Five Things You Should Know About Hot Combs

11 comments
March 24, 2011 ‐ By

Can you recall the Easter Sunday’s of your childhood?
I surely can. Outside of creating eclectically painted eggs and putting on the freshest, most colorful inflated new dresses picked out by moms, a huge staple in our Easter morning ritual was an early date with the hot comb. Sitting on the stove cooking, you know the smell of a HOT hot comb from miles away. It smells like a cooked version of all the greases and hair aromas of those who use it.  My mother put the hot comb on our bangs mostly, so that they would be bumped to perfection and incredibly silky smooth thanks to all that heat and a side of Blue Magic hair grease. She’d also clean up our napes, and we were always told, “hold your ear!” However much we cringed at the steam rising, or the hiss and pop the hot comb made when it touched our strands, we always left the house looking fresher than a crisp $2 bill.

Times have changed, and if you ask most women these days if they own a hot comb (not their mothers), they’ll likely say no. Flat irons sort of came through and took over. But for women who want to occasionally have straight styles but aren’t partial to irons and have natural hair, some are kicking it old school with hot combs.  Sure, the stove top ones come with all the cautionary tales and warnings: If the comb gets too hot, you could burn up your hair, and even worse, burn up your skin. And who doesn’t hate nursing an ugly neck, face or ear burn with petroleum jelly and ice? But many of us know and have seen the benefits of the hot comb. If used every once in a while (not constantly), the end result can be shiny, full, lustrous head of hair. Or, broken off hair dry as sandpaper. If you’re looking to try your hand with a hot comb, here are five things you should know about the practice and the tool itself.

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  • Christina

    A permnIS NOT A RELAXER. A RELAXER relaxes the hair. That means straighten it!! A perm is what white ppl use or blacks with Jerry curls!!!! It isnt the same!!!! I would love to know who wants to debate with me!?!

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  • Sammy

    Please stop calling relaxers which are used to straighten hair perms. Perms are used to curl hair. When talking to people of other races it can be confusing. If you already have what is deemed as curly/kinky hair you would definitely not use a perm. ;-)

    • Wisdom

      A relaxer is a perm, (permanant straightener) OR a permanent curler. It is a matter of opinion, just saying.:-). It is about it being a permanent process not so much if you are straightening or curlling your hair.

  • Janae

    The hot comb did a lot of damage to my hair and I didn’t like the smell either. I like the keratin straightening because it makes my hair get very straight and keeps it from going crazy frizzy in summer (I live in DC) and it lasts me about 3 or 4 months each time I do it. I do it myself because it’s way cheaper than the salon. I use Uncurly which I bought online. I still have to flat iron a little, just for a couple minutes, way less than I used to, and then it stays really nice. Plus it keeps my hair from breaking. No to the hot comb but I have those Easter memories, too…

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  • Tika

    I get my hair pressed and it’s healthy and grows just fine.  It may be a matter of what products you are using and how healthy your hair is.  I’ve used curling irons and flat irons and they can be just as harmful to the hair.  I am natural and try to wear styles that do not require heat and straightening but once in a while I do like my wraps and curls.

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  • Fiedeersifege

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  • Darkesthourglass

    I still use the hot comb treatment sometimes but it’s more convenient for me to straighten my hair out with a Hot Tools curling iron and some elbow grease.