For 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*.