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wooden comb

The Beauty Product That Made Me Curse

For those that know me, they know I don’t curse on any level.

Well, except for when—

But I digress.

On my natural journey towards longer, healthier, fuller hair, I’ve been tweaking my hair care regimen to maximize results.  I thought I was covering my bases pretty well when, during a perusal of scientific backings and explanations (aka lurking amongst online blogs and forums), I fell upon a tidbit of ditching plastic combs for quality wood, bone, or horn alternatives.

“Jeepers,” I said, “what literacy is this?”  I read deeper, perplexed yet intrigued, and found a great deal of info that I had somehow missed over the last year and a half.

According to the facts, wooden, bone and horn combs claim the following superior qualities over their plastic counterparts:

    • Their seamless teeth won’t snag on uneven hair strands—especially uneven, tightly curled hair strands.
    • They are porous enough to absorb the hair’s natural oils and distribute them along the shafts while combing, maintaining longer-term moisture and imparting shine.
    • They do not create static electricity, which leads to frizziness and split ends.
    • They’re prettier and more distinct-looking than plastic.

Okay, so the last one is purely aesthetic and objective, but I’m swayed by prettiness, dagnabbit.

After gathering info from various forums,  I discovered that The Body Shop sold a wide-tooth wooden comb that reputedly did not warp in water (as wood was so apt to do).

“Good stuff,” I thought, “considering ninety-five percent of my comb use is on damp or wet hair.”  Nevertheless, the product junkie in me held off on buying it for about two weeks.

I finally broke down during an outing with a friend, as I asked if we could swing by the mall so I could pick it up.  “No problem,” she said, “so long as I get to go to the Apple Store.”  I thought the trade-off was fair, so I zipped over to The Body Shop and grabbed one of combs before rejoining her in the world of iMacs, iPads, iPhones, and every other i- they had on stock.

I washed my hair that night, beginning with a hot oil treatment and following with a goats milk shampoo.  I had made my own conditioner for the occasion and, taking my hair in eight sections, slathered on the avocado-banana-yogurt concoction before taking up my new comb and running it through my strands, whilst a Golden Girls marathon played in the background.

Now, let me explain something to you.

My hair is, according to the Andre Walker hair types ystem, of the Type 4 brand.  That means that not only is my hair fine and dry by nature, it is also really curly—like, penspring coil curly.  No matter how wide-toothed my combs of the past have been, one or two (or twenty) coils are bound to wrap themselves around the plastic teeth and snap off.

It’s a miracle to get just one bundle of loose hair in my palm (vs. two or three) at the end of my hair session.  My heart always sinks when I see the collection of knots growing in the teeth, but it’s something I’ve grown accustomed to.  Now that my hair is to my shoulders, I have more length of curls to work through.  The amount of breakage has lessened a great deal since removing sulfate shampoos and sectioning my hair in the wash, but they’re still there.  They will always be there.

So I thought.

I finished detangling the back half of my head and twisted the conditioner-soaked pieces out of the way.  Then, out of habit and set to collect my hairs out of the teeth, I glanced at my wooden comb.

“Holy crap!” I blurted into the living room—and to Blanche as she cursed out Sophia for stealing her man.

The teeth were clean.

I mean, clean.

Not one.  Single.  Strand.  In.  The.  Comb.

At.

All.

I immediately squatted down on the carpet and scanned the cream-colored flooring for any tiny black ringlets that might have popped free and sprinkled my feet like confetti.  Nothing.

Slowly, I straightened up and resumed conditioning and detangling my hair.  From then on, after each section—combing from root to tip, something I never even attempted with the plastic comb—I checked the teeth.  Nearly each time, I came up empty.

In the end, this was all I had to show from my detangling session—not only with conditioner, but while styling after rinsing:

I considered creating a slideshow of this event but decided one angle was enough.

There have been products, foods, fashion, etc., that I have purchased, expecting miracles and forcing myself to pretend to be elated at what were adequate results at best.  This comb was the very first product that gave me exactly what it advertised, exactly what other people claimed it would do, and more—all on the first go.

Summary of The Body Shop Detangling Comb:

Price:  $7.  Not bad considering it’s my all-in-one styling tool.

Quality:  A light, smooth wood composite with no seams whatsoever.  A little smaller than I expected, but very durable and fit well in my hand.  Size did not matter—in this case.

Ease of acquisition:  Thanks to my friend’s chauffeuring skills, this was easily picked up from my local The Body Shop at the local mall.

Overall:  Officially a staple in my hair care regimen.  I recommend this bad boy a million times over.

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