Silk pressing hair is a salon treatment that turns even the most coarse afro with silky smooth hair. We sent Jemma Thompson, a straightener addict, to try it.
I recently discovered the treatment of silk pressing hair after enduring a constant struggle to regulate my hair with the 3a curl pattern. My curiosity piqued instantly, so I did some digging (I became very fascinated with pictures of hair styled/pressed by expert @johnwgeorge before and after).
I found Mimi Et Mina, a luxurious black hair salon in the heart of Notting Hill, London, which offers silk presses to my utter delight. Mimi Koné has styled hair for the likes of Lorraine Pascale, Sarah-Jane Crawford, and Imaan Hammam, the creator and head stylist, so I knew my locks were in excellent hands.
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What is Silk Pressing Hair?
A silk press is a modern take on the press and curl (a way to straighten afro hair using a lot of oil and heat, usually in the ’90s). It gives the impression of being comfortable with natural hair and reduces the use of harsh chemicals. The technique, temperature, and the goods are all about it. For those with coarse and/or heavy hair, it’s ideal. It has been around for years, but for those who want to improve their look without using a permanent treatment, silk pressing hair treatment has recently become more popular, enabling natural hair to be smooth, straight, and full of movement.
Why do I need a Silk Press?
I seriously needed a major chop and some TLC after years of hair damage from over-straightening. I’ve been exploring my options; can I relax (chemically straighten) my hair? This was a definite no, after one teenage experiment and years to grow it out. Try the Keratin therapy, perhaps? It sounds fantastic, but the chance that it would ruin my curl pattern? Eeek… So, it left me with a simple choice of silk pressing hair to try.
How does Silk Pressing Hair work?
Phase 1: Washing thoroughly
Mimi clarified the importance of thoroughly cleansing the hair to eliminate any build-up of prior product and residue. To avoid any heat damage, it is important for the hair to be squeaky clean.
Phase 2: Rehabilitation with deep conditioning
After washing, Mimi used a deep conditioning treatment to add the moisture back into my locks, the Avlon Confirm Moisture Right Nourishing Conditioner. It not only helped to nourish and strengthen my hair, but it also smelled like pure heaven – the unmistakable fragrance of the salon product. This was the ideal cure for hair that needed to be blasted with a dryer for 30 minutes, formulated with a combination of Argan, Pegui, and Buriti oils.
Phase 3: Blow-dry
The key move for any impressive silk press is to nail your blow-dry, and a heat protector is a must for this. The Redken Diamond Oil Style Enhancing Oil was added by Mimi as a protective oil that helps speed up the drying process while adding shine. When your hair is blown dry to its maximum straight potential, your straighteners need fewer strokes; which ensures that you are left with a smoother texture and less exposure to heat.
Phase 4: The straightening process
This was the moment I was dreading, as I realized I was going to be in the chair for a while, as Mimi broke my hair into tiny pieces. Eventually, I realized there was a way for the madness to win the race, slow and steady. Mimi used Corioliss straighteners, which has titanium plates that are smoother than ceramic and result in less hair cuticle damage. It doesn’t have to be these, however.
With a temperature of about 200 degrees Celsius, she pressed my hair from root to tip section by section, allowing the heat to be uniformly distributed, resulting in a smoother finish.
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How long does Silk Press Hair treatment last?
Usually, a silk press lasts for two weeks or as long as we don’t wash our hair. The slightest drop of moisture in your hair can make it return to its natural texture. To make sure you keep the moisture away, it is important that you learn to enjoy wearing a silk wrap to bed and become best friends with your brolly.
Who should opt for a Silk Pressing Treatment?
A silk press suits individuals with hair that is naturally dense or coarse.
How much does a Silk Press cost?
At Mimi Et Mina, a silk press costs £80.
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