Did you know that you can use your favorite hairbrush for three long years? There might be a few gasps of surprise. But it is true. How long do you use your favorite hairbrush? A year? A few months? Are you forced to put it in the trash and replace it after specks of lint and grime start to cover the bristles?
How To Deep Clean Your Favorite Hairbrush?
If you know how to deep clean your hairbrush, you do not have to replace your favorite baby with a new one so quickly. Yes, a year is too soon when it comes to trashing a favorite hairbrush. It only takes a few minutes out of your day to get things done and you can go back to using your favorite one for much longer!
But why should you clean your hairbrush in the first place? The answer is pretty obvious. It is dirty! Doesn’t it count for something? Isn’t hygiene a reason good enough for a deep cleaning session?
Why Should You Clean Your Hairbrush?
You buy a hairbrush and it becomes your favorite one in no time! Your hair feels smoother and you can detangle the knots easily with this magic wand. Why wouldn’t it be your favorite? And then, you notice the dust building up on the pad of your hairbrush and how the bristles are noticeably wrapped with dirt.
With a pang of your heart, you might consider buying another one. Because you do not want your hair to be dirty by brushing with the same unclean brush, right?
If you prefer buying a new one once the old one gets dirty, you might break your wallet. Because a hairbrush works like a sponge(1). It soaks up all the oils, dirt, dandruff, dust mites, dead skin cells, hair clumps, and even the residue of products you use on your hair.
Meaning, with repeated use, your hairbrush will get dirty, just like any other beauty tool you use. It may even get dirty within a week of repeated use. So, are you going to buy new hairbrushes every other week?
Then there are people who keep on using the same dirty brush. Every day. Would you take a bath in dirty water? How is a dirty hairbrush any different? As shuddering as it sounds, using the same hairbrush you have used a gazillion times on your clean hair is unhealthy for your hair.
Keeping in mind that you are brushing your clean hair with an unclean hairbrush, all the gunk on it will get back into your hair.
With each stroke, you are redepositing buildup back onto your scalp and hair. Not only will it make your scalp dry and itchy and your hair looks greasier, but your brush also starts to smell and will be clogged to a point of losing its efficacy.
On a serious note, the buildup on your hairbrush can act as a nidus for yeast overgrowth and bacteria. Thereby, you are risking an infection as well. Neglecting cleaning your hairbrush does sound disgusting now, doesn’t it?
How To Clean A Hairbrush?
If “cleaning your hairbrushes” is not on your weekly to-do list, you shouldn’t wait anymore. Add it now for all the reasons mentioned above. In addition to the already mentioned reasons, if you know how to disinfect or clean a hairbrush, you can use the same hairbrush for one to three years.
How often should you clean your hairbrush? Well, if you can wash it once a week, that is a golden opportunity to make your hair healthy. Especially if you regularly use hair styling products on your hair — it is an absolute necessity if you want to keep your strands healthy.
Why would you want to, willingly, throw away the wonderful effects a wash with a shampoo and conditioner can do to your hair? But if you cannot find time to deep clean it every week, you have to find time to clean it, at the bare minimum, once a month! To make things easier, you can choose to remove the hair racked up around the bristles every couple of days.
What do you need to Clean A Hairbrush?
It usually doesn’t take much time of your day. Especially once you get the drift, you will find the cleaning process easier the next time. You only need the following to get on:
- A bowl of warm water
- Rattail comb
To add to the solution you will clean your hairbrush with, you can choose any of the following:
- Gentle shampoo
- Mild detergent
- Baking soda
- Dryer sheets(2)
- Essential oils
How to disinfect a hairbrush? Step by step process:
Whether you use a hairbrush made from plastic or wood, the cleaning steps are similar but with a few variations. Follow the steps and you are ready to start!
Remove Hair Racked Up From The Hairbrush
If you have been removing the accumulated hair from your brush after each use, you can avoid this rather distasteful step. This is the first step for all brushes, whether round or paddle brush. You can use the end of a rat tail comb (a comb that has a long pointed handle), any other similar object, like a pen, pencil, toothpick, or even your fingers. Hold the teeth of the rat tail comb and run the pointed end through the bristles a few times to detangle and remove the hair.
Or, use the teeth of the comb to rake it through the bristles and lift the hair up and out. If the rolled-up hair is too tangled or latched on making it difficult to remove, you can use scissors to cut loose the tangled hair to make it easier. If you do this every couple of days, this step will be much easier.
Mix The Solution You Prefer
Once you have removed all the accumulated hair from the hairbrush, the next step is to mix a solution for your hairbrush. There are different methods you can use for mixing the solution depending on the type of hairbrush you have.
