Best Beard Combs

Updated May 2021
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

54 Models Considered
8 Hours Researched
2 Experts Interviewed
60 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for Best beard combs

There's a lot more to growing a beard than simply not shaving. Ask any seasoned beardsman and he'll tell you: growing an epic mug rug is a journey. It’s a journey that demands plenty of perseverance, a fair share of scratching, and of course, a solid daily grooming routine. 

Using quality beard shampoo, oil, and balm to cleanse and condition facial hair is important, but when it comes to whipping those whiskers into shape, nothing beats a beard comb. Never used one before? Well, hold on to your hat — the humble beard comb has more to offer than you might think. 

Aside from ensuring that your beard oil and balm are evenly distributed, a beard comb can help you tame unruly hairs and train them to grow in the right direction. Struggling to keep your beard looking neat and tidy throughout the day? With a beard comb in your pocket, you can touch up your cheek line anytime.

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If you find shaping and trimming your beard by yourself somewhat intimidating, a beard comb with a shaping tool on one side may be an option worth considering.

Key considerations

Beard combs vs. beard brushes

Beard brushes and beard combs both bring something special to the beard care table. As you pass through different stages of growth, you might find yourself favoring one over the other, but at the end of the day, it's a good idea to have both in your arsenal. 

Beard brushes

A beard brush is a shorter beard's best friend. If you have one to three months of growth, a beard brush might be all you need — for now, at least.

Conditioning: The densely packed bristles of a quality beard brush ensure that beard oil and balm are distributed evenly throughout shorter beards. As an added bonus, the generous number of bristles found on a beard brush can help absorb and remove excess oil.

Cleanliness: By now, you've probably realized that your beard is a food magnet. Luckily, beard brushes also happen to be ideal for keeping your beard clean. A quick brush after meals will keep your face free of stray crumbs and pasta sauce splashes.

Control: Beard hairs don't always know which direction to grow, and some will even make a U-turn and grow right back into your skin, causing painful, unsightly ingrown hairs. Regularly using a beard brush is an excellent way to start "training" your beard to grow the right way.

Styling: Unless you keep it cropped short and close to the skin, simply running your fingers through your beard won't be enough to keep it looking neat and tidy. At some point, you'll need a beard brush to help shape and style your facial hair.

Beard combs 

The long, widely spaced teeth of a beard comb are ideal for detangling and styling longer beards. If you've been growing your beard for over three months, odds are you already have a well-established mug rug, and a beard comb is the tool you'll want to grab to tame, train, and groom your flourishing man mane.

  • Detangling: As your beard grows longer, it may become more prone to tangles. While beard brushes are ideal for smoothing out newer beards, their short, thin bristles will have a tough time reaching all the way through fuller beards. A beard comb is perfectly equipped to reach all the way down hair strands, separating and untangling them as you comb.
  • Conditioning: With enough attention, a beard comb can be every bit as effective as its bristled counterpart at distributing beard oil and balm. As a matter of fact, when it comes to longer beards, combs actually trump brushes in this department simply because their longer teeth are capable of reaching right down to the root, ensuring complete strand coverage and some ever-welcome skin conditioning, too.
  • Training: Contrary to popular belief, beards don't automatically grow in the "right" direction. Mustaches can curl in, adding a mouthful of hair to every meal. Similarly, the hairs along your cheek line can end up growing upward and outward rather than following a uniform line. Daily combing will help train your beard to grow in the direction you desire and help prevent ingrown hairs. 
  • Styling: Simply training your beard to grow in the right direction isn't the only reason to run a comb through your hair. Beard combs are also excellent styling tools. Whether you're shaping your beard, cleaning up those edges, or giving it a bit of a trim, a beard comb can be a valuable grooming tool. Most beard combs are compact enough to fit in a pocket so you can keep your face fur in tip-top shape all day long.
  • Cleaning: Just like a beard brush, a beard comb can help ensure that your beard is clean and free of food particles. 

Construction materials 

Beard combs are generally made of wood, plastic, cellulose acetate, metal, or ox horn. Construction materials can have a massive impact on your beard comb's overall quality and grooming efficacy but remember: craftsmanship is every bit as important — another point we'll explore in depth. 

