How To Clean Your Boar Bristle Brush

All No Poo Movement advocates agree that a boar bristle brush is a must-have tool to be successful on your No Poo journey.

However, no one explains how to clean your boar bristle brush correctly, which I’ve always found pretty surprising. Surely removing the collected dirt and oils from your brush is massively important so that you do not reintroduce these back into your hair and scalp?!

A boar bristle brush is used to pull down the natural oils from the scalp to the ends of your hair, nourishing each and every strand. Owning and using a boar bristle brush is just the first step. Keeping your boar bristle brush clean so that it can benefit your hair during your No Poo journey is a daily requirement that should not be overlooked.

Brushing your hair to distribute the natural sebum oils and remove tangles is often a daily chore, particularly at the beginning of your No Poo journey, anyhow.

If you regularly use your brush then keeping your boar bristle brush clean is an important part of your hair care regime. 

Read on to find out how to clean your boar bristle brush, correctly.

How To Clean Your Boar Bristle Brush

The boar bristle brush is one thing that you really ought to buy to aid you in your No Poo routine.

This is especially true if you are trying to navigate your way through either the sebum only or water only No Poo methods.

A boar bristle brush is a brush made from the bristles of a boar which are naturally harvested with no harm to the animal. The bristles can be either hard or soft, depending upon which brush you choose.

There are several key benefits to using a boar bristle brush, including:

  • Natural Product: Many boar bristle brushes are made solely from natural products.
  • Effective: The natural bristles move sebum through the lengths of your hair with ease.
  • Choice: Soft and hard bristles are available. Soft for thin or hair prone to breakage, and hard bristle for thicker and coarser hair.
  • Shine: The boar bristles add shine to your hair.
  • Frizz: By closing the hair’s cuticles, not only can your hair be shinier, but you will lessen frizz.

Many online specialists state that boar bristle brushes should only be used on dry hair, which will understandably prompt the query, can boar bristle brushes get wet?

The simple answer is, yes. Your boar bristle brush needs to be clean to work effectively.

Therefore it needs to be regularly cleaned; preferably removing loose hair and debris after each use, and washing it weekly to remove any greasy build-up. 

For a daily clean, removing the loose hair and gently wiping with a cloth will work well enough.

However, should you need to give your boar bristle brush a more thorough clean, below is a step by step guide to keeping your boar bristle brush in superb condition, with its weekly wash:

1. Remove Dirt And Debris

Gently remove loose hair from between the bristles.

2. Use A Comb

Use a comb to teeze out any stubborn hairs.

3. Clean The Brush

Pour warm water into a bowl, then wash your boar bristle brush with a small amount of No Poo wash.

If you aim to clean your brush on the same schedule as you wash your hair, make a little extra of your preferred No Poo wash to use on your brush, to avoid wasting time.

4. Water Immersion

Take a clean cloth and immerse in the water.

5. Dip The Bristles

Dip the bristles of your brush in the water/wash mix making sure that only the bristles meet the water.

6. Wipe With A Damp Cloth

Run the damp cloth carefully between the bristles.

7. Rinse Cloth

Rinse out the cloth and continue cleaning the bristles and pad until the brush is clean.

8. Apply Cold Water

Rinse off the bristles in cold water to remove any No Poo wash residue.

9. Squeeze Your Brush

If your brush has a cushion base to the bristles, this should be squeezed to make sure that any water that has got in it, is removed. Otherwise, unpleasant bacteria and mould may grow.

10. Dry Thin Cloth

Use a dry thin cloth to remove the majority of the water.

11. Turn Upside Down

Turn the brush upside down on a clean cloth or towel, and allow it to soak up any remaining water.

How Often Should You Clean A Boar Bristle Brush

How often to clean a boar bristle brush is often asked by those wanting to keep both their brush and their hair clean.

A thorough clean should be carried out weekly, or more often if you are in the transition phase or work/live in a particularly polluted environment.

Otherwise, removing loose hairs and wiping through the bristles will help keep your brush clean in the short term.

What Is A Boar Bristle Brush?

A boar bristle brush is exactly as it sounds. It is a hairbrush that has bristles made from boar hair.

You may well ask, what does a boar bristle brush do?

Well, the boar bristles are simply the best natural product to distribute the natural oils from your scalp down the length of your hair.

Many believe that the best type of brush is one that is made from 100% boar bristles of the first cut.

