Sorry, but Yes, You’re 100% Meant to Be Cleaning Your Hairbrush

Have you taken a look at your hairbrush lately? If it’s anything like mine, it probably looks a little gross and could really use a thorough clean. 

Cleaning our hairbrushes is one of those annoying yet necessary beauty maintenance tasks we seem to only get around to completing once things get really dire. 

You could also be reading this and realising you've never actually cleaned your hairbrush - that's OK too (well, it isn't, but I'm here to help).

It wasn’t until I chatted to celebrity hairdresser Renya Xydis, the founder of Valonz salon in Sydney, who counts women such as Cate Blanchett and Nicole Kidman among her A-list clients, that I realised how truly important it is to clean my hairbrush.

So, here's exactly how to clean your hairbrush, plus what can happen to your hair if you forget to do it regularly.

Why Is It Important to Regularly Clean Your Hairbrush?

You know how we’re supposed to wash our makeup brushes every week to prevent bacteria from growing and ruining our skin? It’s exactly the same with hairbrushes. 

A dirty hairbrush = dirty (and kinda gross) hair. 

“It is important to clean out your hairbrushes regularly, because it will ensure they are clean and smooth to keep your hair clean and tame,” Renya explains.

“A smooth, clean hairbrush will gently smooth your hair stands and work to its best ability.”

Plus, it prevents hair from unnecessary pulling, as well as a build up of dirt and grime. 

“Brushes that are filled with hair may run the risk of pulling your hair,” warns Renya.

“Also, unclean brushes are filled with hair oil and dirt, which you will be putting right back into your hair if you use a dirty brush!”

So, What’s the Best Way to Clean Your Hairbrush?

According to Renya, the preferred method is just a simple shampoo, once a week. 

“When you have a spare moment, I would suggest cleaning your brushes weekly with warm water and a gentle shampoo. This will allow any oil or dirt to separate from the bristles of the brush, leaving you with a clean brush ready for use again,” she explains.

All it takes is three quick steps:

Step 1: Get Rid of the Hair.

“Firstly, make sure you take all the visible hair and dirt out of the brush to make cleaning easier.”

Step 2: Wash Your Brush.

Submerge the brush in water and gently remove all hair and grime from the bristles.

Renya says: “You can always use a pen or comb to help get those stubborn hairs out. Be gentle on the bristles to ensure they do not come out, too.”

Step 3: Let It Dry.

“After washing your brush, rinse and lay flat to dry.”

And if you’re wondering how to clean a wooden hairbrush, Renya also has some specific advice for this brush type. 

“If you have a wooden base brush, be careful with the water and the wood. I would not fully submerge it in the water."

In that instance, we could take a tip from the team at QUE Colour and spritz the bristles with Christophe Robin Regenerating Finishing Lotion which contains vinegar and denatured alcohol to help cleanse the brush of oils and dirt.

As well as your weekly deep-clean, Renya says a quick mini-clean of your hairbrush after each use is also advised. 

“It is ideal to clean your brushes after every use, so there are no stray hairs laying around."

“However, I know this can sound high maintenance and we might not always have time, so I recommend gently removing any visible hairs and dirt from the brush after each use." 

What’s the Difference Between Hair Brushes? And Which Brush Is Best?

There are loads of different brush types out there, all catering for different hair types and the specific hairstyle you’re hoping to achieve. 

Here, Renya breaks them all down and explains how each brush should be used. 

Tangle Teaser Brush:

“Any type of tangle teaser brush should be used on wet hair to comb through any knots or tangles before styling and adding products.”

Paddle Brush:

"Paddle brushes are best for everyday use. They will flatten out any frizz and create shine.”

Natural Bristle Brush:

“If you have thin or fine hair, a natural bristle brush is gentle and will leave hair smooth and shiny.”

Round Brush:

“To get that perfect blow wave, round brushes create incredible volume. Depending on the size of the brush, you can get tighter or looser curls while using a round brush.”

Wide Tooth Comb:

“When done styling, a wide-tooth comb is always a saving grace to brush through curls to get that beachy, lived-in look.”

Some of our favourite brushes include Denman, Mason Pearson, Janeke and The Wet Brush.

And that is how we should be cleaning our hairbrushes. Now we just have to... do it.