When the air is cool and crisp and there’s no rain in the forecast—and you don’t have to worry about humidity-induced frizz—it’s prime time for a silk press. However, because the look is achieved by pressing your hair with a flat iron, it can be hard to maintain without frying your strands every day sacrificing your hair health. Thankfully, a few easy tweaks to your routine (and the perfect wrapping technique) can make all the difference.
It’s worth noting that not only is using less heat better for your hair, it’s also better for the look of the style. “Once the hair is smooth, the less manipulation and secondary styling the better,” says Al Campbell, a Mizani artist and hairstylist based in Chicago. “The hair will maintain its flow and shape from either wrapping or pin curling if you’ve styled with curls.”
With these four easy tips, you’ll be able to stretch the life of your silk press and keep your hair healthy in the process.
How to maintain your silk press
1. Get the perfect wrap with a Tubi
Black women know that wrapping your hair at night is key when you’re wearing it straight, but nailing the technique can be tricky. To ensure your wrap stays in place while you sleep, try this trick from TikTok user @Adissalanee: Start by brushing the top section of your hair around your head a full 360°, then top it with a Dominican Tubi ($14) (also known as a Doobie). Once that section is set, spin the Tubi in the same direction as the hair, tucking in the rest of your strands until it’s all wrapped—no bobby pins needed.
@adissalenee Replying to @kara.mechelle here you go! 💕 #silkpress #wrappinghair #tubihairnet ♬ Carrying Your Love – David Morris
While this spinning method helps to incorporate all the hair, it also ensures that it’s laying nice and smooth, explains Campbell. “Sliding the cap around the head in the direction the hair is wrapped makes sure it is properly positioned and smooths any wrinkles in the hair helps for a super comfortable fit,” he says.
2. Lock your hair in place with a large silk scarf
Once the Tubi is on, top it with a silk scarf or cap to hold it in place before you hit the hay. “Having a scarf that is large enough to the entire head and all of the hair and that you can tie around your head at least twice gives more security at the perimeter,” says Campbell. The silk will also protect your hair from the drying nature of cotton pillowcases, because it “allows the hair to keep its natural oils and prevents frizz and dehydration,” says Marnie Nussbaum, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City.
Sienna Naturals Silk Scarf — $76.00
This massive scarf (35.43″ by 35.43″) is great for helping you get the perfect wrap. Fold it into a triangle and line up the largest side with the nape of your neck allowing the triangle tip to drape over your forehead. Pull the two loose ends together at the top of your head, tie a knot, and then loop them back around to the nape of your neck and secure with one more knot. Tuck the end of the triangle that’s on your forehead over and under the front knot to get it out of your face
YGN Imagination Pleated Sleep Turban — $48.00
Made with a 100 percent mulberry silk lining, this sleep cap features an adjustable elastic band so you don’t have to worry about it slipping off at night. It’s easy to put on like a bonnet, but provides tension like a scarf, giving you the best of both worlds.
3. Use water-free styling agents when needed
To keep your hair shiny and smooth between heat treatments, add more moisture to your routine. Look for lightweight conditioning oils like the Mizani 25 Miracle Nourishing Hair Oil ($24) or the Verb Ghost Dry Conditioner Oil ($20), which will keep your strands hydrated and glossy without weighing them down and taking away from that bouncy look.
4. Use an anti-frizz spray
5. Wrap your hair whenever you’re gonna sweat a lot
In addition to wrapping your hair before bed, you’ll also want to wrap it before any sweaty activities (workouts, steamy baths, etc). Use something breathable, like the Gymwrap Full Triangle VentTech Do-Rag ($25), and be sure to wrap it extra tight and secure it well. Keep in mind that if it isn’t pulled taut enough, “the moisture [from your sweat] is going to lift the cuticle and the hair will either fall flat or revert [to its natural texture],” says Campbell. You’ll want to wait until your hair is completely de-sweated before removing the wrap, because when you give it a chance to dry in a stretched position, it will stay smooth.
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