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How to Clean a Comb

How to Clean Professional Combs - A Complete Guide
As a professional hair stylist or hairdresser, keeping your combs clean and thoroughly sanitised is essential. Not only does it prove your professionalism, but it’s also vital to ensure the health and comfort of your clients while they’re in the chair.
This guide provides the reasons why you should keep your combs clean and a simple step-by-step guide on how to clean your combs, whether you’re in the salon or at home.

Why should you clean your comb?
On a day-to-day basis, our hair goes through a lot. Exposure to weather conditions, dirt, dust, and germs is an inescapable hazard as people go through everyday life, and many people add hair products such as gel, mousse, and spray into the mix.

All of this contributes to collecting grime and dirt over time in combs. And using unclean combs on hair plays a big part in many hair and scalp conditions, such as dandruff, hair fall, and scalp infections. Just as you wouldn’t wash your face with a dirty facecloth, hair should not be subjected to contaminated combs.
Undertaking a regular cleaning regime for your combs helps to keep your clients’ hair healthy, and shiny when they leave the salon.

How often should you clean a comb?
Using clean tools for each client is essential in a busy hair salon, where germs circulate, and combs come into contact with various types of hair, from freshly washed heads to those that have picked up dirt and grease time.
Combs, regularly used for colouring, cutting, and styling, should be thoroughly cleaned between clients to ensure that your clients are not exposed to germs and dirt. As soon as a comb meets the client’s hair, it should not be used on anyone else until it’s thoroughly cleaned.

Hard rubber comb cleaning instructions
These simple steps can help you ensure that your hard rubber combs are kept clean in-between clients, ensuring the comfort and safety of everyone.
  • Remove hair
    The first step is to remove any excess hair from the comb. Dead hair comes away from the head when combed and can become trapped between the teeth. In addition, cut hair can become stuck to the comb, so ensuring that it’s removed and correctly disposed of is essential.
  • Soak your comb in lukewarm water with shampoo
    Fill a large glass vessel with warm water and add shampoo to it before submerging your comb for a few minutes. The combination of warm water and shampoo softens the gunky residue that collects between the teeth of the comb. This is a particular problem with thin-toothed combs.
    Once the gunk has softened, usually within a few minutes, the rest of the cleaning process becomes much more manageable.
  • Scrub the comb
    Once the comb has spent some time submerged in water, scrub it thoroughly to dislodge the gunk and residue. An old toothbrush is an excellent way to do this, as the bristles can quickly get between the teeth. Alternatively, scrubbing another comb against it can do the trick.
  • Get in between each tooth
    Of course, combs come in all different shapes and sizes, from wide-tooth combs to tiny narrow-tooth versions. The narrower the teeth and the gap between them, the more difficult it can be to get in between and clean thoroughly. Make sure you get in between each tooth to ensure that all the residue and dirt have been removed.
  • Don’t forget to rinse
    Setting your combs to one side to dry once you’re happy everything’s been removed can be tempting. However, rinsing them with clean water before letting them dry is a critical step in the process, as this ensures any loose dirt and gunk washes away. Any leftover shampoo or conditioner could make your next client’s hair greasy.
  • Dry the combs with a towel
    Once rinsed, thoroughly dry your combs on a dry towel. This will remove any excess water and keep the teeth nice and fresh. Get in between the teeth if you can.
  • Sanitise your comb
    To complete the cleaning process, combs should be sanitised again to eliminate any lingering germs that might have been collected during the cleaning process. All good salons and hairstylists should use a product like Saloncide solution to thoroughly disinfect all equipment before reusing it.
The final word
Cleanliness is a paramount for anyone working in the hair and beauty industry. No client wants to be exposed to dirty tools as they have their hair done, and as hair professionals, we all have a responsibility to provide a safe and healthy environment for them.
Following these simple steps will ensure the comfort of your clients and their hair, and have them return to your chair repeatedly for years to come.
If your old combs are waiting to be replaced, or you’re looking for new ones to add to your collections please visit our comb collection page and pick your favourites.