How to Soften Hair Brush Bristles

by Ilana Waters ; Updated September 28, 2017

Softening hardened bristles may prevent you having to buy a new hairbrush.

hairbrush image by Alexandra Stukkey from Fotolia.com

These days, many individuals are looking to save a few dollars, and one way to do so is by cutting costs on hair styling tools. To avoid having to spend money on a new hair brush, consider reviving your old, hardened one by softening the bristles. Doing so on a regular basis can extend the life of your brush by months, if not years, says Katty Samaniego, hair designer of Anthony Garubo Salon and Day Spa in Maplewood, NJ.

Pour oil into the warm water and agitate with a coffee stirrer or small spoon.

Pour mixture into the shallow container and place hair brush inside it, bristles down. Although the oil and water will not stay mixed together for more than a few seconds, warm water helps the oil penetrate the bristles.

Allow the hair brush to soak in the mixture for at least five minutes.

Remove hair brush from the mixture and pat dry with a paper towel.

Dry hair brush with the hair dryer for approximately 5 minutes on "medium" setting. If desired, you can use a low setting for approximately 7 minutes. Hair brush bristles should now be soft enough for continued use. If bristles are still hard, repeat steps 1 through 5 a second time.


  • Only attempt this method on brushes with natural bristles; those made with synthetic fibers will not be able to regain their original texture. If you are prone to having an oily scalp, or oily hair, skip step 2 and soak the hair brush in warm water only. Do not dry the hair brush for longer than 5 minutes. If excess moisture remains on the brush, allow 24 hours for it to air-dry before use or before making a second attempt to soften the bristles. If the bristles do not soften after a third attempt, you probably need to replace the hair brush.

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  • Katty Samaniego, Anthony Garubo Salon and Day Spa, Maplewood, NJ
  • Sephora: The Ultimate Guide to Makeup, Skin, and Hair from the Beauty Authority; Melissa Schweiger; 2008

Photo Credits

  • hairbrush image by Alexandra Stukkey from Fotolia.com

About the Author

A professional writer for LexisNexis since 2008, Ilana Waters has created pages for websites such as ComLawOne.com and AndersonHome.com. A writing scholarship helped her graduate summa cum laude from Rutgers University with a Bachelor of Social Work. She then obtained her Master of Social Work from Monmouth University.