This is the correct way to clean your hairbrush

Just as you wouldn’t use a dirty dish towel to clean countertops, you also don’t want to use a dirty hairbrush to style your hair. Oil, scale and product buildup are transferred to the bristles during use. As gross as it sounds, it’s true. If you don’t already have a regular hairbrush cleaning routine, it’s time to start one. This is why.

If your hairbrush looks dusty, it’s actually a combination of hair, dead skin cells, lint, scalp oil, and product residue. Double ick: Bacteria and fungi can grow on the material inside the brush. So cleanliness is essential.


cleaning frequency

When it comes to hairbrushes, there are numerous varieties to choose from. From soft brushes to flat, round, volumizing, curl-enhancing and detangling brushes, they all share a common goal: to make your hair look its best.

Even the best hairbrushes need to be constantly cleaned. In fact, all of our beauty tools need regular cleaning, just like our makeup brushes. If you have long hair or frequently style your hair using various hair products, experts recommend removing buildup regularly and cleaning your hair approximately every two weeks. Otherwise, once a month is fine.

How to clean a plastic, metal or ceramic bristle brush

The cleaning process is quite simple for plastic, metal or ceramic brushes. Stary removing any hair stuck to the bristles using a comb. For more tangled brush heads, you may need to pull out the scissors. Next, soak the hairbrush in lukewarm water with a teaspoon of mild shampoo. If the handle is wooden, use a shallow plate or cup that will keep the handle dry. Wipe the handle with a damp cloth to remove any product residue.

Rub the brush head with your fingers or an old toothbrush to remove any buildup. If you need more cleaning power, add a pinch of baking soda, which will act as a mild abrasive. For tight areas, try using a cotton swab. Rinse the head with fresh water and place it upside down to air dry.


How to clean a brush with natural bristles

For brushes made from natural materials like wood or boar bristles, the process is slightly different. You should still remove all the hair from the head and shake it in lukewarm water with a dash of mild shampoo, but you shouldn’t let the brush get soaked because it will degrade the wood.

Rather, quickly dip it into the water and use a toothbrush to scrub the head. Then rinse with fresh water and let it dry upside down.


Finding the best hairbrush

While constant cleaning is a must to keep your hair tool in tip-top shape, you might go to clean it and realize the brush has run its course. If it’s time for a new one, or if you want to experiment with a different type of brush—metal, ceramic, plastic, or boar bristles—check out our pick of the best hairbrushes that have been vetted by a team of experts.

Finding the best hairbrush for your hair type can have a significant impact on your daily routine and make styling easier and more satisfying.

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James D. Brown
James D. Brown
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