Take a look at your hairbrush right now, what do you see? If you see a dusty build-up, it is in fact a combination of dirt and debris on the hair, dead skin cells, sebum (scalp oil), and bacteria. Eww is right!
Even if you don’t use a ton of product, have color-treated hair, or have a scalp condition, build-up occurs naturally because you are exfoliating skin cells, scalp oil (sebum), and dead hairs that end up wrapping around the bristles of the brush. Dirt, debris from the environment, parasites, fungus, and bacteria can all end up living on and around the biological material left on a used hairbrush as well.
If you do have a scalp issue and don’t clean your brush regularly you could easily continue to re-infect your hair and scalp every time that you use your hairbrush with whatever is living on your hairbrush.
Why? Here are three key reasons:
Tangled hair in the hairbrush creates resistance while you’re brushing, now creating a greater tugging action which could lead to more breakage or shedding.
Additional bacteria and fungus can grow on the material inside the brush, and if that is regularly close to the scalp, you will reinfect it. For someone who has scalp conditions like dandruff, seborrheic dermatitis, or simply an overgrowth of Demodex, it’s important to eliminate as much of that as possible to reduce a flareup of a scalp condition.
Little, tiny parasites called Demodex folliculorum feed off scalp oil and most certainly are living in abundance inside that dusty debris on your hairbrush.
A good way to clean your hairbrush is to take an antimicrobial shampoo, use a very small amount in your hand and massage it into the brush you could then pull out the excess hair as well as lather up the brush with the shampoo, then rinse under hot water.