If there’s one beauty tool that’s vastly underappreciated, it’s the hairbrush. Hairbrushes are often overlooked, even though we use them multiple times a day. However, they’re the unsung hero of the hair-care drawer – there when we need them to unsnarl tangles, separate and define curls, and tame unruly strands. Hair brushes also make hair appear softer, smoother, shinier, and healthier, thanks to their ability to evenly distribute natural oils from the scalp to the ends. But, because hair brushes are used so frequently and come in contact with every inch of your mane, there’s a good chance they’re home to dirt, dandruff, dead skin cells, product buildup, oils, and just plain gunk. And, due to the gunk, hairbrushes could actually be doing more harm than good and negatively affecting your overall hair health.
Luckily, there are a handful of easy, fast, and effective ways to clean your brushes. Plus, the more regularly you clean your brushes, the better your hair will look and feel. Ahead, learn more about the best ways to keep your brushes clean and hair-free.
How To Clean Your Hair Brushes
Cleaning your hair brushes will help maintain your overall hair health by preventing product buildup, dirt, oil, and other residue from clinging to your strands. Depending on what kind of hair brush you have and how often you use it are the main factors in determining how often you should wash it. However, as a general rule of thumb, it’s best to clean your brushes at least once a month. (If you use a lot of styling products or have oily hair, you should wash them every week or two.) Luckily, cleaning them won’t take very much time or effort. Here are the five steps to take when it comes to cleaning your hair brushes:
Step 1: Remove the hair from the brush.
To most easily remove hair from a brush, use your fingers to pull the strands away from the bristle. Then, discard the hair.
Step 2: Soak the brush in warm water.
Once the hair has been removed, soak the brush in a bowl of warm water. If your brush has a lot of product buildup on it, add a few drops of shampoo or gentle soap to the water. This will help dislodge the buildup. Place the brush in the bowl, bristle-side down, and let it soak for about 10 to 15 minutes.
Step 3: Scrub the brush’s bristles.
Make your brush as good as new by scrubbing it with a soft-bristled toothbrush or cleaning brush. This will help remove any gunk and grime. Just be sure not to scrub too hard since that can damage fine bristles.
Step 4: Rinse the brush with warm water.
After you’ve scrubbed the brush, rinse it thoroughly under warm running water. Make sure the water rinses away any leftover soap.
Step 5: Let the brush dry.
Gently pat the brush dry with a towel or paper towel. Then, let the brush air dry before using it again.
Hair Brush Cleaners
If you want to effectively clean your hairbrushes, it’s important to use the proper cleaning products and solutions. Generally speaking, there are four main cleaning agents that work best to clean brushes.
Use shampoo to clean your hairbrush
Add a dollop of shampoo to a bowl of warm water to help clean your hairbrush. This will remove any dirt, oil, or product buildup on the bristles. Shampoo is ideal to use on natural-bristle, plastic, and wooden brushes.
Use baking soda to clean your hairbrush
Baking soda is a natural cleaning agent that will help remove dirt, oil, and product buildup. Simply add a tablespoon of baking soda to a bowl of warm water and soak the hairbrush for 10 to 15 minutes. Once it’s done soaking, rinse it with water. Baking soda is ideal to use on plastic and wooden brushes.
Use vinegar to clean your hairbrush
If your hair is oily or you tend to use a lot of hair products, you can disinfect your hairbrush with the help of vinegar. Just mix equal parts water and vinegar in a bowl, and soak the brush for around 30 minutes. Then, rinse the brush with water. Vinegar is ideal to use on natural-bristle and plastic brushes.
Use dish soap to clean your hairbrush
Dish soap is very effective at removing oil and product buildup. Mix a small dollop of dish soap with warm water and let the brush soak for 10 to 15 minutes. Then, rinse the brush with warm water. Dish soap is ideal to use on natural-bristle, plastic, and wooden brushes.
Note: Don’t use hot water or harsh cleaning agents since these may damage the bristles.
How to Clean Different Types of Hair Brushes
Depending on your preference, there are a few different kinds of hair brushes you can use. You can opt for one with synthetic bristles (these are usually made of plastic or nylon) or one with natural bristles (these are usually made with boar hair). You could also choose a brush with a wooden handle (which can have either type of bristles). However, it’s important to note that the cleaning process is different for all kinds of brushes. Here are the best tips for how to clean different types of hair brushes:
How to clean natural-bristle hair brushes:
Boar hair brushes should be cleaned gently since these natural bristles are delicate. To clean a natural-bristle brush, mix a couple of drops of shampoo in a bowl filled with lukewarm water. Dip the brush in the water and gently swirl it around for a few seconds. Rinse the brush under warm water and let it air dry. Note: If the brush has a wooden handle, do not get the handle wet. This can cause the brush to deteriorate over time.
How to clean plastic or nylon bristle hair brushes:
If you use a brush with synthetic bristles, you can clean your brush by first removing any hair from the brush. Then, mix a few drops of shampoo or dish soap in a bowl that’s filled with warm water. Soak the brush in the water for 10 to 15 minutes and use a toothbrush to gently scrub the bristles. Rinse the brush under running water and let it air dry.
How to clean wooden hair brushes:
When you’re cleaning a wooden hair brush, the key is to be gentle. Because wood and water don’t mix well, be sure not to get the wooden handle wet. To start, remove any hair from the brush. Then, gently place the bristles in a bowl of lukewarm water with a dash of soap. Do not submerge the brush. Run the bristles under warm water and let the brush air dry.
How to clean a hairbrush with dandruff:
If your hairbrush has dandruff in it, you can remove it by properly cleaning your brush. To start, take out any hair from the brush using a comb or your fingers. Then, fill a bowl with warm water and add a small dollop of shampoo or dish soap. Place the brush in the water and let it soak for 10 to 15 minutes. Here’s the key: Use a toothbrush or small cleaning brush to really scrub the bristles and focus on the areas with visible dandruff. Once you’re done, rinse the brush with warm water and let it air dry.
How to clean hair brushes with lice:
If you’ve had lice recently, it’s extremely important to make sure your hairbrush is clean. To clean it really well, be sure to get all of the hair out of the bristles. Then, soak the brush in a bowl that’s filled with hot water and vinegar or lice-killing shampoo. Use a toothbrush or small cleaning brush, and scrub the bristles hard. Once you’re done, rinse the brush with warm water and let it dry.
No matter what kind of hair brush you use, it’s important to clean it at least once a month. This will help keep your mane healthy, shiny, and beautiful. Oh, and now that you know how to clean your hairbrushes, be sure you also know how to clean your makeup brushes. Trust us, your skin will thank you.
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The Brush No. 001