Which comb is best for curly hair?

Curly hair tangles easily, and detangling your curls with any comb or brush can cause damage and breakage. Wide-tooth combs designed to detangle and style curly, coiled or kinky hair allow your strands to move freely through the teeth while preserving your curl pattern. 

Thick curls can put pressure on your styling tools, especially when you’re attacking knots and snarls, so be sure to pick a durable comb with thick teeth set far apart. For detangling in the shower, Briogeo Wide Tooth Detangling Comb is the top choice. 

What to know before you buy a comb for curly hair

Uses 

Combs for curly hair can be used on dry or wet curls to style or detangle hair. Detangling works best on wet hair, so be sure your comb is waterproof before taking it into the shower. For the frictionless detangling, use a detangling spray or conditioner to soften your strands so that the comb can slide more easily. Detanglers are specialty combs designed to help remove knots and snarls, but most wide-tooth combs for curly hair work well to detangle. 

Synthetic materials 

Combs for curly hair are made from a variety of materials. Plastic combs are the most affordable and widely available. The material is waterproof, so plastic combs can be used while in the shower. However, their durability can vary. Cellulose acetate combs often come in faux tortoiseshell designs and are also waterproof. They are more costly than plastic but usually offer higher durability and flexibility. 

Natural materials

Metal combs aren’t as common as plastic ones, but you can find select metal wide-tooth combs that will smoothly remove knots from curly hair. Rubber combs for curly hair are made from hard rubber and are very durable. They also don’t create static in the hair or scratch the scalp. Wood combs are popular for curly hair because they typically feature wide teeth. While they’re not recommended for use in the shower, using a wood comb on dry curls helps distribute your natural hair oils to promote healthy, shiny hair. You can also find select jade wide-tooth combs, which offer scalp-massaging properties.

Size  

Combs for curly hair range in length from pocket size (starting under 3 inches in length) to full size (typically around 9 inches in length). If you travel often, consider a smaller comb under 5 inches. If you have long curly hair, a larger comb may be necessary to tame your locks. Keep in mind that if a comb has a handle, only a portion of its length contains teeth.  

Handle

Combs for curly hair come with and without a handle. Some consumers find more control using a comb with a handle, while others find it easier to use a comb with a hand-held design. Many handles come with hooks or holes for hanging for added convenience if you detangle your hair in the shower. Look for a comb with an ergonomic handle to keep it from slipping out of wet hands. For travel and carrying in your purse or bag, a comb without a handle is more portable. 

What to look for in a quality comb for curly hair

Teeth width 

What distinguishes a comb for curly hair from a regular comb is its teeth. Combs for curly hair feature not only wider teeth but also wider gaps between teeth. Experiment with the right ratio for your curl type. Some consumers also prefer longer teeth that picks and some rake-style combs offer. 

Pointed vs. rounded teeth 

Combs for curly hair can have pointed, tapered or rounded teeth. Pointed teeth can target knots and snarls, but they can also scratch the scalp. Rounded or tapered teeth move through the hair smoother but may not be as effective on tangles. 

Oil-infused 

Curly hair needs extra hydration. Select combs for curly hair offer oil-infused teeth that distribute natural oils, such as coconut or keratin oil, onto your hair without leaving residue on your hands. For styling in a hurry, oil-infused combs can eliminate the need for extra styling products like a hair oil.  

How much you can expect to spend on a comb for curly hair

Combs for curly hair cost as little as $4 for a plastic detangling comb and can cost upward of $50 for a specialty jade or cellulose acetate comb. Expect to pay between $7-$25 for a quality plastic, wood, rubber or cellulose acetate comb. 

Curly hair FAQ

Should I use a comb or a brush on my curly hair? 

A. If your curly hair is long or thick, it’s best to use a strong, wide-tooth comb before you brush your hair to get out as many knots and snarls as possible. Brushes have closer set bristles than combs for curly hair, so a comb is always your first line of defense. Plus, brushes not designed for curly hair can disrupt curl patterns. 

Why does my curly hair get so knotted? 

A. Curly hair is more prone to knots because the strands are curvy and can weave and loop around each other. Curly hair is also more prone to dryness and damage, which is another contributor to knots. 

What’s the best comb for curly hair to buy?

Top comb for curly hair

Briogeo Wide Tooth Detangling Comb

Briogeo Wide Tooth Detangling Comb

What you need to know: A top detangler that glides through wet or dry curly hair.

What you’ll love: This plastic, wide-tooth comb works well to distribute hair masks and conditioner in the shower. The handle of this comb features a hook for easy hanging. It comes in a pretty lavender color. 

What you should consider: The teeth are a bit rough around the edges and can scratch the skin. 

Where to buy: Sold by Ulta and Kohl’s

Top comb for curly hair for the money

Paul Mitchell Pro Tools Detangler Comb

Paul Mitchell Pro Tools Detangler Comb

What you need to know: A large and low-priced comb that will detangle or loosen your curls without ripping or pulling. 

What you’ll love: This white comb is made from durable and thick plastic and is perfect for long or curly hair. The wide-set teeth are rounded and gentle on the scalp. It can be used to separate or loosen dry curls as well as detangle wet hair.

What you should consider: This comb is on the larger size at 9.5 inches, which might be too big for some consumers. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Onedor Handmade 100 Natural Green Sandalwood Hair Comb

Onedor Handmade 100% Natural Green Sandalwood Hair Comb

What you need to know: A natural sandalwood wide-tooth comb that’s static- and snag-resistant. 

What you’ll love: The sandalwood carries a distinctive and natural scent. The two-toned comb is elegant and has a smooth finish. When used on dry hair, it won’t snag or damage curls. The material naturally turns green over time for an authentic look. 

What you should consider: While this wood comb can be used on wet hair, it’s not recommended to store in the shower because the wood can warp from excessive moisture. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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Ana Sanchez writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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