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Bristles: Bristles can be made of animal hair or synthetic materials like nylon filament, Taklon, or polyester. Brushes for acrylic nails use “soft” hair bristles, as opposed to stiffer bristles that are used in cleaning brushes.

Kolinsky and Sable are two small mammals in the weasel family whose hair is renowned for its brush performance. Used in paint brushes and in acrylic brushes, the bristles have a softness, flexibility, and fine point that gives artists great control over the product.

Today, synthetic brushes have improved significantly in their performance and their comparative lower cost has made them an increasingly popular choice for painters and nail techs.

Ferrule: The ferrule is the metal portion that holds the bristles. It keeps the bristles tightly in place and helps protect them from damage. Some innovative brushes will have ferrules that can be removed from the handle so techs can interchange different shaped brush heads.

Handle:  Acrylic brushes in the nail industry typically have handles made of wood, plastic, or in some cases aluminum. Some creative acrylic brush manufacturers will even feature a second tool at the end of the handle, like a hard plastic cuticle pusher or a dotter tool, to give techs an extra application tool at their fingertips.

Check out the “brush” entry on NAILS Encylopedia, www.nailsmag.com/encyclopedia, for more articles on everything you’d want to know about acrylic brushes.

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