Beards have been worn since the beginning of mankind. And now, popular beard products are finally starting to catch on in the men’s grooming industry space! More specifically, products like beard brushes and beard combs. But, why do both of these products exist? Is there a need for both? And if you were only to pick one of them, which one would you pick?
Now, let’s talk about beard brushes.
What Are Beard Brushes
A beard brush, as you probably know, is just a simple handle and bristles. The handle itself can be made out of anything from plastic, wood, and even bone. The bristles will be either synthetic or natural. Synthetic bristles are usually made of either nylon or plastic, and natural ones (which we prefer) are often either horse hair or boar hair.
Overall, the most natural (and effective) beard brush you can find will be one that’s made of wood with boar bristles. When we here at Volt were designing our brush, we found that natural boar bristles had the best combination of stiffness and softness. Bristles have to be stiff enough to dig through the beard and brush away skin cells and debris from underneath, but soft enough to spread oils and wrap around the hair without scratching your skin. Boar bristles do just that!
For example, Volt’s Octo brush is made of natural pear wood and boar bristles to provide the best, and most biodegradable, brush on the men’s grooming market.
What Does A Beard Brush Do?
Most beard brushes are really only designed to do two things: Clean your beard and spread moisture. Now, that’s not to say that there aren’t exceptions (which we will talk about), but generally a beard brushes purpose is very different from that of a beard comb.
Beard brushes are meant to clean your beard by using bristles that are just stiff enough to dig through beard hair and reach the skin underneath. As you brush, the bristles wipe away dead skin cells, debris, and buildups of dirt and other contaminants from your beard and skin! Without cleaning your beard often, you’ll likely experience breakouts, redness, irritation, or even rashes.
The other thing beard brushes do is spread the natural (or added) oils that your skin produces (called sebum) to keep healthy. Bristles need to be soft enough to wrap around hairs and spread oils throughout to keep your beard soft, and hydrated. Otherwise, you’ll suffer from a lot of the side effects mentioned above!
What Are Beard Combs?
Beard combs are exactly that, combs meant for your beard. The only thing that really separates beard combs from typical combs out there is the shape and size of them. Combs that are meant for your hair or scalp tend to be too large or unwieldy to maneuver around your beard and the tight spots therein, hence the difference in size.
Beard combs, like beard brushes, are often made of either synthetic or natural materials. Most often though, they are synthetic, as it’s far cheaper to make a comb out of a plastic mold than it is to carve one out of wood. That being said, wooden combs, like Volt’s Twin Comb, certainly do have their own set of benefits!
When choosing a comb, choose a wooden one if possible. Wooden combs don’t conduct static electricity like plastic combs do, meaning that they won’t transfer static to your hair or beard when you use them. This keeps your hair styled the way you want without the odd floating (or shocking) hair that you often get with plastic combs or brushes.
What Do Beard Combs Do?
Beard combs also have two main purposes, but these are entirely different than the purposes of beard brushes. Beard combs are really only meant to 1) Detangle your beard hair, and 2) help you style your beard with complementary beard products like beard balm and beard wax.
Beard combs typically have stiffer tines than beard brushes do, meaning they’re far more effective at slipping between and separating tangles in your beard hairs. As you could probably imagine, this works best for men with longer beard hair who are prone to tangles.
Because of the stiffer tines, beard combs also help you more carefully and accurately style your beard with the help of holding products like beard balm and beard wax. These products are strong enough to keep your beard hair in place and benefit from the precision that a comb can provide when styling. Beard brushes, on the other hand, are often too soft to be effective at detangling and styling.
Beard Brushes vs Beard Combs
Due to the differences between beard brushes and beard combs, and how they are purposed for different things, it can make sense to have both in your grooming arsenal. Obviously the brush cleans and hydrates, and the comb detangles and styles. That being said, if you were to choose just one of them, you would first have to consider the length of your beard and what you want to accomplish.
For example, if you have a longer beard (>3 months growth) and find that you often style or shape your beard with beard products, you’d probably benefit the most from a beard comb. Longer beards tend to tangle, which the comb can help alleviate. And shaping your beard will require the precision that only a stiff-bristled comb can provide.
On the other hand, if you have a shorter beard (<3 months growth) and/or tend to suffer from excess dryness or irritation, than a beard brush might be the best choice for you. Shorter beards don’t tangle easily, so no issues there, but the lack of insulation from the wind and elements means that a shorter beard may cause the skin underneath to become more dry. As we know, beard brushes help brush away skin cells and spread hydration throughout your beard, ultimately helping your skin as well.
Beard Brush/Beard Comb Alternatives
That being said, there are certain alternatives to beard brushes and combs out there. In fact, pretty convenient alternatives at that! For example, take a look at the Volt Utility Brush! The utility brush has a spiral design and a combination of stiff nylon ball-tipped bristles and boar hair fibers as well. This combination of stiff and soft bristles essentially gives you the best of both worlds when it comes to a single beard brush that does it all!
You May Also Enjoy