We’ve done the research and tests, and pored over reams of information to come up what we think is the best beard comb for you.
In doing so, simply being “good enough” wasn’t, well, good enough, so coming up with our list of the best combs – with Kent Men’s Handmade Comb leading the pack – wasn’t easy. But it’s a list of combs that we’d recommend for most men.
Besides providing you with our top 5 list of beard combs and what makes them so great, we’ll also explore how to properly use your comb, provide a “Beard Comb 101” that helps explain what goes into making a quality beard comb, as well as describe the differences and advantages of using a beard comb or beard brush.
- The 5 best beard combs review
- Beard combs 101
- How to properly comb your beard (A simple, 5 step illustrated guide)
- The benefits of combing your beard
- Beard comb or beard brush?
The 5 Best Beard Combs Review
So, let’s begin, the 5 best beard combs of 2017:
When you see the name “Kent” in front of beard combs, you can assume that you’re getting a quality product. Established in Great Britain in 1777, Kent is in the business of producing the highest quality beard brushes and combs, and their Men’s Handmade Comb is as good as it gets.
For one, the Kent Men’s Handmade comb is handmade from cellulose acetate, not cheap plastic that is likely to break after not doing your facial hair a single favor.
The Men’s Handmade comb is also very strong and will last you for years, and it passes through your beard easily thanks to smooth-cut teeth with rounded edges. Each tooth is cut by specially-designed circular saws and hand-polished to ensure superior hair penetration without causing skin irritation.
Finally, each of the comb’s teeth has a saw-cut impression that cleans the hair of dust while encouraging the release of natural oils.
The Kent Men’s Handmade comb feels great in your hand, with the right combination of weight and balance. Plus, it’s hard to beat the versatility of a three-pack – you can leave one beard back home in your cabinet, keep another in your pocket during the day, or pack another for travel.
Simply put, Kent combs should be part of your grooming arsenal if you’re looking to take proper care of your beard.
The folks at Grow a Beard had the man-on-the-go in mind when they designed their Beard Brush and Comb Set for Men. After all, this set comes with a pocket-size beard brush and comb combo that fits easily in your pocket or bag so you can use it anywhere.
There’s more to this comb than portability, however, including its bamboo design made from wood that’s grown on a farm and not from cutting forests. The wood is durable and made to last you for the rest of your grooming days.
Both the comb and the brush gently massage your facial hair while ridding it of tangles and static, while also stimulating oil production in your hair follicles.
As mentioned, the beard comb is small enough to take anywhere, but you’ll like its grip and how it fits into your hand. It provides the kind of control you need to manage any type of facial hair.
The Beard Brush and Comb Set for Men also come with a money-back guarantee, and you can return it for a full refund if you’re not satisfied.
If you’re like many men, you appreciate a product that has versatility. If you are one of those men, you’ll like the Huntsman Beard Comb.
Huntsman’s top-of-the-line comb is dual-sided with different-sized teeth so that you can choose the side that works best for your beard. In some cases, you may need to use a different side each day, depending on how your beard is reacting to factors such as humidity.
Here’s the other thing: you can even use the Huntsman Beard Comb on your head hair if you so choose. And we normally don’t recommend using any product meant for your beard on your head, and vice-versa.
But there’s so much more to like:
- Made from sandalwood, the Huntsman Beard Comb has a pleasant woody scent that stays with you after you’ve combed your beard.
- Hand-carved, this comb can handle the thickest beard hair while lasting you a lifetime.
- The Huntsman Beard Comb is great for use with beard balms and oils and you don’t have to worry about the pulls, snags, and static of cheaper plastic combs.
- It comes with a cool faux leather sleeve and a manly gift box.
Back to the folks at Kent, who’ve come out with the Kent 87T Limited Edition Folding Beard and Moustache Comb that is certainly representative of the quality products that they produce.
Like all Kent combs, the 87T is saw-cut, hand polished and buffed to create softly-rounded teeth that won’t snag or damage your hair.
But the 87T also has other key features, not the least of which is that it’s a folding comb that fits nicely in your pocket and great for anyone who is on the go.
Its smooth teeth help stimulate the natural oils inside the hair – and we know how important oil is for your beard – as your hair is being combed. Those oils encourage the cuticles on each hair to lie flat, thus creating healthy, strong and shiny hair. In other words, say goodbye to split ends and tangles and enjoy the buttery feel of a quality comb as it runs through your beard.
The only real drawback with this comb is that it’s part of a limited production run, so no one knows how long it will be manufactured.
