What are bone combs ?


Many years ago, combs were made of bone, antelope horn, and even elephant tusk. These materials were hard and smooth, and when carved and polished made beautiful combs. They were inherently anti-static and heat resistant. They would last a hairdresser a lifetime, and were a prized possession.

Bone Combs

Bone Combs

Considerable labor went into making each comb. Once the right material was found, the overall shape of the comb was carved. Then each tooth was carved, filed and sanded. Then the comb was sanded and polished over and over again to make it exceptionally smooth. Combs were so finely finished that a strand of hair would rarely snag or rip.

When animal materials were banned, hairdressers were desperate to find a suitable substitute for these combs, as they were the best that could be found. After some time, a new material was formulated from 100% organic material called phenolic resin laminate. This material is hard and smooth just like bone, and can be hand carved, sanded and polished to imitate all the unique features of Bone combs. They are also inherently anti-static, and can be used with hot implements (even Marcel irons) without fear of damage.

Some companies have hesitated to use the word Bone to name these combs, as they are not really made of bone anymore. Tricky spelling is one way that companies let hairdressers know “Yes! These are the combs you are looking for!” Bone is spelled in a variety of ways: bohn, boan, etc.

Their rich caramel color also makes Bone combs easily identified. They age beautifully, and will turn to almost a dark mahogany colour over time. When wet, they also have a unique fragrance. (Careful here…some sneaky manufacturers are making plastic combs of the same color, and calling them “Bone” combs. You’ll know the fakes, they are usually about $0.99 each and are very flexible.)

Since each comb is made by hand, it takes considerable time to craft. Over the past two decades, there has been considerable demand for them, but not much availability.

Luckily, a manufacturer has made a commitment to make these combs widely available. We feel that everyone should have the opportunity to own these exquisite combs. They are expensive as combs go, but any hairdresser who uses Bone combs knows they are worth every penny you pay for them.