How to Silk Press Natural Hair
A silk press is a straightening technique that doesn't require chemicals. Deep conditioning makes the process easier, and choosing a good quality flat iron means you can do small sections in one pass, minimizing heat damage. Because this style is done through heat instead of chemicals, maintain it by keeping it away from moisture and wrapping it up at night.
Washing and Moisturizing Your Hair
Shampoo your hair twice with clarifying shampoo, then once with moisturizing shampoo.Before beginning, you need to remove all the dirt and oil from your hair. Lather in a clarifying shampoo and rinse it out, and then repeat the process to ensure your hair is thoroughly clean.Then, shampoo your hair with a moisturizing shampoo to hydrate it and keep it from feeling dry.
Condition your hair.Using a wash-out conditioner is important because it helps add moisture back to your hair. Lather the conditioner in well, and then rinse until the water runs clear.
- Choose a conditioner made specifically for hair pressing. These conditioners have added silk to smooth out your hair.
- Steam the conditioner in if you can, meaning you leave the conditioner in for about 20 minutes while applying steam. At home, use the heat coming up from a hot shower to help steam it. If you don't want to stand in the shower, wrap your hair with a towel for 20 minutes, which helps the conditioner set in.
Add a leave-in conditioner.A leave-in conditioner adds moisture to your hair, and it also helps protect against heat damage from the flat press. Separate your hair into sections, and spray it in before blow drying each area.Alternatively, use argan oil instead of a leave-in conditioner.
Straightening Your Hair
Blow out your hair.While blow drying each section, comb or brush it out at the same time. Get your hair as straight as possible before you start using the flatiron, so the flatiron doesn't have to do as much work. Doing so prevents heat damage.
- If your blow dryer has a pick attachment, feel free to use it.
Add a small amount of thermal protectant cream.If you're particularly worried about heat damage, a protectant cream can help. Use a small amount (about a pea size) of the cream. Rub into your hands first, and then apply it to your hair. It helps to comb or brush it in afterwards.
Divide your hair into large sections.Clip back most of your hair so it doesn't get in the way while you're using the flatiron. Try clipping up both sides, as well as the top and the back. Only work with 1 section at a time.
Pull out a inch (0.64 cm) layer.On 1 side of the head, pull out the very bottom part of your hair. Use a comb or clip to make a line across the bottom so you get an even layer. Create a very thin layer of hair, so you only need to run the flatiron over it once.
Run it through the flat iron.Gather your hair together. Close the flat iron over your hair as close to the head as possible. Gently pull the iron down over your hair at a medium pace. Don't yank it through, but don't go so slow that you burn your hair. Run the iron all the way to the tips. Let that section hang down.
- Set your flat iron to 300–400 °F (149–204 °C).
- Give your hair 1 pass only to avoid heat damage. Place a rat tail comb beneath the flat iron as you run it down the length of the hair to get it super straight with 1 pass.
Move up the section.As you finish each layer, move up a layer in the section. Iron each layer, and then let it join the other hair at the bottom. Keep going up until you've done all the hair in that section.
Flatiron the rest of your hair.Moving section by section, use the flat iron over all of the hair Don't forget to go layer by layer, so you're only working on a small amount of hair at once.
Taking Care of Your Hairdo
Wrap it in a silk scarf at night.Start by brushing out your hair. Then, wrap a scarf around your hair in a circular motion until it’s no longer hanging down. A paddle brush is helpful for this technique. Tie your hair up in a scarf before you go to sleep each night.
Skip the shampoo.To maintain this hairdo, you must skip washing your hair. As soon as you wash your hair, it will go back to its natural state. Go a week or 2 without washing, but don't go much longer than that.
- Keep in mind that very steamy showers also make your hair revert back to normal. If you need to, wear your scarf covered by a shower cap into the shower. Keep the scarf on to make it easier to wrap up in the shower cap. Plus, it will absorb some of the moisture that would have reached your hair otherwise.
Opt for minimal curling.Bouncy curls all throughout your hair is a lot of fun, but often that hairstyle will only last a day or 2. If you want your hairdo to last longer, try just curling the very ends and leaving the rest of your hair straight.
Video: HOW TO SILK PRESS YOUR HAIR AT HOME
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