Should You Use Hot Combs on Fine Hair? 4 Reasons To Skip It

What do you think: Should you use hot combs on fine hair? As a hairstylist, I can tell you that it can harm your delicate strands.

Hot combs are generally used for straightening thick, coarse hair or African-American hair, which is very hard to manage, comb, and straighten.

Read more for valuable insights on why hot combs are unsuitable for fine hair.

Key Takeaways

  • A hot comb’s higher heat may be necessary for thick hair, but not for fine hair.
  • Hot combs lack advanced technologies found in flat irons to avoid dry hair.
  • Hot comb use requires caution to avoid accidental scalp burns.
  • Old-fashioned hot combs lack adjustable temperature settings, which are crucial to avoid heat damage.

4 Reasons Why Fine Hair and Hot Combs Don’t Mix

1. Heat Exposure

This tool was made for super thick or coarse hairs. These hair types [1] take longer to straighten, so they need more heat.

But as we all know, too-high heat [2] is the greatest enemy of hair, so you need a tool that can heat up very high quickly to straighten coarse curly hair.

That’s why hot combs work on thick natural hair.

But fine hair is very sensitive and needs less heat and less time to straighten or curl.

If you apply too much heat or put your hot tools for a longer time on your strands, it will harm the protective hair cuticle. And your hair may end up permanently damaged and frizzy.

Electrical hot combs are better than 1traditional ones. But there is still a major drawback to it. An electric comb does not provide heat evenly throughout the hair.

It provides direct heat to a specific part of your hair at a time, which is not preferred for thin hair.

For those interested in the history and impact of hair tools, explore our articles on who invented the straightening comb and the debate surrounding are hot combs bad for hair.

2. Heat Damage

The portion of the hot comb that comes in contact with your hair is typically made of metal.

As we all know, fine hair is prone to dryness and breakage. Heat absorbs the moisture from your hair and dries it out.

A heat protectant cannot protect you completely if you use a hot hair straightener comb consistently.

When you have fine hair, you are in more danger of heat damage. Your fine strands become drier, start breaking and, at some point, your hair becomes severely damaged [3].

But why doesn’t the same thing happen when using a flat iron?

New flat irons and hair straighteners have advanced hair styling technologies, like infrared, ionic, and tourmaline. You usually can’t find this cool tech in hot combs.

Some companies are making tourmaline and ceramic combs and adding adjustable temperature control to electric hot combs.

But this hair tool still falls behind, as it does not use gentle heat and cannot provide even temperatures throughout the hair.

3. Scalp Burns

Your scalp also comes into contact with the hair straightening comb teeth.

Not being extremely careful while using a hot comb may cause accidental burns on your scalp.

Aside from the pain, you may also start facing hair loss problems.

People with thick hair usually have a lot of volume. So, there is less chance of getting comb teeth on their scalp.

Fine hair lacks density. So, the metal teeth can easily touch your scalp, no matter how careful you are. That’s one reason the answer to “Should you use hot combs on fine hair?” is no.

Join Dr. Amee Daxini as she delves into the causes of a sensitive and painful scalp, offering insights for those seeking answers or simply curious.

4. Adjustable Heat Settings

Old-fashioned hot combs do not have any temperature control. Variable heat settings are crucial to avoid damage.

So, you can’t know how much heat you are applying to your hair and how long you should do your hot combing. This is a serious issue for your fine hair.


1. How can I style my fine hair without heat?

To style fine hair without heat, try braiding, twisting, or using foam rollers overnight for beautiful heatless curls. You can also wrap your hair around your head overnight to make it straighter.

2. What temperature should my flat iron be for fine hair?

For fine hair, use a flat iron at a low to medium temperature setting (around 250–350°F) to avoid damage while still achieving sleek and smooth results.

3. What is the best straightener for thin hair?

The best straightener for thin hair is one with adjustable heat settings and tourmaline or ceramic coating, as they provide even heat distribution and minimize damage to delicate strands.


Should you use hot combs on fine hair? No. The hot comb is one of those hair styling tools that is particularly best for extremely thick, coarse hair, which is more difficult to straighten.

This is not the tool for fine or thin hair. If you apply this tool to your fine strands, your hair can become damaged.

Share your experience with hot combs on fine hair in the comments below to help others know what they’re getting into!


1. Types of Hair: How to Style and Care for Your Hair Type [Internet]. Healthline. 2019. Available from:

2. Heat-Damaged Hair: How to Repair It Without a Haircut [Internet]. Healthline. 2019 [cited 2022 Feb 8]. Available from:

3. A Guide to Damaged Hair and 15 Ways to Fix It [Internet]. Healthline. 2018. Available from:

About Edith Russo

Edith is a self-made entrepreneur with a keen business sense that others admire and a total “can-do” attitude. She’s always coming up with new ideas to anticipate her readers’ needs and help solve all their toughest beauty and skincare problems. READ HER LATEST ARTICLES. FOLLOW HER on Linkedin and Twitter. Learn more about her HERE.

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