Can You Recycle Hair Brushes? (And Are They Biodegradable?)

Hairbrushes are items everyone owns. You certainly cannot run your fingers through your hair and expect to look as cute as you should. Simply put, hairbrushes are essential grooming tools everyone should own just like hairdryers.

Now, if you happen to have really long hair, then it is likely that you will own several hairbrushes. Unfortunately, your collection of brushes certainly were not designed to last forever. So when you feel them catching on your hair and causing you pain, you know that it is time to dispose of them.

Which begs the question of how you dispose of your old hairbrushes. Do you throw them right in the trash can? Or have you ever attempted to recycle them? Well, this blog post enlightens you on everything you need to know about disposing of your old hairbrushes in an environmentally friendly manner. Enjoy!

Are Hair Brushes Recyclable?

If you happen to be a member of the green movement, then it is likely that you always want to recycle your recyclable wastes. But how do you know the ones that should go to the recycling center and those that should end up in the trash can? Particularly, how do you dispose of your old hairbrushes?

Well, you cannot recycle hair brushes because they are made from diverse materials. For instance, your plastic hairbrushes may have a combination of plastic, horsehair, boar bristle, and a variety of various materials. Unfortunately, recycling centers hardly ever recycle materials that are made from a combination of diverse materials.

Before anything is done at a recycling center, the workers sort through and classify the materials according to their similarities. For instance, they will recycle paper bags with other paper materials.

But with hairbrushes, the materials are just too diverse. For example, do they go in with plastic materials or wooden materials? Even if they do, chances are that they will pollute the materials in there and render everything useless.

Well, to avoid problems like this, recycling centers refrain from accepting and recycling old hairbrushes. Aside from the diversity of materials, some hairbrushes contain glue or a sealant that can damage recycling machines if they are tossed in them. The sealant can also contaminate the other materials in the recycling machine.

Now, how do you dispose of the brushes if you cannot recycle them? Well, you may choose to donate them to charity. However, most charities do not accept used hairbrushes because that isn’t hygienic.

You may then choose to donate them to veterinarians and animal groomers. It will undoubtedly prove helpful to them because they can use the hairbrushes to brush the fur of the animals in their care. You will be saving them a few bucks, and they will be thankful for it.

Your other option is to throw the useless hairbrushes in the trash can. Unfortunately, not all of them are biodegradable, but currently, there is almost no other option.

Are Hair Brushes Biodegradable?

The biodegradability of a material depends on how fast microorganisms can act on it and break it down. Materials that take longer to break down tend to be non-biodegradable.

Typically, hairbrushes are made from either plastic or wood. Simply put, they have wood or plastic as their base materials. Then, of course, there are other materials like horsehair and boar bristles involved.

Now, except the manufacturer makes a conscious effort to manufacture eco-friendly hairbrushes, it is safe to say that hairbrushes are not biodegradable. They contain a range of materials that microorganisms cannot decompose. Of course, these materials will still break down, but it will take a long time for that to happen.

Some hair brushes are made entirely from plastics, and these are even more harmful to the environment if they are left lying around. You should inquire at your local recycling center if you can recycle hair brushes made purely from plastic.

Some manufacturers are now designing hair brushes from eco-friendly materials. It is a necessity because everyone owns a hairbrush. However, if we all dispose of our hairbrushes in the bin because we cannot recycle them, we inevitably put the environment in danger.

These new hairbrush designs are made from materials that are biodegradable or can be recycled. So when next you run down to the supermarket for some toiletries, you may want to look out for hairbrushes that are environmentally friendly.

Are Bamboo Hair Brushes Good?

Bamboo hair brushes are one of such brushes that are made from environmentally friendly materials. They are made purely from bamboo, down to the bristles. There are numerous advantages to using a bamboo hairbrush, and we will inform you of some of them shortly.

Of course, the major advantage of using a bamboo hairbrush is that it is made purely from an environmentally friendly material. Bamboo is obtained from a type of tree, which makes it highly biodegradable. It will decompose in a matter of days if it ends up in a landfill.

With a bamboo hairbrush, you never have to worry about harming the environment. The best part is that you can even add it to your compost pile. It will undoubtedly serve as fertilizer for your plants if you have got any. Disposing of a bamboo brush will never be an issue.

Another advantage is that bamboo brushes offer better and painless detangling. The bamboo bristles run smoothly through your hair without causing you any pain. It also happens with less to nonexistent static. Bamboo has a neutral charge that ensures that you don’t have to worry about getting frizzy when you brush out your hair.

