Comb


Comb
A comb
A Punjabi wooden comb

A comb is a toothed device used in hair care for straightening and cleaning hair or other fibres. Combs are among the oldest tools found by archaeologists[1] , having been discovered in very refined forms from settlements dating back to 5000 years ago in Persia.

Contents

Description

Combs can be made out of a number of materials, most commonly plastic, metal, cotton material or wood. Ivory and tortoiseshell were once common but concerns for the animals that produce them have reduced their usage. When made from wood, combs are largely made of boxwood, cherry wood or other fine-grained wood. Good quality wooden combs are usually handmade and polished.

Combs can vary in shape according to function. Hairdressing combs may have a thin, tapered handle for parting hair and close teeth. Common hair combs usually have wider teeth half way and finer teeth for the rest of the comb.

A hairbrush, which is larger than a comb, is also commonly used for shaping, styling and cleaning the hair.

Uses

Indian metal comb for keeping hair in place, adorned with a pair of birds. After removing the central stopper, perfume can be poured into the opening in order to moisten the teeth of the comb and the hair of the wearer.

Combs can be used for many purposes including: securing long hair in place; decorating the hair; matting sections of hair for dreadlocking; or keeping a kippah or skullcap in place. In Spain, a Peineta is a large decorative comb to keep a mantilla in place.

In industry and craft, combs are used in separating cotton fibres from seeds and other debris (the cotton gin, a mechanized version of the comb, is one of the machines that ushered the Industrial Revolution). A comb is used to distribute colours in paper marbling to make the swirling colour patterns in comb-marbled paper.

Combs are also a favorite spot for police investigators to collect hair and dandruff samples that can be used in ascertaining dead or living people's identities, as well as their state of health, toxicological profiles, and so forth.

Making music

Stringing a plant's leaf or a piece of paper over one side of the comb and humming with cropped lips on the opposite side dramatically increases the high-frequency harmonic content of the hum produced by the human voice box, and the resulting spread sound spectrum can be modulated by changing the resonating frequency of the oral cavity.

This was the inspiration for the kazoo. Moreover, the comb is also a lamellophone. Comb teeth have harmonic qualities of their own, determined by their shape, length, and material. A comb with teeth of unequal length, capable of producing different notes when picked, eventually evolved into the thumb piano and musical box.

Afro pick

Ashanti Comb - an example of Afro pick

This type of comb has loose teeth and is primarily used on kinky, coil hair. In the 1970s, it was sometimes worn in the hair.

Nit comb

A Stone Age nit comb.

Specialized combs such as "flea combs" or "nit combs" can be used to remove macroscopic parasites and cause them damage by combing. A comb with teeth fine enough to remove nits is sometimes called a "fine-toothed comb", as in the metaphoric usage "go over [something] with a fine-toothed comb", meaning 'search [something] closely and in detail'. Sometimes in this meaning, "fine-toothed comb" has been reanalysed as "fine toothcomb" and then shortened to "toothcomb".[2]

Hygiene

Sharing combs is a common cause of parasitic infections, as one user can leave a comb with plenty of eggs or even live parasites, facilitating the transmission of lice, fleas, mites, fungi, and other undesirables.

Images

See also

References

  1. ^ S. Ashby 2011 An Atlas of Medieval Combs from Northern Europe, Internet Archaeology 30, http://intarch.ac.uk/journal/issue30/ashby_index.html
  2. ^ WSU.edu

External links


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Synonyms:
, / (for wool, hair, flax, etc.) / , (of a cock or bird) / , (of a wave) / , (with a comb), , , ,


Look at other dictionaries:

  • comb — comb1 [kōm] n. [ME < OE camb, comb, lit., toothed object < IE * g̑ombhos (> Sans jámbah, Gr gomphos, tooth) < base * ĝembh ,ĝombh , to bite, tooth] 1. a thin strip of hard rubber, plastic, metal, etc. with teeth, passed through the… …   English World dictionary

  • Comb — Comb, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Combed}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Combing}.] To disentangle, cleanse, or adjust, with a comb; to lay smooth and straight with, or as with, a comb; as, to comb hair or wool. See under {Combing}. [1913 Webster] Comb down his… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Comb — (k[=o]m; 110), n. [AS. camb; akin to Sw., Dan., & D. kam, Icel. kambr, G. kamm, Gr. ? a grinder tooth, Skr. jambha tooth.] 1. An instrument with teeth, for straightening, cleansing, and adjusting the hair, or for keeping it in place. [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Comb — Comb, v. i. [See {Comb}, n., 5.] (Naut.) To roll over, as the top or crest of a wave; to break with a white foam, as waves. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Comb — Comb, Combe Combe (? or ?), n. [AS. comb, prob. of Celtic origin; cf. W. cwm a dale, valley.] That unwatered portion of a valley which forms its continuation beyond and above the most elevated spring that issues into it. [Written also {coombe}.]… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • comb — (n.) O.E. camb comb, crest, honeycomb (later Anglian comb), from W.Gmc. *kambaz (Cf. O.S., O.H.G. camb, Ger. Kamm, M.Du. cam, Du. kam, O.N. kambr), lit. toothed object, from PIE *gombhos, from root *gembh to bite, tooth (Cf …   Etymology dictionary

  • comb — [v1] arrange hair adjust, card, cleanse, curry, disentangle, dress, groom, hackle, hatchel, lay smooth, rasp, scrape, separate, smooth, sort, straighten, tease, untangle; concept 162 comb [v2] search by ransacking beat, beat the bushes*, examine …   New thesaurus

  • comb — ► NOUN 1) an article with a row of narrow teeth, used for untangling or arranging the hair. 2) a device for separating and dressing textile fibres. 3) the red fleshy crest on the head of a domestic fowl, especially a cock. 4) a honeycomb. ► VERB… …   English terms dictionary

  • Comb — Comb, n. A dry measure. See {Coomb}. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Comb — (spr. Kohm), englisches Getreidemaß, 100 C. = 265 preuß. Scheffel, 2 C. = 1 Imp. Quarter …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Comb — (spr. kōm oder kūm), engl. Hohlmaß, s. Coom …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon


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