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How to properly clean your hairbrush according to experts

By CAMILLE SANTIAGO Published Oct 19, 2020 11:10 pm

We're pretty sure you’ve heard about the importance of cleaning your makeup brushes. But what about hair tools that you regularly use, like a comb or a hairbrush? It's just common sense to keep them clean, too, right?

When it comes to your hair tools, there’s a chance you can get exposed to infection-causing bacteria—because, not to freak you out, your hairbrush can be just as dirty as your bathroom sink or pet food bowl. In a study done by the University of Arizona, they discovered that hairbrushes house an average of 3,409 bacteria colonies per square inch compared to bathroom sinks (2,733 colonies) and pet food bowls (2,110 colonies).

"Hair clumps, dust mites, dead skin cells, dirt, oil, and hair care product residue get trapped in between the bristles, especially with constant use," says Meg Sison, M.D., a PDS Board-certified dermatologist in the Philippines.
Dr. Sison also added, "Those residue that are trapped in your hairbrush can become breeding ground for bacteria and yeast that can lead to scalp infections later on." These scalp infections may include itching, pus discharge, enlarged lymph nodes, or in severe cases, "possible complications can also include hair loss and scarring."

To clean your hair tools, hairstylist Francis Guintu recommends removing hair on your brush regularly when hair starts to build up. "Regularly remove hair that gets tangled in the bristles by running a fine toothed comb gently to separate the hair and bring them up and out. If you have a tail comb, use the pointed end and run it through the bristles to take out the hair."

For deep cleaning boar bristle brushes, prepare a bowl of warm, soapy water deep enough to swirl the bristles in. "Soak just the bristles around to dislodge the product and dirt build up (especially if you use wax and hairspray this part makes it easy to remove). Next take an old toothbrush and scrub the bristles, cushion (the soft base where the bristles are nestled), and the base," he added.

If you're cleaning your wooden brush though, "do not soak the entire brush to avoid damaging wooden parts and getting water inside the cushion, doing this, especially for a number times, might also dissolve the glue that holds the cushion to the brush," says Guintu.

BRB while we clean ours now.

Banner image from Unsplash