Tuesday, January 06, 2009

What do you use to tidy up your hair?

Plastic brush, boar bristle brush or even the metal ones?

Personally, I am never fan of hair brushes,I always use combs instead and it has been a habit of mine since I was very little. I once heard my friend said that comb is only for people with very thin hair while brushes tidy thing up much better. Well, my mother has long, thick and cascading hair and all she ever uses was medium paced combs, in fact, pretty craft combs made of horn.
Like mother like daughter, I also developed a fondness to those little unique art pieces since my first acquisition at the age of 13, before that I ran through a couple of anime printed plastic ones that ended up breaking or disappear to nowhere...

A little side note, unlike ivories, horns are quite abundant in many countries and to obtain the horn it does not require killing the animal just for that...so if you have any cruelty issue, maybe you should skip this post...)

The main reason I like these combs is that they don't produce any static and unlike plastic, natural materials feel more comfortable on the scalp. Since no two pieces of wood (or horn) are exactly alike, they are also functions a piece of artwork that I carry with me, or putting on my desk. I don't actually collect the combs right now, so there are only three I use regularly.

First one: A cherry wood from Carpenter Tan, this corporate company is quite famous in China for its wooden craft combs and other boudoirs. There are several stores in the main cities of china where they make a big buck out of those tourist while I admit that some of their pieces are quite exquisite and well-made, I don't really suggest you get some form them unless it's for a serious collection or simply gift giving. I personally don't find the price that friendly.

It's hand polished as well and feels comfortable the very first glide I place on my head, it also has a very shiny finish thanks to the craftsmanship. Although it's quite light, I don't usually carry this with me.

Another one form carpenter tan, although Carpenter Tan is more famous for their wooden handcrafted combs, there are also some that are made of horns since there are quite a few people who prefer the texture and durability of horn and horn is believed to have more of those medical functions than plane wood when you use it to massage the scalp with it. (I don't know how that works actually, it's Chinese medicine) The comb making company would certainly want to get a share of market.

Because of the nature of ox horn that they are not suitable for craving, most of the horn combs have simpler design while the wooden one can go quite fancy-pansy that you won't even want to comb your hair with it. Black horn are tougher but they are more rigid that if you are not careful handling them, it can snap into halves quite easily. (Having done that for about 3, 4 times, now I learned to stick with the ones with lighter color, which are more of cartilage than bone...)

This is the cheapest out of all , I bought it at a private shop after having bargaining for a few minutes, this no-brand ox horn comb for around 4 dollars because of the cheap labor in China ( the starting price of a comb from Carpenter Tan is around 8 bucks) . It's nevertheless my favorite out of all of them. It's cheaper compare to the two because it's was machine cut...I mean, why does it matter if it's not cut by human hand (at least I don't care much) , the fact that it's not smooth make it very special for me, at first it's a bit sharp and it scratches my scalp, but over the the time as I kept using it, it became smoother and a lot handier, almost like I am taming it, like a wild animal...Another reason I like it is that this comb is not too heavy or bulky like the first one, it also has the perfect width for my head and I like to carry it with me and use it all the time.

This one also seems to be the most "alive' out of the three, its surface is pretty smooth (but not mirror shiny) when I got it, but after a period of neglect (I didn't remember where I put it so it was lying by the corner of the room on the carpet for a few weeks, ahem) it became brittle and dry, and guess what , I treated it as if it's my real hair, I just cover it with olive oil for a day and I do think that it appreciate its spa and started to regain its grandeur as I started to sue it again. Ok, it's not that I am anthropomorphizing a comb, but after all, isn't it made of the same material ad hair anyway? And if I was just do stupid thing with dead object..Aren't hair just dead cells to start with?

Of course I am not trying to convince you to switch to natural combs if you are perfectly happy with the brushes you have, but if you are tired of fly away hair from static electricity or just want a bit of "art" in an everyday routine...why not give these a try, at least they are bio-degradable.


  1. Hey I learned about this when i was in China, I bought one myself! Its a good product! :)

  2. I use Tangle Teezer. Never thought it would be so good but it is! Used to use wooden brushes earlier, but they are a mess to clean and don't detangle as well as the TT.

  3. Happy New Year!

    Yeah, actually there are quite many people in china use that kind of comb just because it's so cheap...it's also like a part of culture as well...

    Rocket Queen:
    That tangle tweezer looks quite interesting...but my hair don't tangle much as long as I comb it twice a day (it's not long right now, but when it was waist length, it was pretty much the same case).

    I always had very long hair and my mom just braided it into pig tails, then I had a stroke in third grade and asked my dad to chop it all off (since my mom wouldn't bring me to the salon and let me cut it), he did a horrible job btw...

    when it grew back long in 5th grade
    I didn't know how to do anything...I let it down and rarely comb it...so when I when to the salon to get a real cut... it took him quite a while to de-tangle and he was saying that it looks like a bird nest...

    Maybe it would make him happier if there was a tangle tweezer...(But it actually looks a bit like my dog's brush...)

  4. Hey I'm a hardcore comb-user too! Except in my case, it's due to my pathetically thin hair. =( I dont really bother about 'designer' combs whatnot. Mine are just the RM3.50 ones bought in cheap accessories store or drugstore.


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