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Why Do Brushes Shed?

May 28, 2020

Why Do Brushes Shed?

Be aware that a certain amount of shedding is normal in natural hair brushes, especially in a new brush. Excessive or prolonged hair shedding is not normal beyond three months.  Synthetic brushes are less prone to shedding.


Most common causes of shedding:

  • The brush is new. All brushes have a break in period.
  • Improper care. Improper drying technique after washing is the number one reason for shedding. See how to clean brushes properly.
  • Dried out natural hairs will be more susceptible to breakage and shedding. Use conditioner to soften. See how to clean brushes properly.
  • The fluffier the brush, the less dense the hairs are packed together and the more likely hairs will work themselves loose and shed while in use.
  • Quick movements or intense pressure while using a brush can cause natural bristle brushes to break along the hair shaft.
  • Faulty manufacture may not have anchored the hairs/bristles properly. Most brushes are made by knotting or gluing bristles to the handle and holding them in place by slipping a tight metal piece (ferrule) over the bonded area between bristle and handle. Even expensive brushes experience glitches.


How to Prevent Brush Hair Shedding

  • Wash a new brush before using it the first time. This helps remove any stray or loose hairs from manufacturing process.
  • Clean brushes routinely: 1-4 times per month.
  • Dry wet brushes properly. Never dry washed brushes upright in a glass as water can seep into handle and ultimately dissolve glue. See How to Clean Makeup Brushes.
  • Use gently. Pressing too hard can cause bristles to snap.
  • Use synthetic brushes for heavier creams and applications as the bristles are less likely to snap. Natural hairs are more fragile and creams put too much weight on each hair causing them to pull away or break off.

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