Throw Your Hair Brush Away Immediately If You Notice This

As part of our basic styling toolkit, hairbrushes are always there when we need them. But take a closer look at these dependable tools. Like everything else in your beauty supply, hard-working hair brushes don't last forever. To take care of your hair, hairbrushes need regular maintenance. John Stevens, research and development lead at Goody Hair Products, told Today that cleaning your hairbrush is essential to making it last as long as possible. Hairbrushes are filled with all kinds of yucky buildup, including styling products, dust, and bacteria. According to a study from the University of Arizona, hairbrushes are home to more bacteria (3400 colonies/square inch) than your bathroom sink (per Kaia Naturals).

Real Simple recommends shampooing hair brushes once a month to keep your hairbrush and hair clean. After removing hair from the brush, clean it in a bowl of water and shampoo. A toothbrush can gently scrub and clean between bristles. Let the brush air dry on a towel with the bristles pointed down.

Goodbye, old hair brush

Hairbrushes have a lifespan of six months to one year, hairstylist and VaultBeauty expert Elizabeth Hickman told Real Simple. This range depends on the number of hair products you use. Sabit Hantal, hairstylist and founder of SH Fifth Avenue Salon, told Byrdie that high-end brushes might last as long as a few years. These pricier brushes frequently have heat-resistant bristles, which helps extend their life.

Suppose you notice your brush's bristles are separating. In that case, it's an early sign that it's time to replace the brush, according to Marc Anthony, hairstylist and founder of Marc Anthony True Professional Haircare (via Women's Health). Anthony suggests using argan oil on brush bristles to help preserve them. Once bristles become broken or missing, it's time for a replacement. These damaged bristles can lead to damaged hair, according to Elisa Fitzpatrick, a senior stylist at SEVEN Salon in Seattle (via Today). Blowdryers can also cause bristles to melt or fall out. If more than 10% of bristles are missing, or the hair brush's bed is cracking, it's time for a new brush. When it's time to say goodbye to your brush, it can't be recycled. Unlike plastic combs, hairbrushes are made of multiple materials, including glue and sealant, which prevent them from being recycled (via Can You Throw It Away).