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A comb is a necessary item for any man’s grooming arsenal. Combs are great for styling the hair into the desired shape, as well as keeping it looking neat and tidy. It’s important to know that combs are brushes are not interchangeable. Sure they both have teeth on them and run through the hair, but they have totally different uses.
When it comes to detangling the hair, combs are far superior to brushes. Combs are also superior when it comes to slicking the hair. A brush is going to be too loose to gather the hair up in a way that allows for slicking and specific styling. The fact that a comb has teeth close together and in a single line allows for a lot of precision that you just can’t get elsewhere. Of course pairing the perfect comb with the perfect styling products is going to enhance the overall end look, whether you’re looking for a wet look type of slick to the hair or a more natural and dry slick look.
Similarly to the fact that combs and brushes are very different creature, not all combs are made equal either. There are a variety of shapes and sizes, as well as materials that they are made from. Each of those differences is going to create a different result for styling the hair. This doesn’t need that you need ten different combs to work with, but you might find that you like to have two different options on hand for when you want to switch up the look that you’re going for.
Is there really a difference between types of combs?
Yes there is! Combs come in a variety of designs with different tooth sizes. A fine tooth comb is generally used for more precise hair placement. A medium tooth comb is what your hairstylist will generally be using to cut your hair thanks to the way it gathers the hair up. A wide tooth comb is going to better if detangling the hair what you’re after, as well as creating a more natural look. The wide tooth comb also tends to be better when you’re starting the styling process with wet hair, thanks again to its detangling ability.
Then you also have the pocket or travel sized combs. The pocket comb might have both wide and fine teeth on opposite sides, which aims to play the part of two different combs in one. Since it’s a travel comb it intends to be as convenient as possible, but it might not be as nice to use as a full sized comb. You might decide that you need both.
Why are they made from so many different materials?
One thing that’s really important when you’re choosing between comb types is the material that it’s made from. Combs might be made from metal, horn, plastic, wood, or carbon. Each has its own pros and cons depending on your personal needs. Besides the differences in the way that the combs style, the different materials are also going to make combs come in different price ranges. Do keep in mind that some materials are going to be durable than others, so while a metal comb might be more expensive than a plastic one, it’s also going to last a lot longer.
It’s unlikely that you’ll go super wrong with your comb choice, but there are always options that can step up your game.
The following are a few of our favorite combs for getting perfectly slicked hair.
Tough & Tumble’s Metal Comb “The Revolve” sort of looks like a saw with a handle, and the stainless steal metal comb comes with it’s own leather sheath for safe storage. This comb is relatively thick, the metal teeth are about the thickness of a quarter at .1 mm and wide set. This means that the comb teeth won’t be snapping any time soon, if ever. Using a comb with thick teeth also can help with styling control. If you happen to have curly hair that want to comb through and slick it down while allowing a bit of wave to come through, this might be the sort of the comb to go for.
It might seem like thick, stainless steal teeth would snag the hair, but in this case the teeth are hand finished and rubbed down so that the edges are smooth. Instead of snagging the hair, this comb is actually going to help prevent the static that some plastic combs can cause. Since it runs smoothly through the hair it should also help to cut down on hair breakage.
This comb boasts a no-rust promise, but it’s still a good idea to dry it off before you store it in its sheath. Just in case. It costs $25.
- Stainless steel teeth that won’t be snapping.
- Won’t rust
- Comes with a sheath
- Good for any hair type
- Might be a little heavy to some people
- Better for detangling and styling, not precision combing
The Dreambear Sandlewood Comb has teeth on both sides, with different teeth density on each. Both can be used on the head, but the side with the thinner teeth is also an awesome beard comb. This comb is totally handmade with sandalwood, which means it looks pretty nice. Wood combs can be one of the best choices if you’re trying to grow your hair. The wood helps to distribute the natural oils from your scalp through the hair, as well as provides a gentle scalp massage that can get the blood flowing nicely. Wood combs also prevent the static that plastic combs can cause.
