Why do I need a Bearded Savant wooden beard comb?

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about beard combs. And why not? I mean, come on, I get to use a beautiful beard comb every morning:

 Tiger maple inlaid with sapele. Note the direction of the grain: along the long axis in the handle and along the teeth in the inlay, this provides provides maximum strength in the direction of greatest stress.
Tiger maple inlaid with sapele. Note the direction of the grain: along the long axis in the handle and along the teeth in the inlay, this provides provides maximum strength in the direction of greatest stress.

Beard Comb Tips

(Don’t have time to read the whole post? Here’s the cliffs notes)

  1. Plastic combs with narrow teeth tear and strip your beard
  2. Plastic combs with wide teeth are better but the sharp edges of the plastic can still damage your beard.
  3. Wooden combs with wide teeth are the best
  4. The Bearded Savant beard combs are beautiful, the result of 30 years of experience, use the best wood available, are designed for maximum strength and comfort, and contain no coatings of any type.
  5. NEVER comb your beard wet, wet hair is weaker hair.

Find a comb with wide gaps and teeth

First off is to find a comb with larger teeth and larger gaps between the teeth. For barbers who need plastic, this will make a substantive difference for your customers. But going with a coarse plastic comb only gets you part way because plastic is hard, forms sharp edges, and will likely still catch, strip, and pull out your beard hair. The solution is wood. Wood is much softer than plastic and can be sanded into rolled edges. The softer material, combined with wider teeth and gaps, and rolled edges, is going to help you maintain a much cleaner, softer, healthier beard.

Why a Bearded Savant Comb?

Quality. Quality. Quality. Our combs are designed and constructed by a master comb maker with over three decades of experience using handmade tools, curated wood selection, with maximum craftsmanship. The grain of the handle and teeth are normal to each other, which puts the grain in the same direction to the maximum stress, making them much stronger (there are a lot of beard combs laser etched out of a single piece of wood, which cannot compete on strength). The shape of the comb makes it easy and comfortable to use. There are no finishes of any type. Looking at the image it looks like there is a varnish or lacquer, but this is merely the result of quality sanding work. At the end of the day, our combs are extremely well made, with high-quality materials, designed for maximum strength, comfort and ease of use, with no coatings or paints. Quality. Quality. Quality.

When to comb your beard

This is pretty easy to answer: never when wet. Wet beard hair is weak beard hair and more likely to tear. I like to comb my beard after applying oil or balm. Combing helps to distribute the oil or balm and a little bit of oil or balm will end up on your wooden comb, which acts as a natural preservative and a inhibits drying out of the wood.

Why not a plastic comb?

What I’ve learned is that the lion’s share of bearded men and barbers out there are using something like this—maybe a little fancier, but essentially this:

 your average cheap plastic comb
your average cheap plastic comb

I mean I get it, they’re inexpensive, easy to put in your pocket, and as a barber, easy to disinfect (that latter point is key for you barbers out there). But for those of you that aren’t using your comb on customers, take a look at this picture: 

 SEM image of partially torn human hair.
SEM image of partially torn human hair.

It comes down to this with plastic combs: The teeth are too narrow, the gaps between the teeth are too small, and the plastic is too hard. The result is your beard hair—which tends to be coarser than the hair on your head—is more easily caught, stripped, and/or torn out. You know this to be true. How many times have you been combing your hair and you feel it get caught on a knot? You feel the sharp pain of your beard hair being plucked form your face? You finish combing and there are a dozen beard hairs on the bathroom counter?

Parting thoughts

See for yourself: a wooden comb with wide teeth is better than a plastic comb with narrow teeth

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