The Comb Chase Method For Flat Ironing Your Hair

Afro-American young woman with afro hairFor years, black women have sought out ways to alter the natural curl pattern of our hair.

Be it by brandishing the 19th century hair tong invented by Marcel Grateau to whipping up concoctions at a dinner table or applying our Vigorol, we have always found a way to “tame” the mane either to satisfy the expectations of a selective society or to suit our own ideals.

I look back now and muse at how enthralled I was with the idea of having the bone straight, sleek look. I had friends whose parents would routinely employ the use of straightening combs (a practice I learned much later in life, was the cause of much panic and sheer terror at the site of a hot comb).

But being Christian, to mom, meant going back to God happily nappy so she was not having any of that stuff. How I envied those girls.

So I raked a soldering iron I found among my uncle’s tools and achieved the bone straight look I had been salivating over.

I was a new woman! ( never mind that I hadn’t heard of heat protectant and had fried my hair in the process). I was pleased with my results alright, except it stayed fried for five months and only wispy reminders of my once bushy shock of hair remained.

Needless to say, I’ve learned a thing or two about the importance of using the right tools plus the absolute necessity of heat protectant and more so, moderation in the use of heat.


Thankfully, we now have the comb chase method for flat ironing hair to ensure that we achieve the desired straight styles without damaging our hair when we want to switch things up a bit.

What is the comb chase method for flat ironing your hair?

Simply put, it is the process by which you run a fine or moderate tooth comb through your hair simultaneously along  with a flat iron.

Essentially, you place a rat tail comb or a specialized chase comb, in-front of the flat iron to provide tension that will help stretch your hair while you straighten it.

Yes, it may take some practice at first trying to coordinate both hands, not everyone is ambidextrous. Having said that there are specialized tools like the Instyler or Hydratherma Naturals Flat Iron Chase Comb that are made for just that!

Several of our curl friends on YouTube swear by this method and you really do not need to get extra equipment (unless you really need the specialized tools) as long as you have a flat iron and a fine/moderate teeth comb .

Both naturals and relaxed ladies can benefit from the method because it allows you to get a smooth finish with fewer passes of the flat iron.

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About Marsha Buchanan


As a Jamaican girl raised in a devout church family headed by my mother, I have always had my natural hair, no chemical processing. After years of mistreating it , often ignorant of that fact, I began my healthy hair journey in January 2013 in fact, I have seen to it that my entire household falls in line where this is concerned. When I am not poring over some hair blog or forum I spend my time teaching English to rowdy high school students (ok maybe I have some little sweethearts in the mix), mothering the most adorable two year old on this globe, or rushing to meet the deadline for a writing project on Elance. In my spare time I enjoy a stroll along the beach with my doting husband.

About Marsha Buchanan


As a Jamaican girl raised in a devout church family headed by my mother, I have always had my natural hair, no chemical processing. After years of mistreating it , often ignorant of that fact, I began my healthy hair journey in January 2013 in fact, I have seen to it that my entire household falls in line where this is concerned. When I am not poring over some hair blog or forum I spend my time teaching English to rowdy high school students (ok maybe I have some little sweethearts in the mix), mothering the most adorable two year old on this globe, or rushing to meet the deadline for a writing project on Elance. In my spare time I enjoy a stroll along the beach with my doting husband.

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Kay Dané

I tried this method the other day & it works like a charm. Too bad the style didn’t last long on my hair due to other reasons

Nikki Ontothenextone

No Heat

Jan Lewis

No heat yet for me…14 months and counting…

Tanya Pittman- Tory

Strictly no Heat

Sammie Time

I’m scared of heat directly applied to my hair!

Janika LaNelle James

I use tons of heat protectant and the comb chase method whenever I flat iron/press my hair.

Tantan McIntosh

Strickly no heat for over 10 years

LeeNette Skinner

I must try!

Tamika Murrell

I’ve had my hair flat ironed once in the five years I’ve been natural. I didn’t care for it.

Aujenea Evans

The urge to wet it and get my curls back is way strong lol it’s never worth the time it takes to do it smh

Yvette Martin

Now that I am using “As I Am” hair care line, for the first time, I think I will no longer be using heat. Haven’t felt the urge.

Pearl Cole
Pearl Cole

Which of the As I Am hair products work best for you. I’m 1 year in and still struggle with finding the right products to make my hair look healthy. Just today I thought about using the heat method since I’m not happy with the look However, I surely don’t wont to make a mistake doing that.

LaTanya Carter

No heat…not worth the risk.

Juanita Shamily- Young

NO HEAT.

Hawa Bah

I like ur hair my darling!

Datdivalatina Harris

No Heat for this chick

Tanya Wilks

I get my hair professionally flat ironed once or every two months with no heat in between.

Michelle Nesbeth

I am strictly no heat. Air dry all the way.

Amber Sofly Carlisle

For now I am on a no heat challenge

Shameka Lovesjoshorielandilleana LeDuff

No heat never been a fan of straight hair anyway. Love my hair big & bold

Jazzy Jae Lewis

I am strictly no heat at the moment. But I would love a hooded dryer.

Aujenea Evans

Flat iron ev 6 months with aloe Vera juice (frizz control) and coconut oil (protectant)

Nick Nicholson

I def do and it looks great. It still never damages my curls

Aryka LadyDimples Clayborne

No heat at all!!

Kim Eddins

I swear by this method….one pass…350 degrees on my unrelaxed hair does the trick….I dont straighten often…but when I do…this works for me.

Michelle Nesbeth

I use heat indirectly only for deep conditioning.

Christina Miller

I do now. I have never heard of this method until I saw it on the Steve Harvey show during a hair care segment earlier this year. It is awkward at first but once you get the hang of it, you will notice a difference in the smoothness of your hair.

Kenyella White

I just brought an instyler figured its less work

Ni-Ni Henderson

Sometimes. Looks great when I do.

ceemzee

I use this method when I want super straight hair, it works really well for me.