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Hot Comb vs Flat Iron: Which One Should I Buy?

Taking care of your hair is a process unique to you. Through trial and error, we try new methods to style our hair the way we see best. But, it is important to know what is healthy for your hair, and what could be harmful.

You may use various materials for styling your hair. Through our experience, we’ve taken out some of the guesswork for you. This article will be an analysis of the hot comb vs flat iron to help you determine which one works best for you and your hair type.


Hot Comb

hot hair combs

Hot combs are specifically designed to straighten coarse hair and leave behind a smoother texture. By straightening out hair from its roots and using heat, it is a fast and efficient tool that you can use to tame your hair.


Types of Hot Combs

hot comb type

The first type of hot comb available is known as a manual pressing comb, or a stove-iron pressing comb. Not as commonly used today as it was decades ago, this hot comb is heated on a stove before use.

The second type of hot comb is the electric pressing comb. Used more often, it uses electricity to heat up, making it much faster in the heating process. Most models have a heat recovery system, minimizing heat damage to your hair.


Best Hair Types for Hot Combs

The hot comb is best for thin to medium-density hair, as it works most effectively against smaller sizes and amounts of hair. Hot comb can certainly work against longer, high-density hair, but it would take a few brushes to work as effectively.

They are not recommended for curly hair due to the tooth comb composition, which can damage the hair. They work great on hair sensitive to heat damage.


What to Watch out For

Hot Comb Buying

When using a hot comb, you should first know which heat setting will work best for you. Different heat settings apply mainly to different types of hair. However, some hot combs are not designed for all types of hair, and therefore you should check the packaging to see what the hot comb is designed for.

Manual pressing combs are not recommended if getting your hair done promptly is essential to your routine. Heating up in an electric pressing comb can take as little as 30 seconds, while a manual pressing comb will take a few minutes to heat up.

Finally, there is a risk of heat damage or even burning from hot combs, especially in manual pressing combs. Therefore, it is recommended that you apply heat protectant before using the comb while also keeping the device away from your scalp.


Flat Iron

flat iron

Flat irons, just like hot combs, are used for straightening hair. They are composed of two heated plates that press together to straighten out the locks of hair. Specifically, this happens due to the breaking down of the positive hydrogen bonds in the hair. Flat irons are best for thick, untamed hair.

Flat irons are widely more common today due to their modern design. They do not require an external source of heating, as all you need to do is plug them in and start straightening your hair. While they heat up faster than a manual pressing comb, they do not heat up as quickly as an electric pressing comb.


Types of Flat Irons

Flat irons can come in a variety of different materials with the top three types:

Many flat irons contain ceramic located somewhere in their composition, such as their coating, while more efficient models have plates entirely composed of ceramic. However, there are flat irons that are composed of titanium.

If you need more heat for your hair type, then titanium flat irons would be the ideal way to go. If you do not need as much heat, then ceramic is the proper flat iron composition for your hair. Ceramic flat irons can be better for the health of your hair, since they heat the hair gently and evenly.

Titanium flat irons work best on thicker hair that can withstand more heat, while ceramic flat irons work best on thinner hair.

If you’re still confused, read our article on ceramic vs titanium vs tourmaline hair straighteners.


Things to Watch out For


Though safer than a manual pressing hot comb due to its electrical source, heat damage is still a substantial risk when using a flat iron. Therefore, you must know which flat iron works best and how to use it.

Flat irons may be made for specific hair types or multiple hair types. Overall, hot combs and ceramic flat irons are much softer on the locks of hair than titanium flat irons.

When looking at the differences between a hot comb and a flat iron, it is easy to see that both items work well, but they each have their specific strengths and weaknesses depending on your hairstyle.



Overall, the difference between the hot comb and flat iron choice should come down to what you personally prefer and what works best for your hairstyle. If all you are looking for is to save time, using an electric pressing comb is best as it heats up quickly and does not require you to divide your hair into sections, unlike the flat iron.

If you are dealing with expansive, untamed hair, then a flat iron works best for you. If you are dealing with less expansive, finer hair, then a hot comb works best for you.

Both items do get the job done; the only question remains: What do you want to do with your hair?


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