Hot Comb vs Flat Iron – Which Can Give me the Best Straightened Hair?

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Hot Comb vs Flat Iron

Nowadays, every girl seems to be straightening their hair. Either you want to feel extra or it’s just part of your regular routine, sleek straight hair seems to be still in. 

And women often use a hot comb or a flat iron to straighten their locks. Some girls have these two hot tools. Since both offer some edge over the other, might as well have the complete arsenal right?

But what if you don’t have the budget to buy both? Hot comb vs flat iron-which is better for straightening your hair? We’ll dabble a bit on what makes a hot comb better than a flat iron. And we’ll also discuss what makes a flat iron superior over a hot comb. So keep your eyes glued so you know which hot tool will best serve your needs.

What is a Hot Comb?

Hot combs work similarly as a flat iron. But instead of plates, the teeth of the combs are heated. And since the teeth of the comb can reach the hair near the roots, the result is a flatter straightened hair.

There are two types of hot combs, a manual or stove hot comb and an electric one. The manual hot comb requires you to briefly run the comb over a stove to get the heat. But nowadays, electric hot combs are used rather than manual ones. You simply plug the device in and choose your desired temperature.

What are Flat Irons?

Flat irons straighten curly hair with the use of heated plates. And these plates help you straighten your locks with ease. And depending on the brand, some flatirons can give you a sleeker look while other brands may give you more volume.

So are Hot Combs Better Than Flat Irons?

Since hot combs can get near the roots, does it mean they are better hot tools for straightening your hair? Well, it depends!!

Let’s compare these two hot tools side by side. We’ll list the pros and cons so you can choose the best tool for straightening your locks.

  1. Experience 
  • Hot combs may give you a sleeker and flatter look. But the downside is, it requires a certain level of expertise so you can efficiently and safely use a hot comb on your hair. Otherwise, the comb can tangle between your hair strands. And since there’s pulling of the hair involved, it can traumatize your hair. 
  • But if you’re a pro already and if you want a flatter straightened hair, it’s a great choice. Though it might not straighten coarse hair efficiently. You might need several passes to be able to smoothen out African hair.
  • Flat irons, the other hand can be used even by beginners. You just glide your tresses along with the plates, so it normally doesn’t require any learning curve. And if you have coarse hair, you can choose titanium plates which can straighten coarse kinky hair. The downside is, flat irons can heat up quickly, so you have to be careful to not scorch your hair. 

2. Hot combs have more risk of scorching your scalp

  • Since hot combs require expert hands you dare not use it if it’s your first time to straighten your hair. Since the teeth of the combs can really get close to the scalp, there’s a high risk of burning your scalp if you don’t know how to use it properly.
  • Flat irons, on the other hand, involve less risk of scorching your scalp. And if you have sensitive fragile hair, you can always go for ceramic plates. This material is more gentle for your hair.
  • But if you still want that flatter straightened hair, you can always use a hot comb. Just make sure to buy one with heat settings. And of course, practice makes perfect. Maybe practice on a low heat setting so that you won’t compromise your scalp and hair.

3. Price

  • Hot combs are essentially cheaper than flat irons. You can get a cheap hot comb at only 10 dollars. While the cheapest flat iron might cost around 50 dollars.

4. Features

 In this department, the flat iron will surely bag the award. 

  • Though there are electric hot combs that have several attachments, it still is inferior compared to the versatility of flat irons. Flat irons may come in different sizes. And there are brands with tapered ends. So aside from straightening your hair, you can also use hair irons to create lovely curls. 

The varying plate sizes also mean varying curly styles. If you’re a skilled one, you might not even need a hair curler!

5. Hair technologies

In terms of advanced hair technologies, these two hot tools ranked side by side.

  • Flat irons are equipped with innovations that can make it a very versatile tool. The plates can be made from a variety of materials. From ceramic, titanium, or tourmaline plates, you’re sure to find the perfect one for your hair needs. 
  • Hair irons also have hair technologies such as FAR infrared and ionic technology. These ensure that your hair won’t dry up. 
  • Hot combs, on the other hand, are catching up. From its old fashioned manual stove hot combs, hot combs are also evolving into a more convenient tool. There are electric hot combs infused with new hair technologies. And some also have variable heat settings like flat irons. So you can also find the sweet spot for your hair condition.

6. Your hair type

  • If you’re using it properly, hot combs may be gentler on your tresses than the flat iron. Unless you’re using ceramic hair irons, it’s best to use hot combs if you have delicate and colored hair. Titanium can be too hot and damaging to your fine tresses.
  • And even though hot combs can result in a flatter hairstyle, that would be possible for those with thin to medium density hair. And coarse hair tends to be more pliable for styling when used with a flat iron, specifically titanium plates. 

