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Fabricating hair combs

I am wanting to try making a series of hair combs, and am wondering
if anyone has any advice as far as this goes. What metal should I
make the tines out of? How long should the tings be? I assume that
they should be curved slightly, since that seems to be how all of the
ones I’ve looked at are. Any advice would be appreciated - thanks!


Look at some inexpensive ones from some place like wal mart
accessories-they are usually plastic-you can experiment with
different gauges of silver (or brass to save materials). The tines
could also be tubes finished at the ends or flat sheet. Your hair
combs can be attatched to tines of wood or bone. Check ancient
designs to see what works in hair. The length and shape are
determined by how much hair you are trying to control.

Good luck!

I have seen commercially produced hair combs with tines made out of
wire. You can find them at places like CVS, Target etc. I would look
at how they are constructed to get some ideas.

Vicki Embrey

Hi Jen,

There is a reason hair combs are made from shell or plastic. It is
light weight and does not tear the hair. The slight curve of natural
shell allows for the comb to fit the curve of the scalp.

The metal hair combs I have seen that have been successful from both
a wear-ability and sale-ability are from brass or gold wire where
the tines are a closed elongated loop. The round wire keeps the hair
from being torn by sharp metal edges and is lighter in weight.

Piercing light weight metals like aluminum or stainless steel will
leave sharp edges to the tines and may not provide enough rigidity
for the comb.

Best regards,
Nanz Aalund

Hi Jen! I’m so pleased to find your posting; I love hair adornment
and actually did my senior thesis on the adornment of hair (the
history, cultural differences, what length/ thickness/ hair-type/
material works best, etc.). I have since been carving my own hair
pieces, having crafted aprox. 40 one-of-a-kind pieces. Since they are
one-of-a-kind, and usually made with precious metals, hardwoods, and
semi-precious stones, they are not cheap in price, at least in
comparison to today’s typical cheap Right-Aid/ Wal-Mart selections.
They do not sell often, despite all the ooohs and ahhhs, because
most people can not wrap their minds around investing more than $20
or so into something for their hair, that they may lose.
Understandable, but I keep making them…

So what I have found is that the thicker the tines, th= e better the
hold in the hair if the hair is fine and not too thick. Thicker hair
requires thinner tines… I make my combs with 4-5" tines, depending
on the piece. I also use hardwoods (mahogany mostly), as I find= that
they are rigid enough but also have a bit of give, are attractive,
and= much lighter than silver. I would not make the tines out of
tubing, as the strength of the tine would be greatly compromised I
feel. I should say, though, that while I strive to make beautiful,
elegant combs and sticks, practicality and function are very
important to me, so I’m not really making delicate, dainty pieces…
I’m happy to answer any questions, and excited that there are other
jewelers interested in adorning the hair… check out my web-site for
a few images of my pieces……and I love your
ammonite fossil bracelet on your web-site!

Good luck, Nisa