We intend to do it, maybe even every time we use them. But washing combs and brushes really isn’t at the top of any “to-do” list I’ve seen. Even a quick rinse is helpful, but over time brushes, combs, and styling tools tend to develop a buildup of hair-care products.
Over time, this buildup will begin to flake off the comb or brush and you may mistakenly believe that you’ve developed a case of dandruff.
Step 1: Remove all old and tangled hair from your brushes as possible. Be gentle as vigorous brushing with another brush or comb can actually damage the bristles of your brush, leaving sharp ends that can leave micro-cuts on your scalp. This can lead to scalp infections or irritation.
Step 2: You have a choice of how you clean brushes and combs. Many people use warm water and a bit of shampoo. White vinegar is another excellent choice too. Soaking for five or ten minutes in this solution will loosen dried on hair care products that can then be easily rinsed away.
WARNING #1: Soaking wooden handled brushes is not recommended as it damages the wood. Far better to wash under warm water with a bit of shampoo, rinse immediately, and then dry with a towel and then a hair dryer.
WARNING #2: If your brush has an air gap underneath the bristles, a quicker wash and dry is also preferred as these types of brushes can retain water in that gap, which can turn to mold. The only way to fix this is to replace the brush.
Step 3: For those really stubborn residue deposits, pull out an old toothbrush. You can even use an old toothbrush head from a power toothbrush, this works especially well! Just be sure to mark the toothbrush head as a cleaning implement so you don’t ever put it in your mouth!
Step 4: Air dry on a cotton towel to absorb any moisture.
Step 5: Check your blow-dryer. Most of them have a lint trap that keeps dust from entering the blow-dryer. A dry toothbrush works very well to remove this from the screen. Doing this once a month will extend the life of your blow-dryer motor.
Step 6: Look at your curling irons and other heat tools. If there is evidence of product buildup there, take a damp cloth (either water or white vinegar) and gently rub the surface of the COLD and UNPLUGGED tool until all the product residue is gone.
At the end of the day, the condition of your hair care implements directly affects how well they work on styling your hair. It’s a good idea to set a monthly reminder to keep them clean so they last for the longest time possible and continue to style your hair as well as they did on the first day you bought them.