This object has a flat dimension, with various width and height according to function but is never thick enough to stand vertically on its own. It consists of long, narrow spine forming a shaft as the main handle to this tool, and also teeth that are placed at a perpendicular angle to it. These teeth are within the exact same distance to one another, but its density varies depending on the purpose. As the gap between tooth gets wider, this tool serves more purpose towards separating thicker, tangled strands such as unraveled curls and persistent fabric or textile fibers. Generally, the so-called thing being referred to as a “comb” is used by humans for styling, cleaning, and managing hair and scalp. It is amongst the oldest tools discovered by archaeologists throughout human history since more than 5,000 years ago. Any museum’s ancient artifact collection will surely have one of them.
The comb also is unisex. It's not overly feminine or masculine, it’s a truly unisex beauty product. Although for women, the world of comb and its derivatives could expand into hundreds of form while men typically use the standard universal form — the black pocket comb. Comb does not only span within the need of humans, but to furry animals as well. What it does is it gives logic to the hair, as it separates it perfectly into evenly spaced segments. It tidies up the outer look in an instant, solving the ongoing problem of how the hair naturally becomes chaotic after some period of time. There’s no definite guideline on when is the right time to comb your hair, but people would usually do it right after taking a bath or before going out of their homes, because combing plays a big role in the overall appearance. The head, is probably the first thing people would notice whenever they meet each other.
Common hair combs usually have wider teeth half-way and finer teeth for the rest of the comb. A more professional hairdressing comb may have a thin, tapered handle along with closer teeth. Combs can be made out of a number of materials, most commonly plastic, metal, or wood. Today's combs are mostly made from injection molded plastic and although it was meant to be disposable, these plastic models are surprisingly durable in a way that it will not break apart when dropped on a hard surface such as hardwood floor or tiles. But a comb made of wood is the best thing to use because it helps get rid of “static” — one of the reason why hair tends to get fizzy and is also responsible for making your hair brittle and susceptible to damage.
Other than its primary purpose to detangle strands of objects, the comb can also be used as scientific learning tool for making quick, easy and inexpensive music. The extension of this is also known as “kazoo”. Basically, you wrap the comb’s teeth with waxed paper and then place your dry lips against it and just start humming. The energy of the humming sound is transferred to the paper of the kazoo, causing it to vibrate and reproduce different sounds depending also on the distance between each tooth.
From a young age, we are taught the importance of combing hair. It's an object that is strongly embedded in the culture of being clean and presentable. Does combing somehow make us more human? Yes. A majority of the blood vessels that supply the scalp are present at the back of our heads, that’s why combing can help relax the mind and it has the ability to energize overall body. It also helps open up the pores allowing the hair to breathe. Simply put, it is the simplest way to have healthy, shiny and lustrous hair.
This is a writing assignment for Design for the 21st Century; to write a short but dense 500-800 word essay that explores the resonance of a designed ‘thing’.