How to Clean a Hair Brush

How to clean a hair brush -- Ask Anna

I’m going to apologize at the beginning of this post because this is actually kind of a gross post.  However I’m writing it anyway because it’s important to know how to clean a hairbrush, and to do it every few months, to maintain the quality of your brushes.

The first thing you will need are your hair-filled brushes.  I use two brushes every day so I’m going to show you how to clean both types.

How to clean a hair brush -- Ask Anna

The next thing you’ll need is a fine tooth comb.

How to clean your hair brush -- Ask Anna

Now it’s time to clean.  Using the wider end of the comb, insert it at the base of the brush.  Use an upward motion to push the hair up toward the top of the bristles.

How to clean a hair brush -- Ask Anna

Continue to do this around all the sides of the brush until there is a layer of hair at the top of the bristles.

How to clean a hair brush -- Ask Anna

Once the hair is all gathered at the top, use your fingers to pull it out of the bristles.  It should come out in one big chunk but there might be a few strays left behind, that you have to pull out individually.

How to clean a hair brush -- Ask Anna

Nice and clean!

How to clean a hair brush -- Ask Anna

To clean the round brush it’s basically the same technique but slightly different.  Hold the brush in one hand and grab the comb in the other hand.  Start “brushing” the hair downward, rotating the brush as you go.

How to clean a hair brush -- Ask Anna

Keep “brushing” and gently pulling the hair downward until it’s all the way at the bottom of the bristles.

How to clean a hair brush -- Ask Anna

The hair will pull off the brush in one big circle, but again, you might have to pull a few strays off individually.

How to clean a hair brush -- Ask Anna

And just like that you’re done!  It only takes a few minutes to clean your hairbrushes and if you take the time, every couple of months, your brushes will last longer!

Here’s one more look at the before and after!

How to clean a hair brush -- Ask Anna

About the Author

"Hi I'm Anna! Welcome to Ask Anna where I love to answer your household questions! I have always loved to clean, organize and decorate and this blog is a fun way for me to help you love it too! I am a busy mom of a beautiful little girl and I'm married to the love of my life. Together we fill our days with projects , laughter and love. I serve an incredible God and overall I'd say I'm truly blessed!"

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  1. Great idea! I’ve got a big paddle brush and I use a pencil to push down each ‘aisle’ and get the hair to the top in a similar fashion but hadn’t figured out how to get my round brush clean. Thank you! Rhianna

  2. Great post! I usually dig at it with my fingers, a comb would probably be easier!

  3. Wow, the round brush is a completely different color when you finished cleaning it! I think I am going to do a blog post on my blog, and link back to you, because more people should clean their brush on a regular basis! Thanks

  4. What! No vinegar swish or hydrogen peroxide bath? Either or both of them will clean out the scalp dander as well as “santitize” the brush.

  5. This only shows how to remove hair, not clean it!

  6. what a great idea..!!~

  7. I clean mine after almost every use but my 13 y.o. daughter has taken to using my brushes. She just doesn’t get the concept of cleaning them. I think I’ll show her your post if just for the pictures. I was thinking along the lines of Sue. Once you have the hair out how do you disinfect it or sanitize it?

  8. After I clean the hair out of my synthetic brushes, every couple of months I will put them on the top rack of the dishwasher and wash them when running a regular load of dishes. This gets rid of all of the built up products from styling and blow-drying. It works great and I have had the same brushes for more then 15 years. You can not use this method with natural bristle brushes as it will ruin the oils that build up and condition the hairs or fibers of the brush. For that brush I just use shampoo twice a year. Hope this is useful too!

  9. I worked in a beauty shop as a teenager and learned to clean brushes. After you remove the hair, you should soak your brush in hot water and a good quality shampoo. Then rinse well and shake to get the excess water out. Of course, in the old days, we soaked the brushes in ammonia to get all the oils out.

    • I also wash mine with shampoo too, then rinse well, shake, and leave to dry. No point in just clearing the brush. You need to clean it as well :-)

  10. Hmmm…my problem isn’t getting the hair out, it’s cleaning the hair gel residue off. Any thoughts? I have the first type you show.

    • Sorry it has taken me so long to respond to you, sometimes my comments get buried in my inbox! I would give your hair brush a good wash with hot water and shampoo. Shampoo gets all the gunk out of our hair so it works well to do the same from a brush. :) Use a clean scrub brush (like you use on your dishes) and scrub the spokes on your hair brush with the soapy water. Rinse well and then set it out to dry or dry it with a hair dryer. :)

  11. I must be really gross. What I would like to know is how together the dust to lint around the bottom of the shaft of the brush. I find the plastic nubins AT&T he end of where you brush your hair keeps the lint from comin off. Do you have any other ideas than using a pin to pull each one out? Thanks for your help.

    • mreynolds says:

      This is Monique, Anna’s assistant. Anna mentioned that with her hair brushes to clean the ends she usually boils them. She suggests putting a little vinegar in the water and bring it to a boil and put your hair brush in there for a couple minutes to sanitize them and boil all that nasty stuff off :) Hope this helps!