How to Clean Your Hairbrushes
Feb 17, 2019

How to Clean Your Hairbrushes

So serious question here, when was the last time you cleaned your hair brush? You may be shocked to learn that, in addition to your stray hairs, that gunk build up of hair products, dead skin cells and oils can be the perfect breeding ground for bacteria and yeast. Have I made you go check out how clean your brushes are yet? Thankfully, there are some quick and simple regular cleaning habits you can get into to ensure you have a nice clean brush that will promote healthy hair growth and vitality - not to mention longevity of your hair tools and added troubleshooting for vintage hair styling. 

Before we get into how to clean your brushes, combs and clips, I purposely left my brushes a few weeks to get nice and dirty for the purpose of this demonstration. One of my brides once commented how 'sterile' I was during my hair styling. Allowing my brushes to get so dirty in order for me to show you how bad they can get, seriously hurt my soul! I clean and rinse my personal hair tools daily, and do a thorough clean of all my brushes after every client where possible (at weddings and events I remove hair and gunk and sanitize with Isopropyl alcohol between every client, and do a deep clean when I get home). 

Not only are clean hair brushes healthier for you and your hair, having dirty hair tools could be causing you issues with curl set brush outs. The hair left in your hair brush could be creating extra static in your hair during a brush out. Additionally,you can be brushing your freshly washed hair with a hair brush that has all the products on it you were trying to wash out in the first place. 

So let's get cleaning! 


  1. Remove the hairs from your brush - use the end of a rat tail comb to easily get hairs out of paddle brushes, or get a hair brush cleaning comb.
  2. Inspect for gunk - product build up, if so wash under the tap and leave to dry. 


Depending on how much product you are using on a regular basis and how dirty you determine your brushes (and combs) to be, you can do a regular deep clean of your brushes. This honestly doesn't take that long and you will be much happier looking at a clean brush in your bathroom or vanity than one that may have to be inspected for other lifeforms. 

Deep Clean: Once a week to once a month

1. Remove all hair and inspect for product build up etc as you would daily.

2. Mix a 'splash' of white vinegar and a 'sprinkle' of bi-carb soda into a bucket of warm water - it will bubble slightly. 

3. Soak all of your plastic clips, combs and brushes in the solution for 5-10 minutes - you will literally see the gunk start to dissolve off your hair tools. 

4. Do not soak paddle brushes (ones with a cushion air pocket at the base of the bristles), dip the bristles in the solution and scrub clean with a hair brush cleaning tool or an old toothbrush. You don't want too much water to get trapped in the cushion base as it can produce mould over time. 

5. Scrub all remaining brushes in the solution.

6. Thoroughly rinse the brushes under running water (being careful to only rinse the bristles of the paddle brushes).

7. Lay all the hair tools on a towel to air dry for a few hours. Place the paddle brushes bristles down on the towel and give them a few, not so gentle, smacks onto the towel to release any water that may have been trapped in the air cushion. 

What about pin curl clips? Yep, you may not think you need to give these bad boys a regular clean, but have you ever whipped them out to find they are starting to rust? That oxidation on the metal is caused from leaving acidic products (such as setting solutions) to literally eat away at your clips. 


Metal Clips - Pin curl and wave clips

1. Inspect the clips and remove any hairs that may have been caught. Immediately throw away any that are starting to rust (being sure to inspect inside the clips as well). 

2. Mix a 'squirt' of deep cleansing or purifying shampoo with warm water - top tip: add this into your hair routine if you use a lot of styling products and are struggling to get that clean feeling after a regular hair wash. 

3. Soak the metal clips in the shampoo solution for 10-15 minutes.

4. Thoroughly rinse the clips in the sink until all the bubbles have washed away - I tip my clips into a kitchen sieve and rinse under running water.

5. Place the clean clips on the towel and give a general pat down to remove excess water.

6. Open the clips and run the inside on the edge of the towel to ensure they are dry and no water will remain trapped within the clip to avoid further rusting. 

Just like makeup brushes, you must always ensure your hair tools are clean in order to get the best results from your hair styling. 


O.C.D clean freak signing out now...



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