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How to Clean Hair Brushes in Just a Few Minutes

Last Updated: July 17, 2021

Just like it’s important to change your pillowcase or throw your dirty laundry into the wash, it’s also important to clean your hairbrush. After multiple uses, grease, dead skin cells, and styling products can get caught between the bristles, dirtying your clean hair after a post-shower brush. 

If you don’t clean your hairbrush, it can quickly turn into a breeding ground for bacteria. That’s why brush-cleaning is an important (and often neglected) step in the hygiene process.

But, if you haven’t washed your hair brush in a while, don’t fear. With these easy steps, your brush will be ready to go again in no time! 

Cleaning hair brushes isn’t as difficult as it sounds, but it does take a little more effort than pulling out the clumps of hair every now and then. Before you get started, let’s take a look at what products you should gather up.

What You’ll Need

  • Dirty hair brush (or brushes)
  • Tweezers
  • A large bowl
  • Shampoo (or other cleanser)
  • Toothbrush (optional)

Note: It’s also important to be aware of what hairbrush you’re cleaning. For example, brushes with wooden handles shouldn’t be cleaned like those with plastic handles. If you’re looking for a breakdown on types of hair brushes, check out our guide here!

How to Clean Hair Brushes

Step 1: Get Rid of Hair Build-up

FIrst, start by removing the clumps of hair stuck between the bristles of your brush, making sure to get rid of as much debris as possible. 

You can either gently pull them out with your fingers over a trash bin, or use some tweezers to get those particularly stubborn pieces. This will make the rinsing process easier. 

Step 2: Soak Your Hair Brushes

Next, fill up a large bowl with warm water and add a few drops of shampoo, enough to create suds once mixed around. You can also use another cleanser of your choice, like dish soap, baking soda, or white vinegar.

Soak your brush in the bowl for 5 minutes, allowing a chance for the shampoo to work it’s magic. 

Note: If your brush has a padded or wooden base, simply soak the bristles in the shampoo mixture. Submerging the wood bases may damage the brush. 

Stir your brush around in the mixture— this motion will help loosen built-up gunk between your bristles. Afterward, you can also use a toothbrush to scrub around the bristles and really break up any leftover residue.

Step 3: Rinse Your Brush

Finally, rinse your brush under cold water. This will get rid of any suds that have accumulated during the shampooing. 

Then, place the hairbrush face-down on a towel and let air dry. This way, water doesn’t drip down onto the back of the brush creating any mold or mildew. 

And that’s it, your brush is clean and ready to go! Repeat this process every 2-3 weeks to prevent bacteria from making a home on your head. 

The Bottom Line

Though cleaning your hair brush is easy to forget, it’s also an important step in personal hygiene. Luckily, learning how to clean hair brushes is easy and only takes a few minutes to complete.

If you maintain your hair products, you’ll be able to prevent a greasy scalp and tangled hair. Just follow these 3 easy steps every few weeks to stay on top of your hair care game!