Good things do come small packages – as evidenced by Kent’s 81T Extra Small Beard/Moustache comb. Like Baxter of California’s Large Comb, the Kent 81T is made from cellulose acetate and hand-buffed to eliminate any potential rough edges on its teeth. That’s huge when you consider that tiny ridges left on the teeth will pull, grab and scratch until you’re driven crazy.
The Kent beard comb 81T is saw-cut in England, where G.B. Kent & Sons Ltd., have been in the brush and comb business since 1777 (and have received nine Royal Warrants for excellence in production).
Kent’s combs are known for their sturdiness, overall quality, and excellence finish, and just holding one lets you know that they’re handmade.
One of the 81T’s many strong points include that it’s highly portable, thanks to its size, and can fit nicely in your pocket or wallet. It has rounded, polished teeth that are spaced tightly together so that they won’t miss any hair.
Its handle is also well-designed and enables you to get a good grip without slipping. It’s also priced reasonably.
Beard Combs 101
Let’s get down to the basics – including the how’s and why’s – of beard combs. At this point you may be asking, “Won’t any old type of comb do?” Not a bad question, but it ignores the point that if you want to create a high-quality anything, you need high-quality tools. We’ve already set you on the right path with beard trimmers, electric razors, and stubble trimmers, and our mission is to always help you keep your beard looking good.
But back to the question about using any old comb on your beard – you can find them practically anywhere and at a, ahem, very reasonable price. Cheap means cheaply-made, however, and this video delves into the topic very nicely:
In short, cheap combs are arguably the worst thing you can do to your beard, and not combing your beard is often a better alternative than using an el cheapo. Here are some reasons why:
Stamp Press vs. Hand Cut
Cheap combs are made on a large press that stamps out one product after another. The end result is a comb that has microscopic jagged edges along each tooth. Running one of those mass-produced combs through your beard will literally tear at every hair follicle in your beard. Not fun. Not only that, but they can also produce an impossible tangle of split ends, as well as static, which can be a pain in the ass when you’re trying to get out the door in the morning.
Finally, cheap combs break easily. So, while you’re saving yourself several bucks by buying a cheapie off the shelf of your local convenience store or pharmacy, you’ll also be returning soon enough to buy another one when yours snaps in half. Or, the comb’s teeth will begin to break, which only exacerbates the pulling, tugging damage they do to your beard.
Handmade/hand cut combs occupy an altogether different world, however. They’re typically made of sturdier material such as wood or horn, and the teeth are individually saw cut, which eliminates the jagged edges like those found on factory stamp-pressed models. After they’re cut, the teeth and ends of saw cut combs are then polished. The end result is a smooth, aggravation-free combing experience.
Here’s another thing, if you run your finger over the teeth of a handmade comb they’ll barely move. But do the same thing with a cheap plastic comb and they’ll move easily.
The production process is an important thing to consider when buying a beard comb, but teeth width and the comb’s material are similarly important. Let’s look at teeth width first.
One reason why you should never use a hair comb to groom your beard is that the teeth on your hair comb may not be spaced far enough apart to glide easily through coarser beards. But the teeth on beard combs have various spacing that can be used depending on the thickness/coarseness of your beard.
If you have a softer beard, a comb with teeth that are spaced closer together is usually your best option, while curly and coarser beards call for wider spacing between the teeth. Bottom line: Finding the best beard comb for you depends on the length and coarseness of your beard.
Beard Comb Materials
A variety of materials can be used to make beard combs. We’ve already touched on plastic, which – for our purposes – means cheap and poor quality. Here are some other materials used in the production of beard combs:
Wood – A common material for making beard combs, wood is a good option if you’re serious about beard care (and overall grooming). They come with varied teeth widths, are hand-cut to avoid the rough edges that will tug and pull at your beard, and they simply look good because they’re hand-crafted. About the only disadvantage is that they’re not waterproof, although you should also consider the quality of wood before you buy.
Metal – What, metal? Yes, there are such combs and, honestly, they should be avoided. They don’t have smoothly cut edges, meaning they’ll stage an all-out attack on your beard hair follicles, plus they’re far from being anti-static.
Cellulose acetate – Think of rubber when you think of cellulose acetate (or vulcanite) as material to make beard combs. It’s considered among the best material from which to make a beard comb. Combs made from this don’t produce static, and they’re easy to clean. A lot of high-quality combs, including some on our list of best beard combs, are made from cellulose acetate.
