How Do I Choose the Best Pocket Comb?

Bryce Clinton

The best pocket comb will not be the same for everyone, but important things to consider are comb size, type of teeth, desired material or flexibility, and price. For many people, a cheap comb or plastic comb will be adequate. These can be purchased in any drug or discount store. For others, slightly better quality types of combs will be necessary.

Wood combs are more expensive than plastic ones but considered healthier for hair.
Wood combs are more expensive than plastic ones but considered healthier for hair.

A pocket comb should, by definition, fit into your pocket. At the very least, it should be small enough to carry in a purse. This rules out most larger combs, although some longer plastic combs are narrow and flexible enough that they can protrude from your back pocket without discomfort. Another longer type of comb that can be carried in your pocket, often your back pocket, has a handle.

Small, cheap plastic combs are often sold at drug stores.
Small, cheap plastic combs are often sold at drug stores.

Pocket combs with a distinct handle are easy to grab from a back pocket, and part of the fashion of carrying this style of comb is the handle's visibility. Combs with a handle will usually have medium to widely spaced teeth for easy detangling or feathering, but they might not be ideal for very fine hair or close styling. A pocket comb with a handle can also be bulky.

Another popular variety is a small plastic comb that doesn't have a handle. These combs are thinner and less bulky to carry, and they often have two types of teeth spacing. One half of the comb has medium spaced teeth for tangles and thicker hair, while the half of the comb has finely spaced teeth for thinner hair or more precise styling. These combs are usually made of plastic or hard rubber, but because they're smaller than handled combs, they can break more easily, particularly the teeth. It's therefore helpful to look for the variety advertised as "unbreakable."

Yet another type of plastic comb is the retractable or switchblade model. These combs fold in half and open like a pocket knife, making them highly portable in your front pocket, although a little bulky for the back pocket. They usually have fine to medium spaced teeth, and it's useful to know that the teeth are very short in length because of the comb's design. This can make it hard for the teeth to grip your hair well when grooming.

Material will usually determine the price of a pocket comb. Although most are made of plastic, you can also find small portable combs made of horn and even precious metals. Natural horn combs can be expensive, and silver or gold combs can cost still more. If one is seeking a pocket comb made of special or particular materials, it helps to be specific when searching online.

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Discussion Comments


@ZipLine-- Have you every used a folding comb? This is a pocket comb that is narrower and shorter. But it folds and when you unfold it, there is a handle. You can fold it in and carry it easily in your pocket or car. The fact that it can fold and the casing prevents it from breaking. It's excellent. I've had one for many years.


@fify-- Yes, please get him a very cheap one. I can't remember the brand of my pocket comb. But I got it a pharmacy or gas station for less than a dollar and it has been working just fine for me every since. I think it has been two years since I got it. I carry it in my pocket and it never breaks. It bends, so it's not as sharp as some other combs but works just fine.

These cheap pocket combs are also a great option for people who misplace them very often. I believe they are even sold in bulk online. I wouldn't want to carry around a pricy or very hard pocket comb either. I'd either brake it or lose it and I would feel bad that my money went to waste.


I got my son a very nice hand crafted sheep horn pocket comb last month. I was hoping that it would be something that he would have and use for a very long time. Unfortunately, he broke the comb's teeth while using and now he needs a new one. It's not his fault but I want to make sure that I get something that won't break now. I've never been fond of the very cheap plastic combs but maybe that's what he needs. Does anyone have a recommendation for a nice unbreakable comb?

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