varying heights these brushes are designed for backcombing. The trick to using this tool is to work it through small sections of your hair with long even strokes. “Start at the mid-shaft and run the brush through hair towards the scalp,” continue with short strokes until you reach desired volume.
For everyday and everyone
An all-purpose brush doesn’t exist, but the next best thing is a medium paddle brush with a mixture of nylon and natural boar bristles. The Mason Pearson is a favourite amongst hair pros, including Hayden. This Rolls Royce of brushes never pulls or snags, works on damp and dry hair, and distributes oils throughout the hair, which helps add shine.
If you're in a rush and need to dry your hair quickly, try a vented brush. It allows more heat from the blow dryer to blast the hair directly. Goody Start Frizz Controlling Blow Dry Gel Vent Brush, $7.
If you're looking to invest in a hair brush that will last you decades—seriously, it will—a Mason Pearson brush is what the hair professionals recommend.
For fine, thin, medium-length hair, use a comb with wide-set teeth to untangle knots. GHD comb, $17.
For thick, coarse, long hair try a square nylon paddle brush. If you are a frequent hair mask user, keep this brush in the shower and use it to brush through the mask. It will ensure that every parched strand is drenched with hydration. Professional Black Paddle Cushion Hair Massage Brush Hairbrush Comb, $4.
If you're after major boost of volume, enlist the assistance of a boar bristle teasing brush. Crimp brush, $39.50.
If you like the rounded ends of a bouncy blowout, use a round brush. To cut down on drying thick hair, make it a ceramic round brush. Once heat is applied, the tourmaline and ceramic blend emits ions to help flatten, smooth and speed up drying time. Ion Ceramic V Pin Round Brush, $7.
Banish tangles and knots with a minimum of fuss, breakage or damage with teeth that glide through your hair without tugging and pulling—perfect detangler for kids! Tangle Teezer detangle brush, $15.
Fine-haired women should steer clear of metal brushes because they can heat up too fast and potentially burn the hair. Instead, opt for a boar bristle round brush. The bristles are gentle and will increase shine, while the rounded shape will help boost volume.
Getty Images Image by: Getty Images
Add pattern to your floor without breaking the bank.
A rug can help define a space, ground a room and add much-needed colour and pattern, but they can be super expensive! So, we went on a search for fabulous but frugal rugs. With many budget-friendly options, these websites prove you don't have to empty your wallet to add some patterned goodness to your floors.
Crate and Barrel
Crate and Barrel has a sophisticated selection of rugs in a variety of patterns and colours. Afraid to order a rug online? Order a 12 inch by 12 inch swatch to try before you buy.
Our top pick: Olin grey striped dhurrie rug
West Elm’s offerings (in mostly muted tones) include a stunning selection of custom rugs. Want to see how the rug will look in a styled space? Click on the #mywestelm photos below the main rug images to see photos shared by West Elm shoppers.
Our top pick: Ashik wool rug.
This online-only shop has a huge selection of over 10, 000 rugs in endless shapes, sizes and patterns. With free shipping over $75 and an excellent return policy, you don’t have to fret over making the wrong choice!
Our top pick: Zanzibar multi area rug
Land of Nod
If you are in the market for a rug for a child’s bedroom, playroom or family room, Land of Nod has your floor covered. Their selection of colourful, geometric and neutral floor coverings means there is something for everyone. You can order a small swatch to test a rug’s colours and pattern at home.
Our top pick: blue indoor and outdoor rug
They are known for their on-trend selection of geometric and kilim rugs in the prettiest selection of colours. Make sure you check back often for new styles.
Our pick: Pala textured loop rug
This site has over 200, 000 rugs in stock, with 75% off retail prices! Every rug includes free shipping and a 30 day return policy.
Our pick: Monaco rug (available in 10 colours)
Historian Cheryl Foggo brings the stories of important African-Canadians to life with her books, films and plays
How much do Canadians know about our country’s black history? How many people would admit to knowing little about Viola Desmond before the campaign to choose a woman to appear on the new banknote? Most of us might say our knowledge stops at the Underground Railroad or Nova Scotia’s Black Loyalists. But this country is rich with stories of African-Canadian experiences on the east coast, west coast and everywhere between. While classrooms play catch-up in diversifying history curriculums, learning the names and stories of African-Canadian men and women is a conscious effort that should no longer be set aside.
Cheryl Foggo is a playwright, historian and author who’s committed to making the names and tales of African-Canadian settlers known. Based in Calgary, Foggo actively combs archives and documents recounting the lives of Alberta’s black settlers. One of her projects is a documentary film about the legendary black cowboy John Ware, who was considered a hero in Alberta’s ranching frontier.
We spoke with Foggo about her latest projects, Alberta’s lesser-known African-Canadians and why celebrating Canada’s black history is important not just in February, but year-round.
When did you first become interested in Canada’s black history?
From a young age I was interested in the stories I heard my mother’s family tell when we visited my grandparent’s home in Winnipeg. Although I wouldn’t have defined it as history at that time—it was just my Mom and her siblings and their parents talking about their lives—I found these stories interesting. As I got older, I gradually became aware of a disconnect between the history I was learning in school and what I was hearing from my family. I began to wonder why our stories were absent from the historical record.
Why do you think Canadians don’t know much about our country’s black history?
I think it’s up to Canadians to ask ourselves this question. Even what Canadians do know about the Black Loyalists and the Underground Railroad is limited to a “happy ending” narrative and skewed away from the realities of the struggles black Canadians faced historically.
Western Canada’s black history isn’t widely known or taught. Share the story of one lesser-known African-Canadian and her contribution?
It’s tough to choose, but I’ll pick a woman from Alberta. Violet King, the first black female lawyer in Canada. She was a trailblazer throughout her life and an accomplished classical pianist. She was also the only woman in her graduating class from the faculty of law at the University of Alberta in 1953, the same class as former Alberta Premier Peter Lougheed.
King went on to work for Citizenship and Immigration Canada before becoming the first woman named to a senior management position with the American National YMCA. She also happened to be among the best friends of my mother, Pauline, and her twin sister, Pearl, and a bridesmaid for both.
In your opinion why is knowing more about Canada’s diverse history so important?
A history that is incomplete is damaging. A history that is purposely incomplete is sinister. How can Canadians move into a sustainable future if we can’t acknowledge our past? And how can we acknowledge and reckon with our past if our canonical history is missing pages?
What are you currently working on?
I’m working on a documentary film about the legendary black cowboy John Ware and a collection of articles and essays that will anthologize my writings about Alberta’s black history.
Can you recommend some resources for Canadians who want to learn more about Canada’s black history?
There are many ways to gain more knowledge about this subject. Here are a few places to start:
> The Black Lives Canada Syllabus