How To Clean A Hairbrush & Why It Matters!

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Most people shower regularly, wash their hair often and brush their teeth. We clean our houses and wash the dishes. We’re careful to wash our hands before cooking and eating.  Some people are cleaner than others, but this is not always a clear benefit. This post is about cleaning your hairbrush, but I’ll give you the perfect example of what I am talking about.

Have you ever wondered why these days, almost every school is a ‘Nut-Free Zone’, whereas 50 years ago, the peanut allergy phenomenon was almost unheard of? Doctors say that the reason for this is because of the increased level of hygiene that we exercise. Up until pretty recently (in the scheme of things – yes, 150 years ago is recent), people would not bathe frequently. Plus, their water system was regularly contaminated. The damaging effects of smoking were not well-known, and the conditions in general were far less sanitary.

Back then, people’s immune systems had real germs to deal with and fight off. Diseases like Tuberculosis or pneumonia were real concerns back then. These are conditions which we seldom hear of or don’t worry too much about today. At the time, many people died from these diseases and infections. 

But these days, due to medical advances and increased hygiene, the viruses and diseases that used to be so rampant are no longer the threat they once were. Instead, the immune systems of today are being kept busy fighting against the innocent peanut. Even with all our hygienic practices, there’s one thing that still seems to go unheeded, for some reason. And that is cleaning out your hairbrush.

Take a look at your hairbrush. At a glance it might look okay, sure, but when you get down to it, it attracts a lot of things. When you brush your hair, stuff gets stuck to it. Things that are hard to see, such as bits of hair product, short hairs, dead skin cells and oils from your hair. These things, over time, begin to build up and could even cause an infection. Some might consider all the debris piling up on the brush to be gross, and some not. That is a judgement call.

When you brush your hair with a dirty or product-laden brush, you’re putting it right back into your hair. I am only presuming that you’re not shampooing your hair only to put dead skin, oil, and dirt back into your freshly-washed locks.

So, how do you clean your hairbrush? 

Well first off, remove any trapped hair every time you use your brush. You may already do this, but in case you don’t, it’s worth a mention. You can do this with your hands, but it’s even more effective if you use a fine-toothed comb to dislodge hairs that are stuck between the bristles of your brush. 

Surface cleaning on-the-fly is great , but if you want to go the extra mile, you can opt for a more “in-depth” cleaning.

Plastic/Ceramic Brushes

These are the easiest to clean because, you can just dunk them straight into water without worry. Simply fill up a bowl with warm water and add a bit of clarifying shampoo. Place your brushes in the water and wash them thoroughly. When you’re done, allow them to air-dry. This process should be done about once a month, and it will keep your brushes in good condition.

Honestly, aside from cleaning them, what you need to watch out for is dropping them. I’ve lost a couple of brushes after they slipped out of my hand in a last-minute brushing frenzy. A ceramic one I had simply shattered on the floor. Good times.

Wooden Brushes

These are a little trickier, because you don’t want to ruin the wood on the brush. Fill up a bowl with water and a bit of clarifying shampoo, and swish the bristles part of the brush in the water. You can use your hands to further clean the bristles. Don’t soak wooden brushes; it can ruin the finish of the wood. After you have finished cleaning your brush, allow it to air dry thoroughly – you don’t want the wood to grow moldy.

Paddle Brushes

These are those brushes that have the soft, squishy part as the base for the bristles. These are the most difficult to clean, because the soft part can trap water which can make it get moldy underneath. Check the manufacturer’s instructions for how to clean these types of brushes, and follow them accordingly. Also, don’t wash these too often as you don’t want to ruin them.


Hair is not the epitome of health and wellness. There are many perfectly healthy individuals who don’t have a hair on their head! But for those who are interested in cultivating their locks and keeping them health, cleaning the hairbrush is a fine supplemental action. It’s normally all about shampoos, conditions, serums, and moisturizers – but this small task can actually count for a lot in the long run.

Your makeup brushes are not the only ones that need to get washed regularly! It’s super important to be washing your hair brushes on a regular basis as well. Not only will this help keep your hair and scalp healthier, but it will also help your brushes last longer. So if it isn’t a regular habit of yours, start putting it into practice. It’s easy, normally quick to complete, and it benefits both your hair and your brushes. Win-win!