Within the community of well-groomed beardsmen, it’s hotly debated which material is best for brushing and combing beards of different lengths. Some like wood while other prefer metal. Some swear by their 80 cent plastic comb. Lately, many more enthusiasts have been embracing horn combs and brushes, and for very good reason.
Why is using natural beard combs and brushes such a big deal?
Let’s first establish the most important thing – you shouldn’t be using your girlfriend’s hairbrush on your beard, no matter how pretty and shiney her hair is right after she brushes it. The hair on your head and the hair on your face are two totally different types, so don’t be lulled into thinking a head hair brush (especially one with plastic brisstles) is good for your beard.
Plastic and otherwise artificial combs and brushes are great at introducing static, which in turn is great at making your beard dry and unweildy. Plastic also contains tiny jagged edges which cause micro snags in your beard hairs, which doesn’t sound like much, except when your hair’s protective layers are stripped away, you’ve got yourself even more dryness. Dryness may also not sound like such a big deal, until you consider that that’s what causes your beard hairs to split and break.
Any beardist knows that beard oil is his best friend, whether it’s the kind we sell or the kind your face makes in order to naturally coat your beard. In any case, natural horn combs are much better at holding and distrubuting oils through your beard evenly in order to condition and protect it.
Now that you know all that, it’s time to think about all the cool things you can do with your old plastic hairbrush (maybe the cat will like it?) because brushing your beard with it is no longer one of them.
Horn Over Wood
Now that you’re ready to switch to a natural material, why choose horn over wood? Good question! I knew you were smart.
Shhh, listen. Do you hear that? It’s the sound of your beard begging you to stop torturing it with static, which is exactly what you’re doing if you use anything but natural animal horn and hair beard grooming tools. Because they’re made from the same stuff as your beard (specifically, keratin), your beard hairs can stop protesting. No more frizzy, itchy dryness, my friend.
Smooth Glide, Less Snags
Because horn’s molecular structure is similar to that of your beard hairs, it won’t cling to the delicate microscopic protective layer of the hair, and in turn it won’t weaken it by stripping its oil away or tug too tightly to detangle.
If your goal is to have a lustrous, majesticly glistening beard, a horn comb combined with beard oil is your best bet. It detangles while leaving the individiual hair cuticles in tact and spreading oil evenly throughout.
Have Some Respect
By using the whole animal, farmers who repurpose horns into other functional items like horn combs reduce a ton of waste. The folks who craft our combs and brushes also use shavings, grindings, and pieces left over after production can be used for fertilizer or smaller useful items like buttons.
It’s also kinda fun to think that way back in antiquity combs were almost always made of horn, so in a way we’ve come full circle. So long, plastic comb!