Looking for an all-purpose styling tool that can tame your natural hair? A good straightening comb should do the trick.
Favored by women looking for naturally straight locks, a hot comb can get close to the roots of the hair, something few flat irons are able to. The best straightening comb heats up quickly and has a slim profile, making it a great travel-friendly straightener.
Here are our picks for the best hot combs in the market and everything you need to know before buying one.
Everything You Need to Know About Straightening Combs
Do straightening combs work?
An electric hot comb is made out of metal which conducts heat that allows the comb to distribute heat as it sifts through your mane. It is also known as a straightening comb or pressing comb.
Straightening combs, or hot combs, have been used for ages as a hair pressing technique. This invention reportedly dates back to 1872 when a French hairstylist named Marcel Grateu found a way to straighten tresses using a heated comb.
Fast forward to the 21st century, and now, straightening combs can be used at home by non-professional hairstylists. It’s a well-loved two-in-one device, particularly by those with natural hair (think type 4 hair types).
Are straightening combs good for natural hair?
Straightening combs have had a major upgrade due to technological advancements. Stovetop hot combs are still in use but are growing obsolete because of the invention of the electric hot comb.
The modern press comb is safe to use even on Afro-textured or natural black hair. The advantage of using a straightening comb over a hair straightener is that the comb can come close to the scalp, giving you a polished finish overall.
This tool is useful for making natural hair straight, which tends to frizz or puff up on the base of the strands. An electric hot comb especially useful for taming coarse natural hair but it’s suitable for all hair types.
Benefits of a Straightening Comb for Natural Hair
- Retains the hair’s volume
A side effect of using a flat iron is that it tends to make the locks go completely flat. Some people do prefer the sleek look but the trade-off is little to no volume. An electric hot comb will give you naturally straight strands because it doesn’t require clamping down on your locks, thus retaining the volume of your hair.
- Quick styling time
The length of a professional pressing comb allows it to cover more strands in less time than a flat iron can. It takes only a few passes to achieve straight hair with a hot comb. A good hot comb has a rapid heat-up time so you don’t have to wait to start your hair styling routine. You can just plug it in and style your mane right away.
- Gives you naturally straight strands from the roots to the tips
A hot comb can easily tackle the locks closest to your scalp. That gives it an edge over flat irons. The barrel of flat irons is usually placed an inch or so away from the roots to avoid burning the scalp or the user. With a heating comb, you don’t have to avoid the roots. In effect, you’ll achieve a naturally sleek finish from top to bottom.
- Little to no learning curve
Using a straightening comb is easy peasy. You use it just like a regular comb or brush and it requires no special techniques. There are a few tricks to ensure you have damage-free locks with a hot comb, which I will place in detail below.
How to Choose the Best Straightening Comb
High Quality Materials
The most important thing to consider is the materials used for the straightening comb. It can spell the difference between straight and damaged locks.
There are plenty of high quality hot comb components to choose from and if you have a straightener, you’ll be familiar with them. The best ones are titanium, ceramic, tourmaline, or a blend of the three.
If you can, choose a ceramic straightening comb with ionic technology. The material is known for even heat distribution while negative ions seal the cuticle, making your mane look even smoother.
Look for a straightening comb with variable heat controls. This minimizes the risk of frying your tresses. Equally important is the range of heat settings available. You need a higher heat to straighten natural hair, roughly between 340 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
Another consideration is the texture of your locks. A straightening comb will work on all hair types but it’s best for thin to medium density hair. If you have coarse tresses, make sure you buy a straightening comb with a high heat capacity. For those with fine hair, a lower threshold is recommended.
You should also find a comb with a width that suits your hair type. A wide tooth comb is better for thick and coarse strands. I recommend also getting a straightening comb with long teeth so you can reach the roots. If you have very curly or tight coils, you may need to finish styling with a traditional straightener or iron to achieve the pin-straight results you’re after.
Always put safety first. Make sure to pick a straightening comb with an anti-burn design so you don’t scald yourself accidentally. An automatic shutoff feature will add peace of mind.
Ergonomic and Intuitive Design
To check if the straightening comb is easy to use, look for an ergonomic handle that’s grippy and a long swivel, tangle-free cord that minimizes wrist strain. The comb should also be lightweight or well under 2 pounds. The controls should be clearly labeled and the buttons should be accessible but not too accessible that you switch it off while using the comb. Bonus points if the straightening comb has a readout display, a safety stand and dual voltage!
How-to Guide: Using an Electric Comb on Natural Hair
After washing and conditioning your hair, rough dry the strands with a towel. Wait for them to fully dry before straightening. Use a regular comb to detangle your hair in preparation for straightening. This makes the process gentler.
Spritz a heat protectant spray on your strands. Make sure to distribute it on the lengths. Turn on the straightening comb and use the right temperature setting. Use around 266 to 302 degrees Fahrenheit if you have thin or fine tresses. For normal, dark to thick locks, use a heat setting above 338 degrees Fahrenheit.
Starting near the roots, run the hot comb slowly through the mane one section at a time. Pull the strands taut at the ends as you do so. Repeat until you have straightened your entire head.
Take care to place the comb gently on a heat-resistant surface in between sections. When you’ve completed straightening, let the comb cool down.
The Top 4 Best-Selling Straightening Combs for Sleek, Smooth Strands
Andis 38330 Professional Hot Comb
This is one of the best styling tools for unruly or damaged hair. It has 20 (yes, 20) variable heat settings so you can finetune the temperature to your hair texture. It reaches 450 degrees Fahrenheit, which is perfect for straightening coarse, natural hair.
The straightening comb heats up in only 30 seconds, a handy feature when you’re in a rush. And because it’s made of ceramic, it transfers heat gently and evenly. When left idle for 30 minutes, it automatically shuts off, a safety feature that should really be in all hot tools.
