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Different types of hair brushes
Different types of hair brushes

How to Clean Hair Brushes at Home

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    Did you know that a study from Arizona University found that the average hairbrush, per 6.5 centimetres, contains up to 3,500 colonies of bacteria? While it might come as a surprise, dead skin cells, scalp oils, dust and product buildup make the perfect breeding ground for bacteria to flourish. In this blog, we will delve into the reasons why cleaning your hairbrushes is essential and provide a step-by-step guide on the best practices to take when cleaning hairbrushes.

    Why should you clean your hairbrushes?

    Your hairbrush is one of the key components of your daily routine, however taking ample care and time to clean it is often overlooked. This means that over time, the accumulation of your hair’s natural oils and styling products begins to build up on the bristles, diminishing their effectiveness. If it is a significant amount it can begin to transfer product buildup back onto your hair and scalp, resulting in a greasy and lacklustre appearance. Not only that, the combination of product buildup, dead skin cells and dirt creates the perfect environment for bacteria to grow. This can lead to scalp issues and infections, making it essential to clean your brushes regularly. If you don’t want to regularly clean your hairbrush, opting for a wide toothcomb is the best solution as it requires the least amount of maintenance.

    Pump's detangle comb to brush hair properly

    How often should you clean your hairbrushes

    How often you clean your hairbrushes depends on how frequently you use them. As a general rule of thumb, if you are using your hairbrush daily you should clean it weekly to prevent dead skin cells and product buildup on the bristles. If you use your hairbrush less frequently, once a month should be sufficient. 

    Guide to cleaning hairbrushes at home

    The accumulation of hair, dead skin cells, styling products, and even bacteria on your brush's bristles can have a significant impact on the health and appearance of your hair. No matter what type of hairbrush you have, our guide gives you the steps on how to clean hairbrushes at home:

    List of tools and materials needed

    To clean your hairbrushes at home you will need:

    • A toothbrush or small cleaning brush
    • Mild shampoo or dish soap
    • A shallow bowl or sink with a plug
    • A towel

    Step-by-step instructions

    Here are the six steps to thoroughly clean your hairbrushes:

    Step 1: Remove hair

    Using a comb or your fingers, begin to remove any hair caught in the bristles.

    Step 2: Prepare your solution

    Add a couple of drops of mild shampoo or dish soap into a shallow bowl or sink of warm water, and mix until foamy.

    Step 3: Soak the brush

    Leave the brush in the warm soapy water for ten minutes to loosen up any oil, product or dirt.

    Step 4: Scrub the bristles

    Using an old toothbrush or small cleaning brush gently clean the bristles, paying special attention to areas with more product buildup.

    Step 5:  Rinse thoroughly 

    Rinse the brush under warm, running water until all the soap buildup are removed, making sure there is no residue left over.

    Step 6: Dry the brush

    Shake off any excess water and place it to air dry on a clean towel. Don’t use it again until it is completely dry to prevent mould from forming.

    Before vs after cleaning a hairbrush

    When should you replace your hairbrush?

    If your hairbrush bristles or handles are damaged or bent, it is time for a new one. Additionally, if you have been cleaning it and it is not getting rid of build-up on the bristles, it may be time to replace it.

    FAQs about cleaning a hairbrush

    Cleaning a hairbrush may vary based on its type, with natural bristle and synthetic bristle brushes having different levels of bristle fragility. To address any concerns you might have about cleaning your hairbrush, we've answered all the frequently asked questions below:

    How to clean your hairbrush with baking soda?

    Baking soda is a great way to clean your bristles without using harsh chemicals. Start by creating a paste by mixing baking soda with water and applying the paste to the bristles. Follow through with steps 5 to 6.

    How to clean your hairbrush with vinegar?

    For a deeper clean, you can soak your brushes in ½ cup of white vinegar and water. Soak for 20 to 30 minutes before scrubbing with soap and rinsing.


    How to clean a bamboo hairbrush?

    Because bamboo brushes are made predominantly of wood, it is important you do not soak them for too long. It is best to scrub them and rinse them immediately, allowing them to air dry so as to not cause the wooden handle to swell.

    How to clean a boar bristle hairbrush?

    Hairbrushes with boar bristles are particularly fragile, it is best to gently rinse, and scrub while allowing them to air dry. As with bamboo brushes, you want to avoid excessive moisture.

    How to clean a natural bristle hairbrush?

    Similar to boar bristle brushes, you want to keep moisture to a minimum and gently scrub the bristles.

    How to clean a paddle hairbrush?

    Paddle brushes are the most resilient and can be cleaned by following the instructions listed above.

    How to clean dust from a hairbrush?

    To remove any dust buildup, use a toothbrush or small cleaning brush to gently remove any hair and dust. Follow with steps 1 through 6.

    How do you deep clean hairbrushes

    In order to deep clean your hairbrush, try soaking it in white vinegar for a prolonged period of time. Just make sure your hairbrush isn't predominantly made of wood as it will swell over time.

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