The comb is one household hair care tool with immense value. From time we humans have deeply cared about how we look and appear to others. Since how our hair looks makes up a big part of our appearance, we use the comb to style and embellish our hair and today there isn’t a household without this haircare tool. But did you know that the origin of this household tool has for a long time caused a major controversy?

For decades Africans have been told the stories of how the whites came and introduced to them a lot of beauty implements that included the hair comb, mirror, and tobacco. Africans have been told that before that time, they had no way of taking care of their hair and that they were savage looking, with their hair locked and dirty. This belief had been around for a while, but today the truth is finally out.


According to what we knew before, the oldest comb was excavated near the seaside town of Barry in South Side Wales, United Kingdom. The unearthed wooden comb was over 3000 years old, and was the oldest comb historically. But this theory had loopholes. It is no longer news that Homo sapiens originated from Africa, and civilization also started in Africa, from the ancient Egyptian city of Kemet. So if civilization indeed began from Africa, and if the Egyptians were intelligent enough to build the awesome and mind-burgling pyramid, why couldn’t they make a comb or realize that they needed a hair comb? These thoughts must have truly troubled archaeologists and anthropologists, which might have prompted them to take to the dirt of Africa to excavate and search for evidence. And alas, they found what they were looking for.


The oldest comb known to man was excavated from a tomb in Egypt from the ancient city of Kemet. This comb is recorded to be more than 6000 years old. It was made from wood and animal bones, looking like what we know now to be an afro-comb with inscriptions that was found on other combs in Africa. For example, some other combs were found in Ghana, at the site of the ancient city of Dawu. Afro-Combs were found in Benin Nigeria, Ethopia, Benin, etc., with engraved symbols that are dated and resemble figures found in the ancient Kemet city of Egypt. These recent findings prove without a doubt that the hair comb indeed originated from Africa. But what do these recent discoveries mean for Africans?


The discovery that the origin of the comb can be traced back to Africa holds significant cultural and historical implications for Africans.

It highlights the ingenuity and creativity of ancient African civilizations

The ancient cities of Africa were filled with intelligent individuals who took agriculture, architecture, alchemy and so many other facets of human life to a whole new level. It is important to finally give these individuals the credit they deserve for what they created.

It challenges Eurocentric narratives that often overlook or downplay African contributions to global culture and civilization

Many European countries often downplay Africans and our contribution to civilization. Before the recent discoveries that life and civilization began in Africa, Europeans’ attitude to Africans have been of condescension. But with these discoveries, Africans can finally get their respect and be seen as equals to other races.

The discovery of the comb’s African origin can also be empowering

As it reinforces a sense of pride and identity among Africans. It serves as a tangible example of Africa’s long history of innovation and creativity, countering stereotypes and misconceptions about the continent.

Isn’t it amazing to know that the comb, a household item used to style our hair, actually originated from Africa? This discovery is not only impressive but also challenges the notion that only European cultures were advanced. It serves as a reminder that Africa is not just rich in natural resources but also rich in innovation and creativity. We should never stop celebrating our African heritage, our achievement and contribution to the world especially in areas often ignored. Because, let’s face it, it is the little things of life that shapes the world we live in today.


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