It’s that time of year again when cold weather calls for a silk press. Whether you’re pulling out your hair straightener and heat protectant or booking an appointment with your trusted hairstylist at your local salon, silk presses are perfect for winter because your hair follicles are less likely to revert back to its naturally curly state like it would with warm and humid weather.
The first step in the silk press process is shampoo and conditioner. It’s very important for the style’s foundation to be done correctly, so each step succeeding protects the hair. Dailey Greene, hairstylist and owner of H2 Salon in Brooklyn, suggests the Mizani Press Agent Smoothing Sulfate-Free Shampoo and Conditioner. This product is designed to prep hair for heat use and to moisturize dry hair.
However, there can be still be hair damage if you don’t use the correct heat protectant. To protect the hair from consistent heat, TRESemmé Stylist & Entrepreneur and Future Stylists Fund Selection Committee Member, Nai’vasha recommends the TRESemmé Keratin Smooth Heat Protect Spray “It not only protects the tresses from excessive heat exposure but also leaves a luminous shine,” she says.
The goal of a silk press is to straighten the hair with the least amount of heat. “My biggest tip for a silk press is to mist the hair with my heat protectant and straighten with small sections,” she says. “I tend to only need one to two passes through because I go slower and proceed with a tiny tooth comb.”
In order to maintain the style, Greene advises a small amount of dry shampoo if necessary. “There’s not much I recommend for silk press maintenance because I want to keep the hair light and oil-free, not heavy.” Dry shampoo accomplishes this by collecting the oil that may have built up on the strands and on the scalp and keeps the hair cool and dry.
According to Greene, her favorite way to silk press hair is on hair that is freshly cut. “It makes it 100 percent easier because it’ll hold the style and the curls. It’s super difficult to silk press hair on someone who hasn’t had a haircut in a while, which means more than three months. The ends tend to be frayed or broken, the hair has no shape or style.”
You can bring reference photos for your stylist to work with. Nai’vasha recommends Ciara as inspiration.
Once you have a silk press, Greene encourages clients to manage their expectations of how long the style will last. “A silk press is not a relaxer, it doesn’t ensure your hair will stay straight for the duration of time that you think it will,” she says. “A silk press can have a life span of one day to two weeks.”
It also depends on the weather—if it’s raining or humid, it’s more likely that your hair will revert back to its natural state. Another factor is the frequency at which you get your hair straightened. If your hair isn’t accustomed to heat on a regular basis, it will not be heat trained enough to withstand elements like weather. Even working out can be a deterrent to getting a silk press because as soon as you start to sweat, your hair may frizz up. Greene recommends a bonnet, silk scarf, and pillow, as well as a shower cap to help your silk press last longer.
To keep your silk press in top shape, shop some essentials below.
Tresemme Thermal Creations Keratin Smooth Leave-In Heat Protectant Spray Hair Heat Protection Formula
Need some inspiration? Scroll on to see our favorite silk press hairstyles below.