Stop what you’re doing and take a good look at your hairbrush. Does it look more like a bird’s nest than a Mason Pearson? If the former is true, it’s time for a cleaning. Because believe it or not, your gunky brush could be the reason your waves look more bed-head than beachy. Excess hair and product buildup can actually compromise your style, since the bristles in your brush aren’t able to do their thing.
Luckily, giving your hairbrush a thorough cleaning is actually a whole lot simpler than it sounds. “It’s very similar to how you clean makeup brushes,” says Josie Sanchez, master artist at Dop Dop Salon in New York City. Here’s the two-step process:
RELATED: Products That Will Get You the Best Hair of Your Life
1. Extricate trapped hair by way of working a medium-tooth comb between bristles.
2. Next, “soak your hairbrush in a sink with hot water and mix in some anti-bacterial soap,” she says. (The soap and water will further loosen any remaining hair, so be sure to adjust your drain accordingly.) Let soak for about five minutes.
3. Place it bristle-side down on a towel in order for any remaining water to escape. Allow the brush to dry overnight or, “if you’re in a rush, you can even blow-dry it,” says Sanchez.
And fear not—taking care of your hairbrush is far from a full-time job. Your brush only needs a soak about once a month. However, Sanchez encourages her clients to spot-clean with a comb once or twice a week, depending upon how much hair is shed and the product used. That said, if you find your brush is in a near-constant state of ick, it might be time to reassess your hair habits. “If you’re seeing a lot of buildup on the brush, it may mean you’re using too much product,” she says.
PHOTOS: 6 Splurge-Worthy Hair Products