The Wide Tooth Comb – A useful tool for Curly Men!

The wide tooth comb (aka wide-tooth comb) is one of those things that a curly men should have. When it comes to grooming your curly hair, you have two options, either use your fingers (I personally vouch for this) or use a wide tooth comb. A wide tooth comb looks like this:

The wide tooth comb for curly hair

A wide tooth comb has teeth separated wider than conventional combs and the teeth are thicker. While the width and thickness of teeth can vary, a wide tooth comb is generally regarded as such if it has up to a maximum of four teeth per inch of length. This type of comb tends to also be longer than conventional combs and it can be made from several materials, from plastic to wood.

Why use a wide tooth comb and not a conventional comb?

The reason behind using a wide tooth comb instead of a conventional comb has to do with the nature of our curly hair. Curly hair grows in units, that is, individual hair strands clump together to form a curl (unit), and then your hair in its entirety is composed of these curls. With a wide tooth comb, you encourage the formation of the curl as a unit whereas with a conventional comb you destroy the clumping of the individual hair strands in the curl. A wide tooth comb allows for a wider space between each teeth as well as using thicker teeth, which has an effect of encouraging the clumping of the individual strands into curls while respecting the natural shape of the curl.

Conventional combs were designed for straight haired people as their hair, when formed into locks, can be split like chicken bones without damaging the hair. However, some curly haired fellows have fallen for using something (a conventional comb) that is actually counterproductive to our efforts. Likewise, using a brush, instead of a comb, is even worse and will leave your curls so frizzy that people will be wondering if you stuck your fingers in an electric socket.

The pocket comb is not useful for curly haired menSay NO to this…

This is a hair brush which is bad for curly hair

…and this!


How to use a wide-tooth comb

Other than for styling curly hair, wide-tooth combs can also be used for detangling your curls. Simply apply some conditioner to the comb’s teeth and to your curls, and work through any knots or tangles formed. Use your fingers to grab the curls that you will be detangling at a length in the lock of hair before the knot or tangle has occurred and then use the wide-tooth comb to softly pull down on the knotted or tangled hairs.

Wide-tooth combs also come in different widths and thicknesses, and it is a matter of playing around with several versions to find the perfect one for your hair. Generally, your type of curl shape will dictate how thick or wide you want your comb to be, although this is more of a guideline so as to choose an initial comb and then experiment from there onwards. Type I curly men will do better with slightly narrower spaces between the comb’s teeth as opposed to Type V curly hair men whom will find very wide spacing between each teeth more suitable (click the link if unsure of your curly hair). Again, a bit of trialling is ensued if you want to find the perfect wide tooth comb although you can always go with any width and thickness so long as it has up to a maximum of four teeth per inch of length. Wide-tooth combs are not expensive, you can buy some good-quality ones on Amazon so there is no excuse to not be owning one as a curly haired man!

If you want to buy some high-quality wide tooth combs on Amazon, then go for this one, this other one or this last one, whichever one you choose will be a great decision for your curly hair care!

All the best.


Banner for the Barbershop Forums, a male grooming and men's hairstyles community.

Men's Hair Forum is a mens hairstyles, haircuts, shaving and male grooming community.


Rogelio is the go-to guy when it comes to men's hair. Having embraced his natural curly hair for over a decade while living in 5 countries, Rogelio has learnt a thing or two along the way. Rogelio is the author of the two bestselling men's books "The Curly Hair Book" and "The Men's Hair Book", and his motto when it comes to hair is, "Gentlemen, having a good head of hair should not cost us our testosterone".

More Posts

29 comments for “The Wide Tooth Comb – A useful tool for Curly Men!

  1. Alex
    February 6, 2017 at 6:44 pm

    Can I use this carbon-fiber wide-tooth comb instead of the wooden ones that you’ve recommended?

    • Rogelio
      February 7, 2017 at 7:09 pm

      Yes, you can. Just make sure that the wide-tooth comb that you’ll be getting is real carbon fiber and not just some plastic wide-tooth comb with a layer of faux carbon fiber (the latter being a common trick in some industries, including the beauty industry).

      • Alex
        February 13, 2017 at 3:12 pm

        Could you please send some links where I can buy wide tooth combs made from real carbon fiber (with delivery to Romania)?

  2. Emmanuel
    February 5, 2016 at 1:39 am

    Hello, my hair was naturally coiled, really tiny. However I textured my coils as I wanted bigger curls, but now my hair is straight. I am a black male. How can I get it back to my original small coils? Please help.

  3. Timothy
    November 7, 2015 at 11:47 pm

    But, what if I have wavy hair and instead have my hair straighter? What do I do then, LOL?

  4. Lyndon
    June 8, 2015 at 11:35 pm

    Hey Rogelio, I’ve been using conventional combs almost all my life with my hair. I usually keep my hair short so I’ve never noticed the frizz but I’ve been trying to grow it out recently and there’s a lot of frizz. Now I know this and its been helping but there’s also the fact that my hair is very dry. What could you recommend to bring my hair back to curly and shiny?

  5. Alex
    May 23, 2015 at 5:10 pm

    Just posted to say that even though I’ve cut my medium length hair( number 2 on the sides and about 2 and a half inches on top) , I’m grateful for your advice.

  6. Husain
    May 17, 2015 at 4:02 am

    Hi Rogelio,

    You’re website has been helping me a lot lately. Just wanted to say thank you.

    • Rogelio
      May 23, 2015 at 10:19 am

      You’re welcome, buddy!

  7. Alex
    May 5, 2015 at 12:10 am

    How do you clean these type of combs?

