Can You Recycle Hair Brushes

Can You Recycle Hair Brushes?

Has your hairbrush lost one too many bristles? Have you had your hairbrush for many years and are simply looking for a new option? In either case, you may be wondering if you can recycle hair brushes.

Can You Recycle Hair Brushes?
Can You Recycle Hair Brushes?

Hair brushes are not recyclable. They are often made of different materials which makes them unsuitable for recycling. Combs made of a single material are recyclable, however.

Even though the answer to this question is relatively straightforward, it helps to understand why you can’t recycle hair brushes. Additionally, you probably want other information relating to what you can do to have more sustainable hair care.

To find out these things and more, read on. In this article, we cover everything concerning recycling, reusing, and selecting hair brushes.

Let’s get started.

Are Hair Brushes Recyclable?

Unfortunately, most hairbrushes are unrecyclable. This is because hair brushes are typically made of multiple materials, including wood, rubber, metal, sealants, and glue. Because so many different materials are used in one product, the hairbrushes cannot be recycled properly.

When Should You Throw Out A Hairbrush?

You should throw out a hairbrush once you’ve used them for 6 – 12 months. As you use a hairbrush, oils, dirt, and hair care products build up in the bristles. Regular cleaning will take care of some of it, but no amount of cleaning will remove all of the stuff that builds over time.

Additionally, hairbrushes usually are not accepted at donated facilities for reasons concerning hygiene. Though some veterinarians will accept lightly used hair brushes, the best option for getting rid of an old hairbrush is to throw it away in the regular garbage bin.

Why Can’t You Recycle Hair Brushes?

When recyclable material makes it to a recycling facility, they are first sorted based on the material they’re made of. For example, they will be sorted based on types like newspaper or plastic. Workers will also separate recyclables based on soil level. Clean options will go in one pile while soiled ones will go in a separate pile.

Once the materials are sorted, manufacturers can come to the centers to buy sorted goods. They will then be processed and broken down to create new products.

Since recycling facilities recycle products based on material, products with multiple material types are often unrecyclable. Even if the product’s individual components are recyclable, that does not mean that the entire product is capable of being recycled. These products will go straight to the landfill.

What Can You Do With Old Hair Tools?

You should always properly dispose of your old hair tools. Plastic hair tools like combs can be recycled while tools made up of different types of materials should go in the trash. Any electronic hair tool can be thrown in the regular trash or brought to your local household waste facility.

Hairbrushes are an example of a product that contains multiple materials and is not recyclable as a result. Almost all hairbrushes have different materials for the paddle, bristles, and connectors of the bristles and handle.

Not to mention, hairbrushes often include a sealant or glue. These materials are not recyclable because they can be damaging and hazardous when exposed to recycling facilities.

Can You Recycle Hair Brushes

What To Do Instead

Since hairbrushes are not recyclable, many people assume that they can donate the hairbrushes to different charities and organizations. Unfortunately, most organizations do not accept used hair brushes for hygienic reasons. So, you cannot donate your used hairbrushes either.

Some veterinarians accept lightly used hair brushes to use on their animals. If your hairbrush is in pretty good condition, you can contact veterinarians in your area to see if they need any hair brushes for combing their pets.

If the veterinarians are willing to take the used hairbrush, try your best to clean it out before donating it. There is nothing grosser than having to pick out someone’s hair from a hairbrush. Try your best to make it as clean as possible before donation.

Not all veterinarians will accept or need donated hair brushes. If you cannot find a veterinarian willing to take your used hairbrush, then you should just throw it away in your regular garbage bin. Loyal recyclers may find it painful to throw away products, but there is no other option for hairbrushes.

What About Combs?

Even though hair brushes are generally not recyclable, the standard comb often is. Most basic combs are made out of one material, whether that be plastic or wood. Since combs do not have sealants or multiple materials, they can often be recycled.

If you are really concerned about recycling all of your used products, you should opt for a hair comb instead of a hairbrush. The great part about hair combs is that you can either get a fine-tooth comb or a wide-tooth comb based on your hair type.

For those who really care about the environment, you can go a step further by looking for more sustainable hair comb options. Today, there are hair combs made from recycled materials, bamboo, and more. Select these options for an even more sustainable choice.

Can You Recycle Hair Brushes In The UK?

In general, hairbrushes cannot be recycled in the UK since they are made up of different types of materials. If you have a brush that is made up of only one material, then you can recycle it as long as it’s made out of recyclable material.

Other Ideas

Some people’s hair is simply not suitable for combs, and they need a paddle hairbrush. If you are one of these people, you have other options for more eco-friendly hair brushes.

Because of the big push to go waste-free, several companies offer more sustainable hairbrush options. Brush with Bamboo is one company that offers a completely compostable hair brush made out of plastic.

Although most recycling centers will not accept a bamboo hairbrush either, all the materials on the hairbrush can be composted. This means that when you throw away the hairbrush, it will decompose quickly within the landfill. Unlike other hairbrushes that last for years upon years, this one will break down.

Not to mention, bamboo is an incredibly sustainable material since it grows quickly and does not require a lot of resources. This makes it a much more sustainable option than wood or plastic hairbrushes.

Most users of this sort of hairbrush claim that it lasts much longer than more conventional hairbrushes. This means you won’t have to throw it away as often.


Even though hair brushes are one of the most popular beauty products worldwide, they are often not recyclable because of the materials used in their construction. For hygiene reasons, you can also not reuse them through donation centers, though some vets will accept them if lightly used.

The best option for being more sustainable with your hair care is to either purchase a compostable hairbrush or opt for a one-material hair comb instead. If you do not select either of these options, you will simply need to throw out your hairbrush whenever it has been broken or overused.