CHECK YOUR TOOLS!!
Are your combs dragging out your hair?
Bad construction and design faults are in many, if not most, of the tools available for haircare. And these aren't just harmless flaws; they actually cause hair breakage, and strand tearing! While, we may be thinking that we are doing good for our hair, our combs may not be. Some, in fact, will cause more harm than good. So, let's check them and clear our hair closet out of our hair's secret worst enemy!
The most important factors when choosing combs are the body of the comb and its teeth; these two factors greatly affect the health and length of our hair. We must be wary of teeth that are thin, as they will drag healthy strands of hair from our scalps. They also cause strands to rub together, resulting in damaging friction. So, no matter the texture, the curl pattern – or lack thereof –
the wider the teeth, the better. A wider toothed comb is hair's healthier option. That is, if there is no presence of plastic ridges,--which unfortunately most combs have--across the body of the comb and in their teeth.
Check your combs for plastic ridges, too, particularly between the comb's teeth. These scrape your hair as you comb it out, causing hair to tear and break off. A lot of times, ridges are thin and hard to see without plenty of light, so head to a good light source and peer between your comb's teeth. While you're there, you should also ensure that no other part of your comb's body will grip your strands; check for hard edges that scratch your skin. The rule of thumb being; if it hurts your skin, it hurts your hair.
There's a lot of jive out there about what makes a good comb: wood combs, bone combs. etc... Honestly, from there's no presence of menacing ridges and hard edges, the most important factor is which of the smoothest combs works best for you. After all, different comb designs have different purposes...
comb to part
These combs are usually firmer, stiffer combs, that don't have the flexibility, the give, that detangles hair easily. What they do have is the unique ability to give clean, clear partings with one swoosh. Ever seen a mother cornrowing her child's hair with two different combs? Well, often one comb is to detangle, the other for pristine partings. And hey, why not; hairdressers never just use one comb!
comb to detangle
These combs have the widest teeth, and are easy to grip. They have some flexibility and movement enabling them to give and NOT break heavily entangled strands, or themselves. So that when you pull, and your tangled hair resists, the comb moves, just enough to signal to you that you need to take this section slowly and carefully to work through the tangled section from the tips up.
comb to style
This comb will have a pick or more to it, whether it's your tail comb, an afro pick or a 3-way styling comb. There is always a smooth, cylindrical tool to it that enables you to pick, tuck and guide your hair into place.
comb to roller set
This is without a doubt your tail comb, either with wide teeth, or medium spaced teeth, the tail is the most important part. This comb allows you not only to ensure there are no tangles with a final thinner comb through, but also to wisp around any unruly ends, or left out strands smoothly onto the roller without the need to start over.
Each comb has its advantages, depending on your style and your preferences; there are choices; you don't have to stick it out with one comb.
Be open-minded, though, as combing is not for everyone; some use their fingers, others use a brush... (Part 2; Brushes coming soon!)
DHA Hair Care Experts
Dominican Hair Alliance