    • Rogelio
      May 6, 2015 at 2:11 pm

      Just use a little shampoo and rub the shampoo across the comb, then rinse the shampoo with water.

  8. Alex
    April 29, 2015 at 11:16 pm

    Are vent brushes such as this one also not recommended for wavy hair?
    A photograph of a vent brush used by men to comb and straighten their curly hair

    • Rogelio
      April 30, 2015 at 12:34 pm

      Do not use those type of brushes on wavy hair. They will destroy the shape of your waves immediately. They also have a tendency to scratch the scalp and damage the hair strands when used carefree. Avoid them and instead get the wide-tooth comb that we’ve talked about.


      • Alex
        April 30, 2015 at 12:45 pm

        Thanks again.

  9. Alex
    April 26, 2015 at 8:07 pm

    Do you recommend these 2 combs: this one and this one?

    • Rogelio
      April 27, 2015 at 10:55 am

      Hi Alex,

      Yes, any of those two wide-tooth combs will work for curly hair.


      • Alex
        April 27, 2015 at 11:12 am

        Thanks Rogelio. I have wavy hair about 4 inches and I want to let it grow even more to have a Simon Baker.

        A picture of Simon Baker hairstyle

        Do I use a heat protecting spray, a styling cream and then blow dry my hair with the help of one of the wide tooth combs? Or I first use heat protecting spray, blow dry with the comb and then finally I apply a hair styling cream?

        • Rogelio
          April 29, 2015 at 3:12 pm

          Hi again Alex,

          Always use the heat-protecting spray before blow-drying your wavy hair. It’s also imperative that you use a good hair dryer as wavy hair is particularly frizz-prone when using a bad hair dryer. Have a look at my hairstyling tools guide in this link and browse down to the hair dryers section as I recommend some good hair dryers to buy and that are good for wavy/curly hair. I’m mentioning this in case you have one of those cheap hair dryers that immediately cause frizz upon turning on the switch!.

          A styling cream will work great for such a look. So what you do is first coat your hair lightly with the heat-protecting spray (just spray it lightly around your hair), then start blow-drying your hair. Once you’re satisfied with how dry your hair is and how set your waves are on your head, you then start styling your wavy hair with the styling cream. From there, you either style your waves only with the styling cream (using the wide-tooth comb and your fingers) or you use the hair dryer again and you point the hair dryer to your hair as you’re styling your waves with the wide-tooth comb and your fingers.

          Don’t worry if it sounds like it’s a complex hairstyling process; it is not. It’s actually a very intuitive hairstyling process; the difficult part is getting the right high-quality products, which you seem to have done, so all you need now is to get practicing with the method I’ve outlined above.

          Keep me updated on how that goes!


          • Alex
            April 29, 2015 at 3:42 pm

            Thanks! You rock.

      • Alex
        April 27, 2015 at 6:26 pm

        Would any of the 3 combs from this page would be a good choice? I’m asking this because i can only buy the red sandalwood (the only one that can be delivered to my country).

        • Rogelio
          April 29, 2015 at 3:04 pm

          Hi Alex,

          That wide-tooth comb will work very well for you just like the others that I’ve recommended. If that one in particular is the only wide-tooth comb that you can buy and get shipped to your country, then get that one. No doubts.


  10. Demetrius
    October 30, 2014 at 1:47 am

    Hey Rogelio I have type 3 hair, if I don’t comb my hair everyday when I cowash my hair my hair bunches up and tangles but I heard combibf everyday is bad, but I have to. What is your opinion

  11. Drew
    October 21, 2014 at 8:52 pm

    Hey there Rogelio, thanks for the article! I was wondering, is it possible that hair-loss can be also caused by not combing frequently?

    You see, I’m only 20 and I’d say I have an NII pushing at an III but only at the front. I go for long periods without combing my hair but only because I have a fear of combing out too many. When I do comb I sometimes lose up to 300 hairs which have little white bulbs on them. My hair always feels like straw no matter how frequently/unfrequently I wash it.

  12. Andrej
    August 22, 2014 at 6:10 pm

    Greetings Rogelio, i would like to ask you, if it is necessary to use comb, or is it enough to use fingers for styling my coiled hair. I am asking because after combing, my hair do not form back into ringlets. So, do I need to use comb at least one time per week or are my fingers enough ? :) Btw, i would like to buy your book, but, unfortunately, there is no Czech translation of your book, so I must count on the Internet :D

  13. Adrian
    January 17, 2014 at 9:36 pm

    Great article btw. I was wondering though what should do if my hair’s short. Right now, its too short for a wide tooth comb. Should i be using a denman brush to style it?

  14. Julián
    September 21, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    Great article, I have always used conventional combs or scratchy brushes as a kid. Would you recommend any natural boar-bristle brushes? Trying to grow out my hair after a decade of buzz cuts.

    • Rogelio
      September 22, 2012 at 4:24 pm

      Hi Julian,

      Last one I bought (wide tooth) was from The Body Shop and I am pretty sure that it is also available online. I will have to dig for them online. However, I don’t recommend a hair brush if you have curly/wavy hair. Better is to use a wide tooth comb (metallic or wooden) as a hair brush will make your waves and coils frizzy. If you have straight hair though, a natural boar bristle hair brush is great (just look in the instructions prior to buying, it should be 100% boar bristle.

      If you got more questions, let me know.

      All the best.

  15. Jackson
    July 17, 2011 at 9:12 am

    Learnt a few things, never too late. Thanks.

  16. Mike
    July 5, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    Thanks for the article, I guess I will be buying a wide tooth comb next time I pass by Walmart.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *