In pre-historic times the best combs were actually made from bone (fish bone) as well as antelope horn, elephant tusk and goat horn. These materials were hard and smooth. When carved and polished they produced beautiful seamless combs. They were also anti-static and heat resistant.
The creating of these combs was very labor intensive. Once the right material was selected, the overall shape of the comb was carved. Then each tooth was carved, filed, sanded and polished over and over in a 18 step process done by hand. The bone comb is so finely finished that it does not snag, rip or split the hair.
When the use of animal materials was banned, there was no comb that did not damage hair. The beauty industry was desperate to find a suitable substitute since they were very dependant on bone combs for their work. After some time, a new material was formulated from a 100% organic resin material. This material is hard and smooth just like bone, and can be hand carved, sawed, and polished to exemplify all the unique features of the original bone comb. They are also anti-static and will not melt when used with hot styling tools.
Be aware some manufacturers are making plastic combs of the same color and calling them “bone” combs. The fakes are easy to spot since they are usually priced around $1.00 and are very flexible with obvious seams to tear hair.