Wood

Handmade wooden beard combs are exceptionally popular and for good reason. Not only do they tend to have wide, smooth teeth that glide through beards without snagging or splitting hairs along the way, they're also naturally anti-static, leaving facial hair frizz-free, smooth, and glossy. Wood is an absorbent material, retaining both natural skin oils and beard balms. This eventually produces a "pre-conditioned" beard comb that will nourish and moisturize your beard from root to tip with every stroke.

Plastic 

In terms of cost, plastic combs are by far the easiest on the wallet. However, your beard could end up paying a much steeper price. Aside from the fact that plastic combs are prone to snapping and losing teeth, most are also mass produced using mechanical presses. This process creates sharp seams and little edges that can pull, split, and eventually tear away at your hard-earned man mane. Add to this the fact that plastic combs tend to create static, and it's easy to understand why almost all serious beardsman avoid cheap plastic beard combs.

Metal 

While the cool, hard texture of metal beard combs can feel a bit sterile and uninviting to some, they're also incredibly durable (no need to worry about a tooth snapping off as you tackle those tangles). In fact, a well-cared-for, quality metal beard comb could very well last a lifetime. However, many metal beard combs are mass-produced using mechanical presses, and finding a quality option with smooth, carefully finished teeth can be a challenge. 

Cellulose acetate 

Cellulose acetate is a "natural" plastic produced from tree pulp and cotton cellulose. Despite being relatively budget-friendly, cellulose acetate beard combs are much kinder on beard hairs than synthetic plastic varieties. Quality cellulose acetate beard combs are usually hand-cut and carefully finished to ensure each tooth is smooth, glossy, and beard-safe. Just like wooden beard combs, cellulose acetate varieties don't produce static. They're also easy to keep clean and can simply be rinsed after use. 

Horn

Ox horn beard combs aren't quite as common and tend to be somewhat pricey, but when it comes to overall beard health, both the search and the extra cost can be worth it. Why? Ox horn beard combs contain keratin, a naturally occurring protein found in human hair, skin, and nails. Often referred to as the "building block" of hair, the keratin found in horn beard combs can help protect your beard from damage, prevent static, and keep it looking full and glossy.

Craftsmanship 

Quality beard comb materials are important, but without careful craftsmanship, any potential benefits are rendered moot. Mass-produced beard combs are machine-cut from large sheets of plastic, metal, or other moldable materials. While this production method is cost-effective, it leaves behind tiny seams and edges that will eat away at your beard, stripping and splitting the strands while you comb. Handmade beard combs are crafted with careful attention to detail, ensuring each tooth and edge is smooth and as gentle on your beard as possible. 

Tooth spacing 

Some beard combs have widely spaced teeth while others are finer and set closer together. The right tooth spacing for you depends on the coarseness and thickness of your beard. If your beard is coarse, curly, and thick, a comb with sturdy, wide-set teeth will be better able to glide through your facial forestry. However, if you have finer, softer facial hair, a beard comb with thin, closely set teeth will produce smoother, neater results. 

Size

Beard combs come in all shapes and sizes. Some models are compact enough to fit in the palm of your hand, while others have wide heads and long handles. Finding the most comfortable beard comb size for you boils down to personal preference. However, when all is said and done, it's a good idea to keep at least one pocket-size model on hand to use when you're out and about. 

Dual-sided combs with a combination of wide and fine teeth offer the best of both worlds: use the wider side to detangle, tame, and style your beard and the finer side to manage your mustache.

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Features

Dual sides

Some beard combs have dual sides with widely spaced teeth on one end and thinner, finer teeth on the other. This feature can be particularly helpful when styling different parts of your beard. For example, the wider side can be used to tame and shape the bulk of your beard, while the finer side is helpful for precise styling, especially around your mustache and cheek line.

Folding design 

Having a tough time choosing between a compact beard comb and a larger model with a handle? Don't despair — some beard combs are designed to fold, with the handle acting as built-in storage for the comb head. Keep in mind, though, that the more moving parts a product has, the greater the potential for complications. If you like the idea of a folding beard comb, be sure to choose a sturdy option. 

