How to clean hair brushes for a healthy scalp

Sometimes, we put so much focus on pampering our hair that we forget our hairbrushes also need pampering every now and then. Just like any other beauty tool, hairbrushes accumulate all sorts of dirt both from your hair and the environment, including oily hair, dead skin cells, dust mites, and product residue. The continuous buildup of these particles won’t do any good for your gorgeous locks, and without proper cleaning for your hairbrush, you’ll just end up dirtying your strands and scalp over and over.

It may not seem like a big deal, but as tools used every day, it’s important that you sanitize your hairbrushes regularly. We’ve gathered some simple tips and tricks on how to take care of your hairbrushes to help you make sure you’re getting the best use out of them.

How to Clean Hair Brushes

The first step in cleaning your hairbrushes is removing the hair. You can use a toothpick, scissors, or your fingers to get rid of as much hair as you can, and even wet it a bit to soften the hair for easier removal.

How often should I clean my hairbrush?

You’ll want to remove loose hair from your brush every after brushing, about once every week, or when hair starts to build up on your brush. It’s also important to give it a wash from time to time. How often you have to do this is determined depending on usage and what kinds you have in your collection. Ceramic and plastic brushes easily dry which means they can withstand monthly or more frequent baths. Paddle types or those with squishy bases, on the other hand, are trickier to wash. They tend to trap water underneath which may cause unpleasant smells or mold when not dried properly, so experts recommend that you wash them less frequently or every other month. These aren’t hard-and-fast rules, though.

Naturally, the more you use styling products like hairspray, gels, and creams, the more you have to wash your hairbrush — preferably once a week.

What do I use to clean my hairbrush?

Strong cleaning mixtures and special tools aren’t necessary when washing hair brushes. A mild concoction of warm water and shampoo (or detergent) should be good enough to soften and get rid of the dirt and debris stuck in the bristles. For scrubbing, pick up an unused toothbrush, dab it into the mixture, and gently swab it onto every bit and part of the hairbrush. You may toss in vinegar or baking soda into the mix as well for extra cleaning power, but take note that these aren’t recommended for all hairbrush types. Cushioned, wooden-bodied, rubber, and natural boar brushes generally only need a quick, gentle wash to avoid breakage, reduced shelf life, and damages like the body swelling and the bristles twisting.

Once you’ve completed giving your hairbrushes a good scrubbing, rinse them out thoroughly. Afterward, you can either use a cotton towel or rag to pat them dry or use a hair dryer on medium heat for quick drying. If you prefer to dry them the natural way, put them in a clean place — either hanging or on top of a clean towel. Make sure they dry completely before storing to keep any mustiness away and to prevent moisture from attracting particles like dust.

Looking for more hair and grooming tips? Find the best hair brushes for a polished look and more on our health and beauty hub.

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