A comb is an instrument used for styling, combing and cleaning hair and scalp, which today is among the main beauty and hygiene tools of men and women worldwide. It is a sum of fiber, plastic, wood or metal teeth, placed perpendicularly at a certain distance from each other on a common shaft with a handle. There are also smaller versions without handles used as decorative elements in hairstyles.
The comb is one of the oldest artifacts, found by archaeologists. It is assumed that it was used even during the Stone Age to give the hair a pleasant look. Already in 5500 BC, Egyptians started using it mainly in religious rituals. In ancient China, combs were worn as a symbol of social status and were used to remove lice from the hair, as well.
Historically, comb making has gone through many changes. Originally, combs were made of bone, ivory and wood, elaborately decorated with handmade engravings. The comb evolved considerably in the 14th century, when more modern and easy modeling materials such as silver, brass and tin, were introduced. In the 19th century, combs from tortoiseshells and deer or elk horns were made with the help of special tools. But because of the harm caused to the animals, the production of such combs was put aside.
In 1869, two brothers inventors began to attempt to find a substitute for animal materials. So, they created the celluloid - a substance resembling plastic, that changed the history of the comb. Comb’s production became faster and cheaper and it allowed the development of a whole new industry.
Today, the comb is credited as one of the most important tools for hygiene and beauty care in human evolution. Depending on the material, shape, size and model combs are divided into 3 main types:
- for combing (especially for short hair)
- decorative combs
- anti-parasite combs
The first one is used for styling and hair managing, the second - as an accessory in hairstyles, and the third - to remove harmful organisms such as lice from the hair and fleas from pets’ fur.
Whatever type of comb you use, experts advise not to share it with another person, because it can easily spread lice, scalp diseases or infections. For greater safety, disinfect your comb with hot water after each use and wash it regularly with shampoo.