What Is a Silk Press? Here’s Everything You Need to Know

January 17, 2023
Ariel Wodarcyk
By: Ariel Wodarcyk | Makeup.com by L'Oréal
Image of a person in profile with long, shiny black hair in a silk press, on a purple background

It’s winter, which means it's the unofficial, official silk press season. You can get a silk press anytime of year, but the heat and humidity of summer makes it way too easy to sweat out the straightening treatment. As we welcome the colder months, we wanted to share everything you should know before you get a silk press, like how long the treatment lasts, how to best maintain it and how to avoid damaging your natural texture. Below, find answers from Diarra Dumornay, hairstylist and owner of Glam Headz Salon in Charlotte, North Carolina. 

What Is a Silk Press?

“A silk press is a non-chemical hair straightening process done on natural textured hair, which requires hydrating products and flat-ironing the hair until you get silky results,” says Dumornay. She says that a proper silk press starts with stripping the hair of product build-up, re-adding moisture with a hydrating treatment or products, then blow-drying and straightening the hair. 

How Long Does a Silk Press Last?

If done properly and maintained with care, Dumornay says a silk press can last between two to four weeks. 

How to Maintain a Silk Press

The key to maintaining a healthy silk press is to make sure your hair is well-moisturized before getting it straightened. “If your hair is dry and you’re not getting moisture treatments regularly, your silk presses will not last. It’s recommended to do moisture treatments on natural hair at least once a month to every six weeks,” says Dumornay. You can add moisture to your hair at home with a deep conditioning treatment, like the Carol’s Daughter Goddess Strength Cocoon Hydrating Hair Mask

The other key to keeping your silk press looking fresh is to avoid water and humidity. Unlike a relaxer, a silk press will wash away the moment you get it wet, so be sure to cover your hair with a shower cap every time you shower. “Also avoid the gym because sweat can ruin your silk press,” says Dumornay.

Does a Silk Press Damage Your Hair?

Like all forms of heat styling, a silk press can cause damage to your hair if not done properly. “If too much heat is used on dry hair this will cause heat damage,” says Dumornay. “Heat damage causes breakage.” To prevent dryness and breakage, make sure your hairstylist moisturizes your hair and applies a heat protectant before starting the silk press. 

How Often Can You Get a Silk Press?

“You can get a silk press every two to three weeks if you choose to,” says Dumornay. Keep in mind, though, that frequent silk presses can cause heat damage. If you notice your hair drying out or breaking off easily, take a break from silk presses and visit your hairstylist for a deep moisture treatment. 



Photo: @glamheadzsalon, Design: Juliana Campisi

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