If you’re looking to straighten your mane, you might be wondering how to do a silk press on natural hair. There are various straightening terms that are used in the natural hair community, and it can get pretty confusing what they all mean.
The good news is that you can straighten your hair with minimal damage if you follow a few precautions. Natural hair is stronger than relaxed hair because it is free of chemical damage. That means your natural hair is much less likely to become further damaged when you apply heat.
In this post, you’ll find out exactly what a silk press is, and you’ll learn how to do one properly on your natural coils.
What is a Silk Press?
A silk press is a way of straightening the hair using a flat iron. Silk pressing is more modern and convenient than pressing with the traditional hot comb.
However, the results can be just as silky and smooth as the traditional press if you use the right techniques.
Does Silk Press Damage Your Hair?
A silk press raises the likelihood that your hair will become damaged, but the heat will not automatically damage your hair.
You can give your hair a chance to be healthy and free of damage by taking some precautions.
- Use a Heat Protectant. You should routinely avoid silicones, except when using heat on your hair. Silicones will form a hard layer around each strand to protect it.
- Use a moderate heat setting. The best temperature range for thick 4c hair is 350-400 degrees Fahrenheit. If your hair is thin or fine, you may want to stick with a lower range of 300-350 degrees Fahrenheit. Avoid using a high temperature as it could cause the water inside your hair’s cortex to boil. Never turn the temperature beyond 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Try One Pass Only. Each time you pass the iron through the hair, the strands become hotter. Try doing one carefully planned pass. The hair has less potential to become damaged than it would with several hasty passes.
Hair doesn’t only have the potential to become damaged from direct heat. Adding heat to hair can cause it to become dryer than normal, especially if you’re trying to avoid water and reversion.
Silk Press Pros and Cons
If you’re thinking about doing a silk press, you’re probably researching silk press pros and cons. Your hair type will make a big difference.
Silk Press on Natural Hair. Healthy natural hair should be able to withstand a few silk presses per year if you follow the above recommendations.
Silk Press on Transitioning Hair. It isn’t a good idea to do the silk press on transitioning hair because the strands could break at the point where relaxed hair meets the natural. Wait until your hair grows out or do the big chop and then wear your silk press on short natural hair. Are you looking for modern and stylish silk press hairstyles for short hair? Try a pixie cut!
Silk Press on Relaxed Hair. It’s not necessary to do a silk press on relaxed hair because it is already straight. Relaxed hair bonds are weakened, so it’s best not too further stress your strands. Opt for rollers or wrap your hair each night to maintain the straightness.
How to do a Silk Press
If you’re thinking about going to the salon, you might wonder, how much is a silk press? Salon prices for a silk press range from $40 to $60 per visit depending on your hair length. If it’s over your budget, you might try doing it yourself.
You can buy a silk press kit for natural hair that features protective silk press natural hair products. After further research a lot of the products on the market have mixed reviews, so you might just want to buy individual bottles of your favorite products instead.
Here’s how to do the silk press at home:
- Shampoo your hair with a sulfate-free clarifying shampoo to clear the strands of product buildup. Kinky Curly Come Clean is an excellent clarifying shampoo.
- Condition your hair with your favorite moisturizing conditioner.
- Detangle your hair with your fingers, and then with a wide tooth comb.
- Apply a leave-in conditioner and make sure your hair is completely free of tangles.
- Dry your hair with a blow dryer, make sure the setting is on medium heat with maximum air flow.
- Apply a thermal protectant cream or spray throughout the hair.
- Divide your hair into large sections and clip back with alligator clips.
- Heat your flat iron to a temperature range of 350 to 400 degrees for thick hair, or 300-350 for fine, thin hair. Are you looking for the best flat iron for silk press? Try the Kipozi Titanium Straightener which has wide plates for big, curly hair and a digital temperature reader. It’s an excellent choice for a silk press straightener.
- Section off a small layer of hair and with the use of a rat tail and pass the flat iron over your hair once. This is called the chasing method.
- Continue flat ironing in small sections until your entire head is done.
You won’t need to use a heavy silk press oil but using a light shine serum will help keep your silk press looking great.
How Long Does a Silk Press Last?
If you’ve never tried a silk press, you’re bound to ask how long does a silk press last on natural hair?
A silk press can last for up to two weeks if you take care of it. Natural hair reverts when wet, so you’ll need to keep it away from water. Even hot steam from the shower can cause your hair to revert and frizz.
Silk press maintenance at night will help it last longer too. Wrapping your straightened hair and tying it with a silk scarf at night is essential.
To wrap, part your hair on one side and wrap the hair all the way around your head. Use a boar bristle brush to smooth your hair around your head this will eliminate the need for clips or bobby pins. Then cover it with a silk scarf.
How often should you get a silk press? To obtain healthy natural hair, try to limit flat iron usage to only 3-5 times (or less) per year.
What are the Alternatives to the Silk Press?
It’s good to research and see what else you can do to straighten your hair besides doing the silk press. Use this guide to figure out which one to get for your hair.
Silk Press Vs. Blowout. Silk Press uses the flat iron, and the blowout uses a blow dryer. The biggest difference between these two natural hairstyles is the look. The silk press gets the hair bone straight and the blowout has more volume.
Silk Press Vs. Flat Iron. To silk press is to flat iron. They are the same. Flat ironing is just a modern way of doing a press.
Silk Press Vs. Silk Wrap. Silk press and silk wrap sound similar, but they are quite different. A silk press uses a heat protectant and a flat iron. A silk wrap uses a moisturizing product, light serum, saran wrap, and a hooded dryer. The silk wrap minimizes heat.
Silk Press Vs. Relaxer. A silk press is usually only done on natural hair. A relaxer is done on natural hair too, but it involves the use of chemicals to make the hair straight.
Silk Press Vs. Press. Silk press is a new term invented to describe flat ironing. Press refers to the traditional method of using a hot comb to straighten the hair.
Silk Press Vs. Keratin Treatment. While a silk press lasts for two weeks, a keratin treatment can last for up to four months. When the keratin treatment wears off, you’ll need another treatment. However, many keratin treatments contain formaldehyde releasers and are carcinogenic.
If you like to wear your hair straight as a natural, the modern silk press might be perfect for you. If you follow the recommended healthy practices and maintain it well, it could become a great addition to your natural hair journey.
Have you tried the silk press on natural hair? If so, comment below your experience.
Hey Curl Friend, I’m Patrina Haupt the creator and author of Natural Hair Queen. I hope you find my healthy hair care tips helpful in your hair journey. Healthy hair care practices are definitely, what helped me to achieve waist length hair.