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  5. How To Keep Your Hair Brushes And Combs Clean?

Have you ever wondered why is there lint in your hairbrush? And, why does your hair feel greasy every time you brush with it? Unclean hairbrush might be the reason.

Ayurveda believes besides your hair and scalp; your personalized hair tools need thorough cleaning too. This is to prevent scalp infections and unhygienic build up from getting back into your hair. So, how do you clean your hairbrush and comb?

In this article, we tell you why it’s so important to keep your hairbrush and comb clean and what are the different ways to keep them clean.

Why Does Your Hair Brush Get Dusty?

On regular use, the natural oils and sweat from your scalp gets distributed around the teeth and bristles of your comb and hairbrush. This oil build up on your comb and hairbrush can attract and trap different particles from your hair as well as atmosphere:

1. Environmental dust and debris including soot and other grime

2. The residue of different hair styling products like gels, hair sprays, and leave-in conditioners

3. Dead skin cells or dandruff

These substances build up over time and make your hairbrush and comb dusty. “Around 50-100 hair strands shed off every day naturally as a part of your hair growth cycle. The dirt and residue carried by these strands are also transferred to your comb and hairbrush, which eventually catches black lint on them,” says Dr. Zeel, our Chief Ayurvedic Doctor at Vedix.

Why Is It Important To Clean Your Hair Brush?

An uncleaned comb or hairbrush could be a breeding ground for different kinds of bacteria [1] and fungi. Using a dirty comb or hairbrush lets these microbes infect your scalp, causing a variety of scalp diseases such as acne, scalp folliculitis, etc. Also, the dirt and residue from the uncleaned comb or hairbrush get transferred back to your hair, wasting all your regular hair cleansing efforts.

How To Clean Different Hair Brushes and Combs?

The hair-detangling tools can broadly be classified into three types - combs, paddle brushes, and boar bristle brushes. They come in different sizes and materials.

A. Comb

plastic comb

1. Take off the hair strands from the comb using your fingers.

2. Add a few drops of a mild shampoo to a cup of warm water.

3. Pour the solution into a wide plate and let your comb soak in this solution for about 15-20 minutes.

4. Now, clean your comb thoroughly using an old toothbrush.

5. Rinse your comb properly under running water.

6. Now, prepare another solution by adding 1 tsp of baking soda, 4-5 drops of vinegar to a cup of warm water.

7. Soak your comb in this solution for about 15 minutes till it removes any remaining hardened dirt.

8. Now, rinse your comb again under running water.

9. Dab your comb with a clean towel and leave it aside for air drying.

B. Paddle Brush

modern hair brushes

1. Start with loosening the hair strands entangled across the bristles with the help of any sharp object such as a pen or a geometric divider.

2. Once the hair strands are lifted from the pad of your brush, you can pull them out easily using fingers.

3. You can also cut the entangled hair strands into small pieces by using scissors to remove them easily.

4. Now, prepare a solution by adding 1 tsp of baking soda [2] and 1tsp of a mild shampoo to a cup of warm water.

5. Apply this solution thoroughly to the pad and bristles of your hairbrush.

6. Let your hairbrush soak in the solution for about 5 minutes.

7. Now, wash your paddle hairbrush properly under running water.

8. Place the brush downwards on a flat surface and leave it for air drying.

C. Boar Bristle Hair Brush

boar hair brush

1. Lift the entangled hair strands from the base of the bristles using a fine-toothed comb. Pull them off the brush using your fingers.

2. Add 1 tsp of a mild shampoo to a bowl of hot water.

3. Soak the brush in this solution for about 15 minutes.

4.Scrub the bristles using lemon for 5 minutes.

5.Rinse the hairbrush thoroughly under running water.

When you run a plastic comb or hairbrush through your hair, the friction between your hair and the comb or hairbrush causes a flow of electrons, thus generating static electricity. This makes your hair frizzy.

