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Silk Press vs Flat Iron — Everything You Need to Know

Last Updated on 9th July 2021 by Chauncey Morgan

We all want flawless straight hair, but do we really know the best ways to get it? There are a ton of straightening tools and products, but two of the most popular are the silk press and the flat iron.

If you compare the silk press to the flat iron, you will inevitably concude that the differences between them are slight. After thorough research, I have come up with a list of the differences between silk presses and flat irons that you must know if you are planning on using one of these techniques to straighten your hair.

So without further ado, allow me to tell you everything that you need to know on the topic of silk press and flat iron!

Main Differences Between Silk Press vs Flat Iron

The main differences between silk press vs flat iron are:

  • Silk press is a styling technique, a process that involves different products and tools, including a flat iron, whereas a flat iron is but a heating tool with two plates.
  • Silk press brings more movement and shine to hair, whereas a flat iron by itself might make hair a little stiff.
  • Silk press has longer-lasting results, whereas flat irons have shorter-lasting results.

Now that you know what some of the major differences between silk presses and flat irons are, you can see that they’re apples and oranges. If you ask me, I think that silk presses are a more suitable option for those who have the time or who can go and have it professionally done.

If you want to learn more, stick with me as I talk about both techniques in more detail in the next section!

silk press vs flat iron

Silk Press vs Flat Iron: The Basics

Before I go any further, I would like to briefly talk about what a silk press is and what a flat iron is.

What Is a Flat Iron?

It is safe to assume that all hair lovers know what a flat iron is. This hair styling tool is very popular all over the world and it is essentially a tool made from two plates that heat up and are used to straighten the hair.

Flat irons come in all shapes and sizes nowadays.  They can have plates from different materials and in different sizes. Some companies create flat irons that are packed with features to make the straightening experience better.

All that you need to do to straighten your hair using a flat iron is turn it on and let it heat up, then put a strand of hair between the plates, press the plates, and draw them from the roots to the ends of the hair strand.

No hair expert would recommend using a flat iron by itself. You should protect your hair by using some sort of heat protector, just to keep damage at bay.

What Is Silk Press?

Silk Press is a technique that uses a flat iron and other tools with different hair products to make the hair silky and smooth. During the process, you use a smoothing shampoo and conditioner, then blow-dry the hair, apply the glossing product, and finally straighten the hair with a flat iron.

With silk pressing, it is crucial to have the right products for your hair if you want to achieve the desired results. Depending on the type of hair you have, there are various products that you can use. You will need to do a decent amount of research to find the best ones for yourself.

Comparing Silk Press vs Flat Iron

Let’s discuss these two techniques in more detail to see if there are any other differences between silk presses and flat irons that you should know.

How Long Do the Results of Silk Pressing and Flat Ironing Last?

One of the most important things about these two techniques is longevity. The techniques might be similar, but the results do not last for the same amount of time.

With flat irons, your hair might keep its straight and smooth look for less than a day or up to a couple of days. Chances are that bad weather, too much touching of the hair, or putting it up in ponytails or buns will cause the hair to go back to its natural look faster.

On the other hand, the results of a silk press can last anywhere from a couple of weeks to a month, depending on how well you take care of it. If you want to make it last longer, you can wrap your hair at night and keep it away from water or steam.

silk press on black hair

Who Can Use a Silk Press and Flat Iron?

Usually, flat irons can be used on all types of hair no matter the length, thickness, or thinness. Of course, those that have coarse or long hair will need to use flat irons on a higher temperature setting, while the ones who have finer hair can use the flat irons on lower heat.

Silk presses can also be used on all types of hair, but they are generally recommended for those that have coarse and curly hair. They are a great alternative to permanent straightening that can sometimes damage the hair beyond repair.

Can You Do a Silk Press and Flat Iron by Yourself?

Flat irons are used at home quite often. They give straight hair fanatics a great, simple, and quick way to straighten their hair without having to spend time or money going to hair salons.

When it comes to silk pressing, afro salons are usually a good place to get one done, but you can also try to do it at home by yourself. You have to keep in mind that you do need certain products for your hair, like smoothing shampoos and conditioners, if you are planning on doing the silk press at home.

Special Hair Products 

I mentioned previously that silk pressing must be done using a flat iron on a high-temperature setting. Because the high temperature might damage your hair, you should always use a heat protectant on it before you get started with the technique.

At the same time, it is recommended that you use some silky serum on your hair so that it is shinier and smoother in the end. That way, you will truly get that silky feeling that you are looking for.

With flat irons, it is recommended to use at least some heat protectant if your hair is already in poor condition, chemically treated, or otherwise compromised. You have to understand that all hot tools will do some damage to the hair. If you plan to use them often, you should go the extra mile to make sure your hair is protected.

Choose What’s Right for You

Both silk presses and flat irons can do wonders for your hair if you use them properly and combine them with the right hair products.

There is not one that is better than the other, but I will say this: Silk presses are a better choice for those who have the time, knowledge, budget, and are looking for longer-lasting results. A session with a flat iron is for those who want it simple and quick.

I hope that this article taught you everything you need to know about the differences between silk presses and flat irons. If you have any good stories or experiences connected to using any of these two straightening techniques, please share them with me in the comments. I look forward to reading them!

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