The History of the Hot Comb. Feel Free to Say Ouch at Any Time!

4 Sep

Now Honestly,  I’ve probably only had a hot comb used in my hair three times.  But that was enough!  Each time I swore my hair was frying and I’d have to settle for resembling the Cynthia doll from the Rugrats for the rest of my life!  But believe it or not, this invention wasnt discovered by Black- American women.  Most of you that really know your natural hair history are probably gonna get this right on point.   It was discovered by the Europeans, the French to be exact!!!!  There is a misconception that the hot comb was invented by Madam C.J. Walker, the first self-made African-American millionaire. In all actuality, the tool was used by French women in 1845 who were trying to replicate the styles worn by the ancient Egyptians ( hmmm how ironic).  The comb was actually sold in Sears and Bloomingdales to the American public in the 1800’s.  However when Madam C.J. Walker received a patent for the hot comb,  she redesigned it giving it wide spaced teeth so that it could better accommodate thicker hair of various textures.  Hot combs were a significant improvement from the older methods used by African- Americans during slavery to straighten hair.  Back then they used to use axle grease, heated butter knives and homemade lye.   That’s how It came to  be in the black community.  The actual inventor of the hot comb is still unknown.  Take a gander at this!

Way to boost the self-esteem huh? Not!  In 1968 Dr. Christopher Papa  released a study that stated hot combs had caused inflammation and scarring to the scalps of most Black American women.  They labeled this “hot comb alopecia” and said that it was the combination of petroleum and excess heat from hot combs that lead to the burning and scarring of the scalp causing this condition.  Lesson of the day and of our lives ladies!  Love yourself!  Dark skin, light skin, wavy curls and tight curls.  Just learn to be happy with you!  Apparently trying to change would just be extremely costly and unbearably painful.  At the end of the day you are who you are!  Dont just learn to be satisfied with it, learn to be PROUD of it!!!


3 Responses to “The History of the Hot Comb. Feel Free to Say Ouch at Any Time!”

  1. comfort ck September 4, 2010 at 2:19 pm #

    woow i never knew this i thought madam cj walker invented it. it is funny how some black people will endure all these pains just to look white or hispanic by skn bleachin, perms, weaves etc

  2. PrissyKryssi September 6, 2010 at 6:43 pm #


  3. nakitabenjamin September 7, 2010 at 5:00 am #

    I hate hot combs, they too hursh to the hair to causes split ends. And man I remember how I got burned in the back 6 years ago with those hot combs. My mom dropped it on me by mistake and it I got a serious burn, thats how hot it is.

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