However, boar bristle brushes are not always 100% boar bristles, but can also have plastic prongs, or other non-boar bristle sections.

In addition to pure boar bristle brushes, there are also boar bristle brushes that also have nylon pins. The idea with these brushes is that the nylon bristles help to detangle hair and make it easier to pull the brush through thick and coarse hair.

As with traditional brushes, there are different shapes and styles available, including:

  • Round
  • Flat
  • Vented

You can also buy brushes with either hard or soft bristles.

Vegan boar bristle brushes are available, which try to use non-animal products to simulate the action of a traditional boar bristle brush.

Read my article ‘Best Hair Brush For No Poo‘ to determine which shapes and styles are best for your individual hair type and scalps needs.

Benefits Of Using A Boar Bristle Brush

A boar bristle brush (BBB) will keep your hair in the very best condition.

Other benefits of the brush include:

  • Shine: As the natural oils are distributed through your hair the shine will increase.
  • Health: Sebum nourishes and conditions each hair strand, thereby improving hair health.
  • Scalp: Boar bristles massage the scalp and improve blood flow.
  • Growth: A stimulated scalp will provide better hair growth.
  • Cleanliness: The BBB brush will remove dirt, debris, and excess oils from your hair.
  • De-tangles: A BBB will help detangle your hair with the least amount of breakage.
  • Frizz: Using your BBB will help close cuticles and reduce frizz.

A nylon brush, apart from using man-made products rather than concentrating on the benefits of natural and sustainable wares, will not move the sebum from your scalp as effectively as a BBB.

Best Boar Bristle Brush

There are many boar bristle brushes now available. Some of which are 100% boar bristle, some contain nylon, and others are vegan simulations.

The best BBB for your hair is a brush made with 100% boar bristles.

If you are concerned about not having nylon bristles to help detangle your hair, there is no need to worry. All you need to do is section your hair first, before brushing. The thicker your hair, the more sections will be needed.

This has the added bonus of ensuring that every single strand of hair is covered with natural oils, and your scalp will be wonderfully stimulated which will reduce hair loss and aid hair growth.

One of the best 100% boar bristle brushes is by Belula (Click the link to read the customer reviews about this product sold via Amazon).

This brush even comes with a few extras for a very reasonable price tag.

If you feel that you need to have nylon tips to manage your thick hair, then take a look at Youretheone’s exceptional value boar bristle brush (link to Amazon).

For those of you who want the boar bristle brush experience, but without the animal product, then perhaps consider buying a Sofmild bamboo brush from Amazon.

The benefit of this brush is that you can keep away from fully nylon brushes and still help your hair to look its best.

Boar Hair Brush Smell

If you keep your boar bristle brush regularly cleaned, then you should not experience an unpleasant odour.

The only time a scent will appear is if the bristles are wet or damp.

Try using a clean dry cloth after washing your brush to remove as much of the remaining moisture as possible.

If your brush is one with a cushion base, squeeze this after washing to get rid of any water that may have seeped inside, and place the brush upside down to dry.

Should you still find that your brush has an odour that you struggle to live with, then a very, very light spray of essential oil mixed with water over the bristles after use will help mask the smell.

Remember to use the spray as conservatively as possible, and only once you have finished brushing for the day.


The instructions for how to clean a boar bristle brush are quite straightforward.

Basically, after removing hair without pulling at the bristles, wash carefully in a gentle No Poo wash and leave the brush to dry naturally.

If you regularly clean your boar bristle brush it will last for years and the benefit to your scalp and hair will be difficult to miss.

Related Questions

How To Clean A Mixed Bristle Brush

If you have a mixed bristle brush the cleaning instructions are very similar to those for a boar bristle brush. The important thing is that you clean your brush regularly and thoroughly.

How To Clean Wooden Bristle Hair Brush

Make sure you use a hot damp cloth that has been wrung out to remove all of the grease and residue that builds up on your brush.

Katrina Stewardson

Hello! My name is Katrina Stewardson, and I've been obsessed for almost ever with discovering the best natural hair methods for my own hair. For years I longed for one website to tell me everything I needed to know about the amazing No Poo Method movement. I just couldn't find one though, so I decided to create it myself! I dearly hope this website will save all you lovely ladies (and gents!) from wasting hours scrolling the internet looking for natural hair-related information like I did.

Recent Posts