Viral Video Shows Why You Should Be Regularly Washing Your Hairbrush

Viral TikTok videos have claimed that unwashed hair brushes could be why your hair gets greasy quickly, and experts have agreed.

A popular video shared to the social media app showed just how much dirt is harbored on your hairbrushes. As it so commonly is with TikTok however, trust isn't automatically in the hands of viral videos, so Newsweek spoke to experts who dished their views on the impact of washing your hairbrush.

TikTok user @everything_tidy hit over 3.8 million views with her hairbrush washing trial, after posting the video on November 12. "I watched a video last week, and it was a lady and she said that maybe the main reason that your hair is getting greasy or oily quickly isn't in fact because of your hair follicles and it is in fact because of your brush," she explained in the clip.

The TikToker continues to submerge four hairbrushes in hot water and shampoo, before leaving them to soak. After an hour, the once-clean water had turned a murky brown color.

"Ladies, don't forget to wash your hairbrushes," she warned. "I didn't even know that was a thing."

Highly celebrated British hair colorist and The Hair Boss founder, Lisa Shepherd told Newsweek that people don't tend to wash their hairbrushes, "but they really should."

According to Shepherd, failing to wash your brushes can lead to a whole heap of things you certainly don't want in your mane: "Dead skin, product and your natural oils can collect on your brush if you don't give it a good wash. It's the perfect environment for bacteria."

"If you have built-up oils in the bristles of your brush, this can transfer onto your hair. Every time you brush this will disperse the oil through your strands. If you suffer from oily hair, regularly giving your brush a deep clean could cause a great improvement in the amounts of oil you're seeing."

Built-up product on the brush can also make it look like dandruff in your hair, said Shepherd: "If you use a lot of products or gels, the product can cluster together and cause flakes of what could look like dandruff or sometimes resembles lint. Soaking is a great way to get rid of any stuck product or knotted hair."

Shepherd recommends picking the shedded hair from your brush every few days, in order to reduce the area for dead skin cells or oils to hide. "If you use any sort of leave in conditioners, oils or dry shampoos, you should wash your hairbrush once a week or, at least, once a fortnight [two weeks]."

Hairbrush with hair in
Stock image of a hairbrush. Built-up product on the brush can make it look like dandruff in your hair. Getty Images

She advised that you use a clarifying shampoo, like her own The Hair Boss Virgin Shampoo, or "something that breaks down oils, to ensure that your brush is thoroughly clean. I like to run a comb through the bristles to ensure that every tangled hair is out, and that water has gotten into every crevice."

On the cleaning side of it all, Matthew Harrison, cleaning expert at, agreed that uncleaned hairbrushes host various unwanted dirt, but issued a warning on how to clean different types of brushes.

"You should be careful with paddle brushes as they tend to trap water underneath, so you may be best washing them once a month instead," he explained.

Just like Shepherd, Harrison recommends removing the hair, using tweezers to get any small ones. Then, soak the brush in clarifying shampoo or an anti-bacterial solution and warm water for around five minutes.

He also recommends scrubbing any stubborn areas with leftover marks using an old toothbrush, before finally leaving them to air dry.

"The minute you learn that your hairbrush is probably harboring dust mites, this becomes quite an appealing routine," summarized Shepherd.

"CleanTok" might be criticized for being overkill when it comes to scrubbing surfaces and overusing products, but this time, it seems it really is necessary.