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Since before Sarah Breedlove was the first female self-made millionaire, women have toiled with the coarseness of their hair. It was her discovery of an unknown French cosmetic tool that launched a new wave of beauty for American women who desired smoother tresses. Having gone through more than 100 years of wavering popularity, the hot comb is back as a preferred straightening technique of more women who still want the joys of rocking the "natural."
Go From Kinky Curly to Smooth and Shiny
Wash and condition the hair. A clean head is essential to have the hair pressed. A hot comb provides a stressful amount of heat, which inherently weakens the tresses. It's imperative to remove all external buildup before applying a rigorous amount of heat. If dirt, dandruff and buildup are pressed into the tresses it will cause irreparable breakage. A strengthening conditioner will fortify the tresses to undergo the hot comb.
Blow-dry the hair with a jumbo or rake comb. This technique prepares the hair to undergo the hot comb. It untangles without the hard pull on the scalp and preheats the tresses to prevent shock and breakage.
Condition the scalp with a non-petrolatum-based moisturizer. Despite popular belief, petrolatum hair grease does not moisturize the hair. It sits on the scalp blocking air and moisture from penetrating the pores. It's important to moisturize the scalp to prevent long-term itching.
Part the hair into four sections with the jumbo comb. Use a tie to section off the hair. As the hair is pressed one section at a time, the rest of the hair will not interfere or become tangled.
Place the hot comb in the iron stove for about seven minutes. Do not have the hot comb in the stove for more than ten minutes. A strenuous amount of heat will cause immediate burn breakage.
Part a small section of hair (about a finger's length and width) at the back left or right side of the head with a rat tail comb and apply a fingertip full of pressing oil to the scalp. The pressing oil is for the tresses more so than the scalp. It is meant to serve as a strengthening barrier against rigorous heat.
Remove the hot comb from the iron stove and place on a damp face towel for about three seconds to cool. Use the hot comb to press the small parted section of hair. Start at about three centimeters away from the scalp and comb through the hair.
Repeat steps five through seven until the entire head of hair is pressed.
- If the hot comb is not immediately cooled after it's pulled from the stove it will burn the tresses off.
- Placing the hot comb too close to the scalp can cause the pressing oil to burn the scalp.
- Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images