The Difference Between Flat Ironing & Silk Press

It is an interesting challenge to describe the differences between flat iron and silk press.

Some people think ‘silk press’ is just another word for ‘flat iron’ or ‘straight hair’ because they can not really tell their differences.

It is that true? Let’s find out.

Flat Ironing vs. Silk Press: They Have Something in Commons

A Silk Press Can Not Be Done Without A Flat Iron

Well, silk press a term that is specially used to describe the shiny straight hair that is transformed from the natural hair.

To achieve the perfect result of a silk press, a flat ironing process is a must as you need to press the hair straight and make them manageable, frizz-free, and smooth. That is to say, flat ironing is part of the silk press as you can not get a silk press without a flat iron. So a powerful flat iron is the essential tool of a silk press.

The Technique Is Identical

When it comes to the styling technique of regular flat ironing and silk press, they are exactly the same.

Getting a silk press done is just like straightening the natural hair. First, you need to blow dry and detangle the natural hair with a nice blow dryer and a comb that is not going to hurt our hair. Then give your hair sections a few passes with a hot flat iron until every strand is completely straight and relaxed.

Flat Ironing vs. Silk Press: Why Are They Different?

These words are often used interchangeably by people with natural hair sometimes, but technically, the silk press is more than just flat ironing.

A Silk Press Only Can Only Be Done On Natural Hair

Yeah, the word silk press is only for natural hair. Everybody can straighten their hair with flat ironing, but we always think a silk press is a technique that gives natural hair a relaxed, shiny, and healthy look.

For people with straight hair already, we usually just use the term flat ironing directly instead of the word silk press.

You Can Not Get A Silk Press with Low Heat Setting

Natural hair is kinky and resistant, and the idea of “silk press” requires high heat to straighten the natural strands. Compared to regular flat ironing, a silk press can not be done without a hot temperature.

When you use a flat iron, you can adjust the temperature accordingly to get the look that you like. The temperature is not necessarily to be very hot as some people would like the look to be slightly wavy or a bit natural textured.

With that being said, silk press may cause more heat damage to your hair cuticles and hair strands. So a high-quality heat protectant is always used when getting a silk press.

To Achieve Silky & Bouncy Effect, You Need Special Hair Products for Silk Press

As the name suggests, the standard for a good silk press is how silky the hair is. And an excellent silk press should be healthy, voluminous as well.

To make our natural hair silky and has a lot of body and movement, there are some hair products that are frequently used for silk press.

For example, a silky serum that leaves hair no grease is going to help your hair with more shine and smoothness.

A heat protectant with up to 450 degrees protection can effectively protect your hair from the high heat caused by your hot flat iron and your blow dryer for silk press. And a voluminous hair spray is going to prevent the straight hair from weighing down by these hair products.

You can skip some of these items when flat ironing at home, but a salon-grade professional silk press can not be achieved without them.


Overall, the word “silk press” can be interpreted as a flat ironing method that makes natural hair relaxed, silky and smooth. The only difference is that a silk press is always straight and shiny while flat ironed hair has various looks.

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