Last Updated on March 17, 2022
You probably have at least a comb or two in your bathroom drawer, but it may surprise you to learn that there are at least 11 different types of combs designed for different functions and hair types.
If you have been using your comb merely to give yourself the part that you want or to comb out your hair after a shower, read on to learn more about how different types of combs could make your life easier and your hair more beautiful.
Related: 13 Different Types of Hair Brushes
Types of Combs
1. All-Purpose Comb
If you have only one type of comb in your arsenal of styling supplies, it is most likely the all-purpose comb. This medium-sized comb can be easily used on men’s, women’s and children’s hair and works well on most types of fine to medium tresses.
All-purpose combs are sold in a wide variety of lengths, colors and materials. However, 7-inch varieties are among the most popular for home use.
The majority of these combs have two distinct sides. On one side, you will find a wide-tooth comb that is ideal for general detangling of your hair and quick combing. On the opposite end, you will find the fine-tooth comb that is good for more detailed work, such as finishing your style.
2. Wide-Tooth Comb
The wide-tooth comb features only the widely spaced, sturdy teeth that are mainly used for detangling on the all-purpose comb.
Because the teeth are so far apart, this comb will not get out the tiniest snarls but instead is perfect for combing out the hair when it is wet. It is far less likely to snag on your hair and pull it as compared to a fine-tooth comb.
If you are looking for a new way to use your current wide-tooth comb, consider storing it in the shower. Here you will be able to use it after putting conditioner in your hair, helping to distribute the product evenly through all your strands.
3. Fine-Tooth Comb
The fine-tooth comb only has teeth that are spaced very close together. These teeth are usually skinnier and less sturdy than those found on the wide-tooth comb.
This comb is best used by individuals with very fine hair as it can more easily get out snarls. However, if you have very thick or curly hair, you may not need to add this comb to your arsenal.
A fine-tooth comb should only be used after the majority of tangles are already out of your hair. Use it to finish your style and to put each hair into its perfect place.
4. Pocket Comb
The pocket comb is any all-purpose, fine-tooth or wide-tooth comb that is short enough to fit into your pocket. Men may carry this type of comb to keep their hairstyles in place throughout the day.
While women do not usually carry these combs in their pockets as the name would suggest, they may opt to carry them in their purses where they will fit easily into most wallets or zippered pockets.
Pocket combs are usually quite thick and sturdy so that they do not break when they are bent.
5. Barber Comb
Not many people have this comb at home unless they occasionally trim or cut their own hair or the hair of a loved one. At first glance, the barber comb appears quite similar to the all-purpose comb because it usually has a wide-tooth and a fine-tooth side.
However, the length of the individual teeth is quite a bit shorter than normal, allowing the barber to trim closer to the head without injury. In some cases, these combs may also have a tapered end, guiding the barber as he cuts around the ears or at the nape of the neck.
See Also: Barber vs Hairdresser (Comparison)
6. Detangler Comb
While a wide-tooth comb can help with detangling snarly hair as well as wet hair, there is another option if you are looking for an even more comfortable experience.
The detangler comb also has thick, widely spaced teeth. However, many of them have double rows of teeth to catch more snarls in less time.
Related: 5 Ways to Prevent Tangled Hair
7. Pick Comb
The pick comb is a smaller comb that is meant to be used vertically. It can be made out of plastic, wood or metal, but it has wider teeth that are designed to lift or tease very thick or frizzy hair.
This comb is particularly good for those wanting an afro look or who want to embrace their naturally thick and curly locks.
8. Rake Comb
The rake comb is another good choice for those with plenty of tangles or a frizzy head of thick hair. It is also an excellent choice for women with tight spiral perms who want to comb out their tangles without disturbing their curls too much.
It is so named because the thick, very long teeth look like a rake. The key difference between the rake comb and the pick is that the rake has a longer horizontal handle, which can make it a bit easier to use.
9. Rat-Tail Comb
The rat-tail comb also has a horizontal handle, but this handle is not just for giving you a better grip on the comb. It can also function as an extra finger, helping you make straight parts and lift even the smallest sections of hair.
These combs are actually quite easy to find and can be a good choice to add to your arsenal if you do not already have one. They are ideal if you routinely curl or braid your hair or love sophisticated updos.
10. Pin-Tail Comb
The pin-tail comb is quite similar in style to the rat-tail except that the long horizontal handle is even narrower and is made of metal. This gives you even more precision as you work on your style and is a great choice if you routinely straighten your hair.
With the pin-tail comb, you can ensure that you straighten each strand of hair without leaving any behind. You may have seen your stylist using a pin-tail comb as she permed or highlighted your hair so that she could create equal sections.
11. Teasing Comb
The teasing comb may be last on this list, but this does not mean that it is any less important. Its uniquely shaped and spaced teeth are ideal for adding volume to very fine hair, particularly at the roots. Usually, the teeth are unequal in length to provide a more cohesive final look to your style.
To use this comb, simply pick up sections of your hair and run the comb the wrong direction along the back of the strands a few times until you achieve your desired volume.
Many of these combs can be easily found online or at any big box store. However, you may instead want to chat with your stylist or barber about which option would be best for your hair type and desired style.
With a bit of practice, any comb can be incredibly easy to use and can elevate all of your styles.