The Little Things – Grooming Tools

Posted by: on Jun 22, 2011 | 2 Comments

It’s easy to get excited over the big stuff.  New monkstraps, commissioning a suit, or whatever else, these things are usually big purchases, and ones we agonize over.  But then there’s the little stuff – the relatively inexpensive things we use everyday and usually pay very little attention to.  Call me obsessive, but these are the things over which I get the most excited.

My most recent acquisition is a new toothbrush.  Most people just grab one off the shelf at the local drugstore or chemist, and while these certainly get the job done, their design is less than exciting.  Neon colored rubber and white plastic are obviously not my preferred though.  Swissco makes some great alternatives.  The handles are either faux horn, faux tortoise, or wood, and the bristles are all natural, not plastic, and come in three different firmness levels.  I picked up a medium-bristle tortoise brush, and am loving it so far.  A number of the St. James’s barbers sell them as well, including Trumpers and Taylors, but you’ll pay a premium for the name on the handle.

Swissco makes great combs too, but my personal favorites are from Kent.  They’re saw cut from acetate, instead of being injection molded out of cheap black plastic.  You don’t get the little ridge where the halves of the mold met, and you won’t have to worry about scratching your scalp with the teeth.  The combs have the right amount of heft, feel good in the hand, and look good on the counter.  I’ve tried the luxurious natural horn combs from a number of manufacturers and just haven’t had great success with them.  The teeth tend to be too large, and if you use them in wet hair or hair with any product in it they warp and become brittle really quickly.  The feeling of snapping a $50 horn comb in half is not the best way to start a day…trust me.

And obviously there is the Shaving Brush.  This though is a much more complicated issue, and I’ll save it for another time.  Keep your eyes peeled, and happy brushing.



  1. Joe Franceski
    June 27, 2011

    True enough about the cost and brittleness of horn combs, but they do have one very valuable quality, the hair does not stand up from static electricity with a horn comb. That’s why I like them. By the way, your emphasis on the little details of style and grooming are spot on and much appreciated.

    • Stephen
      June 27, 2011

      Thank you very much. You’re absolutely right about static, and if you comb your hair while dry it’s a big advantage. Alas, my hair is thick and unmanagable without properly applied product, and so my combing is almost always done on wet hair with a dab of creme or wax of some kind. Thanks for the feedback.


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