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We are often faced with the question: What makes wood a better choice for hair and beard care? Allow us to give you an explanation as to why wood is often considered the material of choice:
1.) Wood is all natural. This doesn’t need much discussion, or elaboration. In a world where mass produced, synthetic products are forced down our throats; health and quality are on the decline; and the commitment to craftsmanship are seemingly becoming a thing of the past- all natural, handcrafted options are more in need than ever before.
2.) Wood does not produce static. Not only is static damaging to the hair, but excessive static build up results in a dry, frizzy, unmanageable mess. Because wood is not a conductor of electricity, it can not generate static as it gently glides through the hairs.
3.) Wood is more gentle on the beard hair. When properly made, wooden combs have a soft, warm feel. Wood combs gently massage the scalp which increases blood circulation as well as stimulates acupressure points, and is thought to encourage hair growth. The hand cut, and hand finished teeth of wooden combs do not have the rough edges and seams that are commonly found in most plastic combs. These edges cause tearing and breaking of healthy hair, and cause more harm than they do good.
4.) Wood combs help condition the hair. Unlike metal or plastic, wood has the ability to collect and more evenly distribute oils. Your body produces a natural oil known as sebum to moisturize and lubricate both hair and skin. When combing with a wooden comb you are collecting excess oils and spreading them throughout your head or chin, promoting better overall health and appearance. Also, by spreading the oils more evenly, you are more efficiently dispersing added beard oils/balms, which not only enhances those products, but uses them more sparingly, ultimately saving you money.
and this dude has his opinions on why you should use a wooden comb also;
Selecting a wood comb:
There are countless types and styles of wooden combs, another benefit being that you are likely to find a comb which is unique, well suited for your hair type, comfortable on hair, and in hand, and speaks of your own unique tastes and style.
There is no “right or wrong” comb, it really just comes down to overall quality, purpose, and preference based on intended use, hair type, functionality, and individual style.
Here are some things to consider when looking for a quality wood comb:
1.) Handmade is always best. Any craftsman with the least bit of self respect will play close attention to the various details that go into making a fine comb. A handmade item is an extension of the person making it, and it has a bit of a story to tell, making it a piece of functional art.
Mass produced combs are often cut on a machine as dictated by a computer program. they are void of style, and soul. They are lacking in the nuance that goes hand in hand with artistry and wood working.
When buying a handmade comb you are investing in the person who has crafted it, you are supporting a person, a dream, a family- a small business!
2.) The wood used should be a hardwood. Soft woods such as pine will swell, splinter, and break in a relatively short period of time. Splintering will leave rough edges which will damage the hair.
3.) Solid woods (aside from a few exceptions) are best. Plywood is susceptible to swelling, splintering, and delaminating unless great attention is given to proper sanding and finishing.
4.) Woods with tight, straight, uniform grains will generally last longer than that with a sporadic grain pattern.
5.) Wood grain should always run parallel with the tines (teeth), this lends strength and durability to the tines, as well as reduces the amount of drag and resistance when combing. Sometimes the design of a comb, especially a comb that is particularly long, or is handled, the comb will be cut with the grain on a slight bias (diagonal).
By cutting on the bias, overall strength is distributed across the length of the comb. Wood grain should never run completely perpendicular to the tines. This results in a weak tine that is susceptible to chipping, splintering, and breaking, as well increased drag/ resistance while combing.
Maintaining your wood comb:
Wood combs come in a wide price range, and can often times be rather expensive due to the cost and availability of the wood that has been selected; the workability of the wood; and the complexity of the design. Remember, when purchasing a quality, handmade comb, time, heart, knowledge, skill, detail and patience are of great value.
A cheap comb is just that, a cheap comb! However, a quality comb, with proper care will last a lifetime. Typical combing, especially when using natural, plant based products alone will adequately oil and condition your comb, but can lead to dirt/debris, and excessive oil/wax build up on the comb.
Placing a bit of any natural oil on a piece of cotton and gently wiping the entire comb, top to bottom, along all surfaces, corners, and edges will clean the comb, as well as condition the wood. I prefer to use coconut oil. It is a fairly stable oil and is known for it’s anti-fungal properties.
Wood and water don’t always agree with each other. Wood is very durable, some woods more so than others, and will tolerate a reasonable exposure to water. Prolonged exposure to wet conditions will overtime deteriorate the wood, as well as become a bit unsanitary. Being left in the shower, or lying on/ in a wet sink will not promote longevity.