Yes, You Should Be Cleaning Your Hairbrush (Here’s How)

When it comes to keeping brushes clean, *makeup* brushes immediately come to mind. There’s nothing more satisfying than shampooing a week’s worth of product out of the bristles until they’re squeaky clean and ready to be used again.

But when was the last time you looked after the tool that keeps your *hair* in check? We’re referring to your trusty hairbrush, and we’re sure you have at least one in your arsenal.

You might regularly reach for a Boar bristle brush, a paddle brush with Synthetic bristles, or even a Wooden brush that massages your scalp.

how to clean a hairbrush guide_woman in long sleeve white shirt is using a wooden paddle brush to comb through her long dark hair_1000x800how to clean a hairbrush guide_woman in long sleeve white shirt is using a wooden paddle brush to comb through her long dark hair_1000x800

OK, so… what about specifically how to get hair and dust out of a brush? *What* to clean them with? Do you need a special hair brush cleaner? With that in mind, here's your trusty guide on how to clean hair brushes at home. In this story, we’ll cover:

  • How often to clean hair brushes

  • How to wash a Boar bristle hair brush

  • How to wash a Synthetic bristle hair brush 

  • How to clean a Plastic hair brush 

  • How to clean a Wooden bristle hair brush

How often should we be washing our hairbrushes?

‘You should be washing your hairbrush every week,’ says Monique McMahon, founder of Que Colour and National Ambassador of Christophe Robin Paris.

‘You need to treat them as you would a makeup brush and regularly clean them to wash away any oil, skin cells, styling residue, or dirt build-up on the bristles or the base.’

It makes total sense to add this task to your calendar every week. ‘Dirty brushes equal dirty hair and scalp, and we don’t want that! Once a week is a non-negotiable, especially if you use styling creams or serums, hairsprays, leave-in conditioners,’ continues McMahon.

How to clean a hair brush made with Boar bristles

Whether you’re looking for tips on how to clean a round Boar bristle brush or a natural-bristle paddle brush, listen up.

A Boar bristle brush such as the Christophe Robin Detangling Hair Brush or Mason Pearson Small Extra Bristle Boar Brush B2 requires regular brush maintenance.

Natural bristles mimic human hair and can collect a build-up of product, dust, and dead skin cells over time.

‘A full cleanse using a shampoo like Christophe Robin Clarifying Shampoo or warm, soapy water is recommended weekly at least,’ says McMahon. ‘[When you] wash the brush, get a good lather up to cleanse away any product build-up, dust, or residue.’

But take note if your Boar bristle brush features a Wooden handle. ‘Wooden-handled brushes shouldn’t be soaked, so if your brush has one, just dip the bristles into the water to rinse.

Let your natural bristle brush air-dry overnight, and then it's ready for use,’ finishes McMahon.

How to clean hair brush made with Synthetic bristles

Ah, the trusty Synthetic-bristle hairbrush: where would we be without it? If you own something like the Denman Medium Classic Styling Brush, you should follow these steps to keep it clean...

‘Fill your bathroom sink with warm water and a squeeze of shampoo, dip your brush into the warm water a few times, and use a comb to remove any hairs stuck in the bristles,’ says McMahon.

‘If your brush has a soft padding, just dip the bristles into the water, as the padding can perish. If your brush is very dirty, add a couple of teaspoons of baking soda into the water—this dissolves any greasy build-up.

Leave them to dry, bristles down, on a clean towel or cloth,’ finishes McMahon.

How to clean a hair brush made from Plastic

Use a Plastic hairbrush like the Air Motion Detangling Hair Brush or The Wet Brush Epic Deluxe Rose Gold Quick Dry when you’re detangling your hair.

The best way to keep these brushes clean is by washing them daily. ‘Do a micro-clean every day [by removing] any stray hairs or dirt each time you use it. As you’re probably using your Plastic brush to tease out tangles in the shower, you can deep-clean your Plastic brush while you’re in there. Massage the bristles with a tiny bit of shampoo until it's gleaming again. Remember to dry it off properly afterwards,’ explains McMahon.

How to clean a hair brush with Wooden bristles

Want to know how to clean a Wooden bristle hair brush? If you own one like the Janeke Beech Wood Paddle Brush - Classic, listen up.

‘Water is not a Wooden bristle brush’s best friend, so we need to use a hairbrush cleaner and damp cloth to clean them daily,' says McMahon.

‘Or try a spray made with a diluted mix of essential oils (such as peppermint, tea tree, and rosemary … [these] have great antibacterial and antiviral properties), [along with] vinegar and water, and you can use a toothbrush to really clean the base and bristles,’ explains McMahon.

All in all, you should use a different method to clean each hairbrush type, whether it’s a Boar bristle brush, a Synthetic bristle brush, a Plastic hair brush, or a Wooden bristle hair brush.

That said, you don’t need to install an app to keep track of them all! Keep things simple by setting a reminder in your calendar so you’ll never forget to wash your hairbrush *weekly* again. You’re welcome.

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