Updated: Dec 21, 2020
When styling your hair, it’s important to understand which comb will help you achieve volume, create a perfect part line, create texture for your curls and to protect your hair when wet. The action of using a comb on the scalp can help protect the hair. When combing the hair using brush-like strokes over the scalp, the action helps to produce sebum that moisturises the hair and scalp.
Benefits of using different hair combs for styling
We have rounded up some of our favourite hair combs and the benefits of using each for the various stages of styling your hair and which ones suit different hair textures.
The Wide-Tooth Comb for Wet Hair
Let’s start with the very first step of styling your hair and that’s getting your hair beautifully conditioned and cleaned ready to take on heated styling tools. A shower comb or wide tooth comb is kind to your scalp and hair when your hair is wet. The widen space between the teeth on the comb are designed to allow hair to glide through easily to eliminate knots and reduce split ends.
They are excellent for all hair types to use in the shower while combing through your favourite conditioner or hair treatment. They allow the product to be distributed evenly to ensure all strands are hydrated. The combs are made with either a thick plastic or strong wood for regular usage and have a handle to make combing easy while reducing hair breakage and loss when wet.
To prevent damage to wet hair we recommend to always start by combing at the ends of the hair and work your way up to the mid-lengths. If you are using in the shower and your hair works best with no conditioner at the roots as the product weighs it down or makes it oily quickly, rinse of the comb first and then comb through the scalp. This will reduce product distribution on the scalp area.
Combing through the product in the shower not only ensures every strand of hair receives the nourishment it needs from your hair care products it reduces tangles and prep time once your hair is towel dried ready for styling.
These wide tooth combs are also great to help reduce hair frizz in curlier hair. They allow you to gently comb through your anti-frizz creams or oils to distribute the product evenly ready to let dry naturally or to diffuse dry to get bouncy shine on the curls.
The combs work well on extensions to reduce hair fall and breakage while detangling knots.
Rake or Afro Comb
These combs are great if you have curly hair. The design of the comb is similar looking to a garden rake, they have wide longer teeth with a short handle at the top for comfort. The longer teeth of the comb are great for thick curly hair, they easily glide into the root area to lift the hair from the scalp, providing volume without disturbing the curl shape.
Great for styling curly hair on the go to get some added volume and texture to natural curly hair, or to tame straight hair to untangle any knots.
Fine-Tooth Tail Comb
This comb is narrower in style, with finer teeth closer together. It is designed to maintain even tension when applied to a small section of hair for control. The materials are made to with stand heat and to reduce static in the hair.
There are a few different styles you can select for a tail comb. Some are super fine which are great for finer hair textures as you can gain more control over the hair for sleeker hairstyles or for providing a bit of volume at the roots by gently backcombing. These super fine teethed combs are also great for creating structed waves onto the face by gelling baby hairs.
Some designs have a tooth missing or a shorter tooth at the top end. This is to create quick hair separation, without having to use the tail end. The standard separation between teeth is recommend for thicker or curlier hair as the hair glides through easier to prevent any damage when styling.
The tail section of the comb may come in metal or plastic. The sharp tip allows for accuracy of sectioning the hair to prevent tangles and knots. The long tail can be used to create beautiful straight part lines like a middle or deep side part.
The tail comb or otherwise known as a rat tail comb, is great for styling hair with curling irons or hot rollers as you can pick up small controllable sections of hair as you set it.
It is a great comb to prevent kinks in the hair when using a straightening iron. To prevent snags, comb the hair from the scalp and glide the iron behind it. Remember to take small sections so the hair is easy to manage and allows the heat to maintain consistent throughout the section for a smooth and shiny finish.
You can use the tail comb to backcomb the roots to create volume and support in an up-style.
These wider styles rectangular combs have become very popular for dry styling after setting the hair with heated tools. Once the hair has been set with either a curling tong or a flat iron curl, professions use these combs to create a looser texture for those envious prefect wave hairstyles.
A texture comb gently separates the curl into a smooth finish by controlling frizz and static. Remember to always start at the ends and work your way up the hair to prevent damage caused by knots.
They can be used on wet styling for applying gels to the hair as the teeth create a textural definition at the roots for volume and movement. We love using them for two texture hairstyles that are wet-like at the front with gel to a soft shiny dry wave at the back.
Also great for distributing hair oils for a semi-wet beachy texture hairstyle.
Teasing combs are designed with various lengths of comb teeth or multiple rows. These layers provide the perfect grip and even tension to the hair while backcombing, providing shape and volume to your hairstyle. Some styles have just the plain tail comb while others have metal prongs to lift sections of hair to build more height and sculpt the hair into place.
The combs are lightweight, heat-resistant and have anti-static properties while you are creating fullness from teasing the roots. The various lengths of the comb teeth provide support to the hairstyle while allowing the hair to move closer the scalp for volume for up-dos or blow dry.
Backcombing hair can be an easy way to add body and texture to a hairstyle, especially quick for thin hair to reduce becoming flat.
To use for teasing, pick up small clean sections of the hair with the tail end and hold up either straight or for extra volume over-direct the hair. Start by placing the comb off the root and slide the comb towards the root a few times while still holding onto the ends. The number of times you need to do this for each section will depend on the hair type and the volume you wish to create in the hairstyle. Repeat the process around the head for symmetry for the hairstyle.
Once you have built in the support start lightly combing over or brushing the top to create smoothness, trying not to disrupt the foundation you have created underneath. You can use the metal prone section gently lift areas that need extra volume or to move the hair into shape for an up style.
To provide extra support when placing in hair extensions, make a clean section with the tail comb, lightly spray the roots with a hairspray or texture spray at the roots for grit and support. Alternatively, you can use a texture powder. Take your teasing comb and lightly backcomb the roots to provide a cushion support for the extensions to hold onto.
Environmentally Friendly Wooden Combs
There are a few different kinds of natural combs on the market that are eco-friendlier if you don’t wish to use a metal or plastic style comb.
They are generally made of boxwood or cherry wood. They have been designed to be soft of the scalp and don’t scratch as much. The wood doesn’t have any static in it so it makes your hairstyle smooth. They don’t react to water very well so they are best to be cleaned with an oil like Jojoba oil.
Cleaning your Hair Combs
It is best hygiene practices to clean your combs after every use to remove all excess hair and styling product residue. If you don’t have the time to do this every use try to clean once a week to remove build up and any unwanted bacteria.
Start by rinsing the comb in warm water. To get into the teeth area grab an old tooth brush or a disposable mascara wand and rub back and forth with soapy water. Air dry out of direct heat and sunlight.
Remember if there is any breakage or split areas on the comb from wear and tear try and replace as soon as possible. This will reduce hair breakage and damage to your scalp.