How to Properly Comb Your Beard in 5 steps
Combing your beard doesn’t come naturally, at least not at first. I mean, we’ve grown up combing our hair, but once you grow a beard, it’s a completely different animal. Yet, attaining that well-groomed beard demands that we know and can practice proper combing techniques. There’s a lot of information out there, including this video;
but let’s run through the process of combing your beard.
1. Choose the right teeth
We’ve touched on this, but it’s worth repeating: the wider the teeth on your comb, the easier it will glide through your beard. But the comb should also have smaller teeth to help with your mustache – so you have one comb but two functions. What the comb is made of is of vital importance, as well. The wrong material, like plastic, will cause snags, static, and other annoying things.
2. Getting started
We’re assuming that your first comb of the day will come after you’re out of the shower and while your beard is air-drying. First, hold your comb with the teeth upward and start from the bottom of your beard. The process should begin at your neck and work its way towards the chin cheeks. This method separates all the hairs, allowing them to lay naturally against each other. It also gives your beard that full, “fluffy” look.
3. Hitting snags
There’s a chance that you’re going to hit snags in your hair along the way. The important thing is to not tug and pull at the snag, but stop and then slowly come through it. Often it’s not a full-fledged snag, but just a couple of hairs that have crossed over each other. Be gentle. And don’t forget, a good beard oil will help that comb slide through your beard with the greatest of ease.
4. Combing down
After you’ve combed your beard upward to separate the hairs and fluff it out, comb the hair downward so that you can style it the way you want to. Combs are generally best when you have a fuller beard; when the beard hair is shorter, it’s tougher to style it with a comb (a point will touch on in a bit). While you’re at it, don’t forget to comb your mustache off to the sides and away from your mouth.
5. Watch Your Grip
There’s no need to apply a white-knuckle grip to your comb as you groom your beard. Use a lighter touch, just enough to keep the comb from falling out of your hand, not the kind of grip you’d use while hoisting a barbell at the gym.
The Benefits of Combing Your Beard
Now that you have the basics of combing a beard, let’s look at some of the benefits that come with it:
It prevents ingrown hairs
What appear as little bumps and red spots around your cheeks and neck are ingrown hairs that got curled around and began growing under your skin. Combing your beard every day will ensure that the hairs grow in the right direction.
It helps line up hairs
The appearance of a fuller beard begins with your beard hairs aligning perfectly around your face. When you comb your beard hairs, you’re training them to grow in a certain way. That’s what styling is all about.
It keeps your mouth clear
Combing prevents those pesky hairs around the mouth to grow away from it. It also helps rid your facial hairs of food particles that inevitably end up in your mustache and beard.
Helps when applying beard oil or moisturizer
There’s only so far you can reach when you apply beard oil or moisturizer by hand. Combing your beard helps you evenly distribute the product the areas of your beard and face where it’s needed most.
Beard Comb or Beard Brush?
You may be thinking that a beard comb and beard brush accomplish the same thing, and in a very basic sense they do. But it’s not quite that simple.
Generally speaking, a beard comb becomes more useful the longer your beard grows. In the early stages of beard growth, you can usually keep it in line with a beard brush; using a comb probably won’t keep the hair directed in the shape you want it. This video helps explain it:
A beard comb, however, is great for styling your beard as it grows longer. And when you apply beard oil or balm, using a comb will greatly help in shaping your beard.
A beard comb used in combination with scissors or a good beard trimmer is the perfect tool for proper beard grooming. Your beard comb will provide greater control and accuracy when you need the kind of shaping that becomes necessary with a longer beard.
Another advantage of using a beard comb is that you can use it whether you have wet or dry hair; you should only use a brush when your hair is dry. That said, beard brushes can be used fairly early in the beard-growing process – even as early as the second month, some will say.
Finally, you can comb your beard more often throughout the day. Folks will argue that you shouldn’t brush it more than once a day because doing so makes it more likely that you’ll develop split ends. If you’re going to brush it, do so right after you’ve showered and dried your beard. Combs aren’t as harsh, and most are portable and easily within reach whenever you need them, but you want to be careful not to over-do it with a comb, either. Use when needed is always a good policy.
So, there you have it fellow beardsmen. There’s more to combing your beard – and choosing the right comb – than meets the eye, but go forward with confidence. There are many great combs to choose from and adding the right one to your arsenal will help you groom your beard like a man. Enjoy.
What are your favorite beard combs? Don’t hesitate to let us know what’s worked, or not worked, for you.