Why Cleaning Your Styling Tools Is So Important
Over time, your hairbrush, blow-dryer, and even your hot tools can all become matted with dust, hair, and styling-product residue. “Taking just five minutes to wipe them down will help them work better—and last longer,” says Candy Diaz, a stylist in New York City. Here, her tips for keeping them in working shape.
How to clean your hairbrushes
Step one in cleaning your brush is removing all the knotty hair that’s wound around its bristles. To do this, gently lift the strands off the base of the brush using the teeth of a rat tail comb or a ballpoint pen (with the tip retracted, of course). If the hair is really stuck in a round brush, try using small nail scissors to clip at the hair, enabling you to gently pull it free. Once all the hair is removed, you can clean the brush the same way you would a makeup tool—with warm water and gentle shampoo. If there is considerable buildup on your brush, Diaz suggests soaking your brushes for a few minutes in sterilizing Barbicide, like they do in barber shops, to dissolve the buildup. Then, after soaking, rinse again with warm water. Most hair brushes will benefit from a quick once-a-week cleanup.
How to clean your blow-dryer
Rule number one: Before you clean, make sure your dryer is unplugged from the wall. Then, remove the air-vent grill (it’s usually on the side or back of the blow-dryer) to expose the filter. Use tweezers to carefully remove lint, dust and hair from that filter—and finish by wiping with a dry microfiber cloth. Replace the grill. Note: If you can’t remove the grill, do the best you can to remove any lint using the tweezers through the grates. If you blow-dry more than three times a week, this should be a bi-weekly task for you. If you dry less than that, once a month or even every other month should be fine.
How to clean your curling iron, flat iron or rollers
Just like with your blow-dryer, always make sure a hot tool is unplugged before you start to clean it. You should also wait for it to cool down, though Diaz says wiping it while it is still slightly warm is helpful because heat softens sticky buildup and may make it easier to remove. Start with just a warm, damp microfiber cloth to get off the goo. Not enough? Use a little rubbing alcohol on a cotton round to wipe away stubborn stickiness. Then re-wipe with the damp cloth and dry with a clean towel. Warning: Allow the device to completely dry before you plug it in and use it again. Similar to a blow-dryer, the frequency of your cleanup is dependent on how regularly you use the device. But, on average, once a month is recommended—or sooner if you notice sticky buildup.
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