Our craving for everything “natural”

Hello all,

Welcome to Sariskiz and my blog. As you can tell, I write on what has been going on inside my head, and naturally, it is always something related with Sariskiz. This time I want to eventually tell you a bit on the history of wood in combs.

I honestly do not know if social media, and everyday marketing is pushing us to fall for everything “organic”, “natural” and “sustainable”. There is this trend everywhere to be more careful on what we buy, what we use, what we eat, and even on what we use to clean. With the advances in technology we are getting more aware on what is better for us. Chemicals that one time were considered fancy, and expensive, now are considered toxic. What am I rambling about? Let me give you a couple of examples:   

  • Petroleum derived products –cosmetics and cleaning supplies- were a hit when they were introduced. Now, they are considered the devil by many who have read research articles that show how they affect our system when you apply them to your skin, or inhale them while cleaning your home.
  • Another example is plastic containers used for food. When Tupperware was developed back in 1946, it was the kind of dishware every housewife wanted to have! Nowadays, we have learned that bisphenol-A or (BPA) is not good for us, and that we want to avoid heating our food in plastic containers. AND WE DO! (or at least I do)… now I do not like plastic and I use it only to store food in my fridge, even when the FDA has stated that five micrograms of BPA per kilogram of body weight per day qualifies as safe!

Both of these examples demonstrate how something that started being such a great discovery, eventually became no longer safe. The possible consequences of using such products can be terrifying. However, I won’t cover that in this blog. If curious, just google it.

Now, let’s talk about combs and why this is related. I strongly believe that we as humans enjoy being surrounded by everything natural, REGARDLESS of marketing. We love going to the beach (most of us), and enjoy exfoliating our feet in the sand. How about being nearby a forest and smelling that pine tree aroma when it rains. Do not lie to yourself saying you prefer the concrete jungle, when you love cities that are greener, with more parks, more trees, and more flowers just everywhere you look. What about those autumn colors rich in orange-gold-yellow palettes filling the streets under a blue sky? If, as you read this, are thinking to yourself that you do not love/enjoy that, just stop reading. This might not be for you!

It is believed that the most primitive type of comb found was made from wood and bones. I can tell you right here and now that I will NEVER sell a comb made from bones, but wood: HELL YES! Before marketing and the economy became essentially the currency of everyday life, we humans used everything natural. More than half a million years ago, when men started making tools, natural materials such as animal bones, stones and wood were used. It is in our genes to appreciate these materials and use them for our benefit!

Combs found by archeologists, which include combs traced back to ancient Egyptians, have been of similar design regardless of the location and chronology from which they belong. These combs were carved from wood, bones or ivory. They consisted of intricate carved features and fine teeth on one side. Surprisingly, even finer teeth on the other side of the comb.  Here are some examples:

  1. Wooden comb from Egypt’s Coptic Period (500 A.D. to 1000 A.D.) (Photo: Los Angeles County Museum of Art/Public Domain)
  2. 12th-century Venetian ivory comb. (Photo: Walters Art Museum/Creative Commons)
  3. 12th-century ivory liturgical comb made in England. (Photo: Marie-Lan Nguyen/CC BY 2.5)
  4. French wooden comb made during the 15th century. (Photo: Daderot/Public Domain)
  5. French wooden comb from the 16th century. (Photo: Public Domain)
  6. Wooden comb made in India during the 19th century. (Photo: Etnografiska Museet/CC BY 2.5)

This proves to us that, regardless the marketing trend, nature works! And more importantly: Nature lasts! Over all this years, wood is still considered a great material for many things! And a comb is one of them! Spoiler alert: My next blog will be on the benefits of using wood combs!

Now back to what matters. If we focus our attention to the comb from Figure d), we can easily appreciate the details that were put into creating that comb. That comb is at least 500+ years old! And it is a comb that still has all its features intact!

At Sariskiz we are proud to provide a product that, if you take care of it, can have the potential of lasting years to come. Although the intention for our combs is a bit different. Our combs are intended to detangle your hair anywhere you are. That is why they are wide teeth combs that are portable. Plus, they are finished with coconut oil to keep that natural looking feel with the purpose to untangle your hair and leave it frizz-free.  Their size is a little bit bigger than a business card, to make them easy to grab, and easy to have in your purse at all times.

P.S. In case you didn’t figure it out, the design of the antique combs was intended to remove lice from the head of the user. Some thirty years ago, a parasitologist and an antropolists discovered lice and louse eggs on eight of the eleven combs excavated from the Judean Desert. This proved that those beautiful combs were not only used as a vanity tool, but as a helper to remove those annoying bugs. What I find even more interesting is that even today you can find that comb design, and it is still used to remove lice. This is just further proof on how a good design has not changed in all these years, since nothing better has been able to replace it!

Sara from Sariskiz