Published On: February 20, 20211270 words6.8 min read

Composition of Makeup brush hair and bristle

There are two choices when it comes to what a Makeup Brush head is made from. The choice is Synthetic Hair or Natural Hair. The requirements for the brush and its purpose, as well as personal preference, will influence what is used.

Synthetic Hair is generally a nylon type of plastic. It feels very similar to Natural Hair and can be even softer if desired. This material has many advantages. Firstly, it is completely cruelty free and essentially vegan. There are no animal products used in its production. The material can be shaped into every type of brush needed and it can be easily dyed to match any colour which allows for single to multi coloured brush heads that fit a brand’s colours and image perfectly. It is possible to get different effects from the use of this material by using nylon that has different hair thickness, length and curvature. This allows us to modify your brush for better use for intended purpose. Also, Synthetic Hair is the best option for use with wet products. It is easily cleaned and moisture cannot soak into it which can lead to bacterial issues. There are many though that don’t like how it collects and distributes makeup on the skin and hence prefer Natural Hair in their brushes.

Natural Hair brushes refers to brushes made from Animal Hair. There are different hairs styles which is used to make different brush range as hair has different properties and features. Common
Animal Hair include Goat, Boar, Sable, Squirrel, Badger and Pony. Generally, it’s the small grooves that occur naturally in the hair that allow it to grip product such as makeup more successfully. These hairs can also be dyed to a more limited range of colours, however the more expensive options are normally left in their natural state. Generally, it is a more expensive option than Synthetic.

Liyabeauty works with all Brush Hair options. We find that the Synthetic Hair is most commonly used. And we are glad to support with best design to meet your makeup business requirements.

Summarize difference of Synthetic hair and Animal bristles

 Synthetic HairAnimal Hair
ColorDyed in any color. Shiny and dull options for same color in natureMay exhibit radical color changes in a short distance
Best UsesCream, gel and liquid. Powders can also be applied with the textured synthetic bristlesMakeup products such as powders, shadows, etc.
Washing and CleaningStands up to solvents and doesn’t dry out. Smooth fibres make it easier to clean and bounce back into place with minimal effortHair is prone to breakage, drying out and can lose its shape. Hair can shed. Has cuticles which traps powders, dead skin cells, bacteria and chemicals. Cleaning may not necessarily remove all these particles. Must be reset / restyled after shampooing
Feel on SkinBristles tend to be firmer, though more flexible versions are availableBristles can vary from very soft and fluffy to firmer, depending on type of hair used
Made FromMan-made materials like nylon, polyester, PBT fibresAnimal hair from  goats, badgers, squirrels, weasels (sable) and horses (pony)
AllergyGood alternative if allergic to animal hairSome people are allergic to certain types of animal hair
EthosCruelty free. No protein element, so vegan friendlyAnimal treatment issues
PricingGenerally cheaper than natural hairRare and expensive

Overview of common used hairs


Synthetic Hair

Synthetics are man-made of either nylon or polyester filaments. They can be tapered ending in a fine point, flagged, abraded or etched to increase color carrying ability.
Often, synthetic filaments are dyed and baked to make them softer and more absorbent. The common name for this filament is “Taklon”.
Synthetic brushes are easier to keep clean than animal hair brushes because the filaments don’t have animal scale structures to trap makeup products.

Goat Hair

It is used the most popularly for making Powder brushes.
Hair from different parts of goat body feels and performs differently, into a few classes.
1. XGF hair. The most expensive class among goat hair. The hair tip is thin, soft, long and straight, harvested from goat back neck and legs or arm pits. XGF hair is used for luxurious brushes only.
2. ZGF hair. Expensive but inferior to XGF hair, also thin, soft, long and straight, harvested from goat back neck and legs or arm pits. ZGF hair is used for luxurious brushes only.
3. BJF hair. Expensive but inferior to XGF hair, also thin, long and straight, with good tip, but not as soft as ZGF hair, harvested from goat shoulder and forefoot side. BJF hair is used for luxurious brushes only.
4. HJF hair. Expensive but inferior to BJF hair, especially in terms of softness, harvested from goat shoulder and forefoot side. It is thin, short and soft. HJF hair is used by many mainstream high end brands.
5. Goat hair from other parts, like the goat back/waist, legs, stomach and tail is also used in making cosmetic brushes, with less expensive prices.

Weasel Hair

Weasel hair is obtained from any member of the weasel family. Quality and characteristics of weasel hair vary greatly. It is generally considered to be the best material for it is usually used for eye shadow brush and lip brushes due to its strength, spring, absorbency and ability to retain its shape (“snap”).
It holds liquid the longest and retain a fine point when wet. This is considered a professional grade of hair, and if properly cared for, it will last for many years.
The finest soft brush hair is that obtained from the Kolinsky, an animal found in cold regions of Russia and China. Each Kolinsky hair has a fine point, and its overall structure ensures that the hairs cling closely together when wet.
More specifically, the guard hairs from the tail of a male Kolinsky make the best brushes. These hairs, unsurpassed for spring and strength, are the standard by which all other soft hairs (synthetic or natural) are judged.

Pony Hair

Pony is a cylindrical hair that is less expensive than squirrel and more expensive than goat. Pony Hair is soft but strong, so it is used primarily for making blush brush and eye shadow brushes.
Pony hair originates form the chest hair area of mature animals about 2 years of age. The hair is shaved from the pony and is the first hair cut. This hair is both very soft and produces a very fine point, holds a lot of makeup product and which will deliver the product in a uniform way.
In addition it can deliver very quickly, if needed. That is one of the best and most unique capabilities of this brush.

Squirrel Hair

A very fine, thin hair, taken from squirrel tails, it points as well as Kolinsky, but has very little “snap” because the hair is not very resilient.
Squirrel hair is often simply categorized among camel hair brushes but also merits individual mention because it is used in so many styles of good quality brushes for a variety of tasks.
It works best in lighter mediums.

Badger Hair

Badger hair is an age-old tradition. It comes from various parts of the world and is more readily available than most animal hair, although the quality varies greatly.
Badger hair is thickest at the point, and relatively thin at the root, so it has a distinctive “bushy” appearance. China is the main producer of badger hair, the bulk of which is used for making men’s shaving brushes.

For more rare animal hair, please refer to our accessories brochure.

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