The best hair brush cleaner
Do you struggle to clean your hairbrushes and combs? Between hair, residue, and product buildup, it can prove to be nothing short of a challenge. Take the hard work out of the task by investing in a hair brush cleaner.
It's tough to manually remove strands from brushes, which is why hair brush cleaners are designed with thin, far-reaching bristles or wires. Not only do they dislodge even tightly-wrapped hair, but they also scrape away dirt and debris that are stuck between bristles or teeth. By removing the buildup, your hair brush remains clean -- and won't transfer oils or dirt to hair.
If you're looking for an easier way to keep your brushes free of dirt and hair, give our buying guide on hair brush cleaners a read. We're sharing an overview of popular designs and features. At the end, we're also featuring a few recommendations, including our top choice, Denman Hairbrush Cleaner, which is equipped with tough, no-nonsense bristles that are capable of cleaning virtually every type of brush or comb.
Considerations when choosing hair brush cleaners
Single-function or single-cleaning
Rudimentary designs of hair brush cleaners only have one end for cleaning. These typically have nylon bristles or metal tines, and are designed to be durable enough for daily use. Unfortunately, they might not be effective on certain types of brushes or combs.
The most popular types of hair brush cleaners feature dual tips. For the most part, tips can include tines, bristles, blunt tips, or hooks. Dual-end hair brush cleaners are designed not only to target multiple types of brushes, but also to dislodge dirt, fuzz, and hair-product buildup.
Triple cleaners are ideal for all-purpose brush cleaning. They usually have a combination of bristle types or tines, as well as a blunt tip or a hook. Triple cleaners will handle hair and gunk on a diverse range of brushes, but sometimes, their multifunctional designs mean grips and handles aren't always distinguished -- making them somewhat challenging to hold.
Types of cleaner ends
Hair brush cleaners often have bristles that are strikingly similar to those seen on hair brushes. They are usually made of nylon or plastic, and tend to be densely packed, short, and firm so they can tease away stubborn hair from the brush.
Tines are usually made of metal and contoured with a hook-like end to grip hair. They're ideal if hair is tightly wound around a brush, particularly round brushes. They aren't, however, recommended for use with soft bristle brushes and some plastic paddle brushes.
Teeth usually resemble teeth seen on combs; however, they tend to be a bit longer and can be more widely spaced. They're typically made of plastic and feature blunt tips, so they're ideal for scraping brushes to dislodge gunk and product buildup.
Some hair brush cleaners have a single blunt tip, which is effective at maneuvering between brush bristles to lift large chunks of hair from the brush. Depending how tapered the tip is, it can also be used to scrape away gunk.
Basic hair brush cleaners with single tips or dual ends cost $5 and below. If you're willing to spend closer to $10, you'll find cleaners with triple ends or metal tines. Premium hair brush cleaners designed to manage certain types of brushes cost anywhere from $10 to $16.
Q. Should I wet the hair brush cleaner before using it on a brush?
A. No, as it won't make much of a difference in the cleaning. Introducing unnecessary moisture to the brush can also trap water in nooks and crannies -- resulting in the growth of mold and mildew in these tiny spaces.
Q. How do I clean a hair brush cleaner?
A. Besides manually removing hair from it, it's a good idea to give it a few sprays with a can of compressed air. This helps remove superficial dirt and debris from the bristles, tines, or teeth. For a deeper cleaning, wash it in diluted soapy water and let it air dry.
Hair brush cleaners we recommend
Best of the best: Denman's Hairbrush Cleaner
Our take: Best choice for individuals with a diverse collection of brushes and combs.
What we like: Capable of cleaning brushes without damaging bristles. Compact enough for travel.
What we dislike: Finer strands of hair can be harder to remove from the cleaner than others.
Best bang for your buck: Scalpmaster's Brush/Comb Cleaner
Our take: Earns high marks for its budget-friendly price and highly capable design.
What we like: Effective at dislodging hair as well as residue. Densely packed bristles penetrate boar hair brushes well.
What we dislike: Slight learning curve when it comes to maneuvering round brushes.
Choice 3: Olivia Garden's Brush Cleaner
Our take: Genuine time-saver as its design works quickly and efficiently.
What we like: Contoured metal rakes dislodge hair easily. Much easier to clean than bristle models.
What we dislike: Given its unique design, it's one of the more expensive options.
Sian Babish is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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