all hair types How to Do a Silk Press At Home Like a Pro

The popular straight hair technique is easier than it seems.

October 12, 2022
Silk Press Hair


When it comes to beauty routines, hairdos that we once thought were complicated processes have now become handy DIY styles, with twist outs, knotless box braids, silk presses and other beloved natural hairstyles no longer only reserved for salon visits. And if you’re still unsure how to do the latter you’re in luck, because we’re breaking down the steps on how to get a silk press — as well as how to maintain one — below.  


What Is a Silk Press?

A silk press is a method of straightening natural curls sans a chemical relaxer. Instead, this hairstyling technique uses a blow-dryer and flat iron to smooth out the hair. While it’s easy to think that a silk press for natural hair is the same as a traditional press and curl, silk press is all about applying less heat to your strands to give your mane movement, body, and a shiny finish — without the weighed down and stiff hair look.


What’s the Difference Between a Silk Press and a Flat Iron?

Simply put, the biggest difference between a silk press and a flat iron is that the former is a styling technique and the former is a tool used to execute that technique. A flat iron can help straighten your hair for a silk press, but in order to have movement and dimension a silk press will require other tools to complete the style.

How to Do a Silk Press At Home

Ready to switch up your style and try a silk press on for size? Keep reading as we walk you through the proper steps on how to do a silk press like a pro.

1. Start With Clean Hair

Always start this style with freshly washed hair. You can kick things off with the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Dream Lengths Curls Moisture Push Shampoo and L’Oréal Paris Elvive Dream Lengths Curls Moisture Seal Conditioner. Formulated with castor oil and hyaluronic acid, this duo deeply moisturizes and hydrates your hair and keeps frizz at bay.

2. Use A Leave-In Conditioner

Next, you want to boost your strands with moisture so your style can last. Reach for the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Dream Lengths Curls Non-Stop Dreamy Curls Leave-in Conditioner, which works to soften your hair and provide slip for a seamless detangling process. Simply distribute it evenly through your strands and detangle them section by section. Once complete, you’re ready for the next step.

3. Apply Heat Protectant

Since this style requires the use of heat styling tools, you’ll want to protect your strands with a heat protectant. Reach for the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Weightless Blow Dry Primer, which helps to calm frizz, seal in shine, and protect your strands from heat damage.  

4. Part Your Hair 

Part your hair into two even sections, and secure the top half with a hair clip. Next, split the bottom layer into two more sections, and clip one out of your way. 

5. Blow Dry Your Hair

Attach the concentrator nozzle to your blow dryer and dry your hair with a brush, making sure to work from the roots to the ends. Repeat the process on each section of your hair until your hair is fully dry.  

6. Prep Your Hair For Your Flat Iron

Just as you prepped your tresses for blow-drying, you’ll need to do the same for your flat iron but with a slight twist. Start by dividing your hair into two sections. Split the bottom section in two and secure one side with a hair clip. 

Now, this is where things take a turn. Instead of leaving your hair as is, create a part that’s about an inch in size to ensure that the heat from your flat iron will be distributed evenly through your hair. Clip the rest of your hair out of the way.

7. Press Your Hair

Starting as close to the root as possible, slowly flat iron your hair all the way to the ends to make each pass count. Repeat this on one-inch sections of hair, passing over each one with your flat iron until you have a silky-soft mane. Remember, too many passes on the same section of hair can cause heat damage, so take things slow for desired results and adjust your flat iron temperature to suit your hair texture and thickness.

8. Seal the Style

Once your mane is flat-ironed to your desired effect, all you need is a touch of hairspray to lock it all in. Grab the L’Oréal Paris Elnett Satin Extra Strong Hold, Light Hairspray Unscented and mist the spray evenly over your hair and you’re done.

How Long Does a Silk Press Last?

How long your silk press will last depends on how well you prepped your hair before you styled it and, of course, how you maintain it. Check out these tips on how to maintain your silk press to help your style go the distance. 

1. Protect Your Hair at Night

One of the easiest ways to keep your silk press intact is to pin-curl your hair at night to maintain a bouncy mane. Simply part your hair into sections that are about an inch in size. Take the end of one of the sections, tuck your hair around one of your fingers and roll up until you reach the roots. Secure it with a bobby pin and repeat until you have a mane full of pin curls. 

You can also wrap your hair by creating a side part, then brush your hair in a circular motion going clockwise, until it’s all up around your head, also securing it with bobby pins if needed. Whichever method you choose, you should cover your hair with a silk or satin scarf before going to bed.

2. Stay Away From Heat

While it may be tempting to apply more heat to your hair, avoid the temptation, as too much heat can offset your mane’s moisture levels and leave you with stiff strands.

3. Avoid Water

When you have a silk press, watch out for water, steam, and sweat. These can all cause your smooth strands to revert back to their natural texture before you’re ready.

4. Give Your Styling Products A Break

There’s no need to apply additional hair products to your hair with your silk press. The goal is to keep your hair shiny and bouncy, and excess product can give your hair a weighed down look and feel.

Next: 5 Low-Tension Natural Hairstyles to Try This Fall

Edited by: Témi Adebowale, Photo Design: Sarah Duvivier