Every single thing you need to know about a silk press (Cosmopolitan Feature)

If you’ve been considering a silk press, here are a few things you need to know. From what it actually is, to long it lasts and where you can get one…

What is a silk press?

If you’re familiar with the ‘press and curl’ technique of the 90s, or if you were ever subjected to a hot comb then you, my friend, have already had a silk press. Essentially, it’s the clever combination of the right products and hot tools to create a super silk-like straight hairstyle – even on very curly afro hair.

So, how does it work?

These days you definitely don’t need a hot comb (ouch) to achieve a silk press, and forget the oil slick that you would hear sizzle on the burning iron, because products have advanced beyond that. Smoothing shampoos and conditioners are key in prepping the hair for the heat. A primer is then applied to towel-dried hair, before it’s blow-dried straight. To finish, a thermal or glossing product is applied, then the hair is straightened with a styler set at around 200 degrees Celsius.

How long does it last?

This is dependent on lots of factors. You see, a silk press is essentially a very thorough hair straightening process created only with heat.

If you lead an active lifestyle it’s probably going to sweat out quicker than if you sit still all day and never get hot or sweaty. If you are such a person that rarely perspires then firstly, lucky you, and secondly your silk press is likely to last until your next hair wash so depending on how long you go before washing, it could be anything from a week to a month.

Talisha Cox is the Owner of Elite Hair Lounge, one of the top salon chains in the UK for Silk Press services and a wealth of knowledge when it comes to this treatment. She says, “A silk press can usually last 2-3 weeks depending on how well it’s maintained. If you’re ensuring your hair is wrapped at night and avoiding water and steam it’ll last.”

One thing that’s important to note is, if you live in the UK you might want to bring a brolly around with you because as soon as the elements hit you, your style is gone – with the right product it might be able withstand a little humidity, but not full on rain showers.

Where can you get one?

Most afro salons offer silk press services or a non-chemical straightening service under a different name. Instagram is a great place to check salons’ silk press capabilities – searching the hashtag #silkpressuk will show you a few options.

Who can get one?

A silk press will work for you if you have thick or coarse natural hair.

Is it bad for your hair?

This one depends on who you’re asking. If you are fearful of heat damage, it’s not something you should do often as heat does alter your curl pattern and if you don’t protect it, it can lead to permanent damage. Of all the ways you can straighten your hair this is the one that’ll cause the least harm to your locks as a one-off treatment as compared to chemical procedures. As Talisha says, “The use of heat is never the best thing for natural hair but if used correctly your hair will be absolutely fine. My motto is you can use heat just don’t abuse heat.” Hear, hear.ADVERTISEMENT – CONTINUE READING BELOW

Can you do a silk press at home?

Absolutely! With the right tools you can achieve a sleek silk press at home if you can’t make it to a salon. Using a smoothing system of wash day products, such as the Moroccanoil Smoothing Shampoo and Conditioner preps the hair with smoothing and nourishing ingredients that help to coat the hair, making it easier to straighten.

Then you’ll need to add a blow-dry primer to protect the hair and prep it for the smoothness to come. There are a lot of blow-dry creams on the market but if you have very coarse or afro hair I would highly recommend the Keracare Crème Press, or the Moroccanoil Smoothing Lotion. If you have looser curls, within the type 3 curl pattern, then the Aveda Smooth Infusion Range would be a great range for you. The hair is blow-dried and then finally spritzed with a glossing spray and straightened in small sections from back to front.

The article was written by KEEKS REID. The full article can be found here, https://www.cosmopolitan.com/uk/beauty-hair/hair/a28600415/silk-press-hair-treatment/.

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