The ceramic hot comb has a swivel cord and a built-in safety stand. It’s a beginner-friendly heating tool. Its lightness and dual voltage capability means a good styling tool to take with you on the go. At a weight of 1 pound, it won’t make your wrists ache even during lengthy styling sessions.
This hot comb suits all hair types, thanks to the extensive range of heat settings, but it is quite expensive. The power switch is located in an awkward position so you may accidentally turn off the comb when you straighten your hair.
- Has 20 heat settings up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit
- 30-second heat up time
- Made of efficient ceramic components
- Comes with an automatic shutoff feature and a safety stand
- Lightweight and easy to use
- This hot comb is quite pricey
- The power switch can be clicked accidentally
Gold N Hot Professional Styling Comb
The Gold N Hot Professional Styling Comb goes the extra mile. It has a heat capacity of up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit which can tame even the tightest of coils. The heat settings can go as low as 200 degrees Fahrenheit, perfect for fine, fragile locks.
The comb also has a 24K gold-plated barrel which adds a touch of luxury and retains heat well. The wedge-shaped teeth can straighten close to the roots of the hair for precise styling. To adjust the heat, you only need to twist the dial.
The power indicator turns on when the comb is in use. The straightening comb weighs only 12 oz, making it easy to style the back of your head. It comes with an 8-foot tangle-free swivel cord that allows you to style anywhere, even far from a power source. When you need to take a break, you can set down the comb on its built-in safety stand with a protective sleeve.
This is the straightening comb for coarse and natural hair that’s hard to smooth down. However, though it advertises a high heat setting, it often falls short of 500 degrees, which I think is overkill and can actually damage your hair. It’s recommended to stick with 450 degrees or below to prevent singing your locks. I also wish it came with an automatic shutoff and dual voltage.
- A gold-plated straightening comb with high heat retention
- Has heat settings between 200 to 500 degrees Fahrenheit
- Has wedge-shaped teeth for precision
- Comes with a long swivel cord and a safety stand
- Weighs only 12 oz
- Doesn’t actually reach 500 degrees Fahrenheit
- No automatic shutoff feature
- No dual voltage capability
Herstyler Straightening Comb For Hair
This comb does not emit heat but I’m including it because it’s a great complement to any heat styling tool. It serves as a detangler and straightener when used with a blow dryer or flat iron.
The teeth are wide enough to accommodate thick or Afro-textured hair. You can use it as a chase comb when clamping down on strands with the hot plates of a regular straightener.
The V-shaped keratin comb is smooth like butter, great for prepping the hair for styling. It’s also quite versatile because it has a clip attached which keeps each section of your hair in place better than a traditional comb can. It makes the straightening process hassle-free, you’ll wonder why you didn’t have one sooner.
The comb is designed to prevent burning your hands when using a hair straightener but it can also be used a trimming tool.
It’s lightweight, heat-resistant, and super compact. You can put it in your bag for quick touch-ups, too.
The only thing it doesn’t do is heat up but since it comes at half the price of a typical hot comb, I’ll give it a pass.
The straightening comb is suitable for normal to thick hair. If you have thin hair, the wide-tooth comb will find it hard to grip the strands when hair styling.
- A heat-resistant keratin comb that assists you when straightening your hair
- Has wide teeth that are excellent for detangling thick hair
- Keeps hair in place when you do the chase method with a flat iron
- The design helps you avoid burning your hand
- Compact and lightweight
- Doesn’t heat up
- Not for thin hair
Homfu Electric Hot Comb
The Homfu straightening comb has everything you need, and then some.
It’s made of pure copper, which is an excellent heat conductor. The coating is ceramic, great for evenly distributing heat to the hair. Copper resists rust while ceramic shields hair from damage.
The comb also emits negative ions for shiny, lustrous hair. It heats up in 1 minute, saving you lots of time. The heat settings span from 80 to 450 ℉ so it’s great for all hair types, even coarse, Afro-textured or natural black hair.
This comb is a breeze to use because of its anti-scald design and clearly labeled controls. It also has a 4.9-foot swivel cord for flexible styling. It comes with a temperature lock to ensure you get consistent heat all throughout the straightening process.
There’s also a built-in safety stand to protect furniture and other surfaces from the heat. On top of that, it has a dual voltage capability so it’s compatible with electrical systems worldwide.
While I wish the heat up time was quicker, 60 seconds is nothing to scoff at. Some users have also commented that the straightening comb doesn’t get hot enough.
- A straightening comb made of pure copper glazed with gentle ceramic
- Resists rust and protects hair from damage
- Has negative ion technology
- 60-second heat up
- Has variable heat settings up to 450 ℉
- Has a built-in safety stand, a swivel cord, and dual voltage capability
- The heat up time is below average
- Some users say the comb doesn’t get hot enough
- No automatic shutoff
Straightening combs make straightening quick and simple. The press comb I like the most from this roundup review is the Andis Professional Hot Comb.
It heats up rapidly (only 30 seconds) which cuts down on precious time needed on busy mornings. The heating tool is made of ceramic which is more gentle on hair and guarantees even heat throughout the strands. It has several heat settings available which protects you from frying your locks.
Plus, it’s lightweight so you don’t wear out your arms. No wonder it’s one of the most recommended straightening heat combs. Whether you have black, fine or frizzy strands, it’s the comb that has everything you need in a straightening heat comb.
About the AuthorLeah Williams is the founder of Lucky Curl and has been in the hair care and styling industry for the last 15 years. Since then, she has developed incredible expertise and a deep understanding of how to treat and style the most difficult hair types and is passionate about sharing her knowledge with the readers of Lucky Curl.
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