Blame it on my tendencies to want to bleach everything, but I don’t like it when my brushes (and sometimes combs) have any kind of sticky residue on them. If I’m not careful and fall off of my normal cleaning schedule, my conditioner will leave a buildup on the little dips on the cushion of my paddle brush which drives me bananas!
When I was growing up, my mom was just as meticulous as I am – burning our shed hair after detangling and boiling our combs and brushes to get them sparkling clean after a few uses. Okay, my mom was a little extra with the hair burning (she said if you threw it out and a bird got it to make a nest, your hair would fall out) but the clean hair brush and comb deals I always took note of. She did freak me out with the bird thing so I just flush my shed hair. Don’t judge me.
You don’t have to burn anything to get your brushes and combs clean – and we do need them clean – there is nothing more disappointing than getting bits of conditioner from a previous washing session in your hair. You can clean them a few ways – with baking soda or do a modified version of my mama’s way with boiling water.
Mama Bella’s Modified Boiling Water Brush and Comb Cleaner:
1. Remove all the hair from your brushes (and combs). I like to do this when the hair is dry because it comes out as one piece. You can also run water over them and use a rat tail or comb with close teeth to comb the hair out.
2. Bring 4-5 cups of water to a rolling boil and then turn off the heat.
3. Pour the boiling water into a large heat safe bowl – not metal, or you can pour the water into the sink.
4. Add a drop of dish detergent (I don’t recommend shampoo because you want a stronger, squeaky clean) and a half cap of bleach (optional). I always use lavender clorox so my cleaning sessions leave my brushes and combs smelling sooo clean and not like bleach.
5. Drop your combs and brushes into the hot water and let them sit for about a 1/2 hour. Remove them from the water and if need be, add detergent to your brushes and scrub the cushion of your brushes with your fingers to remove any build up and let sit for another 1/2 hour if need be.
6. Remove your brushes from the water, rinse with lukewarm water and lay them on a towel to air-dry.
Baking Soda Comb and Brush Cleaner
1. Remove all the hair from your brushes and combs.
2. Pour 4-5 cups of the hottest tap water you have into a narrow container (I use an old flower vase).
3. Add a 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda and stir to dissolve.
4. Drop your combs and brushes into the hot water and let them sit for about a 1/2 hour. Remove them from the water and if need be, add baking soda to your brushes and scrub the cushion of your brushes with your fingers to remove any build up and let sit for another 1/2 hour if need be.
5. Remove your brushes from the water, rinse with lukewarm water and lay them on a towel to air-dry.
How do you clean your combs and brushes?
My relatives say the same thing about burning your hair stands, but it wasn't for keeping them away from birds, more of to avoid voodoo :s
Caribbean Grandmothers are the best. My gran was the same. Old jamaican woman down at the bottom of the garden burning her hair. "Dem dutty birds will mek nest outta fe you hair" she'd say. This brought back memories.
I just used hot water and shampoo to clean my combs. =/
My mother always burnt our hair too. She is from the south also. Her reasoning was that someone could use it to work roots on you….lol.
I agree with Anon @4:15. What's wrong with shampoo? This appears to be another case of "making things harder than they have to be."
Oh my gosh! My grandmother (who is from The Caribbean) used to burn shed hair too along with her finger and toe nail clippings (eww!!). She used to say the same about the birds but also she said she did it so those who wished to do her harm couldn't find it and have power over her. Thanks for the cleaning tips!!
What's wrong with just using shampoo???
I clean my combs, brushes, tangle teezer, hair clips, and hair rollers like Mama Bella. I half way fill my kitchen sink with tap hot water and then add a large pot of boiling hot water, dish detergent, and a few capfuls of bleach. I let it sit for at least an hour and then I rinse a couple of times thoroughly and let them dry overnight.
Well I've lived through all these supersititions. I thought I was the only one scared to throw hair in the trash. We couldn't flush it either so burning was the only option.
~Have happy hair ladies
My mom burns hair as well. But the outcome was a bird putting it in it's nest and you going crazy and your hair falling out lol. This was passed down from my grandmother.
I just throw mine away, if I burned all of my shed hair for the week I would need to have a bonfire 🙂
I don't use combs/brushes these days but I used to wash them with shampoo in the sink. To get in between the bristles, I used an old toothbrush. ~KF519
My mother use to burn hair too…She never told me why but she is from Baltimore MD.
OOh, I won't put my purse on the floor, my hat on the bed, or sweep my feet with the broom!
Maybe since I don't use brushes, this is not an issue for me. My combs stay in the shower and never have product build up because I don't use them during the process. BUT- my mom told us a similar story about not burning hair. In her version, if a bird got it, we would have headaches. I just stopped doing it about 2 years ago AND found out that mom herself had stopped doing it years before that. I called her to discuss in front of my husband why I burned hair and she was like- oh I quit doing that a long time ago! And I asked- well why didn't you send me the memo??!! LOL! That was a good laugh! It's kind of funny to hear a variation from someone else. And she was from the south. — Poeticlyspkng
Is your mom from the carribean? LOL. They are good for superstitions. I still won't leave my purse on the floor cuz my grandmother-in-law (RIP) passionately believed I and the rest of my family would be broke if I did.