Dead skin cells, dandruff, bacteria and fungi: This is why you should clean your hairbrush often

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Proper personal hygiene goes much further than brushing your teeth and bathing.

Individual cleanliness also includes regularly washing your bath mat, actually replacing old toothbrushes with new ones, washing bedding weekly, and cleaning out your hairbrush.

Haircare specialists from Sunkissed Hair Loft in Royal Palm Beach, Florida, told Fox News Digital about the importance of regular cleaning, the repercussions of neglect, practical deep cleaning techniques, the mystery behind gray fuzz — and professional methods used by hairdressers.

Here’s a deep dive.

How often should you clean a hairbrush?

It’s advisable to make it a weekly habit to remove trapped hair, product buildup and oils in your hairbrush. Regular cleaning maintains the effectiveness of your brush and is also crucial for healthy hair.

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“No matter what your hair type is, you should regularly clean your hairbrush with cleansing alcohol once per week and thoroughly cleanse at least once per month,” lived-in color and extension specialist and Florida salon owner Nicole Montalvo told Fox News Digital.

This cleaning technique is a straightforward routine that plays a vital role in keeping your hairbrush a reliable styling tool and promoting overall hair hygiene.

What happens if you don’t clean your hairbrush?

Neglecting to clean your hairbrush results in the build up of hair, product residue, and oils, creating a breeding ground for bacteria and fungi. 

“Using a dirty hairbrush can cause clogged pores, which means your hair won’t grow as quickly, it can also cause skin irritation, as well as damage,” Florida lived-in color and extension specialist Ashley Oldham told Fox News Digital. As you continue to use an unclean brush, these contaminants transfer back to your hair.

“The brushes we use are made for a specific reason, so using a dirty one can take away from the products you just applied to your hair. Imagine using a dirty makeup brush to apply makeup to your skin, it’s just not going to go on with the same ease and effectiveness,” Oldham added. 

The accumulated debris can make your hairbrush less effective, leading to tangled and dull-looking hair. 

How do you deep clean a hairbrush?

Deep cleaning your hairbrush is a simple yet effective process, where you only need a few things:

  1. Gentle shampoo
  2. A warm bowl of water
  3. 1–2 teaspoons of lemon juice
  4. Baking soda

WHAT’S THE BEST BRUSH FOR YOUR HAIR? 

“After removing the hair from your brush, you’ll let any plastic hairbrushes soak for at least 5 minutes. If you have a wooden brush, avoid submerging the entire hairbrush, then dip and shake the brush several times to help loosen and remove oils, dead skin cells, and product buildup,” Alyssa Pantano, a Florida lived-in color and extension specialist, told Fox News Digital. 

Regularly remove hair shed and sanitize your brushes after each use to maintain cleanliness between thorough cleanings. “In order avoid hair loss and scalp conditions, you must maintain a healthy and balanced scalp microbiome that sets the foundation which your hair grows,” according to Pantano. 

Why is there gray fuzz in my hairbrush?

Some signs to look out for that would indicate you need to clean your brush are the tiny particles that appear as gray lint. 

“The gray lint in your hairbrushes is actually a combination of the buildup of oils, dead skin cells or dandruff, and leftover hair products. If the entire hairbrush is covered in lint, it’s definitely time to toss it out and get a new one,” said Montalvo.

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Regular cleaning of your hairbrush can help prevent the accumulation of fuzz and maintain a clean, effective tool for your hair care routine.

What do hairdressers use to clean hairbrushes?

The team at Sunkissed Hair Loft believes in using a non-toxic approach in both their hair products and how they clean their brushes. 

 

“I use white vinegar and warm water and allow my brushes to soak for 10–15 minutes to properly cleanse brushes, then sanitize with cleansing alcohol and barbicide solution,” Montalvo added. This routine ensures the brushes remain hygienic and ready for the salon’s use.

 

Montalvo recommends daily use of brushes like Tangle Teaser, Wet Brush or Unbrush. Conveniently available for order on Amazon, these are her top go-to choices.

For more Lifestyle articles, visit www.foxnews.com/lifestyle.

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