When was the last time you cleaned your hairbrush? Not just pulling the loose hair out, when was the last time you sterilized it, removing all the buildup and bacteria?
We all know that cleaning our makeup brushes is important if you want to keep your skin bacteria-free, but despite being filled with broken hair, product residue, dead skin cells, oil residue and dust mites, our hairbrushes don’t seem to get the same attention.
The bristles trap all sorts of dirt – none of which are doing your hair any favours. Cleaning your brush regularly improves its performance, extends its life and keeps your head healthy.
With this in mind, we’ve asked the hair experts at WeThrift to share how often you should wash your hairbrush, why it’s important and tips on cleaning your hair tools.
Like all beauty tools, hairbrushes get dirty with repeated use, especially if you’re regularly using styling and heat products on your hair. Cleaning your hairbrush more frequently will get rid of dirt, product buildup and oils from the scalp that sit on the brush bristles over time.
Using a dirty hairbrush allows germs and fungi to infect your scalp, produce head acne, dandruff, scalp folliculitis and other scalp disorders.
Skipping regular cleaning also leads to germs and bacteria being passed onto your hair and scalp from the residue on the brush. This can leave your hair looking not only greasy but makes detangling that much harder too. After all, the last thing you want is all that dirt and deposits back onto your freshly washed hair.
The key to ensuring your cleaned hair stays fresh, and doesn’t get weighed down with residue is to clean your hairbrush every one or two weeks. For this, it really depends on the types of hair products you use and how frequently you use them.
You should remove loose hair from your hairbrush at least three times a week and give your brush a thorough wash in warm water at least once every two weeks – or more often if you use lots of styling products or dry shampoo.
Cleaning your hair tools doesn’t have to be a complex, messy or time-consuming task. You don’t need to buy an expensive hairbrush cleanser, as shampoo works really well at removing any dirt and breaking down oil.
How to clean your hairbrush
Whether your brush is made from wood or plastic, the same cleaning method applies. Start by using the end of a comb with a pointed end to remove the hair from the brush. If you don’t have a comb, you can use any pointed object, such as a pen, pencil or skewer.
Next, you’ll need to fill up the sink or a bowl with warm water and a small amount of shampoo. Simply soak the hairbrush for about 5 minutes before thoroughly washing, in order to break down product and dirt build-up. Don’t fully submerge a wooden brush in water, as this could cause damage to the material and finish. Instead, place the bristles face down in the water.
Grab an old (clean) toothbrush and gently brush it against the bristles until it’s nice and soapy. Be sure to be gentle, as certain bristles can break, especially around water.
Once you’ve finished cleaning, rinse it under running water. You want to ensure that the brush has no excess shampoo, so keep rinsing until the water runs clear. Give the hairbrush a good shake and leave to dry, facing down on a towel or cloth overnight to gather excess water.
Additional tips for cleaning hairbrushes
- When you have finished brushing your hair, remove any loose hair from the brush.
- You can use diluted alcohol or vinegar to clean your brush, it will kill any bacteria or germs. Just add it to your water and shampoo mixture and leave to soak.
- If you are cleaning a paddle brush, don’t use the soaking method. Just swirl the brush in warm water and shampoo, making sure to not submerge the hairbrush completely.
- Using a clarifying shampoo will help to lift grime and oil that’s stuck to the brush.
- Once you have removed the loose hair from an electric, straightening or roller hairbrush, use a damp cloth to gently wipe the tool. Make sure the brush is cooled and switched off before you start.
- You can use baking soda to clean your hairbrush. Just mix with warm water and soak your hairbrush in the mixture for around 15 minutes.