You might be super conscious about your hair and may even follow an elaborate routine to make sure it stays gorgeous and healthy. But all your efforts are in vain if you do not indulge in hair brush cleaning regularly. But why is it so important to keep your hair brushes clean and hygienic? With every use, Your hair brush collects hair strands, dirt, sweat, natural oils, product build-up, dead skin cells and microbes. Dirty hair brushes become a breeding ground for bacteria and fungi. Using a clean hair brush can lead to hair and scalp issues like itching, swelling, dandruff, folliculitis and seborrheic dermatitis. Moreover, a dirty hairbrush may not be much effective in detangling and styling your hair.
How To Clean Different Types Of Hair Brushes
Now that you know why it is important to keep your hair brush clean, let’s talk about how to clean hair brushes. The best way to clean hair brushes depends on several factors including the type of hair brush, the material its handle is made of and the material its bristles are made of. Here is how you clean the different types of hair brushes that you have in your hair tool collection.
1. Paddle Brush
With its flat base and wide-spaced teeth, a paddle brush is your best option when it comes to detangling your tresses. Here is how to clean hair brushes in no time!
You Will Need:
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon shampoo
- 1cup of water
- With the help of a slightly sharp and narrow object, loosen the hair strands stuck between the bristles. You can use a pair of scissors to cut down the entangled hair strands from the centre so that they can be removed easily.
- Mix the baking soda, shampoo and water and apply the mixture to the brush and let it sit for a minute or two.
- Thoroughly rinse the brush with water.
- Put the brush facing downward on a flat surface and leave it to dry.
2. Thermal Brush
This type of hair brush is often used by stylists or people who blow-dry their hair regularly. A thermal brush makes drying easier and quicker and is the perfect tool for women on the go! Remember, do not soak a thermal brush in water. This may end up damaging the brush. Here is the best way to clean hair brushes at home without damaging the product.
You Will Need:
- A soft fibre cloth
- Remove the stuck hair strands from the brush with the help of a hair pick, chopstick, toothpick or pen.
- If the hair is knotted within the brush bristles, use scissors to snip it into smaller pieces for easy removal.
- Turn the brush bristle side down and with the help of a toothbrush or any other narrow tool, clean out the dust particles, grime and gunk stuck between the bristles.
- Use a soft fibre cloth to wipe the brush. You may dampen the cloth for better results.
3. Boar Bristle Brush
Suitable for all hair types, this type of brush helps bring out the natural texture of hair without pulling or snagging. Moreover, it helps distribute the natural oils from the roots to the rest of your hair. It can also help improve hair texture, reduce frizz and make the hair shinier. Here’s how to clean a boar bristle brush.
You Will Need:
- A few drops of shampoo
- A bowl of hot water
- With the help of a comb, remove the hair strands stuck between the bristles of the brush.
- Add a few drops of shampoo to a bowl of hot water and place the brush in the mixture. If your brush has squishy padding or a wooden handle, avoid submerging it in the water completely. Place it in a way that only the bristles are submerged in the water.
- Let the brush sit in the mixture for about 15 minutes.
- Rinse the brush by swishing it around (with the bristle side down) in a container full of cold, clean water.
- Place the brush on a flat surface (facing downwards) and let it dry. Run your fingers across the bristles to flick away extra water.
4. Detangling Brush
Detangling brushes work with your hair (rather than against it) to make brushing a less traumatizing experience. It gently separates the hair strands and removes the knots. Detangling brushes also help minimize pulling and breaking. Here is how to clean your hairbrush using simple household items.
You Will Need:
- 1 teaspoon clarifying shampoo
- A mug of warm water
- Use a regular toothed comb to pull out the entangled hair strands from the bristles of your hair brush.
- Add the shampoo to the bowl of warm water and mix.
- Soak the hair brush in the shampoo-water mixture for about 10 minutes. In case your brush has a soft padding or a wooden handle, avoid submerging it in the water completely. Place it in a way so that only the bristles are soaked in the water.
- Swish the hair brush around in the water. Use a toothbrush to gently scrub out the debris.
- After 10 minutes, remove the brush from the water and rinse the bristles with water.
- Pat with a napkin/ towel to get rid of excess moisture. Place the brush bristle side down on a flat surface to let it dry.
5. Round Hair Brush
This type of brush is an ideal pick for those who want to give their hair subtle waves and curls. It can also help your hair achieve extra volume. Other than smoothing and styling, round hair brushes can also efficiently tame thick hair. Here is how to clean hair brushes belonging to this category.
