More than likely, you use your hair brush daily—but can you remember the last time you cleaned it? Perhaps you’ve recently removed some clumps of hair from in between the bristles, but that’s not what we’re talking about. Taking time to thoroughly clean your hairbrushes means not only pulling out those stray hairs but disinfecting the entire brush.

If you’re like a lot of people, you’ve never taken the time to clean your hair brushes. Maybe it’s never even occurred to you that this is something you should be doing! No judgment here, but if you’d like to start taking better care of your hairbrushes (and, in turn, your hair), there are some things you need to know.

Reasons to Clean Your Hair Brushes

Aside from keeping your brushes looking their best, there are a few other compelling reasons to add cleaning your hair brushes to your routine.

Get Rid of Bacteria and More

With each use, your hairbrush accumulates not just stray hairs, but dead skin, oils from your scalp, and other less-than-pleasant debris. Taking the time to clean your hair brush is really a matter of having good hygiene. While it’s unlikely that you’re going to get sick from bacteria that has built up on your hair brush, wouldn’t you feel a lot better if it just wasn’t there in the first place?

It’s especially important to clean your hair brushes and get rid of bacteria if you’ve recently shared your brush with another person. Again, it’s unlikely that sharing hairbrushes would become a major problem, but this is a way that lice is commonly spread.

Keep Your Hair Looking Great

What’s the point of shampooing and conditioning your hair if you’re going to style it using a dirty hair brush? Over time, product from your hair accumulates along the base and bristles of your brush—so if you’re not cleaning your brushes regularly, you may be re-distributing that product residue right back into your hair after you get out of the shower. As a result, your hair may appear dull, dingy, and even dirty.

Extend the Life of Your Brushes

Hair brushes can be expensive—especially if you buy salon-quality brushes designed to help expedite the process of drying your hair or style your hair a specific way. By taking the time to clean your brushes, you may be able to save yourself some money by avoiding the need for premature replacement.

How Often Should You Clean Your Brushes?

Ultimately, how often your hair brushes should be cleaned depends on a few factors. For starters, how often do you use the brush? Brushes that are used daily should be cleaned more often because they’ll accumulate more debris and bacteria over time, whereas a brush that you don’t use as often may be able to go longer between cleanings.

If you use a lot of hair products, you may also find that your brushes accumulate residue more readily and may thus need to be cleaned more often. If you don’t often use styling products in your hair (such as hair spray, mousse, or gel), then you may not need to clean your brushes as often.

In general, you should aim to clean your brushes thoroughly at least once every few months. At the very least, however, make sure you’re cleaning out hair clumps from the bristles every couple of weeks or as needed.

Cleaning Different Types of Hair Brushes

The specific method you should use to clean your hair brushes will vary depending on the type of brush you’re dealing with and the material of which it is made. Generally, plastic brushes and combs tend to be the easiest to clean because they’re durable, resilient, and won’t be easily damaged by water or cleaning chemicals. On the other hand, brushes made of natural materials like wood and boar’s hair will need special care while cleaning.

No matter which type of brush you’re cleaning, the first step should always be to remove as much excess hair as you can from between the bristles. This can usually be done simply by pulling the hair out in one large clump with your hand. For round brushes, however, using scissors may be necessary to remove the hair easily.

Plastic Combs

Plastic combs are among the easiest types of brushes to clean because they’re generally made of one single piece of plastic that can be sanitized quickly. You can make your own cleaning mixture for your brushes by combining warm water, vinegar, baking soda, and a small amount of your favorite shampoo in a bowl. Once you’ve removed any obvious debris from the comb, simply dip it into the bowl and allow it to soak for about 10 minutes. You can use a wash cloth or even an old tooth brush to scrub away debris from in between the comb bristles before rinsing and setting it out to dry.

Traditional Brushes

A traditional plastic brush with plastic bristles can also be cleaned relatively quickly and easily. You can use the same cleaning mixture as above, but you may need to spend a little more time on the “detail work” since these brushes tend to have more bristles and crevices where product build-up and other debris can hide.

An old tooth brush can be especially useful when cleaning a plastic brush because the smaller bristles on the tooth brush can be very effective in getting in between those crevices. Still, it’s a good idea to soak the brush in the cleaning mixture for 10 minutes or so before you get to scrubbing. A pair of scissors can also be helpful for removing stray hairs that you couldn’t get out with your hands.

Boar Bristle Brushes

These brushes require a little more care because they can be damaged by exposure to too much water or chemicals. Believe it or not, a great way to get debris out of your boar bristle brush is to actually use a fine-tooth comb to “brush” build-up out from between the boar bristles.

From there, you can also soak your brush in a bowl with warm water and a bit of your favorite shampoo. Just be sure to remove the brush after 10 minutes and rinse it with cold water when you’re done. If your brush has a wooden handle, you’ll need to be careful not to get it wet and to only apply moisture to the bristles themselves.

Spending Too Much Time Cleaning?

Cleaning your hairbrushes shouldn’t take too much time out of your day, but if you have other cleaning chores to take care of, it can add up quickly. Contact our team at home cleaning nyc to schedule your professional house cleaning today!