According to Details Magazine, the invention of the first straightening comb is attributed to Frenchman Marcel Grateau, an innovative hairdresser who created hot irons. The Marcel wave hairstyle that features rows of styled waves is named after him.
Madam C.J. Walker and Annie Turnbo Malone are two African American hair care pioneers that are erroneously credited with inventing the straightening comb. During the late 1800s and early 1900s, both women achieved great success from selling a hair straightening system. These systems featured hair preparations and styling tools that made straightening kinky hair easier. Madam Walker's system was so popular that she achieved wide acclaim.