Cleaning Hair Accessories
Often we concentrate on keeping our hair clean and in tiptop shape, but how often do we consider the cleanliness of those items we use to style and accessorize our hair on a daily basis? I’m talking about the combs, brushes, headbands, scrunchies, bandos and even the rollers used to do your rollersets each wash day. How clean you keep these items is just as important as how clean you keep your hair. Imagine washing your vehicle and then polishing it with dirt. Maybe my analogy is a bit extreme but it’s the same thing when you use dirty accessories on a clean head of hair.
In salons they use a fancy schmancy disinfecting apparatus, but for the average home user this is not necessary. All you need is a little shampoo, some warm water and good ole elbow grease. It doesn’t even have to be your favourite shampoo. You can use a cheap shampoo or if you purchased a shampoo that didn’t work out well for you, instead of throwing it away why not demote it to the accessory-washing role? Whatever you do, avoid using harsh detergents that do not have safe ingredients or safe pH’s for hair.**
Combs and brushes
These take the brunt of the styling tasks on a daily basis. If you’re on top of your moisturize and seal regimen you will notice the gunk building up quite quickly. Combs and brushes therefore need to be cleaned often. I personally clean mine every wash day for the simple reason that it makes little sense to wash my hair if I’m going to then caress it with dirty styling tools.
To clean simply place a dollop of shampoo on the brush, wet lightly and then use the brush to clean the teeth of the comb. Once the comb is clean you can stroke the comb through the brush to clean the brush.
Scrunchies, Headbands, Scarves, Bandos & Elastics
How often you wash these largely depends on how often you wear them. If you’re wearing them daily, then a weekly wash may be required. However, if you wear them once a week, then a monthly or bi-monthly wash may suffice. I tend to fall into the monthly or bi-monthly category. Of course if you’re active and sweat a lot in your head, you will need to clean these more often.
For these accessories, I soak in a bowl of warm water with enough shampoo to make a good lather. Once they have been soaking for a few minutes and while still soaking I squeeze them to remove the grease and build-up and then rinse. If the build-up is heavy you may choose to soak overnight.
Believe it or not, these do require washing albeit not as often as some of your other accessories and styling tools. I shudder when I see some friends’ and family members’ rollers. Clearly they were never washed in the years that they were in their possession. Again how often you wash these will depend on how often you rollerset and how much product you have in your hair when you do use them. For me once or twice a year is sufficient.
To clean, soak in warm water with shampoo. After they have been soaking for a little while, use an old toothbrush (that hasn’t been exposed to any harsh chemicals) to scrub the grease and grime from each roller. Once done rinse and place on a towel to air-dry.
As you can see, your cleaning schedule will largely depend on how often you use your accessories, the amount of product you use in your hair and whether you sweat heavily in your head. Whatever your situation make sure that you incorporate a cleaning regimen for those accessories and styling tools to truly ensure clean hair.
**Before you start washing willy nilly determine whether the accessory is wash-safe. Headbands with delicate feathers and embellishments for example are probably not good candidates for washing. Use your better judgement before washing any hair accessory.