Learning how to silk wrap your natural hair is a necessary skill if you love the look of straight hair without the damage that typically comes with it. At the beginning of your natural hair journey, this method may come to your attention because you’ve seen results on YouTube, Pinterest, and other social media platforms.
This is an excellent styling method for all African American hair textures. If you’ve ever been to the salon, you may have heard someone ask for a silk wrap on natural hair.
This post will help you get the look and feel from the comfort of home.
What is a Silk Wrap?
A silk wrap, simply put, is a way to straighten hair with less of the damaging effects of heat usage. If a woman wants her hair bone straight, she wants a silk wrap.
This is not only a natural hair phenomenon, but some women also perform a silk wrap on their relaxed hair too.
Silk Press vs. Silk Wrap
A silk wrap is a process that includes the use of saran wrap to lay the hair down. It is remarkably similar to the typical wrap methods women have been using for years.
However, this silk wrapping process is great if you’re trying to avoid a large amount of heat usage. Wrapping with saran wrap helps remove the curls that the roller set created while still giving your ends that ‘bump’ and body that you desire.
The minimal product usage makes your hair shine, yet still feels light.
I mentioned that you may hear people ask for a silk wrap at the hair salon. However, this is because it’s often confused with the silk press.
While the names are similar, unlike a silk wrap, a silk press is a method performed only on natural hair. To “silk press” relaxed hair means you are straightening with a flat iron.
A silk press is based on products as opposed to a process like a silk wrap. The key difference is there’s no saran wrap.
No grease or hot comb is used for a silk press to avoid any unnecessary weight on the hair. Most use specified, light-weight products for this process, followed by a blow dry and flat iron.
How Long Does a Silk Wrap Last?
A silk wrap can last however long you want it to, as long as you’re properly caring for it. The duration will depend on how you’re wrapping it up at night, your activity levels, and sometimes the weather can even be a determining factor in the length of time you can keep your hair straightened.
While this method will typically last longer than your average flat iron, you are the number one determinant in the success of the style.
How to Do a Silk Wrap
Doing a silk wrap isn’t nearly as hard as we perceive it to be. Some people think it can only be achieved by going to the salon. However, a silk wrap, unlike a silk press, is not as widely performed in salons.
Here are the steps to achieving silky, smooth hair from home:
- Clean Hair
- Deep Condition
- Light press & Roller Set
- Saran Wrap
- Take Down
- Wrap Hair
Start the process with clean hair. Many natural ladies aren’t shampooing their hair as often anymore, however, for this process, it’s recommended you remove all product buildup you may have the silkiest hair possible.
After your normal condition and rinse, rinse and condition one additional time. This time let the conditioner sit on your hair with a plastic cap or bag for 15-20 minutes.
During this phase, sit under a hood dryer if possible. If not possible, a portable inflatable dryer is the next best thing.
If neither is possible, tightly wrap your hair in a towel for about 30-45 minutes.
Straighten & Roller Set
Rinse all product out of your hair one final time. Towel dry your hair.
For black hair that’s curly or coily, follow your usual straightening routine, then roller set your hair. The purpose of the roller set after you’ve straightened is to give your hair the perfect ‘bump’ on your ends.
So, although your hair is already straight, you will want this step to give your style volume.
After you’ve roller set your hair, you should wrap it. Some people use the cross-wrapping method, however, for this step you should stick with a traditional wrap in one direction.
Once secure, add saran wrap around your head, attempting to keep the hair as flat as possible. Sit under the dryer for about another 20 minutes.
When you take your hair down, you will see your desired silk wrap. Enjoy it and be sure to maintain it.
Keep reading to find out how.
Sleeping with a Silk Wrap
At night time, it is important that you are using a hair wrapping method. Whether it’s cross-wrapping or a traditional wrap in one direction, it must be done.
I don’t recommend pinning your hair up in a clip or a ponytail. This will leave marks and/or add a deeper curl.
Silk scarves are just as important as the actual wrapping. Silk and satin are the only materials you should be using on your hair no matter what texture or style.
For this style, it is necessary that you use a scarf and not a hair bonnet because scarves are simply more secure. A necessity for straightened hair is security.
Silk wrap on relaxed/permed hair
If you want to complete this process on relaxed hair, which I highly recommend, then you would follow these exact same steps. The flat iron before the roller set is redundant since your hair is already straight.
Therefore, exclude the flat iron. This is an excellent opportunity to save yourself some heat usage.
Silk wrap on short hair
Having short hair should not deter you from using this method on your hair. While most of the steps remain the same, you may realize some challenges after you straighten your hair.
For starters, you’ll want to make sure that you have the right sized rollers for your roller set. You definitely do not want to end up with deep curls, choose a bigger (but still small) roller.
Wrapping can also get stressful with short hair. What’s the trick? Bobby pins! If you reach a point where your hair is falling add a bobby pin, continue wrapping, and add more as necessary.
Silk wrapping with a hand dryer
To silk wrap, your hair with a handheld dryer might seem impossible. However, it’s still feasible.
To do so, use a plastic cap (or bag if you don’t have caps) and put it on top of your saran wrapped hair. Find some way to prop up your handheld dryer, or you could just hold it yourself for the 20-minute duration.
You’ll also want to use this blow drying method when you deep condition your hair.
Silk Wrap your natural hair without a dryer
There are some very key steps in silk wrapping that require a dryer, either handheld or a hood dryer. Without having either, this alters your ability to deep condition, roller set, and saran wrap.
Deep conditioning is an easy fix because you can deep condition without heat or workout which will increase circulation. Saran wrapping your hair overnight will be the best alternative to using a dryer.
A roller set, however, may not get your desired result without heat.
Silk wrap your hair overnight
An overnight silk wrap would be a great way to ensure you’re getting all the benefits you can possibly get. This would be give you the sleekest, most ‘laid-down’ result.
Once you remove the saran wrap in the morning, you wouldn’t even have to follow the step of putting on a scarf until the next night. Have you tried this? Tell me about your experiences in the comments.
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.
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