One of my least favourite childhood memories is of having a plastic comb ripped through my hair every morning before school. I know my hair isn’t the easiest to manage and maybe my grumpy face wasn’t easy to manage on a school morning either. I have lots of very fine hair; it looks thick, but actually it tangles easily because there is so much of it.
One of the pleasures of getting older was being able to buy a brush and never having to suffer at the wrath of a mother who was late for work ever again! I see history repeating itself when Little Miss Green holds her breath as I comb her hair too. I let her do it herself, but always go through and check afterwards; being as gentle as I can of course
Unfortunately, now Little miss Green is back at school I have to be on headlice patrol. At her first school, headlice were rife. Nearly every week I had to comb them out and apply lotions and potions to keep them at bay. I bought a metal lice comb but felt really bad using it – surely pulling metal through someone’s hair is a recipe for split ends, tears and tantrums?
Then I decided I’d need to use the nit comb myself – there is little point de-lousing Little Miss green if she’s passed them to me and I end up reinfecting her. Oh the joys of motherhood.
Fortunately Sally from Natural Spa Supplies came to our rescue with an amazing plastic-free comb made from bone. Now before you start on the ‘cruelty’ route, I am assured that no animals are harmed in the making of these products! The combs are made from cow horn which is taken from domestic bull and cows at the end of their natural lives. However, Sally is in the process of finding something suitable for vegans too.
Sally, who is as passionate and dedicated about her trade (natural body care) as you can get discovered just one ‘master horn comb maker’ in Morocco, aged 81. People have been working with horn for 20,000 years and Sally did not want this tradition to die out. She spoke to the maker and said she would buy everything he could make and that he was to train an apprentice so she could help save this tradition. As Sally points out, this maker is ‘living heritage’ and one of the last makers using ancient techniques, working entirely without machines. If he does not have enough demand to employ an apprentice, his knowledge, drawn deep from human history, is set to vanish.
Sally has sent me a bone comb to try and it’s an amazing experience to use one. Using the bone comb is invigorating; it’s a kind of spine-tingling experience, as if your scalp gets ‘woken up’ after years of using plastic and metal. Your hair and head feel alive and it’s like you’ve had a massage for the past 10 minutes.
Using the comb does require you to slow down, but in today’s hectic life, that’s no bad thing. To be honest, once you start using it, you WANT to slow down and savour each stroke. Yeah – sensual right? Who knew!
It’s kind of primal too, knowing you are using a natural material that has been used for thousands of years and has been crafted by hand. It certainly bought out my inner cave girl! Mind you, Sally is good at challenging the norm; she’s had me washing with clay, bathing with goats (don’t ask) and using crystals under my armpits!
Each comb is unique and has a personality of its own; which you would never get in a machine-cut comb, much less a plastic one. They are a comb for life (and after many, many years will safely biodegrade) and are believed to impart strength and accelerate the growth of hair. Unlike my metal nit comb or any other plastic comb, this comb is made from keratin so cannot harm or damage the hair. After use, your hair positively shines and glows with health.
I have to be honest, if you’re a five-second wonder with your hair routine, a bone comb is not for you. But if you’re after something which will benefit your hair in the long run, will last for life and is plastic free, then a bone comb might be just the thing for you. You don’t have to have nits to use one you know
What do you think – does a bone comb appeal to you?