Comb-o Arigato: Choosing the Right Comb for Your Hair

Comb-o Arigato: Choosing the Right Comb for Your Hair


Maybe you prefer to use a ‘comb-over’ a brush (get it?) – for everything from the top of your head to the tips of your beard and moustache. Combs are made from various materials these days so which one is best? It depends on preference and budget – and if you want to keep your hair looking healthy.

Let’s go over the different materials with a fine tooth comb…


Acetate Combs

The Perfect Gentleman Luxury Comb Set in Deluxe Leather Case$24.99

These kinds are seamless and tend to have rounded tips that are great for massaging without the damaging little jagged edges that plastic combs have. They’re made from cellulose acetate, which is a plant-based ingredient rather than a petroleum (plastic) based material. They are also impact resistant and more durable than plastic (although some people do refer to it as ‘nature’s plastic’). It’s been used to manufacture a wide range of natural plastics since about 1863.

Plastic Combs

Plastic combs are light, easy to carry (if you insist on keeping it in your back pocket) and definitely cost the least. They tend to generate a lot of static electricity, especially in the winter when the air is dry – which can also cause damage to your hair when combing. Another reason why plastic varieties can be more damaging is in the production process: it can have small ridges on each tooth that can easily damage hair and cause breakage. However, some higher-end craftsman style combs are cut and then polished to eliminate those tiny edges.


Metal (Aluminium, Steel, or Titanium)

Chicago Comb Co. Steel Skeleton Comb - $55.00
Chicago Comb Co. Steel Skeleton Comb$55.00

They are definitely the most durable and the most sturdy. Metal combs are very smooth; allowing the teeth to pass through the hair easily without friction so there’s less pull and less discomfort if you’re working with a particularly tough snag. The teeth themselves are a heavier weight than your hair, which also helps the comb pass through the hair easily, and won’t get caught like plastic ones can.


Fendrihan Beech Wood Men's Comb - $16.00
Fendrihan Beech Wood Men’s Comb$16.00

Wooden combs have a very pleasing craftsman like, maker quality to them, as if something carefully hewn out of a log over the weekend. Wood naturally generates less static electricity than plastic and is very strong. Wooden combs can also keep the hair and scalp from becoming dry since they’re good at distributing the oil through the hair and scalp evenly. They’re a kindler, gentler giant of grooming tools since they’re a little more delicate on the scalp compared to metal and plastic.


Fendrihan Small Horn Comb - $16.50
Fendrihan Small Horn Comb$16.50

Did you know that in traditional Chinese medicine horn is valued for its ‘health properties’? Buffalo and ram horn are bitter and salty in taste and believed to be cold in characteristics. What does this mean for your hair and scalp? Horn is said to have medicinal functions like eliminating pathogens, remove heat and toxic elements, and promote blood circulation. It’s also said horn is a blood cooling medicine to treat headaches and toxic heat elimination.

The real benefit of horn combs, though, are the exacting crafting standards that go into making them. Still handmade in Europe using traditional techniques, these combs are uniquely patterned, and exquisitely polished.


Let’s Wrap It Up

But wait…you may have one more important question about combs after reading this (we did). Which is the best to play as a musical instrument? Plastic. Take that old comb, slap a piece of waxed paper over it and learn to hum a tune.

The right comb is a powerful accessory. Whether left on your bathroom counter, carried around in your back pocket, or stored in the locker at the gym, they’re more than just a throw-away tool for your hair. They’re also a personal statement in style, class, and quality.

Find more combs and hair brushes here.