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If you have been following the Sunshine Coast Pinup School for a while now, you would have heard me raving on about these 'Grip Tuth' branded combs. But what exactly are these Grip Tuth combs and how are they any different from the regular side combs you can purchase from just about anywhere?
The Grip Tuth brand has been around since the 1920s, gaining widespread use and popularity during the 1940s as these plastic combs replaced metal side combs due to war rationing. Vintage 1940s ads called them 'hairtainers' in that they 'maintain' your hair. As you can see from the historic advertisements below, they were marketed to hold just about any hairstyle in place, even wave formations.
Another fun fact, is that the specific tooth structure of the combs is still made the exact same, so no other side comb is quite like a 'Grip Tuth' one. And as I now say: 'Once you go Grip Tuth, you never go back!'.
I first came across these specific branded combs through a vintage hair styling book titled: "How to Handle Long Hair - recreating glamorous 1950s hairstyles".
It is an amazing resource where 11 different long hair brush out styles are created from the one pin curl setting pattern. In the first hairstyle called 'Grecian No.1', the author specifically mentions these combs:
"Once you have formed the ridge, hold it with your left hand instead of the finger waving comb, so you will be free to pick up the Grip Tuth Comb that is going to be used to hold the ridge in place. You could - if you had to - use bobby pins, but if a lady comes in with this length hair and wants a good job done, she ought to be willing to spend fifty cents for two combs. Only with combs can you do a job that feels secure. And it's no good if it isn't secure, regardless of how artistic you have been. Use only a genuine Grip Tuth comb. You will find them most effective."
Grip Tuth combs are then used to style and secure the majority of the hairstyles in this book. As with most vintage items, I assumed such a product didn't exist anymore. Until there was a lady on the 'Vintage Updos for Modern Girls' Facebook group raving how these combs had changed her poodle updo game. What?! Had she stumbled across some amazing deadstock product or were these famous combs still in production? A quick Google search and I found a supplier in the USA that still manufactured the patent combs today.
I then purchased a set of the 2 3/4 inch sized combs for myself - for way too much money as there were no Australian stockists at the time and postage from the US or UK was more than the cost of the combs themselves! Once I tried these combs for myself, it was clear what all the hype was about. The unique structure of the comb teeth actually locks your hair into place and the combs don't slip and slide during the day.
I was so excited to become a stockist for these Grip Tuth combs so my fellow Aussie gals could get these combs at a fair price without having to pay the extortionate international postage we are all too familiar with. Sunshine Coast Pinup School now stock the versatile 2 3/4 inch size, as well as the 'tuck' 1 1/2 inch and the 'frenchy' 4 inch sizes.
These combs are great for quick and simple hairstyles and more inventive ways to use them as well. Check out all the hair tutorials here and see just how much I love and use these amazing Grip Tuth Combs.
And yes, I think about weird stuff right before my brain shuts down at night. But I also figured out a way to use one of the 2 3/4 inch sized combs to create a front roll (which can also be used for a bumper bang as well).
Check out the tutorial below:
Here are some tips for this style:
-Make sure you are using 3-4 fingers to wrap your roll around, you need the roll to be large enough so you can insert the comb into it.
-Place the comb upside down with teeth pointing outwards, so when flipped it will slide into your hair line the correct way around.
-It can take a couple goes to figure out the correct distance to start rolling, so when flipped down the comb will slide into your hairline to create the roll.
-When undoing this hairstyle, go in the exact reverse order to ensure no hair gets tangled with the comb.
Need it in video? No probs!
Purchase Grip Tuth Combs here