When you’re going for a very slicked down look, the side of the comb with the thinner teeth is going to be a great option. The thinner the teeth are, the more grab the comb has to make the hair straight and contained. If your hair is a bit on the thicker side the very thin teeth might not grab enough hair, in which case you should go for the medium side.
This comb is actually short enough that it might be able to fit into a pocket on the go, but it also comes with a box for safe keeping at home. Since it’s made out of sandalwood don’t be surprised if it changes color a bit. This is natural and not an issue as long as you’re keeping the comb clean.
- Great for scalp circulation and getting the hair to grow.
- Gorgeous and refined looking
- Convenient size
- If you have a ton of hair the smaller size might be a bit annoying.
The Breezelike Sandalwood Haircomb is similar to the last comb mentioned in the fact that its handle is made with green Sandalwood. However, this comb has teeth that are made with black buffalo horns. The horn teeth are a great material for curly hair or longer hair that needs a little extra effort to be detangled. It’s very smooth and will run through the hair easily without snagging anything. Anyone who has struggled with detangling is going to appreciate this one since it’s unlikely to pull out any hair unnecessarily.
The teeth on this comb are quite wide, which makes it a great option for every day use. The edge of the teeth on this comb are more blunt than plastic combs tend to be. This might feel a little weird on the head at first, but the blunt shape actually helps to prevent snags and it also helps to stimulate the scalp to encourage blood flow. This can create a more enjoyable experience in the moment as well as make your hair look better in the long term.
This comb is made quite sturdy, but it is made from two different materials attached together, which means that you’d want to avoid dropping it to avoid breaking it. It’s best to rinse any products off the comb and then dry it off before you store it to keep it in good condition. For extra credit you can also use a bit of olive oil on the sandalwood to keep it from drying out. This might help extend the life of the comb.
- Won’t snag the hair
- Blunt tips for a healthy head of hair
- Great for curly hair
- Not the kind of comb you can throw around or treat roughly
If you’re going to go with a plastic comb you might as well go with a quality plastic comb. The ones from Baxter of California are actually made in Switzerland and go through a 12-step process to make sure that they’re good to go. The combs are made with cellulose acetate, which is a natural form of plastic. (It’s also used as a film base for photo film.) It’s thought to be a better option than other types of plastic since it resists static while not all plastic can say the same.
This comb is 7.75 inches long and has two different sizes of comb teeth on either side. It does offer some good versatility with the two different sizes on there. This comb is great for use with beards, but it’s also good for fine-tuning and fine styling the hair. Baxter of California also makes a lot of their own styling products, which makes ordering what you need very easy. They offer both clay and cream pomades for styling. A clay pomade is going to create a strong hold with a matte finish, which is good for adding some texture into the hair. A cream pomade on the other hand is going to offer a lighter hold but still handle all the frizz and keep the hair looking nice. A cream pomade is perfect for curly hair that you want to tame and control but not look overly done.
- Quality brand with quality hair styling products
- Multiple teeth sizes
- Natural plastic is more likely to snap than other materials
Denman’s Carbon comb, is of course, made out of carbon. Carbon combs are not only very strong, but they can also handle any sort of heat. Sandlewood combs on the other hand, cannot sustain high heat. For that reason a carbon comb is going to be one of the more durable options out there. Since they’re very firm, they are also a great choice for curly or unruly hair. There will be no teeth snapping here.
This comb has quite wide teeth, which can smooth the hair out nicely. Since it is static-free it will actually increase the level of shine in the hair and help to keep fly aways in place. This comb is great for dry or wet hair, and it might even help it look thicker thanks to the way it groups the hair as it’s combed. This is one of the better options when you’re looking for a slick look but you don’t want to mat the hair down to the head.
This comb is molded and not machine or hand cut like some of the other combs. All that this means is that some of the teeth might not be quite as precise and smooth as the others. It’s probably not an issue, but it is something to keep in mind if you’re looking for a comb that looks classy while it’s sitting on your bathroom counter as well as combs the hair well.
- Long lasting and high quality
- Can sustain heat
- Molded as opposed to cut
- Basic model without fancy frills (if that can be considered a con)