A good comb can make as much difference to your hair as choosing a good shampoo or styling product. It should go through the hair smoothly, and not cause micro-snags and static.
I want to tell you about choosing the best comb. You might also want to know why you should use a comb as well as brush (except curlies), and how to comb your hair (most people don't do it right !)
Seamlessness:This is the basic rule: the comb must be seamless. In typical plastic comb, you can see the seam in the middle, where the molds came together. This seam snags hair cuticles, and damages the hair.
You can file down the seams of your comb, or buy a seamless plastic comb. However, I recommend going for a bone or wooden comb.
Plastic:The cheapest and the worst of comb materials. Even a seamless plastic comb is not very kind on your hair. The plus sides are that they are cheap, and water-resistant. But you shouldn't comb wet hair anyway (it's very delicate), and besides a better quality comb is a good investment. Unless you break or lose it, it should last you a lifetime.
Wood:Wooden combs can be fantastic on the hair, but watch out for quality. A good comb should be completely smooth, otherwise it might cause snags. Many people prefer good wooden combs over bone. You can get a good, cheap comb from the Body Shop.
To care for a wood comb, keep it away from water, and oil it with lanolin every once in a while.
Bone / Bohn / Bakelite:Bone combs are not made of bone, but of 100% organic resin material, that has properties similar to bone. Read more about it here.
Bone combs are very kind on the hair, they glide smoothly though it without snagging, or static.
They are usually a bit more pricey than wood combs. Some people prefer wood, some bone; it's a matter of preference.
They also do not tolerate wetness, and need to be oiled once in a while.
Horn:This is the most expensive and non cruelty-free. Horn is made of keratin, the same substance as the hair, so they are especially gentle for the hair.
Again, keep away from water, and oil it with lanolin.
Size and shape:A common mistake is using a comb with close-together teeth. This will only make detangling harder, and will cause more breakage. So, go for wide apart teeth, at least for detangling.
Where to buy:
- The Body Shop --- wooden combs are recommended
- HeavenlyHarvest the Long Hair Community raves about their wood and horn combs
- Hairsense.com has a nice collection of bone combs. Hint: many of their combs are cheaper on their Ebay site !
- Müller Drogerie: Hercules Sägemann combs
Photo by Ayala G.