How to Create, Maintain and Style a Silk Press on Afro Hair


“A silk press is a non-chemical way to straighten naturally curly and Afro hair without permanently reconstructing the curl,” says celebrity session hairstylist Joy Matashi, who has worked with stars from A$AP Rocky through to Michaela Coel. Great for all textured hair types, “a silk press is traditionally performed by a professional hairstylist using Marcel irons (known for their high heats, even heat distribution and cone shape), heated up inside a stove or an electric base on super-clean hair and minimal styling products before the hair is pressed by straighteners,” Matashi goes on to explain.

Now, the style is typically created using electric straighteners and lasts about two weeks or until your next wash, be that eight or 10 days later, making it a great alternative for anyone still in want of a seamless blend with a weave or a change of style.

So if you’ve been considering a silk press, here is a step-by-step guide on how to create the look.

Matashi says that product-wise, “you want to begin with clarifying shampoo to get rid of any dirt. The goal is to literally want to build a pre-conditioner base the kind of something that’s like an anti-humectant to stop reversion that can be caused by humidity. In simpler terms, this means you want to cleanse your hair so that it’s open to taking in moisture from a conditioner that won’t leave any build-up or leave your hair so thirsty that it seeks out moisture in the air. This typically is what makes hair curl up after it’s straightened,” explains the stylist. 

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