Since the first Cromagnon man picked up a jagged rock and dragged it across his head, combs have been an essential tool for mankind. After this Promethean discovery, combs evolved vastly, too. They were crafted from different materials and in different shapes and sizes for various preferences. All told, five primary materials separate the combs of the modern man.
Like the five elements, these comb-materials harbor different powers. Each material has its own unique benefit for hair combing – though some more than others. Read up on the categories of comb, and sift through this article to see which would benefit you most.
What sets carbon away from other materials that constitute combs is its resistance to heat. As if forged from coal itself, carbon combs can withstand the heat, and that’s why barbers and hairdressers love to use them for heat intensive styling. Durable and lightweight, carbon combs are a hair-cutter’s best friend, and they have excellent detangling properties.
HYOUJIN Heat Resistant Comb
The HYOUJIN Carbon Comb is the ultimate detangler. Heat and water resistant, the wide-toothed HYOUJIN is perfect for someone with fine hair that is susceptible to static and tangled tresses.
Cricket C20 Carbon Comb
Equally effective on wet or dry hair, the small might of a carbon comb is on full display with the Cricket C20, which can smoothen the most tangled hair. The thin teeth make it deep into the scalp to part hair like the Red Sea. A great example of mass-produced craftsmanship.
HAIRART iTech Carbon Comb
A sturdy, long tail allows for perfect styling from afar. Plus, no amount of hair drying, ironing, or anything else heat-related can damage this comb.
There are such a thing as bad plastic combs. Combs labeled as straight “plastic” will often be in a rigid but brittle mold, meltable with heat, susceptible to breaking a tooth while brushing. But these cheap plastic combs give synthetic materials a bad name in hair styling. A plethora of wonderful synthetic hair tools exist – you just have to sift through the bad ones.
Kent Hand Made Pocket Comb
The Kent Hand Made Pocket Comb is one such a example as a fine, fine-toothed comb made from synthetic materials. Just four-inches and foldable, the Kent Hand Made is an excellent size for a pocket pal, and comes in a handsome tortoise-shell veneer. It’s sturdy and portable, making the Kent Hand Made the perfect travel comb.
Baxter Pocket Comb
Made from the sturdiest Swiss synthetic material, cellulose acetate, the Baxter of California Pocket Comb is a hand made marvel for an affordable price. Smooth tapered teeth with rounded edges ensure a comfortable comb, and an attractive tortoise shell design separates it from run of the mill synthetic combs on the market.
Mason Peaerson Rake Comb
The Mason Pearson rake comb is perfect for those with hair that tends toward tanglage – the gaps between teeth ensure comfort, and little yank as you drag the comb through whatever knotted mess you have. Like other Mason Pearson products, this comb is made of high-quality materials with rounded edges, so that it won’t snag and pull your hair.
Wood combs are the most natural way to massage your scalp as you brush. They will keep your hair nourished and lustrous by inducing your natural oils to come out. Sandalwood, bamboo, and other wood varieties make for a comfortable comb, and will aid in restoring your hair to its original vitality. Go against the grain with a wood comb.
Rocky Mountain Barber Company Wood Comb
The Rocky Mountain Barber Company has a rugged name, and it creates rugged products to match. The orange anti-static and no-snag wood comb is no different. Made by hand, this no-frills and attractive comb can be used on head hair or beard hair, and can straighten out your ‘do painlessly. Emulate the mountain man within you.
Hawatour Folding Wood Comb
Made from all-natural Sandalwood, the Hawatour foldable comb prevents static and massages your scalp, all within a compact and pocketable design. A distinct, timber scent will make you smell like a (clean) outdoorsman.
Olina Natural Wood Comb
Great for thick and curly hair, the Olina Natural Wood Comb is sturdier than most, and is built to tame mussed and messed hair. It’s smoothened edges – and keratin-infused Ox Horn teeth – minimize yanking and pulling as you brush.
The most durable combs of the lot, metal offers a variety of features that other materials cannot rival. The strength of a metal comb is never in question. Unless shoddily made, metal combs will not break or crack, and there is no gnarl or knot a metal comb cannot untangle.
Royal Imperial Switchblade Comb
A throwback to the days of greasers, this switch blade comb’s primary selling point is its novelty. Of the many kinds of switchblade comb on the market, the Royal Imperial Butterfly comb offers the most durability, while being spring-loaded as a stylish accessory.
Tough & Tumble “Revolve”
A men’s hair comb with an elegant design and sturdy construction, “the Revolve” is the perfect EDC comb. Its ergonomic grip and tough but flexible metal construction ensure a smooth and snag-free comb.
Schwarz Standard Issue 1942 Naval Comb
The Schwarz Standard Issue Naval comb celebrates the craftsmanship of WWII products that a soldier in the Pacific might have carried to keep his crew-cut in ship-shape. This sweet folding comb is not a direct replica of a real-issue comb, but its design offers a killer homage to the Navy men of WWII, and the products they carried, and this tough metal comb will go to war in the knottiest trenches.
Horn is the ultimate in comb materials. They don’t just look elegant; keratin-infused horn combs will luxuriate your hair with marble-smooth teeth that provide the same follicle-stimulation as wood combs. Usually made from Ox or Buffalo horn, these polished and mostly hand-made combs are definitely higher end, but they pay dividends. Like a cast iron pan, horn combs should last a lifetime – and longer – if properly maintained.
BhBuy Ox Horn Comb
The hand-made BhBuy Ox Horn Comb is incredibly lightweight, at just 0.8 ounces, but there’s some heft to its capabilities. Its smooth, polished construction ensures that the BhBuy will glide through hair with ease, and exfoliate dandruff, debris and dead cells to revitalize your scalp.
Breezelike Buffalo Horn Comb
A composite of wood and natural black Buffalo Horn, the Breezelike comb lives up to its namesake. Wide teeth will navigate your mane like a hot knife though butter. A sandalwood exterior will imbue you with a nice, woodsy smell, in case any horn dust – which, full-disclosure, can really stink – leaves a residue. Smell good + look good = feel great.
Garrett Wade Natural Horn Comb
Horn combs are hard to come by these days. The man speaking to Dustin Hoffman’s charater in The Graduate was not wrong when he said that “plastics” would take over. But Garrett Wade has sustained its commitment to excellent, organic material, and excellent products – and the GW Natural Horn Comb is the result of this commitment. A discerning gentleman will adore this addition to his hair-styling kit, as Garrett Wade’s quality in hair-care is unrivaled. The beautiful, marbled design is highly attractive, and the exfoliating and follicle-stimulating properties will be too much to pass up. Take life by the horns, forget those oil-stripping cheap plastic combs, and never look back.
The 18 Best Hair Products For Men
If you want to address the taming of your mane in full, don’t stop at combs: these men’s hair products are the logical next step in your pursuit of follicle health.