Thursday, April 8, 2010

Comb vs. Brush Part 1

I have had several inquiries about my choice of using a vent brush. It got me thinking that maybe there are more of you out there similarly wondering about it as well and so I thought I would share my thoughts on the subject of comb vs. brush with everyone.

To begin, I would like to quickly overview the function of  combs and brushes. The purpose of any comb or brush is to help you;

  1. Have control when styling
  2. Help in the process of removing tangles and loose hairs
  3. Aid in the distribution of product and/or natural oils throughout your hair.

Looking at the comb first, we find the pros and cons of the comb vary depending on what type of comb you choose to use. Combs like brushes span the gamete and, because of that, I believe that some should not be used on your curly hair. For the purposes of this article I will refer to 3 different types of combs. First is the handy dandy hair dressing comb/cutting comb. styling.haircutting comb


  1. The tightly packed teeth of this comb makes it excellent at grabbing,  gathering, and controlling hair.
  2. Helps to make a nice smooth surface needed for cutting, making ponytails, braiding, etc. 
  3. Aides well in back combing to provide lift at the root of the hair*
  4. Can help pull out dirt and debris from hair


  1. The tightly packed teeth can pull on curly hair and cause excessive pulling, discomfort and even breakage.


Some of the same reasons that this comb is a stylists best friend are the same reasons that you would want to steer clear of it in your own personal use, if your hair density ranges anywhere from a medium amount to thick and plentiful. Of course,  if you want a nice tight ponytail or braid (everything has a time and a place right?) this comb would make an excellent choice.  As a side note; if you have less than a medium amount of hair you may not run into any problems using this comb due to the mere fact that your hairs are not as densely packed.

The second comb is called a wide tooth comb or a vent comb.wide tooth comb


  1. Multi purpose
  2. One half of  the comb has wider teeth to better aid in picking out tangles from wet hair.
  3. Opposite side of the comb is used for added control of hair when styling or cutting.


  1. Hairs could be pulled and or broken if care isn’t taken to keep them out of the tightly packed section of the comb.

This comb would be the perfect choice for someone looking to save some money. The wider teeth make it a good choice for those with a medium amount of hair that want to use it’s multi-purpose styling control benefits. However this is not the best choice for those with thick hair because the teeth on the wide end may still be too close and cause excessive pulling and damage. For those with thin hair this comb may be over kill, because the teeth on the wide end may be spaced too far apart to make it useful in accomplishing the job it is needed to do. Thus, making it a waste of your money.

Comb number three is a most commonly called a pik. There are many different versions of this comb but this picture provides an image of what is most commonly found and used.  



  1. Excellent at detangling hair
  2. Few teeth that are widely spread apart
  3. Nice big handle


  1. Widely spaced teeth
  2. Gives little to no control when styling in ponytails or braids
  3. Designed for only one purpose

Best choice for those who have medium to thick hair. The wide spacing of teeth make detangling a breeze. There are so many varieties that you can easily find one that is ergonomically correct in the handle area (which basically means it is comfortable to hold and put less stress on your body). While it will separate the hairs of those with fine to medium fine amounts of hair, it will not be as effective at removing loose hairs that can contribute to tangling (of course, that may not be as big of an issue for you as for those with thicker hair).

While I am aware that there are still more choices of combs available to the average consumer hopefully my review of these 3 different types will make it easier for you to pick the best one for your needs. Don't go rush off to the store yet though, because in my next article we will be discussing different types of brushes and you might decide you’d rather use a brush than a comb. 'Til next time…:).

*I try to stay clear of this practice unless I am doing an updo for a very special occasion. It causes too much damage and breakage to be used on a regular basis.


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