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Del Sandeen

Pressing Comb or Flat Iron?

By May 15, 2013

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A reader recently asked which is best for straightening natural hair: a pressing (or hot) comb or flat iron?

My answer, knowing how far flat irons have come in recent years, is the iron, especially the ones with ceramic plates. Forget about the older models with metal plates, as these are really no better for your hair than a stove-top hot comb.

Most of the newer flat irons have temperature controls, which is an essential feature if you don't want to fry your mane. But you still need to be careful when thermal styling.

  • To avoid heat damage,you may need to adjust the temperature to the texture of your hair. Since many of us have some areas that are more or less curly and in need of more or less heat, turn the temperature up or down as needed.
  • Don't forget a good-quality heat protectant.
  • Wrap your hair at night between heat styling sessions to maintain volume and cut down on further flat ironing.

More tips for flat iron success can help you get the sleek tresses you want without the damaging effects of heat.

(Photo credit: i love images/Getty Images)


May 20, 2013 at 6:37 pm
(1) queenbee says:

I prefer a hot comb.

PROS: it can get closer to the scalp. It eliminates the need for awkward “comb chasing” with a heat proof comb. Hot combs can be bought in various sizes in order to do edges. Regular hot combs are NOT electric and so do not have parts that can break down and do not require electricity though your heat source may require electricity. Hot combs have more versatility than irons due to their shape edges are easily straightened with a hot comb

CONS: it is easier to burn your hair with a hot comb if you do not know what you are doing. a hot comb MUST be tempered at very high heat prior to usage. It is harder to control or know the temperature of a comb since it relies on expertise and experience.

May 20, 2013 at 6:39 pm
(2) queenbee says:

due to their configuration, a flat iron can NEVER get as close to the scalp to straighten roots and edges like a hot comb–but if you do not know how to properly use a hot comb–a flat iron is the next best thing.

August 3, 2013 at 5:07 pm
(3) Shronda says:

My 9 years old draughter hair is demage and I was wondering what kind of hair products that I know will work and get her hair back to growing it seems like Iam out of options need help.

April 9, 2014 at 4:29 pm
(4) Nikki says:

I would recommend that you grow out her natural hair and start over. My daughter has been through this process and her hair is almost shoulder length after a year.��

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