Carrying case

A carrying or storage case can be particularly helpful if you plan to keep your beard comb with you throughout the day. Not only will a case keep your clothing and pockets clear of beard oil residue, but it can also help preserve and protect your go-to beard grooming tool from damage.

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DID YOU KNOW?
To prevent rust, rot, or other damage, never leave metal or wooden beard combs on moist surfaces, like the side of the bathroom basin.
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Accessories

Beard shampoo and conditioner: Viking Revolution Beard Wash and Conditioning Set
Beard shampoos and conditioners like this set from Viking Revolution are enhanced with nourishing natural oils that gently clean, soften, and care for your beard and skin.

Beard oil: Jack Black Beard Oil
A quality beard oil will help restore moisture after washing. Beard oil can also soften your beard and keep it looking glossy, healthy, and smelling great. Jack Black’s beard oil contains essential oils and nutrients to keep facial hair healthy and handsome.

Beard balm: Rocky Mountain Barber Company Beard Balm
Do you want the nourishing care that beard oil provides but need a little extra hold? Beard balms deliver the best of both worlds by blending natural oils and extracts with a more solid base. Rocky Mountain Barber Company beard balm, tinged with cedarwood and eucalyptus, smells fantastic. 

Beard comb prices

Inexpensive: By now, you already know that cheap, mass-produced plastic beard combs are a beard's worst enemy. The good news is, it's still possible to find a quality, albeit simple, beard combs made from hand-cut cellulose acetate or wood for $5 or less.

Mid-range: Handmade beard combs, dual-sided varieties, those that come with nifty features or accessories, and beard-care sets that include a comb along with other items typically cost anywhere from $5 to $13.

Expensive: Premium handmade models, feature-rich options, sets that include combs in addition to other beard care accessories, or a single ox horn beard comb can set you back anywhere from $13 to $30, and sometimes more.

Metal beard combs are prone to producing static, so if you're already desperately fighting off frizz, you might want to pass on metal.

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Tips

Check out these tips to find out how to comb your man mane the right way (and yes, there really is a correct way to comb).

  • Apply beard oil or balm. Starting with a clean, dry beard, use your fingers to work a small amount of beard oil or balm through your hair. This will help soften and condition your beard and can reduce painful snagging.
  • Comb upward first. Holding your comb with the teeth facing upward, start at your neckline and comb your beard upward and outward. This may seem counterintuitive, but doing so will ensure that oils are thoroughly distributed while eliminating hidden tangles and adding fullness to your beard at the same time. 
  • Tame that mane. By now, your beard should be looking pretty wild. To rein in those runaway whiskers, simply turn your beard comb over with the bristles facing down. Comb your beard and mustache downward until it's relatively neat and tidy. 
  • Style it. Style your beard by combing it into your desired shape. Taking a little extra time to work errant hairs into place and neaten up the sides and edges will help you achieve a distinguished, well-groomed look. 
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Quality wooden beard combs tend to be tough, durable, and highly effective. However, overexposure to moisture, harsh chemicals, and heat can sometimes cause splintering. If you notice any splinters along the teeth, no matter how small, do your beard a favor and replace your comb with a new one.

FAQ

Q. How should I clean my wooden beard comb?

A. When it comes to removing excess beard oil or balm from a wooden beard comb, a simple wipe with a soft, dry cloth is generally your best bet. However, if you've recently tried a new beard conditioning product and dislike its smell (and the odor left lingering on your comb), a quick rinse in soapy water might be necessary. Keep in mind that repeated exposure to water can severely damage a wooden beard comb, so be sure to minimize exposure to water and dry your comb thoroughly afterward.

Q. Is it safe to comb a wet beard?

A. Hair is at its weakest when wet, and it's always best to let your beard dry before brushing. However, thanks to the wider spacing between teeth, combing a wet beard is far less damaging than brushing one, and it can certainly help loosen tangles before they set. 

Q. How often should I comb my beard?

A. Whenever necessary! Keeping your beard looking clean and attractive throughout the day often requires more than just a quick grooming session each morning. Keep a compact beard comb in your pocket for use after eating, driving with the window down, and any other time you need a quick touch-up.

 

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