Summarily, there are numerous advantages of using a bamboo hairbrush. It produces a better result on your hair, is not hazardous to the environment, and does not require a special disposal method.

When Should You Throw Away a Hair Brush?

If you are like most people who find it hard to let things go, it may also apply to your hairbrush. But, even aside from that, you may not realize when you should really let go of your favorite hairbrush.

Well, experts recommend that you throw out your hairbrush every 6 months. But, of course, a good hairbrush is integral to having shiny and great hair, and you defeat that purpose when you don’t change your hairbrush when you should.

Hairbrushes gather a build-up of oil, hair products, and dirt over time. So, of course, you should clean them regularly. But most people do not do that, hence the recommendation to change your hairbrush as often as twice a year.

Even aside from the build-up of dirt, the bristles eventually wear out and catch on your hair and cause you pain. They also become physically incapable of doing what they have been designed to do.

It would be best if you threw out your hairbrush every six months or when the bristles start catching on your hair.

5 Impressive Ways to Reuse Old Hair Brushes

Experts recommend that you throw out your old hairbrushes every 6 months. Inevitably, it means that you will be acquiring quite the collection of old hairbrushes. You certainly cannot recycle hair brushes that are not made purely from plastic or pure materials, and if they aren’t made from bamboo, you cannot compost them.

You can, however, repurpose them. We have several repurpose tips you can use, and we guarantee that you will have fun trying them out.

1. Hat Hangers

We bet you didn’t know that you can use your old hairbrushes to make a hat hanger. Well, now you do. The perk is that this craft is pretty straightforward. You will need a glue gun, a base for the hangers, and some paint.

You may attach the base or holder to the wall using a strong adhesive or a nail gun. Ensure that it’s a beautiful color already, maybe your favorite shade of blue or pink.  Next, saw off the narrow part of the old hairbrushes and attach them to the holder. Of course, you may paint the sawn-off edges some of your favorite colors.

Before you know it, you have got yourself an edgy hat or coat stand.

2. Pirate’s Treasure

If you are fond of adventures, then you will love this tip. You will need a glue gun and some stones. You can take them off your old jewelry or from a sequin outfit. You may also need some paint to add some color to the handle of the brush.

Next, attach the stones to random parts of the brush, and you have yourself a pirate’s treasure. It is a crafty hack for adults and kids alike. It certainly is a way to keep the kids busy if you have got any.

You can place the repurposed hair brushes are different parts of the house. It produces an artsy and aesthetically pleasing feel.

3. Scrubbing Brushes

You probably did not know that you can use your old brushes as scrubbing brushes. Of course, it will have to be used to scrub bags and strong materials that may prove tricky to wash with bare hands. You may also use them to wash the back of your skillets and pots. Throw in some scrubbing powder, and you’ll find yourself with a clean pot within minutes.

These brushes also work for tires. So you can use your old hairbrushes to scrub the tires of your vehicle or bicycle. But of course, you will have to use a brush that is sturdy enough. You may also choose to donate them to dry cleaners and people who own car wash centers.

4. Donate Them to Veterinarians

One other way to repurpose your old hair brushes is to visit the veterinarians in your area and donate your old brushes to them. They will undoubtedly come in handy when animals need to be groomed. However, not all veterinary hospitals accept old hairbrushes.

You may also donate them to rescue homes. There are, of course, always pets that need to be groomed.

5. Grooming Brushes

If you have pets like cats or dogs, or generally any furry animal, then you may reserve your old hair brushes for them. You may use them to wash your pets and brush them when they are dry.

Old hair brushes undoubtedly come in handy for animal grooming.

Items that you can repurpose certainly make great gift items most of the time. However, you cannot gift out repurposed hair brushes due to hygiene concerns.


Hairbrushes are items we cannot do without because they are essential to our grooming and hygiene. However, most are made from materials that you cannot recycle, and as such, have to be thrown away.

This blog post shows you some of the ways you can dispose of old hair brushes without necessarily harming the environment so please, read up and stay informed.


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About Rinkesh

A true environmentalist by heart ❤️. Founded Conserve Energy Future with the sole motto of providing helpful information related to our rapidly depleting environment. Unless you strongly believe in Elon Musk‘s idea of making Mars as another habitable planet, do remember that there really is no 'Planet B' in this whole universe.