Hairbrush Makeover

Dear Audrey,
I love my hairbrush, but it’s starting to look gross! Can it be cleaned and is there anything I can do to keep it from getting so dirty and fuzzy?

Yes and YES! Hairbrushes can get so funky that we feel like hiding them or even throwing them away prematurely. Here are a few things you can do to clean your hairbrushes and keep them that way.

Your hair and scalp are full of oil. Even if you keep most or all of the hair out of your brush, the oil and product residue from the hairs on your head attract lint and particulates, subsequently sticking it all to the bristles in your brush.  A good practice is to clean your brush periodically. This can be done at home with everyday household items.

You will need:

  • A bowl of warm water and a small amount of shampoo.
  • A ballpoint pen (or rattail comb)
  • Scissors
  • An old toothbrush or small cleaning brush
  • A towel
  1. Take the ballpoint pen or tail comb and run it through the rows of the brush forcing the hair upwards toward the tips of the bristles. If there is a lot of hair or matting, use the scissors to cut it in half. Pull the hair out and throw it away.
  2. Repeat this until all of the hair is gone.
  3. Place the brush in the warm water and apply shampoo to the toothbrush. Work around the base of the bristles to remove any accumulated lint and debris. Rinse well when the bristles are clean. Use the towel to wipe down and dry the brush. Leave the brush out to completely air dry.
  4. Be sure to remove hair from your brush frequently to avoid buildup and repeat this cleaning procedure about once a month.

A quick and easy way to keep your hairbrush clean is with dryer sheets. Simply take your favorite brand of dryer sheet and give it a pull widthwise, then lengthwise to expand the fibers. Place it over the brush and work the bristles through the sheet until the sheet is on the base of the brush. Brush your hair as usual. When you are finished, pull the sheet off the brush trapping the hair and lint, and throw it away. It will also take the static out of your hair, and if you use fragranced sheets, it will leave some of the scent in your hair too!

Happy brushing everyone!

Ask Audrey

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