A “Dear John” Letter to My Hairbrush

by Katy on November 18, 2011 · 22 comments

Dear Hairbrush,

I’ve been meaning to write this letter for awhile, but I didn’t know how to start it. The words eluded me, and somehow it seemed easier to turn a blind eye to our problems than it was to address them straight on.

I remember when we first met like it was yesterday. I spied you across a salon, your paddle brush promising minimal static and smooth shiny locks. I knew at $18 you were out of my league, but somehow I plucked up enough courage to walk over and introduce myself.

“Hi, I’m Katy. I’m usually not so forward, but, umm . . . I’d really like to take you home with me.”

I blush at the memory.

We had a number of good years. I knew you were a pricey fella’, so I treated you right. I combed the stray hairs from your bristles and kept you in a special spot, always taking the time to reconnect before leaving the house.

Oh . . .  if we could just turn back the clock and freeze these special moments. Before you started your gradual decline, before you, *sob* stopped taking care of yourself.

The first time you fell to the floor and snapped in half I thought my heart would break. But the loving care of Super Glue and a steady hand brought you back to me.

But you weren’t the same, you would never be the same. We would never be the same.

Then your rubber tips began to come off, which meant the smooth and dreamy experience of your caresses began to feel kind of rough. Definitely not the intuitive rhythm we had once shared. But I didn’t care, you were my special hairbrush and the ravages of time could never part us. Never!

I see now how naive I was.

Then you started to break more often. Yes, you could still be glued back together, but each break was a little less clean, a little more sloppy. You didn’t look so good anymore.

When I gaze upon you now, I no longer see the unbearably handsome guy who once drew me across a salon. I see a broken down hairbrush without pride. I still reach for you, but it’s out of habit and guilt instead of lust. I loved you once, but that love has been replaced by apathy.

So today I ask you to leave my home. Goodbye dear sweet hairbrush, let’s just focus on the good times.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without”

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{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

reese November 18, 2011 at 10:39 am

Beautifully written, and definitely a well-worded tribute to your relationship together. What an unfortunately place to break too! I’m surprised you tolerated that behavior for so long! 😉

Will you have a time of mourning before you find a suitable replacement? Or has a new Mr. Right walked into your life?? 🙂


Thrifty Household November 18, 2011 at 10:41 am

Ah, it was good whilst it lasted…


Laura's Last Ditch--Vintage Kitchenwares November 18, 2011 at 10:46 am

I’m going to be writing a letter to my shoes one of these days. They’ve been so wonderful, everyone should have the experience of owning such a pair at least once in a lifetime. I’m thinking about springing for the new soles, but I’m not sure if I can bear to spend $20 to repair a pair of shoes I got at a fill-a-bag-for-$1 sale at the congregational church about 10 years ago. But I’m not sure if I can bear to throw them, either. Love can be difficult.


Shelley November 18, 2011 at 11:12 am

I admire your perseverance in gluing the handle. I, too, bought a hairbrush (a round one) years ago, like maybe 25? It has natural bristles and a wooden handle. I think I paid $8 which was way more than I’d ever paid for a brush and I remember I bought it in a specialist beauty shop. I still have it, it hasn’t broken, but I see that a few of the bristles have come out, so I expect its days are numbered. Still, I have to say I have got value for money – and I’m thinking you did as well, in spite of the gluing problems. I’ll probably have a heart attack at the price it will cost to replace it.


Lisa November 18, 2011 at 11:21 am

I hope this item is on your DO NOT BUY USED list.


Katy November 18, 2011 at 11:28 am

You betcha’!



Laura's Last Ditch--Adventures in Thrift Land November 20, 2011 at 6:48 pm

I’ve gotten used hair brushes before. Just watch for one that doesn’t look nasty, then clean and bleach it pr let it soak in hydrogen peroxide. Bet you could even stick it in the dishwasher. The hairdresser (if you go to one), uses a used hair brush on you, so why not one you got at a garage sale that you’ve disinfected?


Lisa November 18, 2011 at 11:51 am

Denman brushes get a lot of good recommendations for quality at a reasonable price. They’re compared favorably to the outrageous $100+ Mason and Pearson brushes, but they range $15-20 depending on the brush and the retailer. They’re made in the UK, so no child-slavery to dull your hair’s healthy glow. Also, name nostalgia from college! 🙂


Becky November 18, 2011 at 12:07 pm

If you affixed a strap to the back, it might still make a good dog brush.


Katy November 18, 2011 at 2:19 pm

But I have no dog. 🙁



Becky November 18, 2011 at 2:43 pm

cat brush?


Megan November 18, 2011 at 12:09 pm

beautiful love story! a tragic end.


Liza November 18, 2011 at 12:36 pm

you make me laugh!


Kate November 18, 2011 at 2:55 pm

Nice!! I recommend saving your money and just going without. I haven’t used a hair brush in several years, my hair looks just fine! 🙂


Katy November 18, 2011 at 3:10 pm

My hair is very straight and tangles easily.



Jinger November 18, 2011 at 3:28 pm

I have fine straight hair and after my hairbrush died an untimely death, I didn’t purchase another. I use a fairly wide tooth comb and rinse my hair with cider vinegar infused with rosemary. No snarls or tangles and let it dry naturally. No hair dryer. Simple and natural.


Laura November 19, 2011 at 10:13 am

I use good quantities of baking soda to wash my hair, no vinegar rinse. I have enough natural oil so for me, even after months of waiting it out, the vinegar rinse looked awful in artificial light. So if anyone was looking to try natural hair care, there are variations to experiment with.


Frugal Down Under November 18, 2011 at 3:54 pm

I’ve been without a good hair brush in 4 years(?) since I lost my long companion somewhere unknown. I struggle with a comb and look crazy most days. I’ve tried other brushes but none have gained my adoration.


Margaret November 18, 2011 at 4:45 pm

I feel your pain. I have been putting up with a very old broken hair brush. Every time I use it, I feel a sense of frugal pride. But at some point, I’m gonna have to face facts and replace it. I cannot (as some have suggested) just stop brushing my hair.

On a completely different note, I just read this article and thought you might appreciate it:



jan November 19, 2011 at 2:27 pm

I had the same problem and couldn’t find another one like it. I just use it without the handle. Doesn’t look that pretty, but it still works just fine. Do you have Sally beauty supply stores out there? They carry a big variety here in Florida and are very reasonably priced.


Isabella September 5, 2015 at 10:46 pm

I know this post was posted a long time ago. But do you happen to remember the brand of this brush? :))


Anastasija at Thirsty for Tan July 27, 2023 at 4:20 pm

I never thought I’d find myself emotionally attached to a hairbrush, but this heartfelt letter made me appreciate the little things that bring us joy and comfort.


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