In Insight, People

The benefits of  a comb are undeniable—they cause less breakage, split ends, and frizz than a brush. However, the importance of this beauty object goes far beyond its hair benefits. The evolution of the comb is an important piece of beauty history. Not only did it highlight a major transformation in effectiveness and use of beauty tools, it also paved the way for the reinvention of numerous other manufacturing industries.

When combs were first invented, they were made from bone, wood, or ivory. This made them extremely fragile, often breaking if dropped or pulled through hair too hard. Then came Charles Goodyear, an American inventor with an idea that would change the entire comb industry. In 1843, Goodyear discovered a vulcanization process that toughened rubber in order to make it a more useful material. Dubbed “unbreakable,” the comb, made entirely of hard rubber, was extremely popular. Eventually, plastic came around and overtook the hard rubber comb, but the vulcanization process discovered by Goodyear forever changed various industries by allowing manufacturers to create less fragile and more flexible products.

For the full story, head over to Atlas Obscura.

Photo: Element5 Digital via Unsplash

Recent Posts

Leave a Comment

Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Start typing and press Enter to search