Combs and Brushes

One of the most important components of a finished haircut is picking the hair up evenly when cutting. The comb is the tool used to perform this task. You will need to become so comfortable with the comb that it feels like an extension of your hand. It will replace your fingers when the hair is too short to pick up. Combing through the hair correctly will enable you to determine how to cut the hair to the proper lengths and shape based on growth patterns and contours of the head.  Correct use of the comb will ensure a consistently blended haircut time after time.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES
  • Identify the two types of scissor combs.
  • Identify the three types of clipper combs.
  • Demonstrate both ways of holding a comb.
  • Demonstrate how to disinfect the combs
Different types of combs:
  1. The Large Scissor Comb: This comb is extremely heavy duty. It will be used for controlling large amounts of hair and removing bulk (rough cut). You will use it primarily for scissor over comb techniques.
  2. The small scissor comb: This comb will be used primarily for picking up the hair for the scissors over fingers technique. The comb can also be used for the scissor over comb technique in the semi-finish area.
  3. The Flat Top comb: This comb will be used for much more than the name suggests. It is heavy and stiff which makes it excellent for all short precise haircuts. The comb does not bend when using the clipper over comb technique and its surface is smooth instead of grooved which allows for the clipper blade to glide smoothly across it. This comb is also a great tool for controlling long thick hair that you are going to use a clipper/scissor over comb technique on.
  4. The Clipper Comb: The primary use for this comb is to blend short sides and back areas to the top. The comb is thin allowing it to cut the hair close to the skin. Its surface is smooth and teeth close together allowing for a properly blended cut.
  5. The Finishing Comb: This comb will primarily be used for the semi-finish and finish areas of the haircut. It is very thin and light which makes it easier to use with small amounts of hair around the perimeter.
There are two ways to hold the combs:
  1. The first way you will hold the comb is for picking the hair up for the scissor over fingers technique. You will be holding the scissor and comb at the same time for this. Place the comb in the palm of your hand and wrap your fingers and thumb around both sides of the comb.  When you are holding the hair in your fingers switch the comb to the opposite hand so it doesn’t get in the way of the scissor when cutting the hair.
  2. The second way you will hold the comb is for scissor/clipper over comb. You will place the end of the comb in the palm of your opposite hand with your thumb on the bottom and pointer finger, and first crease of the middle finger on top. This will allow you to comb through the hair evenly without turning your wrist by pushing with your top fingers and pulling with your thumb when combing downward and the opposite when combing back up.
  3. Disinfecting the combs:
  4. After using your combs rinse with warm water and soap and place them in the barbicide. Before reusing, remove the comb from the barbicide jar, rise with warm water, and dry off before combing through the hair.
REVIEW QUESTIONS
  1. How scissor combs should you have?
  2. How many clipper combs should you have?
  3. What two techniques can be used with a clipper comb?
  4. What two areas of the haircut can a finishing comb be used for?
  5. Describe the procedure for cleaning and disinfecting your combs in between haircuts.
AUTHOR’S COMMENTARY
  1. Handling the comb must become second nature. It needs to feel like an extension of your hand. Practice every chance you get by holding the comb in your hand and imitating the motions you will be using when you are cutting. This will ensure the proper comb technique.
  2. Always rinse and dry off the combs after removing from the barbicide jar. Do not put a comb through the client’s hair with barbicide still on it or when the comb is dripping wet from rinsing it off.