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What Are the Pros and Cons of Using a Wood Comb?

By Sheri Cyprus
Updated May 21, 2024
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A major pro of using a wood comb is that it can be effective for detangling hair. A main con can be price, since good quality wood combs are often quite expensive. Yet, wood combs also have the advantage of lasting longer than other types if they are cared for properly. Especially if used to comb wet hair, these grooming aids must often be treated with oil, which can be considered a con. The flexibility and attractiveness of a wood comb are strong pros, since the comb is usually suitable for any hair type as well as often considered stylish by both males and females.

Quality wood combs are typically smooth and well designed with large, evenly spaced teeth. They are usually much easier to hold than cheap plastic combs which can be slippery. Since they are crafted of stylish wood in a neutral color, this type of comb tends to look nicer when left on a dresser top or bathroom counter.

Plastic combs used in the hair may create static, while wood versions usually do not. A wood comb is often the best choice for curly or long hair that may get caught in plastic combs since the teeth aren't usually as thick. Wooden combs also don't tend to pull and snag the hair like their plastic counterparts often do.

The price of a wooden comb may be much greater than a plastic one, which is a con for many people. If a wooden comb is used to detangle wet hair, it may become warped and not function as well. Oiling the comb usually helps solve the problem, but many people don't like to bother doing it and the money spent on a quality grooming aid then becomes wasted.

A pro of wood comb styles over other natural kinds such as those made from animal horns is that they don't usually break when dropped. Also, like horn combs, many people prefer the feel of these materials in their hands when combing their hair than that of plastic. The feel of wooden combs on the scalp can be another pro that users of this style appreciate. Plastic comb teeth can sometimes feel either too bendable or two scratchy on the scalp, while a wooden comb tooth design is usually thicker and blunter for a more controllable approach to hair combing.

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Discussion Comments
By donasmrs — On Dec 17, 2014

Wood combs are really not that expensive. Of course, they're not as cheap as the cheapest plastic combs on the market. But for anyone who wants a decent comb, the price of wood combs are not exaggerated at all. Those who are on a tight budget can buy bamboo wood combs. These tend to be a little less costly. But a wood comb should always be made from a single plank of wood. The pieces shouldn't be carved and attached separately.

By burcinc — On Dec 17, 2014

@bear78-- I'm Chinese and my grandmother uses a wood comb. She always tells me to use one too. She says that wood combs improve circulation better than other types of combs and can help prevent or reduce graying. She says that if I use it regularly, my scalp and hair will be healthier. She also tells me to use natural scalp and hair oils.

I never really take this seriously but after hearing about all of the benefits, I might just start using a wood comb. Even if it doesn't offer all these benefits, I think that wood combs look nicer. And they're also better for the environment since wood will mix with the earth. Plastic doesn't and it's harmful.

By bear78 — On Dec 16, 2014

I read that wood combs have traditionally been used in China for hundreds of years. I know that Chinese medicine is very effective and many of the skin and hair care practices we use today originated in China. So if the Chinese have favored wood combs, I think that this type of comb must have significant benefits.

Aside from the benefits mentioned in this article, does anyone know why the Chinese preferred this type of comb?

By Feryll — On Dec 16, 2014

I don't know the reason why, but I have found that the bristles on wooden men's hair brushes hold up better than the bristles on metal and plastic brushes. The bristles on the metal and plastic brushes go soft sooner. I have a wood brush that I have had for years and the bristles are as good today as they were the day I bought the brush.

By Animandel — On Dec 16, 2014

@Laotionne - Many people who complain about the cost of wood brushes and wood combs have never used these items regularly. I'm not going to tell you that the wood comb or the wood brush is the best product ever produced, and yes, I could live without my wood combs and my wood brushes, but I certainly would miss them.

Like this article says, it is the feel of the wood in the hand that can be addictive. I also agree that the wood has actual benefits in terms of the way your hair looks. But ultimately, it is a matter of choice. I definitely prefer the wood.

Also, as with most items, when you buy the more expensive wood combs you tend to keep up with them better, so you don't have to replace them as often as you do the cheaper plastic ones.

By Laotionne — On Dec 15, 2014

I guess wood combs are good for tangles and for not producing static, but I have always used plastic combs and I have no complaints. I think with the difference in cost between the two types of combs, I am better served to stick with the cheaper plastic ones.

I am notorious for losing combs and with the cheap plastic combs I buy, I don't give the purchases a second thought. I would be a little stressed if I had to continually replace lost wooden combs. My budget would take a significant hit.

By anon977337 — On Nov 10, 2014

Wood combs are great for curly hair. I use one every day and I don't ever worry about tangles or dry hair.

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