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:
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.
Say NO to 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!
All the best.