After investing in a handmade horn comb, it is important to take proper care of it. Cleaning is one of the things that, if done incorrectly, can damage this fragile comb made out of sheep or ox horn. Learn how to gently clean horn combs so that they last a lifetime.
Cleaning a Horn Comb Without Water
It is best to clean a horn comb without water whenever possible to preserve the horn. The comb can be kept relatively clean by removing excess hair from the comb and wiping the comb with a soft cloth after every use. Carefully wipe away any hair product residue with the soft cloth, using circular motions and light pressure on the main body of the comb. Slide the cloth between the tines of the comb for a thorough cleaning.
After the comb is clean, apply a thin layer of lanolin to the comb and wrap it in a clean cloth or in plastic wrap. Keep the comb coated in lanolin overnight to condition the horn.
Washing a Horn Comb With Water
Some horn comb manufacturers, such as the Long Hairs Wholistic Hair Health Studio, recommend only dry cleaning a horn comb and never using water. However, sometimes it may be necessary to wash a horn comb with water if excessively dirty. It is possible to clean a horn comb with water but not immerse it. Excess water can cause the horn to warp and crack.
Here are some tips to clean a horn comb with water:
- Fill a small bowl with warm water and add a mild shampoo.
- Dip a clean cloth into the soapy solution and then wring out the cloth so that it is wet but not dripping.
- Wipe the comb with the damp cloth to get the majority of the dirt off.
- Moisten a soft toothbrush in the soapy solution and gently scrub any hard-to-remove debris from the comb tines.
- Wet a clean cloth under the faucet and wipe off any soapy residue.
- Lay the comb flat to dry on a towel.
- After the horn comb is dry, apply lanolin. Allow the comb soak in lanolin overnight for optimal moisture.
Horn Comb Care and Maintenance
Horn combs require special care to prevent cracking and preserve the beauty of the horn. A gentle cleaning method is just one of the things that will help a horn comb last. Follow these recommendations for horn comb maintenance:
- Store the horn comb in a dry, cool place.
- Keep a little lanolin on the comb at all times when not in use so that the horn does not dry out.
- Eliminating or limiting hair styling products, such as gel and hair spray, can cut down on the need to wash a horn comb with water. Hair styling product residue is hard to remove from horn and often requires water cleaning.
- Protect the horn comb from getting scratched by wrapping it in a cloth when carrying it around in a purse or bag.
Horn combs are the best combs for hair, according to long hair specialist Dr. George Michael. Regular cleanings and gentle maintenance will help this heirloom quality comb last for generations.
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