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Hot Combing Natural Hair: What You Should Know

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Who doesn’t love straight, silky hair, right? But at what costs? Almost all of us with naturally curly or wavy hair have used hairstyling and heating tools to get that straight-hair look and regretted it later. So, is using a flat iron rod or heating straighteners on your hair worth it? According to research by the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, the high temperatures of hair straighteners can damage the outer cuticle of our hair and cause hair breakage. It is why people often look for alternatives to naturally straighten their hair instead of using straighteners. Hot combing is a common alternative to hair straighteners; but is hot combing better than using a flat iron? Does it cause any hair damage? Let’s find out!

Table of Contents:

  • Hot combing natural hair: what does it mean?

  • Is hot combing bad for your hair?

  • Is hot combing better than using a flat iron?

  • Hot oils and conditioners to repair damaged hair

Hot combing natural hair: what does it mean?

You must have seen pictures on the Internet or in magazines of women hot combing natural hair. Let us first understand what a hot comb is and how it works. As the name suggests, hot combing natural hair is the process of using a hot comb to straighten your hair. There are different ways to use a hot comb. You can heat a metal comb on a gas stove and brush your hair. Or you can also heat a comb with hot air from your hairdryer. However, these two methods can take up a lot of time, so electric combs are often preferred. When plugged in, these metal combs get heated up and you can use them to straighten your hair. 

Hot combing works best to straighten coarse or rough hair and it might not have the same results on fine hair. Also, the results of hot combing are temporary. After a hair wash, your hair will go back to its original texture.

Is hot combing bad for your hair?

Hot combing natural hair was initially used by African-American women who wanted to straighten their natural hair temporarily. It was called thermal heating. But, since hot combing is such a time-consuming temporary solution, people switched to chemical straightening over the years. Also, this was not (and still isn’t) a very gentle procedure – the overheating of hair resulted in weak roots, hair breakage and bubble hair. 

Bubble hair is a hair shaft abnormality in which the hair shaft is filled with air-filled spaces or bubbles. It happens when straightening rods or curling irons are applied to the hair at extremely high temperatures. Hot combing too can damage your hair shafts and cuticles. A study suggested that women who used a hot comb to straighten their hair suffered from damaged hair cuticles and hair loss on their crown. 

Another reason why hot combing natural hair is not recommended is that it does not allow you to control the temperature, and you can end up burning your hair. Excess heating can also cause dry, dull, and frizzy hair, split ends and even hair fall. 

However, if you, nevertheless, what to straighten your hair using a hot comb, you should always use a heat-protecting serum to minimize the damage.

Is hot combing better than using a flat iron?

Hot combing does have some advantages over using flat iron rods for hair straightening. The first benefit of hot combing natural hair is that it heats up faster and saves time. It can also have better results as you can use this method to straighten your hair up to very close to the scalp. Nevertheless, both these tools can damage your hair.

Hot oils and conditioners to repair damaged hair

Even if you hot comb only occasionally to straighten your hair, it can still make your hair follicles weak, give you split ends and dry and damaged hair. To repair heat damage by hot combs, you need to pamper your hair using oils and leave-in conditioners. The following WOW oils and conditioners can help protect your hair and leave it looking healthy, shiny, and smooth:

WOW Castor Oil

WOW Castor Oil


Castor oil has numerous
benefits for hair. It has fatty acids that deeply nourish the scalp and make the roots stronger. It also helps in treating dry hair and split ends. Before straightening your hair, you can apply a few drops of castor oil to your hair as a heat protectant. You can also keep it on overnight to replenish dry hair.

WOW Onion Black Seed Hair Oil

WOW Onion Black Seed Hair Oil


The WOW Onion Black Seed hair oil is a blend of almond, jojoba, coconut, olive, and castor oil. These oils have healing properties. Olive oil contains antioxidants that restore dry and damaged hair. Jojoba oil acts as a good heat protectant. Almond oil is rich in vitamin B, which promotes healthy hair; it also helps to control frizz and moisturize dry hair.

WOW 10-in-1 Hair Oil

WOW 10-in-1 Hair Oil


The WOW 10-in-1 hair oil is a blend of conditioning oils such as olive oil, argan oil, jojoba oil, rosemary essential oil, and tea tree essential oil. These oils work very well in controlling frizz and preventing split-ends. They strengthen your hair follicles, reduce breakage and promote healthy hair growth.

WOW Hair Revitalizer Spray

WOW Hair Revitalizer Spray


If you have dry and damaged hair due to hair styling, you can use the WOW hair revitalizer spray to replenish your hair. This leave-in conditioner contains vitamin E, extra virgin olive oil, almond oil, bhringraj extracts, and other nourishing oils. It also contains shea butter and protein that smoothen your hair and help detangle it. 

Conclusion

Hot combs may be better than other hair straightening methods, but they can still damage your hair. So use them as rarely as possible and, to further prevent hair damage, make sure to add moisturizing & nourishing oils to your hair care routine. 

Sneha Chugh

Sneha is a law student and works as a freelancer. She has written content for various brands including upGrad, Bewakoof and more.

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Author: Sneha Chugh

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