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darkwaves
February 28th, 2010, 03:18 PM
I was in an antique store today and saw a few vintage brush/mirror, or brush/comb sets.

While the bristles seemed good, and the tines intact, I can't imagine using such items of unknown history on hair and scalp.

Do people buy these just for display?

Or is there a way of cleaning them?

Or am I just unnecessarily squeamish?

Thanks!

enfys
February 28th, 2010, 03:29 PM
I would be squeamish too. If the brushes were old enough they may be from a time when people didn't wash themselves much, and were even less likely to wash their brushes. If they weren't designed to be washed they may not withstand it, and if that's the case them you would be brushing ancient scalp goop of a dead person into your hair.

I love vintage clothes and all kinds of antiques, but I would draw the line at a bristle brush. Combs I expest can be cleaned a lot easier, but seek out info on how to clean the material first, since some can't be soaked for example.

Isilme
February 28th, 2010, 03:34 PM
I would buy the set just for the beautiful hand held mirror :inlove:

marikamt
February 28th, 2010, 04:46 PM
I love the look of the vintage sets.... and I have long wondered this. There MUST be a way to clean them.....

Carolyn
February 28th, 2010, 04:47 PM
I have a couple of older brush sets. The bristles seem dry and fragile. I'm not sure what they are made of. It looks like something natural but I don't think it's boar bristles. I should do some research. I brushed a little bit with one of them a couple of times and the bristles didn't feel strong. I never thought about previous users. I'm sure any germs on the brushes would have died years ago.

zeldagirl7491
March 1st, 2010, 10:12 AM
I was in an antique store today and saw a few vintage brush/mirror, or brush/comb sets.

While the bristles seemed good, and the tines intact, I can't imagine using such items of unknown history on hair and scalp.

Do people buy these just for display?

Or is there a way of cleaning them?

Or am I just unnecessarily squeamish?

Thanks!

I saw several such sets when I went antiquing(?) on friday. As I was looking at them, I kept thinking "ooooh pretty-But it could be icky!-oh but it's so pretty!"

zeldagirl7491
March 1st, 2010, 10:13 AM
I would be squeamish too. If the brushes were old enough they may be from a time when people didn't wash themselves much, and were even less likely to wash their brushes. If they weren't designed to be washed they may not withstand it, and if that's the case them you would be brushing ancient scalp goop of a dead person into your hair.

I love vintage clothes and all kinds of antiques, but I would draw the line at a bristle brush. Combs I expest can be cleaned a lot easier, but seek out info on how to clean the material first, since some can't be soaked for example.

hahahaha! I'm sorry but the part about the 'brushing ancient dead person scalp' made me laugh so much!!:cheese:

darkwaves
March 1st, 2010, 07:11 PM
I don't have as much of a concern about ancient dead scalp as I do about diseased dead scalp, or mites or other weird things picked up while in storage!

I don't know anything about bristles, but find it interesting that these particular antique brushes were white, like the old one my mom has -- and has had for many decades. Hers is very supple, but she says it needs to be used to stay good. So maybe that's why the old ones seem fragile? No natural oils?

Carolyn
March 1st, 2010, 07:37 PM
I don't know anything about bristles, but find it interesting that these particular antique brushes were white, like the old one my mom has -- and has had for many decades. Hers is very supple, but she says it needs to be used to stay good. So maybe that's why the old ones seem fragile? No natural oils?I think maybe mine used to be white at one time and has discolored to a yellowish tan. I'm betting the natural oils kept them supple.

chopandchange
March 2nd, 2010, 10:52 AM
I would buy the set just for the beautiful hand held mirror :inlove:


THAT'S WHAT I DID! :cheese:

I found a gorgeous set which consisted of a mirror, a brush, and a comb, in a second-hand shop. They all had intricate embroidery on the back and were really beautiful. They wouldn't let me buy just the mirror, so I had to buy all three. I was very sad to throw out the brush and comb, but I couldn't find anyone who wanted them on Freecycle and would not have used them myself, as they weren't very hair-friendly and there was also an "ick" factor involved since they had belonged to someone else. But I love owning such a lovely mirror. I suspect they belonged to an old lady who had embroidered the set herself, because there were still a few silvery hairs in the brush. Maybe she died and her family handed in her possessions to the shop. I like keeping the mirror and treasuring the embroidery she took so long to do. :)

Fractalsofhair
March 2nd, 2010, 07:03 PM
Personally, I wouldn't worry about it. I'd probably consider putting it in hot water to get the bristles to warm up, then very gently cleaning it with a gentle soap, then putting a little bit of oil on it after cleaning. It works like a charm on old "brittle" fabrics that are natural fibers(old wool in particular) so I'd think it would work. But, I wouldn't risk it on anything too expensive. I'm debating buying one such set, it's only $20 at my local antique store, but the brush honestly looks like an old school horse brush. It matches the mirror though and the tray, and the hair collector...