7. Time

  • Hot combs can heat up fast. But you might need to take several passes to get a straighter finish. And you also have to prep your hair. Tangles should be brushed first so that you won’t burn your hair.
  • Flat irons can heat up fast too. And with the best brands, you might need just a single pass to straighten your hair. So that saves you up on time.

How to Use a Hot Comb

We’ve listed a simple guide on how you should use a hot comb.

  1. Wash your hair first. We need to start on a clean slate. So rinse your hair from any products or residue build-up.
  2. Dry your hair thoroughly. You can’t use a hot comb on wet hair, it can lead to the weakening of the hair strands.
  3. Run a brush to remove any tangles.
  4. Don’t forget to apply a heat protectant.
  5. Before you use a hot comb, run a plastic comb on your hair first. This is to make sure that there aren’t any tangles. Step number 3 might not suffice. Any tangles might lead to the burning of your hair.
  6. Divide your hair into smaller sections. You may use clips to secure them.
  7. If you’re using a manual hot comb, heat it over the stove for 30 seconds
  8. Test it on a tissue lapper. If it folds, it’s too hot and can damage your hair. Cool it down a bit.
  9. Comb through each section as you would with a plastic comb.
  10. You can place the comb near the scalp but don’t let it touch your scalp.
  11. Hold the end of your hair taut with one hand. And with the comb on the other hand, gently pull the comb down until you’ve reached the end.
  12. Repeat if necessary. Be careful when touching your hot combed hair. You may use protective gloves too.
  13. Once you feel that the comb has lost its heat, run it over the stove briefly and do the same tissue test again.
  14. Now, if you’re using an electric comb, it;’s much easier. Just plug it in and choose the temperature for your hair type.
  15. As soon as it’s ready, do the same process as you would with a manual hot comb.
  16. Hot combs often result in a flatter hairstyle. But if you want to add a bit of volume, use the comb with the teeth facing upwards instead. 

What are Hair Straightening Brushes?

What about hair straightening brushes? Are they the same as a hot comb? Or even better?

Hair straightening brushes function in a similar way to hair irons. They also contain a hot plate that heats up. But the difference is straightening brushes doesn’t have direct contact with your hair. So since there isn’t any direct heat contact, it can be gentler to your hair.

Hair straightening brushes are a great alternative to flat irons, especially if you have damaged and compromised hair already. Here are several advantages of hair straightening brushes:

  • Gentler on damaged hair
  • Cheaper
  • Prevents frizz
  • Better for everyday used compared to flat irons
Hair Straightening Brush

Hair Straightening Brush vs Flat Iron- Which is Better?

So since there is less damage with a hair straightener, is it better?

Straightening brushes are indeed a great alternative to flat irons. But it does come with some compromise. Yes, it’s gentler and safer for everyday use. But it works well for those with already fine or medium density hair. And if you have coarse, unruly, and stubborn hair, it might take you an hour to straighten your hair.

The heat may not be enough to straighten kinky hair. And straightening brushes relatively takes up much time. 

Also, flat irons are more versatile hot tools. They can be used for curling too. But straightening brushes can give a quick retouch to your already straightened locks. It can also add more volume to your hair. 

Hot Combs, Straightening Brushes, or Flat Iron- Which is The Best?

That depends on your hair needs. Hair irons are more versatile and have more innovative technologies and features. The downside is it can be more damaging to your hair. Especially if you’re not using the suitable material and temperature for your hair type. But it can do wonders for coarse and stubborn hair.

 Hot combs, on the other hand, works best for those with fine and medium density hair. And it will also give you a flatter straightened hairstyle.

Straightening brushes work in a similar way like flat irons, with less heat and less damaging. It’s a great alternative if you have delicate or compromised hair. But you might not be able to achieve that sleek straight hair as you would with a flat iron. Plus you have to devote more time styling your hair.

You may also like: Best Flat Iron for Thick Hair


Is a hot comb bad for your hair?

When used properly, hot combs are gentler to hair compared to flat irons. Provided that you don’t pull your hair and you know how to work it, your hair will be fine.

Is it okay to use hot combs every day?

Yes, when used properly they are more suitable for daily use. There isn’t any direct heat contact with hair, so it’s less damaging.

How can I make hair less damaging to the heat?

One, buy the best brand with advanced hair technologies. Two, choose the proper heat setting for your hair type. And three, use a hair protectant.


Straightened hair will never go out of style. So investing in the best thot tools can make you look like a million bucks without too much effort. Think of all the salon trips you’ll be saving. But choosing the right hot tools is dependent on your skills and hair needs. 
Hot comb vs flat iron- which is better? We’ve rounded off the pros and cons of each hot tool. So just choose whichever fits your hair needs!

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