Why Is There Lint In My Hairbrush? Is My Hair Producing Lint?

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Have you ever tried cleaning your hairbrush and wondered where the gunk comes from?

The culprit is called lint, and it’s a very common issue for many people, even those with a healthy head of hair.

Many ask the question why is there lint in my hairbrush? What is causing it to appear?

The answer is: your hair is not producing lint! It’s your environment. We’ll go over what causes hair brush lint, and discuss why you don’t want to see it! The good news is that with a few tweaks, you can reduce or even get rid of lint in your hair (and hairbrush) forever. 


What Is Lint?  

Firstly, your head isn’t producing lint!

Particles in the environment such as dust, debris, bits of fabric, dead skin cells, and liquid combine to form lint. This explains why you see it in a dryer or vacuum cleaner, just in larger volumes.

Your head and hairbrush similarly are exposed to all the same particles, just in smaller volumes to allow lint to form. 

Why Is There Lint in My Hairbrush and in My Hair? 

Lint can accumulate in your hair for a variety of reasons. Your hair contains naturally produced oil and sebum. While these oils are essential to maintaining a healthy scalp and hair follicles, they also act as an adhesive for lint to form and stick to the scalp.

Your hair comes in contact with numerous particles in a day. Getting off a pillow in the morning, pulling on your sweater for work, or getting caught in the rain are just some of the daily exposures that your hair faces, and all these unavoidable events contribute to lint forming. 

Getting off a pillow in the morning, pulling on your sweater for work, or getting caught in the rain are just some of the daily exposures that your hair faces, and all these unavoidable events contribute to lint forming. 

People that enjoy running their hands through their hair are more likely to speed up the formation of lint in hair for two major reasons: 

Running your hands through your hair can cause breakages. These broken strands make it easier for lint to become entangled.

Your hands are probably the most exposed part of your body and encounter several surfaces and particles in a day. Therefore, they are one of the main transporters of micromaterials that cause lint in your hair.

What Are the Other Main Contributors to Hair Lint? 

Bear in mind that some lint on your hairbrush is normal, but if you’re noticing a large amount accumulating regularly, then there may be a few other reasons which we’ll briefly cover below: 

1. Hair products

For many people, gels, mousses, and sprays are daily products used to style our hair. Similar to the sebum mentioned earlier, these products aid the accumulation of lint by acting as an adhesive enabling formation. 

2. Dandruff

Like all skin on your body, your scalp can become dry. When this happens, the dry skin starts to peel off, causing dandruff. Dandruff is one of the main components of lint found in hair. 

3. Dry shampoo

More people are turning to dry shampoo as a substitute for a regular shampoo that requires washing out. Dry shampoo, when brushed, can clump and cause lint.

4. Curly or frizzy hair

As mentioned earlier, broken hair can aid the formation of lint, and curly or frizzy hair types are exactly the same. 

How Can I Reduce the Amount of Lint in My Hairbrush?

Well, it starts with dealing with the source: your hair. Here are 3 quick tips to reduce the amount of lint you’re encountering: 

1. Re-visit your hair cleaning regime

Start with the basics, and ensure your hair goes through proper cleansing. This does not mean you need to shampoo your hair every day, as that will create issues of drying your scalp and increasing dandruff.

Alternate days should be sufficient but pay attention to your hair because the amount of oil a person’s hair produces varies.  

2. Keep up a good hair care routine

This is a big one and covers many elements that you need to consider. Key among them are using the right product in the right amounts and ensuring that you are using a good quality brush that does not aggressively scrape your scalp when you use it.

Manage broken, frizzy, or curly hair with extra care as they are more likely to accumulate foreign particles and reduce the number of times your hands come in contact with your hair. 

3. Clean your brush regularly

Remember, your brush can accumulate lint on its own as well. Using an already-lint-covered brush defeats all the hard work you’re putting in!


An accumulation of particles in the environment combines to create lint. When you brush your hair, existing lint from your hair and scalp accumulates on your hairbrush. 

Lint is a common indicator of dirty hair, dry scalp, or broken hair. In most cases, it can be reduced with a few simple changes in your hair care regime and by reducing the amount of product you’re currently using. 

Written by Kayla Young

Kayla is the founder of LuxeLuminous. She has worked professionally in the tanning industry for years. She has been interested in esthetics since childhood, and has tried every hair, skin, and makeup product ever produced (more or less).