Hot Comb

By: Ebony Flowers

Hot Comb offers a poignant glimpse into black women’s lives and coming-of-age stories as seen across a crowded, ammonia-scented hair salon while ladies gossip and bond over the burn. The titular “Hot Comb” is about a young girl’s first perm—a doomed ploy to look cool and stop seeming “too white” in the all-black neighborhood her family has just moved into. In “Virgin Hair,” taunts of “tender-headed” sting as much as the perm itself. “My Lil Sister Lena” shows the stress of being the only black player on a white softball team. Lena’s hair is the team curio, an object to be touched, a subject to be discussed and debated at the will of her teammates, leading Lena to develop an anxiety disorder of pulling her own hair out. Throughout Hot Comb, Ebony Flowers re-creates classic magazine ads idealizing women’s need for hair relaxers and products. “Change your hair form to fit your life form” and “Kinks and Koils Forever” call customers from the page.

Black-and-white illustrations.

ISBN: 9781770463486

JLG Release: Jul 2019

Sensitive Areas: Strong language, Racism, Domestic violence, Depiction of nudity
Topics: African Americans , Hair salons , Slice of life , Beauty standards , Graphic novels , Short story collections

$17.85  Member Price

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Graphic Novels High Plus

Grades 9 & Up

14 titles/year


Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Publishers Weekly*, Booklist

Book Details



First Release

July 2019



Dewey Classification


Trim Size

9" x 6 1/2"

Page Count


Accelerated Reader

Level 0; Points: 0;

Scholastic Reading Counts

Level 0; Points: 0;




Print Book




Drawn & Quarterly

Potentially Sensitive Areas

Strong language, Racism, Domestic violence, Depiction of nudity


African Americans, Hair salons, Slice of life, Beauty standards, Graphic novels, Short story collections,

Standard MARC Record

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Cover Art

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