So, this week, I changed up my hair from a horrible cut and colour to some sleek black extensions. I used a crochet braiding technique but I didn’t have any cornrows in my hair, so this is how I did it:
I waffled on A LOT in this video (very new to this!), so here are the main takeaways from the tutorial:
Clearly section your hair when making the little ponytails that you’re crocheting into. If there are any strays, this will make it really difficult to remove the rubber bands and the crocheted hair will get all tangled up.
The hair you put into small ponytails shouldn’t be bigger than half of the diametre of a standard pencil.
Towards the bottom of your hair, closet to your neck, do a full layer of crochet hair. Here, it’s best not to leave any leave-out, as there will be a really obvious divide between your own hair and the extensions.
I did six along the bottom and six through the middle. Another two were towards the top to get any extra bits that looked choppy.
The top row of crochets is just before the top of your temples. This will stop them from showing through.
If you’re struggling to blend, you can use heat. I just go over each side one with my hair straightener set to 150 degrees celCelciuscius (because heat up to 200 degrees can be used on this hair).
I don’t think I’m going to wash my hair with the crochet braids in. It’s a pretty quick process after silk pressing my hair, so I’ll just take them out before washing and putting them back in. The hair I used is £6.50 from the local shop, so I’m happy to do this once a month or every 6 weeks.
For years, I’ve been working on a strategy for getting the perfect silk press. I’ve tried all sorts of products and it’s only recently that I’ve come up with a method that actually gives me the same kind of silky finish that I get when I go to a hairdresser.
So, here’s how I changed up my routine to get the best silk press possible at home:
Cleanse with Clarifying Shampoo
I’ve been using clarifying shampoo for years now. For me, it doesn’t actually matter what brand I use. Right now, it’s Tresemme’s clarifying shampoo because it was on sale – but I’ve also used Dove, Head & Shoulders and OGX and they all do the same thing for me.
What really changed up my silk press game was adding a hydrating shampoo into the mix. I always shampoo my hair twice so, I subbed in a different product for the second go around. The best ones I’ve used are Carol’s Daughter Black Vanilla and OGX Tea Tree shampoos.
For a really long time, I avoided products with silicones. I totally understand that they are damaging in the long term – but, when you really want a silky finish, no-cone conditioners just don’t do the trick. So, I’ve splashed out for some good deep conditioning treatments. Briogeo and SheaMoisture make the best deep conditioning masks for my hair.
Use a Product with “Silk” in the Name
I know it sounds pretty cheesy, but this is something that I think actually makes a difference – scrap whatever you’re using right now and opt for something with “silk” in the name. I don’t know the exact science or if it’s just a marketing ploy but it’s made my silk presses that much silkier.
This is a list of products I’ve used that didn’t really give me that silky finish:
Fantasia IC heat protectant spray
L’Oreal Extraordinary Oil
Aveda Smooth Infusion Naturally Straight
CHI Silk Infusion (which, according to its name, should have, right?)
While they are all great products and gave me nice, straight hair, the result wasn’t super silky. So, I made the switch and it made a huge difference. These products have worked the best for me:
Kiehl’s Silk Creme
Keracare Silken Shield
Use A Hair Straightener with Titanium Plates
This was the clincher – using a hair straightener with titanium plates gave me an ultra gorgeous and silky finish. It was something that every Youtuber mentioned in their silk press videos so I thought, I have to do it!
It was reluctant to replace my GHD straightener. I’d had it for 8 years and it was hella expensive, but it turns out I didn’t even have to spend very much on a new one. You don’t have to shell out much money to get a decent-quality titanium straightener. I spent £25 on one from a brand called Kipozi and it does the trick.
The key is to straighten in very small sections. You don’t want to go over the same section lots of times to keep from damaging your hair, and it means the straightener touches more hair to get it all nice and silky.
Important tip: get a heat mat or put your straightener on a surface that won’t burn. The titanium plates get suuuuuper hot and I’ve damaged plenty of duvet covers and table surfaces.
That’s it! This method has made such a big difference in how my at home silk presses look. This specific combination of products has given me the finish I’ve been trying to get for years. I hope it helps you, too!