You Will Need:
- 1 teaspoon soap
- 2-3 drops tea tree oil (for wooden round hair brush)
- Baking soda (for metal round hair brush)
- A bowl of warm water.
- Use a slightly sharp and narrow object to remove the hair strands entangled between the bristles of your brush.
- For a wooden round brush, mix the soap, tea tree oil and water. Pour the mixture on the bristles and use a toothbrush to scrub off the debris.
- For a metal round brush, mix the soap, baking soda and water and soak the brush in it. Use a toothbrush to scrub off the dirt.
- Rinse the hair brush with cold water.
- Use a soft towel to remove excess water.
- Keep the brush on a clean towel (bristle side down) and let it dry.
6. Mixed Bristle Brush
The bristles of this type of hairbrush are a blend of synthetic materials (like nylon) and natural boar bristles. While nylon bristles help detangle the hair, boar bristles are effective in distributing natural oils from hair roots to its ends.
You Will Need:
- A few drops of castile soap or shampoo
- Baking soda (optional)
- A bowl of warm water
- Use a narrow object like a pen to remove the clump of hair stuck between the bristles.
- Mix the castile soap, water and baking soda.
- Soak the brush in the soapy mixture. Submerge it completely if it’s a plastic brush. In case your brush has a wooden handle, submerge only the bristles.
- Let it sit for 10 minutes.
- Rinse the brush with cold water.
- Place the brush on a soft towel (bristle side facing downward) and let it dry.
How Often Should You Clean Your Hair Brush?
Now that you know how to clean your hair brush, it is time to find out how often you should clean it. On average, you should clean your hairbrushes every week or two. However, there are a few other things that need to be taken into consideration to determine how often you should clean your brush.
- If you have an extra sweaty or oily scalp, clean your brush at least once every week. This is because an oily scalp tends to accumulate more grime, gunk and greasiness. Clean your brush whenever you feel it has accumulated too much product residue, dirt and dead skin cells
- If you exercise regularly (more sweat means extra grease) or spend a lot of time outdoors, you are exposing your scalp to a lot of dirt and pollution. You may need to wash your hair brushes more often to keep them clean
- If you are experiencing excessive hair breakage, your hairbrush may need to be cleaned more often. Dry and damaged hair tends to break more and get stuck in the brush easily. This is also true for curly or naturally textured hair. Even if you opt for deep cleaning only once a week, make it a point to remove the hair stuck between the bristles after every use
- People who use hair products like hairspray, styling cream and gels regularly, may need to clean hair brushes every week to get rid of product residue. Make sure your brush or comb is clean before using it on clean hair. This way, your clean hair will not get contaminated by-product residue. In case you do not use hair products that often, cleaning your brush once every 2 or 3 weeks is enough
Using hair brushes is an important part of an effective and efficient hair care regime. But this does not mean you have to waste your money on expensive hair brushes. Simple household items like castile soap, shampoo and baking soda can make your brushes look as good as new in no time. Follow these simple remedies to keep your hair brushes clean and hygienic!
FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Why does my hair brush smell bad?
A. Dirty brushes that are clogged up with dirt and debris may stink if left unclean for a long time. A smelly hair brush can also be a sign of scalp infection and inflammation. If the smell does not go away even after you’ve cleaned your hair brush, it is recommended you consult a dermatologist.
Q. What is the right way to dry a hair brush after washing it?
A. Drying is an important step in the process of cleaning your hair brush since excess moisture can end up damaging the product. Moreover, a damp and moist environment promotes microbial growth. A hair brush that is not completely dry may also start smelling musty. If your brush has a wooden handle, excess moisture may increase the risk of wood rotting.
To dry your hair brush, keep the brush (bristle side down) on a towel or hang it off the edge of the counter. Drying the hairbrush vertically may loosen its bristles. Let the hairbrush dry naturally. You can gently wipe it with a soft fibre cloth to speed up the process.
Q. What is the white stuff and grey stuff on my hair brush or comb?
A. The white or grey residue that gets accumulated on your hair brush is a mix of dandruff, dead skin cells and product or mineral buildup. Mineral build-up on the scalp can be a result of using hard water while washing hair. This can be bad for your hair health. Use a de-mineralizing product to get rid of mineral build-up and excess grease.
Q. When should I consider replacing my hair brush?
A. Your hair brushes will last for a very long time if you take good care of them. However, it’s time to get a new hair brush if:
- Your hair brush is missing bristles
- Your hair brush is wobbly or if it has a loose handle
- The cushion pad of your brush is deflated
- Its bristles are separated