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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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