Pour half a cup of vinegar in half a cup of warm water and add a teaspoon of baking soda. Soak your brushes (except wooden brushes) and wait till all the dirt is dampened and soft enough to be washed away.
Suds Up The Brush To Wash Away The Dirt
Once you have mixed your solution, it is time for the crucial part. Your hairbrush needs to be sudsed up with the mixed solution to do the scrubbing. But not all types of brushes can be soaked. Only plastic brushes can be soaked thoroughly to remove any debris.
You cannot soak your soft padded brushes in water because allowing water to get through the vent holes on your soft padded or cushioned brushes will gnaw away at the padding of the brush faster. Likewise, a wooden bodied brush will cause wood to absorb water and damage to the point of swelling and breaking the body.
- Plastic or metal brushes: Soak the entire length of the brush in the solution for about 3 minutes, or more minutes if you want.
- Brushes with soft padding or fabric: Dip the brush into the solution without submerging the padding. Dip and shake the brush while keeping the padding dry.
- Wooden brushes: To avoid damaging the wood and finish, do not submerge the wooden brush fully into the solution. Dip the bristles just above the base of the bristles while keeping the base dry.
- Natural bristle brushes: There is nothing wrong with soaking the brushes with natural bristles in the solution for a few minutes. It may twist or curl if soaked for too long. But depending on the handle and base material, you can choose the length of the brush to be submerged. Most natural brushes had wooden handles, so you may suds it up like how you would a wooden brush.
Scrub Down The Brush With The Toothbrush
The next important step is the scrubbing process. You have seen the bristles’ base. With all the dust, dirt, lint, skin flakes, and grim, you need a scrubber to deep clean them. That is why you need a toothbrush. Use it to gently scrub the bristles and base of the hairbrush.
Dip the toothbrush in the solution and slowly scrub away the dirt and buildup without being too harsh. Start at the base of the bristle and work upward and clean the debris. This will be helpful to clean the root inside the bristles. Also, scrub the other edge of the brush as well. You do not want to leave any buildup behind, right?
Clean The Handles
Do not forget to remember the handles. Because the handles of brushes also come into contact with a lot of germs and dirt. So, clean them as well during the deep cleaning process. Also, keep in mind that how to clean the handles depends on the material of the brush.
Since most surfaces, regardless of the material, can be swabbed with rubbing alcohol. But it is better to avoid it on wooden handles as it is a harsh cleaner. Clean to wipe away any residue and rub-down the handle with a damp cloth before drying.
Rinse thoroughly and let the hairbrush air dry
Once the cleaning is done, rinse your plastic hairbrush under a stream of cool water. For padded, wooden, and other brushes, you can simply sprinkle some water on the base of the brush, then, wipe it dry with a cloth. After rinsing, shake it over the sink and use a dry but clean cloth to wipe the excess water from the hairbrush.
Always remember to keep them in a clean place for drying. Now, for the drying part, you have to let the hairbrush air dry since it is the best choice. But it depends on the type of your brush(3) and the climate of where you live as well. For instance,
- Plastic or metal brushes: Take out the dry and clean towel and place the brush face down on it. Allow it to air-dry overnight.
- Hairbrush with soft padding or fabric at the base: If the climate where you live is humid, air drying might leave you with a musty mistake. Use your hair dryer to do the work. But if you live in a dry climate, place it face down on the clean towel to air-dry overnight.
- Wooden brushes: Similar to brushes with soft padding, wooden brushes will stink if you let them air dry in a humid climate. So, use your hair dryer on low settings to absorb moisture and hand it from your shower head. In this way, the air can move freely through the tight bristles (bristles of wooden brushes are usually tight). On the other hand, if you live in a dry climate, these can be air-dried overnight by hanging.
- Natural bristle brushes: Like wooden brushes, these types of brushes need more airflow to dry. So, you can use a hairdryer on a low setting in higher humidity and keep the moldiness away. Dry climate lets the brush air-dry overnight. You can either place it on a clean and dry towel or hang it down the showerhead.
Key points to remember
- Always clean your hairbrushes gently to avoid the breaking of bristles.
- Rinse and dry thoroughly before using the cleaned hairbrush.
- Never use your fingers to scrub a brush cleaner.
- Try to remove your hair from the hairbrushes after each use.
- Replace the hairbrush when the base starts to crack.
With the help of the guide above on how to clean your hairbrush, I am sure you can do the deed with ease the second time. Or the third. But try any method (depending on the type) because you have to stop neglecting the one important hair care tip for healthy hair. Clean your hairbrush and keep your locks smooth and healthy!