How To Clean Lice Comb?

treating head lice with comb

Unlike normal combs, a lice comb has fine teeth with narrow gaps to trap the nits in between. Hence, you may find it a bit complex to clean the narrow gaps in the lice comb when compared to other combs. Here is the procedure that can ease the process of cleaning your lice comb.


A. After each swipe through your hair, wipe off the lice and eggs from the comb using a paper towel. Later, you can seal these paper towels in a plastic cover and throw them away.

B. When you are done using the lice comb, put it under running water in a sink and clean the removable dirt and remaining lice by opening up each tooth gently.

C. You can also wiggle a dental floss up and down in the gaps between the brush’ teeth to remove the lice and eggs.

D. Now, put the comb in a bowl of hot water at a temperature above 128.3°F or 53.5°C to disinfect it.

E. Any lice staying inside the comb will die after 5 minutes at this temperature [3]. So, let your comb soak in hot water for about 10 minutes.

F. Now, dry the lice comb thoroughly and then soak it again in rubbing alcohol for 10 minutes.

G. Leave your comb for air drying and store it in a clean place.

Word Of Caution: “Do not use overheated water for disinfecting your plastic combs as it starts to melt at the boiling point of water, i.e, 212° F or 100° C,” says Dr. Zeel.

How To Clean A Comb With Dandruff?

A. Prepare a solution in a bowl by adding 1 tsp of baking soda, 2 drops of any mild shampoo, 5 drops of tea tree essential oil, and 2 drops of vinegar to 2 cups of warm water.

B. Take an old or disposable toothbrush and soak it in the solution.

C. Now, use this toothbrush to scrub the teeth or bristles of your comb or hairbrush gently.

D. Continue scrubbing by re-applying the solution to the toothbrush, whenever required.

E. Let the toothbrush reach until the base of the teeth or bristles of your comb or hairbrush to ensure deep cleaning.

F. Finally, dip your comb or hairbrush into the solution and let it soak for about 20 minutes. This will help in dissolving any leftover grime from your comb or hairbrush.

G. Now, rinse your comb well under running water and leave it to air dry.

What Is The White Stuff On Your Comb?

When you use hard water [4] to wash your hair, it leaves behind some undissolved minerals on your scalp. These minerals build-up on your scalp and mix with dead skin flakes and product residues over time. It appears like some ‘white stuff’ when you comb.

How Often Should You Clean Your Hair Brush?

In general, it is better to clean your hairbrushes and combs once a week or 2 weeks depending upon the extremity of dirt accumulated. Also, make it a point to take off the hair strands from your hairbrush or comb using your fingers, immediately after using.

Vedix Tip: Ayurveda suggests using a wide-toothed comb made of neem wood to brush your hair. The best way to detangle your hair is to start from the hair tips and work your way up to your hair roots. Also, never share your hair accessories with others.

How Do Salons Clean Hair Brushes?

As the same set of combs and hairbrushes are used for multiple clients, salons need to be more cautious and they take extra care in cleaning and disinfecting the hair care tools.

The most common cleaning protocols in salons are as below:

  • After every usage, rotary cleaning brushes with tiny fine bristles are used to remove hair strands and dirt quickly from the combs and hairbrushes.
  • Chemical disinfectant solutions are used to kill the bacteria and dissolve the accumulated grime.
  • Some salons also use UV sterilization devices [5] and dry heat ovens to sterilize the combs and hairbrushes.

The Last Word

Failing to regularly clean your hairbrush or comb can let dirt and other types of build up accumulate on them. Eventually, your hairbrushes or combs can become a breeding ground for bacteria and fungi. Make it a point to clean your hair tools regularly to not only make your hair look nice and clean, but to prevent your scalp and hair from any kind of damage. Follow a few hassle-free, effective ways to clean your hairbrush. Remember that’s one of the important ways to achieve healthy hair. At Vedix, we customize a holistic Ayurvedic hair care regimen for your unique hair needs by evaluating your doshas.

Know Your Dosha Now

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