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How to Clean Hair
Styling Tools & Accessories

January 11, 2023

From cuts, dyes, and styles to high-end products, most women spend a lot of time and effort on their hair. But what’s the use if you’re brushing with a gunky brush or using a hairspray-coated curling iron? We often pay so much attention to how our hair looks that we forget to clean and maintain the styling tools and accessories we use every day. Neglecting to clean your hair tools regularly can unravel your beauty routine and be unhealthy.

Cleaning hair tools is as important as cleaning makeup brushes for a healthy beauty routine. Like our faces, our heads are a prime breeding environment for bacteria. Sebum, the lubrication your body secretes to retain moisture, and sweat are an irresistible combo to germs. The accumulated bacteria and residue end up on hair brushes, combs, and other hair styling tools. If you want to keep those nasty germs away, here’s how to clean hair styling tools, brushes, and more.

How to Clean a Hair Brush

The obvious way to clean a hairbrush is to remove the trapped hair from the bristles. To do this quickly, use a comb to cover more area and gather more strands at a time. Once the hair is out, you might notice some build-up at the base of the bristles. This is leftover hair styling gunk, oil, and grease. Using an old toothbrush, gently scrub your brushes, combs, and picks with warm water and shampoo until the build-up has been removed.

Pro Tip: You should clean your hairbrush about once a week. At the bare minimum, a monthly clean will do. Some experts will tell you to think of your brush like a kitchen sponge regarding cleaning frequency. If you are a pet owner, you can clean your pet’s brush and other grooming gear using this hair brush cleaning hack.

How to Clean a Hair Straightener

When it’s time to clean your flat iron, ensure the device is unplugged and cool before beginning any cleaning treatment. To remove hairspray and product build-up, put some rubbing alcohol on a paper towel and clean the barrel. Use an unused toothbrush for the stubborn areas and cotton swabs for the hard-to-get-to spots. After removing all the build-up, wipe it down with a clean, damp cloth and let it dry.

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Pro Tip: Wash your hair straightener every other week if possible. Once a month is also fine, but be mindful if you use a lot of hairspray. While all hair products can leave residue on the tongs, hairspray has a high level of alcohol, which can damage the metal.

How to Clean Your Hair Dryer

Learning how to clean hair styling tools includes cleaning and maintenance for your hair dryer. A damp cloth can remove hair product residue, skin oils, and other build-up. Unplug the hair dryer and wipe it down thoroughly. Let it dry before plugging it back in. In addition to the exterior, you’ll need to clean the filter too. If it’s removable, remove the filter and clean the filter housing while it’s out. Rinse the filter with running water until it’s clean, then let it air dry. If your hair dryer filter or screen is not removable, brush it gently with an old toothbrush to remove dirt and dust. Once everything has dried, run the hair dryer on cool for 30 seconds while pointing it down.

Pro Tip: You can tell it’s time to clean your hair dryer when it overheats and turns off while in use. Because a dirty dryer doesn’t have sufficient airflow, it gets too hot, and your hair will take longer to dry. Keep your hair dryer clean to save time and make it last longer.

How To Clean Hair Accessories

Sure, you could go out and constantly buy new hair bling, but you’ll reuse them at some point. When you learn how to clean hair accessories, you’ll buy new ones less often, and the process is simple. All you have to do is fill the bathroom sink with warm water and shampoo and let the accessories soak for a few minutes. Gently scrub each accessory with your fingers to loosen up any grease or build-up, and finally, rinse them out with clean water.

Pro Tip: You might not always use the same hair tie or headband day after day, so your cleaning schedule can vary. Wash these products every other week if you use them often and once a month if not.

How to Disinfect Hair Styling Tools

Now that you know how to clean hair tools, it’s time to learn how to disinfect. To disinfect hot hair tools, plug them in long enough to get warm but not hot. Then, unplug it, pour rubbing alcohol on a clean, dry cloth, and wipe down the hair tool to remove build-up. Let the hair tool air dry, and you’re done. To sanitize combs and hair brushes, first remove hair and build-up with a rat-tail comb. Place your hair brushes and combs in the sink and spray or pour distilled white vinegar over them. After five minutes, rinse the hair tools and lay them out to dry on a towel.

Pro Tip: If you use curling irons or flat irons at least a couple of times per week, disinfecting them every other week will keep bacteria at bay. For brushes, combs, and other hair styling tools used daily, sanitizing them weekly is a good rule of thumb.

Learning how to clean hair styling tools is simple, and the results will leave your hair looking great and minimize the spread of germs. As long as you skip harsh chemicals or detergents to clean hair tools, your brushes, flat irons, and other beauty tools can be cleaned as often as needed.

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