Yes, ladies and gentlemen.
That’s me. That’s me o. ME!
Well, my hair. No, I did not relax my hair. I’m still happily team natural 🙂
*flips hair back and forth*
I have been cheating for a minute, though, thanks to the silk press I got at TasalaHQ, a natural hair friendly salon , here in Lagos.
One night, I was twisting my hair and I realized the root cause of my hair challenges lately: my ends were in a HORRIBLE state. And then I had to think… when was my last trim? My last trim was in August 2015. Yikes. Your ends are the oldest part of your hair, so naturally, that they are the most worn out. Raggedy old ends aren’t supposed to be loved and held on to, though. They HAVE to go.
I had originally planned for this trim & silk press at TasalaHQ in May, in honour of the 4th anniversary of my big chop. Being faced with the reality of my hair at the time, I couldn’t just ignore my ends till May 30. I knew I had to prioritise it, and get the damage out of the way. This post on Mzansi Fro was encouraging but I wasn’t that excited about my appointment, to be honest, so I asked my friend W to come provide moral support 🙂
I’m really glad I got my hair trimmed. Also happy that I finally tried something new (after much too many months of speculation) and that I got to switch up my look in the process as well.
First Things First: What Is a Silk Press?
As defined on Latoya Jones’ blog: “A silk press is a modern day press and curl that gives natural hair the look like it has been relaxed.”
Sirgo.com says: “The difference with a silk press is that the hair is light, silky, has movement and a healthy shine, and is not weighed down with pressing oils and waxes like the traditional press.”
Simply put, when you Silk Press your natural hair, you have the sleek straightness of a relaxer, without the permanent change to your curl pattern, when done right. As you know, natural hair is ever so eager to go back to its shrunken, curly state, so, smoothing, and anti-humidity products are used on the hair, to postpone reversion.
I think this is really just one of those things that can only be truly defined by their process, so I’ll explain:
The Silk Press Process
First, Austin (my stylist) loosened my twists. I had less than 40 twists, so this step took about 10 minutes.
He applied lots of detangling shampoo to my hair, and detangled it section by section, with a wide tooth comb. Actually saturated my hair with it. I was really surprised by this because, salons tend to be stingy and well, my hair is a lot!
Shampoo finally rinsed out, he applied what he described as a “Straightening conditioner” to my hair, and then I wore a plastic cap, and sat under the steamer for about 45 minutes. He rinsed the conditioner out afterwards, and applied leave-ins to my hair.
4. The Blow-Out
He twisted my hair up again, say 15-20 big chunky twists. I thought this was going to be the part where he trimmed my hair, but it was just a sectioning step and also, to prevent shrinkage. Btw, the ends of the twists were looking so sad!
He then took to blowdrying my hair, twisted section by twisted section. He blowdried each section twice. First with a comb attachment, and then, with a different dryer (low heat), and a denman brush. This second go with the brush was TRANSFORMATIVE, yo. My hair turned fluffy when he did that! Major key.
My hair already had enough body and movement- and at this point I was really considering just trimming the ends after blow drying, and calling it a day.
5. The Press
He straightened my hair with a flat iron, using the Comb Chase Method. I don’t understand people that do “dime size” and I don’t think spreading a drop of product over one’s head is ever enough, especially not in crucial heat treatment as this. Before straightening, he added more heat protectant to EACH section. This really helped to allay my fears!
6. The Trim
After the straightening was done, Zaynab (another stylist) stepped in to do the trimming. My friend W helped me take a picture, and if you can see: the top half is shiny and in the bottom half, the hair looks very… “feathery”. That, my friends, is the sadness and strife of raggedy split ends. I think it’s safe to say 2 inches were taken off.
7. The Curl
Austin came back to curl my whole head with a flat iron.
After this, the curls were then brushed out and styled.
All in all, this took 4 hours from start to finish. When we were almost done, Austin asked me if it was too much volume. Haha! I told him there is NO such thing as too much volume. Neauxp. Never!
My Salon Experience at TasalaHQ
I really enjoyed getting my hair done at TasalaHQ. Like I’d rate it 5 stars. Maximum customer satisfaction, I had nothing to complain about.
The salon was clean and spacious with lots of natural light. Next time though, I’ll be sure to sit by the window, so I can take advantage of all that light! My stylist Austin was pretty awesome. Loved it. I paid 10,000 Naira for the service- which is not change, but it was definitely worth it.
I appreciate the quality of the products used (that is, the entire Mizani Thermasmooth System as well as products from Design Essentials & a Bio-Silk serum) As I mentioned earlier, my stylist was not stingy with the products. Like I do with my own hair, he made sure every strand got some. He was gentle, and not once did I panic thinking, does this guy know what he’s doing?!
Sure, to get my roots, there were like 4, 5 times when the straightener/ heat hit my scalp, but we are human innit? I wasn’t hurt though, my scalp is perfectly fine 🙂
Can’t forget the volume, the bounciness, the shine, the super softness of my hair! It was not crispy, at all. It also did not smell burnt. I felt amazing, really feeling myself with the retro/vintage vibes, haha. Actually, next time, I should get dressed up 60s style! I had been a little worried that I would not feel like myself afterwards (the last time I had curls like this was in 2011!) but I felt like me.
As I like to say, natural hair is versatile (4C hair theee most versatile!), and getting a silk press is one of the ways to have fun with your hair. Don’t be afraid to go straight if you want to!
Will I Revisit?
I do not plan to overdo this heat thing, of course- and you know I don’t go to salons that often, but I’ll definitely be back at TasalaHQ!
Where to Find
You can visit TasalaHQ at 1, Bank Road, Ikoyi, Lagos.**
It’s better to call ahead, make an appointment! 07063509207
They are open 9am to 6pm, Tuesday to Saturday.
Email: info [at] tasalahq [dot] com
** Interestingly, there are 3 buildings claiming to be #1 on Bank Road but the mall/ shopping complex where TasalaHQ is, is the real #1, at the beginning of the street. If you turn off from Forrest Street, that is, the former Old Secretariat Road, the IN gate is just beside the Forte Oil station.
Next week, I’ll tell you guys all about my silk press maintenance & styling in great detail. Make sure you’re subscribed so you don’t miss it!
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If there’s anything else you’d like to know, feel free as always, to ask in the comments. Have you ever silk pressed your hair? Where did you do it? Did you like the outcome? Would you or would you never?
If you have been to TasalaHQ, please talk about your experience too! You can even leave your review directly, on their page in our Where to Find directory here.
Do you ever wish you could be a Kardashian for a moment? When I’m trying to document my hairscapades in photos, I usually wish I had a camera crew with me, haha. The photos in this post were taken by 3 people: Austin (my stylist), my friend W, and my boyfren’. Shalla to them for making this post possible. 🙂