Save money with these expert tips on prolonging the lifespan of your brushes, tools and appliances.
Sanitize weekly with a brush cleaner designed with hard, wide-spaced, angled teeth on one end and longer bristles or wire on the other end. Try the new Sam Villa Brush Cleaner Tool (www.samvilla.com) or use the end of a tail comb and a toothbrush. Use the wide-toothed end of the cleaning tool or the end of the your tail comb to rake through each row of bristles and pull up and out to remove tangled knots and hair at the base of the brush. Clean away styling residue using the denser, longer-bristled end of the cleaning tool or a toothbrush and some mild soap and water, then dry completely.
For boar bristles, such as Moroccanoil Boar Bristle brushes, Antonio Corral-Calero, Moroccanoil Artistic Director, suggests that stylists soak the natural, high-quality boar bristles after each use in their favorite cleaning solution following the manufacturer’s instructions. After soaking, rinse the brush thoroughly with water and let it air-dry naturally.
When it comes to caring for ceramic vs. titanium flat iron plates, “take the same approach to clean both materials on an iron. Ceramic is more durable, whereas titanium will etch and scratch. Use a cotton microfiber towel to prevent this from happening,” says Haverty.
“After up-styling with hairspray, clean your tool before your next client. There are polymers in hairspray, and when heated the polymer becomes gummy on the plate. If not cleaned, it’ll drag and pull on the next client’s hair and slow down the styling process.”
Haverty also reminds stylists not to wrap the cord around the handle of their irons when storing. “The cord isn’t designed to be that tightly wrapped. A cord is a copper filament in a rubber, semi-plastic housing. When wound too tightly, some of the copper fibres can break, which causes a bad connection,” he says. Instead, wrap the cord like a lasso or a circle. “Take the top and bottom of the lasso and wrap it together, bound with a rubber band or clip and you have a nice, smooth cord.”
When it comes to your most important tool, Stephen Pavlick, president of DWA/Kasho Shears (Canada) and Panther Shears Ltd., suggests the 30-second rule: “Take a leather shammy cloth and wipe down the blades. This acts like a mini sharpening by taking out the imperfections on the blade. Do this daily. Then oil your shears and adjust the tension.” This quick ritual performed at the start of your day or close of business will ensure a longer lifespan for your shears.
Pavlick says that most stylists do not have their shears set at the correct tension. “Hold shears open—with the shear straight up and down, tips pointing to the sky and open to 90 degrees—then release, and the shears should fall in about halfway. If they stay open, they’re too tight, or if they slam shut, they’re too loose.”
“Knowing when it’s time to get shears sharpened has nothing to do with a ‘set time,'” he says. “It has to do with the performance of the shear. A shear that is perfectly sharp will not bend, fold or push hair.”
When it comes to purchasing the right pair for you, Andrew Dale, CEO and founder of UNITE, suggests buying the best you can. “It’s the tool that you’re using everyday. Buy a pair that is ergonomically designed. It’ll really help guard against carpal tunnel syndrome and tendinitis.” And when it’s time for sharpening, send them back to the manufacturer. “It’s to make sure they’re done as perfectly as they were made,” says Dale. “If you get somebody who just grinds the blade down, your thousand-dollar pair of scissors ends up being like trash.”
Trimmers + Clippers
“It’s important to disinfect as well as to oil the blade—disinfecting should not replace oiling,” says Aldo Gemmiti, national sales manager of Wahl Canada. To get the most out of battery life in rechargeable trimmers, wait until the battery runs down before charging. In 2012, Wahl technology will be replaced with lithium ion batteries, which have a higher capacity to run on more charge cycles.
“For clippers, I always brush with a toothbrush after each client. Then use Oyster Kool Lube to spray out fine hairs and clean the blade. Guards are always disinfected. Constant upkeep means a better-running and quieter clipper,” says Pete Spyropoulos vai Facebook.com/Salon52.
Make sure to clean the filter of your blow-dryer at least twice a week. Lots of long hair strands caught in the filter can cause damage to the motor, says Dagher. Cleaning is simple—and cost-effective. “It takes three seconds to do this, and you’ll add 300 hours of lifespan to your blow-dryer,” says Haverty. Simply remove the filter cover and brush back and forth across the screen until there’s no longer any stuck hair or dust. “What I don’t recommend is taking a toothbrush to the screen because the nylon might snag and spark that piece of nylon, which is not good,” he says. ”Just a cotton cloth, that’s the best way to do it.” Brushes specially designed for cleaning the filter also work well.
“People often think that the closer the blow-dryer is to the hair, the faster the water will evaporate. But if you’re really close to the hair, you’re putting back-pressure on the tool, which is designed to push air out of the nose. The resistance is actually causing the motor to work harder, lessening its life span. My recommendation is to stay within six to 10 inches of the hair,” says Haverty.