The importance of cleaning your hair tools

Scrub, scrub

  • 22.10.2021
  • By Brandon Alexius Chia

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A good hair day can make all the difference in the way we look and feel. Take Anne Hathaway in The Princess Diaries, for example. Mia went from being a shy, nerdy girl to the literal Princess of Genovia, and all she needed was a great hair crafted by one makeup stylist, two assistants, and a bunch of hair tools. In an ideal world, we’d all have a glam squad at our beck and call, but alas, the reality of it is that we are our own solo squad (#independentwoman); a team of one prone to neglecting the hygiene of our beautifying equipment because of time constraints (or *laziness*).

Of course, we know of the consequences when it comes to our visage: wash your makeup brushes and sponges, because it could cause acne otherwise. But what about our curling wands and hairdryers? As it turns out, cleaning them regularly is just as important for your hair health. Read on, and get informed.

Wait, what happens to our hair tools if we don’t clean them?

Glad you asked. Think about it: it’s highly likely that most of us would apply some sort of heat-protecting or styling product on our hair before using our heating tools. Said products will inevitably leave residue on the heated portion of a flat iron or curling wand, even if you can’t see it — leading to damage and a reduction in effectiveness over time. Eep.

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Surprise, surprise — this applies to your hairdryer, too, where you will notice that its power might be waning over the months. The reason for that is simple: dust. As with a vacuum (but for your tresses) it is important to empty your hairdryer’s filter from time to time to ensure its longevity in your beauty routine. Not forgetting your combs and brushes, too, where the gunk from your hair follicles; dead skin cells; styling wax, hairspray; and maybe even mites can make a home amongst its many bristles.

And yes, this applies to other accessories in the vein of hair ties, clips, and scrunchies too. We use these bad boys every day, allowing ’em to fester and deposit nastiness on our heads — which, in turn, could cause scalp and hair loss issues.

’nuff said: how should we be cleaning them?

Combs and hairbrushes

Wash ’em on a weekly basis. Begin by removing any strands that are stuck in the bristles of the brush by using a thin rod, such as a chopstick. Alternatively, use a pair of scissors to cut any clumped-together hair into smaller sections that can be easily removed. Fill a pail with warm water, and add a few pumps of shampoo.

Next, soak your brushes in the solution for a full 30 minutes. Lastly, take the brushes out and rinse them. If the base of the bristles are still dirty, take an old toothbrush and scrub it with the same solution. Leave the brushes out to air dry or use a blow dryer, after.


Wash ’em on a monthly basis. Twist off the back section of the hairdryer (consult the manual if you are unable to do this step) and remove the filter using a pair of tweezers. Then, wash the filter with warm running water and some hand soap. Leave it out to air-dry. Using a damp cloth or paper towel, clean the front and the end where the air passes through. Be thorough and remove any forms of dust spotted. Pop it back on, and voila.

Hair ties, clips, and caps

Wash ’em on a weekly basis. As with your brushes, the first thing to do is to remove any hair that is trapped. Fill a bucket with some warm water and shampoo, and be sure to soak the hair ties for 30 minutes. Then, wring them dry as gently as possible to avoid over-stretching. Air-drying is recommended to prevent any damage to the material.

Heating appliances

Wash and clean them after every use. (Yes, seriously.) Firstly, unplug the tool and allow it to cool down before attempting anything. Next, pour some rubbing alcohol onto a cloth or a cotton pad and rub it over the entire surface of the appliance. Be sure to repeat as many times until there is no residue left.

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