Silk presses have become a styling favorite for naturals. It’s a way to have straight hair without the chemicals of a perm. I don’t silk press my hair very often, maybe once a year since I prefer my hair in its naturally curly state. The last time I silk pressed my hair was last spring (shown below). But just because it’s not a style I rock very often or that I haven’t created a tutorial on that doesn’t mean that we can’t talk about what it is, the steps it takes to get one and how to maintain it.
What is a silk press
It’s a new version of the old-fashioned press and comb but for natural hair. Instead of applying greasy products then hot combing, which will leave your hair stiff and weighed down, a silk press utilizes a flat iron to straighten the hair.
Press and comb vs. silk press
With a traditional press and comb, you need to add a lot of grease and heat resulting in bone straight hair with very little movement. But with a silk press, you can achieve the very same result but with less heat, grease and more movement.
How long does the press last
The average silk press can last between seven to ten days depending on how active you are in your daily life. It can last a little longer with the proper maintenance between pressings. But I would not recommend going any longer than twelve days.
How do you maintain a silk press
- Keep your hair away from water, steam or sweat as it will revert back to its natural curl.
- Wrap your hair in a silk scarf each night to keep the hair protected.
- Avoid adding additional heat to your hair. Look for non-heat ways to achieve curls like pin curling.
- Lay off adding excessive product. You want to keep your hair bouncy and flowy and that won’t happen if your hair is weighed down.
Can a silk press damage your hair?
Yes, if done incorrectly by applying excessive heat, like flat ironing the same section of hair over and over. But a correctly done silk press using the right amount of heat will not damage your hair.
Before you start the silk press process here are two major tips:
Tip 1: When doing a silk press it’s all about clean hair! Shampoo (at least twice) and condition as you normally would but choose a lightweight leave-in. Like Design Essentials HCO spray. It brings your hair back to pH balance and has a built-in heat protectant. Which makes going straight into your blow out super easy!
Tip 2: ALWAYS use a heat protecting holding spray. Check out Kenra. It provides a great shine and hold with a ton of movement. And when you’re getting a silk press movement is key.
For silk presses, I recommend going to a stylist so you, 1. don’t give yourself heat damage, 2. ruin your curl pattern due to too much heat, and 3. get it styled the way you saw it online. But, you can always do it yourself by following these steps:
Step 1: Wash 2x and condition. Use a clarifying shampoo to make sure the hairs are clean and remember to use a lightweight leave-in.
Step 2: Deep condition. The real MVP of a great silk press is moisture. Don’t skip this step.
Step 3: Apply heat protectant. This will protect the health of your hair. Heat damage is not your friend.
Step 4: Blow your hair out. If you need help blowing your natural hair I have a tutorial that will help.
Step 5: Apply a light oil serum for shine and bounce.
Step 6: Flat iron your hair. Work patiently in small thin sections. You want to make sure the flat iron will distribute heat evenly.
Step 7: Trim your hair. Getting rid of those split ends makes a world of difference in getting your hair to fall the way you want.
Here are some tips and tricks to keeping your natural hair moisturized so you silk presses can be flawless
Have you ever had a silk press? Share in the comments below your thoughts on it. Don’t forget to share your silk press photos with us on social using #TMABlog.
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