Ask an Expert: Hot Combing/Pressing Your Hair

Question: I was wondering if hot combing would work for me so I tried it, however, the hot combing style doesn’t last on my hair for more than two days, my ends are also very resistant. Is it because it was done incorrectly or it needs to be done more frequently? My hair is typical African American hair however much more kinkier/dry than normal and relaxers easily damages it after many usages. Thanks a lot.

Hot Pressing CombAnswer: Hi. My goal in writing about hot combing is not to convince all black women that they need to wear their hair straight, it is simply to show another method of taking care of our hair without chemicals or synthetic hair. What I have found with hair straightening is that the products you use on your hair and the tools you use to press your hair really make a difference. Here are some tips that have worked for me:

1. The products that you use make a difference. I have gotten the best hair growth after I started using Northwest Scents products, because these are designed to be very moisturizing and gentle. My hair doesn’t press “bone” straight, but it is much softer and easier to detangle than it was before.

2. The tools that you use make a difference. If you choose to straighten your hair I recommend an electric pressing comb or a flat iron at a temperature that will gently straighten your hair, but not cause it to burn or to become permanently straight. For me that is setting 14 on my comb with 20 settings. Lately I have been experimenting with a flat iron. The flat iron will get your hair much straighter than the pressing comb, but you have to be really really really careful with it because it gets much hotter than the pressing comb, and I think it has a greater potential to do irreparable damage to the hair if it is used improperly. If you decide to experiment with a flat iron, please keep the temperature low.

3. The condition of your hair makes a difference. If you are trying to press hair that is in a weakened state from chemical relaxers or something else, you will not get the best results. You should first focus on nurturing your hair back to health, without chemicals, and then if you still want to press your hair, try it. I do not have any chemical treatments in my hair.

I hope I have answered your questions. If pressing doesn’t work out for you, don’t despair. Healthy black hair is beautiful both with its natural texture and straight. If you visit Natural Black Hair Care and click on the link titled “Natural Hair Styling Ideas” you will see what I’m talking about. The two pictures at the top are my mom and sister wearing their hair naturally. They have dry, kinky type hair too (my sister’s is softer than my hair or my mom’s).

-Ololade Franklin, My Black Hair Journey

Leave a Reply