Shrinkage can be deceptive at best. Now while natural hair and too much heat don’t go hand in hand, there are still a couple of ways through which you can enjoy an occasional silk press without causing damage to your hair.
In this article, we’ll give you a silk press 101 and feature everything you need to know from what a silk press is, products used for a silk press, care and maintenance as well as 40 silk press before and after results on different natural hair textures.
What is a silk press?
A silk press is simply a combination of the right products and hot tools which in turn creates a silk like straight hairstyle even on curly or afro kinky hair.
What products do you use for a silk press?
A shampoo and conditioner of your choice as well as serums and light oils are preferred before doing a silk press. Ensure that you deep condition your hair in order to lock in moisture and avoid damage.
Is a silk press bad for your hair?
Too much heat can definitely cause damage to your hair. It is often advisable to use a heat protectant serum before doing a silk press to prevent any damage. Avoid too much heat and opt for moderate heat instead.
How long does a silk press last for?
A silk press can last for 2 to 4 or 5 weeks with the right maintenance in place. Avoid too much humidity, water or steam.
Gone are the days where one would have to subject themselves to the horrors of a hot comb. A flat iron should be your go to tool.
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Products and tools you’ll need for a silk press
To create the perfect silk press, you’ll need:
- Heat protectant serum.
- Wide tooth comb.
- Denman brush.
- A blowdry.
- Steam flat iron.
- Saran wrap.
- Sheen spray.
How to do a Silk Press on 4c Natural Hair
Start by washing the hair with a shampoo and conditioner.
After the hair is properly washed, apply a dime sized amount of heat protectant serum on the hair. This will ensure it’s smooth during the blow-dry process and protect it from the heat.
Natural hair is the weakest when it’s wet and should therefore be handled with utmost care.
Use a wide tooth comb to detangle the hair by gently combing it out from ends to roots.
Expert licensed natural hair stylist and owner of Philadelphia based Deeper Than Hair Salon Kee Taylor recommends stretching the hair by gently passing over the heat from the blow-dry on the hair then going in with a Denman brush.
“To avoid using too much heat during the silk press process, you need to try and get the hair as straight as possible using a blow-dry and Denman brush.”
This will ensure there’s fewer passes of the flat iron on the hair.
Use a rattail comb and a flat iron and press the hair at 350 degrees.
After fully straightening the hair, trim any dead ends if your hair hasn’t been trimmed in a while.
Trimming dead ends ensures there’s optimal hair growth moving forward.
Take your flat iron and press the hair again at a warm 280 degrees. This temperature should be hot enough to give you light feather curls.
Spray a sheen oil on the hair then use a Denman paddle brush to brush the hair around the head.
Wrap the hair using a saran wrap to insulate the oil from the serum and the sheen spray in order to give your hair a silk finish.
After properly wrapping the hair, go under a dyer for around 8 minutes on cold air.
You’ll then unwrap the hair and style as desired.
For a visual reference, watch the video linked below.
How to do a Silk Press on 4b Natural Hair
Start by parting the hair into sections using a wide tooth comb and work from the bottom as you move to the top.
Use a Denman brush to blow-dry your detangled sections row by row.
Expert licensed natural hair stylist and owner of Philadelphia based Deeper Than Hair Salon Kee Taylor recommends Denman brushes for maneuvering through the natural hair blow-dry step with ease.
She also notes that the bristles are high quality and won’t melt due to the heat from the blow-dry.
Take your time and handle the hair with care when you blow-dry it to avoid breakage.
Just like with 4c natural hair, make sure you fully stretch the hair during the blow dry process to ensure you won’t have to press the hair repeatedly using a flat iron to make it straight.
After the hair is fully stretched, trim the dead ends using shears.
Apply a heat protectant serum and press the hair using a steam iron to create feather curls.
As previously mentioned above, avoid passing the steam flat iron multiple times over the same section of hair to avoid causing heat damage.
After the hair is fully pressed, comb it using a wide tooth comb and style as desired.
For a detailed visual, watch the video linked below.
40 Silk Press Results on Different Natural Hair Textures
Below are before and after results of silk presses on 4b hair, 4c hair, kinky, coily and curly natural hair.
1) Silk Press on Blonde Dyed Natural Hair
Your silk press doesn’t have to be boring. Dye your hair and bob it up.
