How to Silk Press Natural Hair & Prevent Heat Damage

Silk Press natural hair

If you are wondering how to silk press natural hair while preventing heat damage you have come to the right place. I love a great silk press on my natural hair as much as the next naturalista, but what I do NOT love is the heat damage it could bring.

A few years ago I was on a mission to eradicate the heat damage from my hair for good. I went on a complete No Heat Challenge in 2016 and survived a year of no heat on my natural hair.

By the end of the year by curls were amazing! If you want an amazing silk press for your curls there are a few tips you must follow to avoid heat damage as well.

First, let’s cover a few basics.

What is a silk press?

Essentially it is another name for sleek, flat-ironed natural hair. Once the hair is fully shampooed and conditioned, the natural curls are blown out with a hairdryer. Afterward, small sections are carefully flat-ironed for a silky finish.

The styling tools are essential for silk presses on natural hair. Ceramic and titanium flat irons are used to create a nice smooth, silky finish so not just any old flat iron will do the job.

Some stylists use the “chase method” where each section of hair is chased with a small comb to further enhance the straightening and silkiness.

How long does it usually last?

Well, this really depends on your upkeep, the weather in your area and your particular hair texture. A nice silk press can last for a week + as long as you avoid moisture.

Any moisture in the air during high humidity days or hot showers can revert the flat-ironed hair, unfortunately. And if you use any water-based products this will compromise the style as well.

To best protect your blow out, use a great prepping product to protect against humidity. One of my favorites is the Aveda Smooth Infusion Collection. Also, use light oils and other hair serums daily to avoid direct moisture to the stands.

Is it bad for your hair?

Again, this is a personal decision. As long as you are properly moisturizing the hair before heat-styling you should be OK. However, everyone’s hair is completely different.

In order to properly moisturize your hair, always thoroughly shampoo the hair and deep condition before heat styling. Clarifying shampoos are perfect before getting a silk press because it will ensure all product build-up is properly removed.

Adding a steam treatment to your deep conditioner is also an amazing option for intense conditioning moisture.

Best products heat protectants for silk press on natural hair

Heat protectants are designed to add a protective barrier between your styling tool and your hair. They can seal in moisture and fight off frizz all in one. They often contain key moisturizing ingredients, like natural oils and fatty acids, but it is usually ingredients like the silicones and polymers that provide the barrier.

If you are against using silicones and polymers just know this is something that can be washed out of your hair during your next shampoo session. The most important thing to understand is protecting your hair while it is straight so you can go back to bouncing curls right after!

There are a ton of products on the market, but here are a few I’ve found to be the best when it comes to silk pressing natural hair.

  1. Aveda Brillant Damage Control
  2. Design Essentials Agave & Lavender Thermal Protection Creme
  3. Olaplex No. 7 Bonding Oil
  4. The Mane Choice Natural Shine Heat Protectant
  5. Mielle Organics Mongongo Oil Thermal & Heat Protectant Spray
  6. Bumble & Bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Heat Protectant/UV Primer

Best Silk Press Natural Hair Tutorials

If you are new to straightening your natural hair, I highly suggest you find a natural hair salon in your area. But in the meantime, here are some great tutorials to get you started and understand the process better.

Silk press on 4C Natural Hair with the chase method

If straightening your hair just isn’t your thing, there are still several amazing ways to stretch natural hair without heat.

How often do you silk press your natural hair? Comment and let me know!

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Charlene Walton
Charlene Walton

Charlene Walton McCraney is a Dallas beauty and lifestyle blogger. After years of styling her and several friends’ hair as a hobby, offering advice and tips, she decided to combine two of her favorite things…writing and talking about natural hair! was created to promote healthy hair care for women of all textures and has since evolved into other beauty and lifestyle topics. Charlene loves teaching other aspiring bloggers on how to take their passion and turn it into amazing content to provide value.

Charlene is a previous beauty contributor to,, and

When she’s not blogging she is probably crunching numbers as a Senior Financial Analyst, dancing or figuring a way to meet Beyonce in person. :)

Find me on: Twitter/X | Instagram | Facebook


  1. Morgan
    January 11, 2020 / 9:54 am

    Good tips! I went through a phase in which I pretty much only work my natural hair straight. Now I embrace my fro. I probably straighten my hair twice a year and it just feels so wrong.

  2. January 11, 2020 / 9:03 pm

    Great tips. I often avoid straightening my hair because I’m scared of heat damage.

  3. Marisol
    April 1, 2022 / 5:07 am

    I went natural 2020 and did a big chop. I did a silk press six months later. The following year in 2021 I did a total of 4 silk presses that year. This current year 2022 I fell my hair is stronger than ever and I’m the first three months have done 2 silk presses. 6 weeks apart.

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