Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Cleaning Your Hair Brush - The Dirty Truth

I have a round, plastic-based hairbrush that is the perfect size for giving my fringe (American: "bangs") a little volume when I dry them. There's not much to my hair, so it can use all the help it can get. I noticed in the last few days that a rather serious gunk has built up on my brush over the years. I don't put any product in my hair after my shower so I can only assume this must be conditioner that has not been thoroughly rinsed out while wet. Ew. I will totally work on that.

Naturally, I went to the All-Knowing Google to find brilliant ideas on how others have cleaned their hair brushes, and I came across this page:

Clean My Space - How To Clean Your Hair Brush

Inspired, I took my shampoo downstairs, combined some with water and baking soda as instructed, then grabbed an old toothbrush I use to clean things from under the sink and started scrubbing my hair brush. I clean the hair from my brushes every morning, so I skipped the step where it suggests you rake through the brush to get the hair out first.

Here's what the page above doesn't tell you:

A) When you clean a brush in this manner, it grows its own hair. The more you clean, the more hair it grows. All on its own. No, really. And you think it's gross when the hair is dry and lying on your bathroom floor? Try picking it off a wet brush.

B) Baking soda and shampoo are no match for today's "moisturizing" conditioners, apparently. And as I thought about it whilst scrubbing away, why would you put more shampoo on the brush if shampoo is part of what's causing the gunk to accumulate to begin with? Hmm. Logic does often escape the 20-something set, brunette or not. Perhaps she meant a clarifying shampoo (one that strips your hair of chemical products that tend to overstay their welcome on the hair shaft).

C) New brushes are $5–$10 at a variety of places, and if you really want to go cheap, you can probably find one that will do at the Dollar Store (assuming you have those where you live). My Inner Economist added up how much I get paid per hour + the amount of enjoyment I get from cleaning the brush, and compared that to the time, money, and effort it would take to buy a new brush. The conclusion was: in the First World Scope of Things That I Live In, cleaning this brush was not economically efficient at all. (My Inner Environmentalist then pitched a fit.)

The good that came of all this is that I was using an applesauce jar that was conveniently soaking in the sink to combine my brush cleaner ingredients, and it occurred to me that if I bought a bulk bag of baking soda, I could upcycle some of my jars into baking soda deodorizers. Simply drill holes in the lids, fill with baking soda, decorate if you really feel that's necessary, and set them in your frig, freezer, closets, or anywhere that needs them. When it's time to change out the baking soda, just wash, dry, and refill.

I'm sure that idea is stuck on Pinterest somewhere, but for now I'm living in my own fantasy where I've come up with it all on my own, simply because my hair brush was dirty. At least this way, cleaning it wasn't a complete waste of time!

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