How To Clean & Maintain The Quality Of Your Hairbrushes

Kanak Devnani , 07 Jan 2021

We all know how crucial it is to clean and sanitise your makeup brushes, but people often forget about their hairbrushes. The one tool we all use every single day! Like any tool with repeated use, it gets dirty and we’re not just talking about hair clumps. Whether you realise it or not our hairbrushes collect product residue, dead skin and natural oils from our hair with every use. By not keeping it clean it becomes a breeding ground for bacteria and yeast. Moreover, you are just collecting and distributing more grime back into your hair. Think about it, we all do clean our makeup tools to avoid bacteria and protect your skin, right? So why wouldn’t you do the same to protect and care for your hair—it’s a matter of hygiene!

Skipping regular cleanses also prevents your brush from working properly and doing its intended job. So if you haven’t already, consider this your sign to clean those brushes ASAP! Don’t know where to start? Well, we’ve got you sorted with instructions you can follow with ease. But before we get straight to cleaning, you need to find out what kind of brushes and combs you have in your collection. Next, always remember to remove the hair built up in your brush at least once a week and before washing. Usually, your brushes need to be washed every 2-3 weeks or less depending on how often you use styling products like gels, creams, sprays, etc. With that sorted, you’re now ready to scrub-a-dub-dub those murky brushes and get them looking as good as new.

Keep reading to check out how to keep your different hairbrushes clean and sanitary:

1. Plastic, Metal & Ceramic Brushes

This works for a variety of brushes like round and wet brushes. Because of this material they can withstand baths more often as they dry up easily. First up you’ll need to fill up the sink or a large bowl with warm water, add 1 tsp of a clarifying or gentle shampoo. Next, add 1 tsp of baking soda and stir the mixture. Now take a toothbrush, dip it in the solution and use to gently clean the bristles and base.

If the grime is a little stubborn, let the bristle soak in the water for 10 minutes before going in with the toothbrush. Once you’ve cleaned the brushes rinse them with cold running water, wipe them down and lay them out to dry face down for at least 12 hours.

Dry Bar Full Pint Medium Round Ceramic Brush (shop.nordstorm.com)
Dry Bar Full Pint Medium Round Ceramic Brush (shop.nordstorm.com)

2. Wooden Brushes & Natural Hair Bristles

Wooden handles and natural bristles are more delicate and need to be handled with care. If you’ve purchased one in the past, especially luxurious ones and held on to the instructions give it a read on the best way to care for them.

Employing a similar method like before you’ll need warm water, a toothbrush and a gentle shampoo or alternatively a few drops of tea tree essential oil. Here you do not want to soak the brushes, this can ruin or damage the wood and hair. Give it a quick swish in the water mixture. Dip the toothbrush and use it gently clean the bristles and handle. Don’t use too much of the solution and gently rinse with the toothbrush again but with clean cool water. Immediately dry it by wiping it down with a towel or cloth. Like before, keep it bristle side down to completely dry overnight. Due to the use of natural hair, the bristles will take longer to dry than their plastic counterparts.

Quick Tip: If your struggling with the oil and product buildup for plastic or natural hair bristles, spray some apple cider vinegar on them before going in with the scrubbing solution.

Moroccanoil Boar Bristle Classic Brush | Source: Moroccanoil

3. Paddle Brushes

Paddle brushes of all kinds of whether made of plastic or hair are a bit trickier to deal with due to its squishy base. It tends to trap water underneath that’s difficult to dry out and create lingering unpleasant moisture. This can result in smells or even bacteria and mould. It’s always best in this case to follow the brands’ instruction care manual. If you’re left with no option only wash these with water every other month or so following the same swish method above. And always remember to gently squeeze water out of the paddle brush to prevent any buildup forming underneath. 

GHD Paddle Brush (shop.nordstorm.com)
GHD Paddle Brush (shop.nordstorm.com)

We hope these methods were useful! Be honest how often do you wash your hairbrushes? Let us know in the comments below.

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