2) Silk Press on Type 4 Natural Hair
A middle part bob with bumped ends is a great option if you don’t want any curls.
3) Silk Press on Curly Natural Hair
Don’t forget to ask your stylist to trim your ends for optimal hair growth.
4) Silk Press on 4c Natural Hair
If you’re not ready to commit to a full head of color, dye only your ends.
5) Silk Press on Blonde Natural Hair
Not every salon trip calls for a color retouch if you have dyed hair. An “aged” dye looks just as good.
6) Silk Press on 4c Natural Hair
Natural hair shrinkage can be very deceptive. Look at that length! A silk press is a great way to do annual or bi-annual length checks.
7) Silk Press x Curtain Bangs
Thick hair makes for perfect curtain bangs when stretched.
8) Silk Press on Coily Natural Hair
You can never go wrong with a middle part.
9)Silk press on Curly Natural Hair
From curly hair to layered curtain bangs.
10) Silk Press on Type 4 Natural Hair
Not every time middle parts. Side parts are equally as cute.
11) Silk Press on Curly Natural Hair
Have we convinced you to get a silk press on your curly hair yet?
12) Silk Press x Dye on Natural Hair
A fresh color will do it every time.
13) Silk Press x Dye on Natural Hair
Dye highlights look just as good as a full head of color.
14) Silk Press on Type 4 Natural Hair
Throw it in a middle part with some loose curls.
15) Silk Press on Type 4 Natural Colored Hair
No dye here. This is her natural hair color.
16) Silk Press on Type 4 Natural Hair
A big yes to healthy hair and length.
17) Silk Press on Grey Natural Hair
How beautiful is her natural salt and pepper hair color?
18) Silk Press on Brown Dyed Natural Hair
Side part curtain bangs will do the trick.
19) Silk Press on Curly Natural Hair
A silk press unlocks all the extra length you don’t get on un-stretched hair.
20) Silk Press on Type 4 Natural Hair
Classic middle part with bumped ends.
21) Silk Press on Curly Natural Hair
Side part curtain bangs with feather curls.
22) Silk Press on 4c Natural Hair
Style your silk press in a classic bob with curtain bangs.
23) Silk Press on Curly Natural Hair
Try a side part with loose wavy curls.
24) Silk Press on 4c Natural Hair
If you want a break from your 4c fro, press it and throw it in a side part.
25) Silk Press on Type 4 Natural Hair
Curls add an instant pop to any stretched hairstyle.
26) Silk Press on Curly Natural Hair
Not enough people are getting curtain bangs.
27) Silk Press on Curly natural Hair
Don’t forget to trim those ends.
28) Silk Press on Type 4 Natural Hair
Trim evenly for uniform length.
29) Silk Press on Curly Natural Hair
Layered curls are hard to beat.
30) Silk Press on Brown Dyed Natural Hair
This color against her skin tone is just perfect.
31) Silk Press on Type 4 Natural Hair
Another middle part with bumped ends transformation.
32) Silk Press on 4b Natural Hair
Curtain bangs for the win.
33) Silk Press on Coily Natural Hair
When in doubt, go for curtain bangs.
34) Silk Press on Curly Natural Hair
Getting your silk press done by a professional will ensure there’s no damage to your natural curls.
35) Silk Press on 4c Natural Hair
Silk press x side part and curtain bangs.
36) Silk Press on 4b Natural Hair
Who said type 4 hair can’t get straight?
37) Silk Press on Coily Natural Hair
Press your hair and throw it in a side part with curtain bangs.
38) Silk Press on Ash Gold Natural Hair
Ash gold is the perfect vibrantly cool color.
39) Silk Press on Balayage Natural Hair
The density of her hair contributed to the seamless balayage. Airy and soft but thick with fine strains.
40) Silk Press on Ginger Natural Hair
There’s nothing quite like a fresh color touch up, silk press and face framing curls.
Silk Press MaintenanceTips
- Avoid too much moisture or humidity. This will make the hair shrink and tangle.
- Keep the hair wrapped in a silk bonnet or scarf at night.
- Avoid applying too much oil on your hair to keep it looking bouncy and light.
- Avoid further heat styling techniques or methods to prevent damage.
This article featured work from the very talented Cina & Kayla.