How To Use A Hot Comb On Natural Hair: Essential Tips!

If you are wondering how to use a hot comb [1] properly, you’ve come to the right place. A hair straightening comb (or a hot comb) is a styling tool that gives your hair a smooth and sleek finish. 

Why use a hot comb?

The advantage comes down to speed. The series of teeth on a hot comb allows you to straighten larger sections of hair with fewer passes than a flat iron.

You are less likely to miss sections or worry that the heat will transfer unevenly. It can also help flatten the hair without losing volume, giving a smoother, natural look.

If you have coarse hair, hair that’s hard to straighten, or Afro hair, you need to know how to use a hot comb on natural hair. R

Read on to learn its advantages if you are unsure about buying one.

Key Takeaways

  • Preparation is Key: Before using a hot comb, ensure your hair is clean, moisturized, and detangled. Applying a heat protectant can prevent potential heat damage.
  • Temperature Matters: Choose the right temperature for your hair type. Start with a lower heat setting and gradually increase if necessary, to avoid excessive heat exposure.
  • Section and Comb Slowly: Divide hair into manageable sections. Combating from the roots to the ends slowly ensures even straightening and reduces the risk of breakage.

How To Prepare Your Hair For Hot Comb

1. Washing and drying your hair [2] properly is the first step to preparing your hair for heated styling tools.

Following a great hair care routine will also help reduce hair breakage. Overwashing can also be a problem, so wash according to your hair type.

Starting with super clean hair will last longer and better when using these tools.

2. Protect your hair from high heat with some heat protectant. Apply it to each section of hair.

3. Comb your hair thoroughly to rid of any tangles and knots.

4. Gather your hair into small 1-inch sections and use pins to secure it. 

Dive into ‘Hot Comb 101 for Beginners’ with Niara Alexis for expert tips on safe, natural hair straightening.

4 Ways to Use a Hot Comb

1. Normal Comb Heated by Flame

The first method requires a simple tool that is easily available at home. Choose a comb with metal teeth and a wooden or heat-resistant handle so you don’t burn your hand.

Note: Plastic combs will melt if you heat them, so avoid them.

Turn your stove on and close the comb to the flame for 30 seconds until you feel warm enough.

Check the temperature of the comb on a white paper towel and see if it turns brown. If the paper towel turns brown, it means it is too hot.

So let it cool down and try again until the paper is no longer turning brown when pressed on.

When the temperature is right, brush a small section of your hair with the hot comb. Get as close to the scalp but not enough to touch the skin.

Brush gently and quickly as often as needed to get it as straight as you want.

Comb for each section, working from the back of your neck to the top of the head until done.

2. Normal Comb Heated by Hot Air

If you think a stove-heated comb might be too dangerous, or you don’t feel comfortable trying that method, then this second one is for you. You’ll need to have a hairdryer or hot air blower.

Only the heating step is different from the way we described above. Therefore, follow that method until the heating step, and heat a regular comb with hot air instead of a direct flame.

You’ll still require a comb with metal teeth like the previous method.

It is important to note that you can have straight hair using a hot comb, not curly.

To avoid all the hassle of heating combs and burning scalp, you should consider an electric comb instead.

3. Electric Hot Comb

The last two methods are the easiest.

Follow the hair preparation guide and plug the electric hot comb in to heat up according to its setting.

After a few minutes, your hot comb should be ready for use.

Set the appropriate temperature for your hair texture and brush downwards from root to tip of the hair without touching your skin.

You’ll see that this will require significantly less time and effort to straighten your hair as you don’t have to worry too much about the temperature (since new models have a range of variable heat settings for all hair types).

After you’ve straightened your hair, don’t forget to follow the precautions we’ve listed below.

4. Electric Hot Brush Round

Our third method was to get straight hair. But if you want curly hair, use a hot round comb.

You will need a round brush instead of a regular straight one.

Gather sections of your hair and start with the back of the neck, working towards the crown of the head.

Wrap the hair around the brush, hold for a few seconds, and spin it while gently pulling down until you see the curls you want. Do it to each section to get, ideally, smooth curls.

Explore ‘Hair Tips: How to Use a Hot Comb for Curling’ and discover quick techniques to achieve flawless curls effortlessly:

Precautions for Using Electric Hair Tools

It’s vital to take the below precautions to avoid having damaged hair [3]:

  • Completely dry your hair before using these electronic tools to avoid heat damage.
  • Use a heat protectant whenever you’re applying heat to your hair.
  • Don’t get too close to the scalp while using it.
  • Don’t touch your ears, skin, or other parts with the heated comb.
  • Unplug after using the tool, cool it down, and store it safely.


Who should use a hot comb?

Hot combs were traditionally used by women with coarse hair, curly hair or African American style hair and were found to be effective with these hair types as it requires tension to achieve a straightened look.
It is also best to note your hair’s tolerance to heat. If it is already damaged, weakened, or overly processed, a hot comb can cause further damage.

Is a hot comb bad for your hair?

Using a hot comb on your hair can potentially cause damage if not used properly or if used too frequently. However, the damage can be minimized if used with care and precaution.
Always use a heat protectant product before using a hot comb on your hair. This creates a barrier between the heat and your hair, reducing damage.
Use a hot comb with adjustable temperature settings and choose the lowest temperature to start.
Avoid using the hot comb too often. Limit its use to special occasions or when necessary to reduce heat exposure.

Is a hot comb better than a flat iron?

It depends on various factors, including your hair type, the desired hairstyle, and personal preferences. Both tools serve different purposes and have their pros and cons.
 Individuals with coarser, thicker, or tightly curled hair commonly use a hot comb. It requires some skill and practice to achieve the desired results but will provide an even heat distribution that can benefit those with thick or tightly coiled hair.
Flat iron works best for those with thinner or naturally straight hair as it “irons” the hair. It is relatively easy to use however can have some variations in heat distribution across the plates.

Final Words

We have discussed a few ways to use a hot comb on natural hair to create a smooth finish. 

You can quickly style your hair using a flat iron, but to do it with speed and lasting effect, there is no better way than to use a hot comb.

An electric hot comb for short, medium, or thin hair is preferable. You’ll get your desired results.

But a hot comb is the way to go if you have thick or firmly curled hair. The flame-heated comb does a fantastic job in this situation.

The benefit of using a hot comb on nature hair is that you can use it very close to the scalp and style your hair quickly. But always use a heat protectant and watch your temperature. 

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out.


1. What Is a Hot Comb? [Internet]. 2023 [cited 2023 Aug 1]. Available from:

2. Birch J. How Often Do I Need to Shampoo? [Internet]. WebMD. WebMD; 2011. Available from:

3. (PDF) A study of damaged hair [Internet]. ResearchGate. Available from:

About Sylvia K

Sylvia is one of the most joyful people you’ll ever meet. She is a high advocate of self-love and encourages women to take care of themselves both mentally and physically. She loves girly talks especially salon talks (a little gossip doesn’t hurt) and spends most of her free time on skincare or hair care. READ HER LATEST ARTICLES. Find her on LINKEDIN. Learn more about her HERE.

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