How to clean a hairbrush

Not sure how to clean your hairbrush? Read these helpful tips to remove hair and dirt like a pro. After all: the cleaner the hairbrush, the cleaner the hair.

Updated 15 August 2019

how to clean a hairbrush

Brushing your hair is essential for keeping it clean and healthy, no matter how long it is. A well-maintained hairbrush will untangle, smooth, and style on command, but what if it hasn’t been cleaned in a while? You may find poor results when you brush your hair, perhaps even making your hair dirtier.

To avoid this, we have outlined how to clean your hairbrush in three easy steps, including options for every kind of hairbrush and comb you may use.

To keep your hairbrush in good shape, simply clean it on a regular basis. By taking a minute to remove stray hairs after brushing in the morning, you’re ensuring an easier deep clean later on.

How to clean a hairbrush: General guidelines

  1. Clean it every day. This is as simple as removing the hair from the bristles after use. If there is a build up, wetting the hair will make it easier to remove.
  2. Shampoo your brush. This should be done for the same reasons you shampoo your hair on a regular basis: natural oils! Get a bowl of warm water and add a bit of shampoo. Immerse your hairbrush in the bowl and swirl around to create a lather. Bubbles are good because they mean the shampoo has an opportunity to lift the oils but there is no need to soak the brush or scrub at the pad – you don’t want moisture to get into any parts that might stay wet and eventually mould! Rinse it with warm water until all the soap is removed.
  3. Leave it to dry overnight. This will ensure it is ready to use after cleaning. Place it on a towel in a well-ventilated area to ensure it dries in time.

How to clean a bristle hairbrush and combs

Combs and bristled brushes may need a little extra care from time to time. You may even find that you can use one to clean the other! From wide and fine-toothed combs, to roller brushes and teasers, read on for more specific advice:

  • If you use a comb with teeth. Take note of the material it is made from as the more delicate the comb, the more care you should take when cleaning it. Immersing your comb in a shampoo bath and swishing it back and forth to lift oils should be sufficient to keep it clean but for a deeper clean, try using an old toothbrush to scrub between the teeth of the comb. Rinse with warm water and pat dry.
  • If you use any shape brush with bristles. Try the general cleaning techniques first but if these don’t clean your brush as well as you had hoped then you can take it one step further by using a long, thin tool to remove any remaining hair or dirt.
  • If you use a fine-toothed comb. Use a long, thin tool to remove any remaining hair or dirt. You can use your fine-toothed comb to clean the bristles of other brushes too. If you don’t have a fine-toothed comb then try a chopstick or even a fork.
  • If your brush is made entirely of plastic. Submerging plastic brushes and combs into a shampoo bath is completely safe but you can also scrub with more authority and deep clean your hairbrush. The same applies to any combs or brushes made of other non-porous materials.

We encourage you to try out the various techniques above to figure out what works best for you. Simply refer to this article next time you have any questions about how to clean a hairbrush! Remember: the cleaner the brush, the cleaner your hair.

Originally published 19 July 2018