Monday, May 17, 2010

The Secrets To Bouncy, Swingin' Pressed Hair

Techniques for uber straight, silky hair starts way before you pick up those pressing combs, and that flat iron. - Obtaining salon results at home is easy if you employ these methods.
  1. Shampoo your hair thoroughly with a clarifying shampoo. This will rid your hair of excess oils, and products that will weigh your hair down causing it to be dull, lifeless, and limp. - I usually shampoo my hair until it is squeaky clean [i rub the hair between my fingers until I actually hear a squeak], then I follow up with a moisturizing shampoo to impart some moisture back into my hair. Pay special attention to the crown area; as this tends to have the most buildup.
  2. Condition, and condition well. You want your hair to be in the best shape it can possibly be in prior to thermal straightening. I usually deep condition for about 30minutes w/heat, or an hour without heat. A good deep conditioning treatment will ensure that your detangling process is a lot smoother [reducing tangles, shed hair, damage from combing], and it will also impart sheen, and softness to your hair that will greatly affect the final outcome.
  3. Rinse THOROUGHLY, I can't say this enough. If you still have conditioner in your hair; you more than likely will not get the body, and "swing" you desire. Rinse with cold water; as this closes the cuticle, and makes for shiny hair. You will know if you still have product in your hair if the pressing comb is smoking. It should not smoke. Steam, is ok. Smoke means there is still product residue present [pressing your hair w/residue will also cause an odor to be left behind on your hair as well]. I will more than likely re-shampoo at this point if I notice smoke.
  4. Use GOOD pressing combs. All pressing combs are not created equal. Trust; I have had almost every brand known to man, but always come back to Kizure. They are supreme in my book. 
  5. TEMPER your pressing combs. This is SUPER important. I would like to point out that Kizure advertises their combs are "pre-tempered", however I temper them ANYWAY. Well tempered combs hold heat evenly along the comb which ensures an even, straight press [this also cuts down on heat passes]. If you have ever had to put your comb back in the oven several times before getting one section straight; your combs weren't tempered properly. I can straighten 2-3 sections with my pressing comb before needing to place it back on the heat source - Temper the combs by leaving them in an oven [hair oven] for 6-8 hours. After that point, they should well tempered, and ready for use. Another bonus for tempering is that it removes any finish left behind from the manufacturer of the combs. 
  6. Use smaller sections to press hair; I suggest parting in 11/2 inch sections. 
  7. Avoid using a STOVE TOP for pressing. Invest in an oven, pressing your hair on the stove top can cause serious dryness as that is a completely different source of heat. All heat sources are not created equal. 
  8. When pulling the comb through your hair; flip your wrist so that the hair somewhat wraps itself around the comb; it is the BACK of the pressing comb that does the pressing, not the teeth.


  1. I am really considering pressing my hair for straight styling. Flat irons just don't do the job. Your hair looks so great. What do you use to press?

  2. So tempering is leaving the comb in the ovel for 6-8 hours each time you press? I'm not exactly sure what temper means. ^^;

  3. Hey Moptop Maven! thanks for the tips. could you recommend a good sulfate free clarifying shampoo? and also do you ever use the flat iron to straighten? is pressing less damaging? i appreciate your answers!!

  4. I love flat irons! They get my hair very straight. I think that I would be scared to use a straightening tool with an oven :/

  5. Love your blog! Where do you get all the oils you use? I'm specifically interested in Monoi de Tahiti and camellia oil. Thanks!

  6. Great Post! How do you clean your pressing combs after you use them? Do you soak, scrub, and rinse them? Also, how often do you clean them, i.e., after every press?

  7. Hi Moptop,
    Just curious, why do you choose to use a pressing comb instead of a flat iron for your hair? Pros and cons? Thanks.

  8. @crosstif Thank you! I use a pressing comb to get my hair straight; then a flat iron to smooth it out a bit more making it nice and silky

    @allie Thank you, my favorite no-sulfate poo is Keracare [they just released a sulfate free version] - And flat irons retain a lot more heat in comparison to pressing combs. Which means it could potentially be more damaging. I hardly ever use it to straighten. Just to be clear, I press first; then I go over my hair with a flat iron [but in large sections].

    @Violet You only temper the comb once. Once you have tempered the comb for 6-8hours; there is no need to do it again.

    @Alana Get yourself a heat tester! You will never be afraid again after using that! lol

    @Anonymous Thank you! I get the Monoi De Tahiti from Trader Joe's - & the Camellia Oil from

    @Aisling Thank you! I soak them in a half water; half apple cider vinegar mix for about 2 hrs. Then I let them air dry. - I clean them after every use.

    @LaToya I like using a pressing comb because flat irons retain a lot more heat then pressing combs do [because of the amount of iron, and weight] - This could potentially be a lot more dangerous then pressing. So to be on the safe side, I use the pressing combs.

  9. I'm glad you mentioned tempering. My mother always said her best comb was the old comb because it was tempered from years of use. I gave up on pressing with a new comb.

  10. Great info! Have you experienced any heat damage from pressing?

    I'm a relatively new natural and all the buzz about heat damage has made me really wary of straightening. I've actually had no heat on my hair in over a year - but I'm psyching myself up for a press in the winter (pressing in the summer, with my hair makes no sense...I have the childhood pics to prove it!)

  11. Which Kizure comb do you use? I didn't know that made so many models. lol.

  12. Thanks for answering my question.

  13. @Brown Babe - Way back when YES. Now no. As I am very careful with my hair; the amount of heat I use...and the frequency in which I use heat. Like anything you just have to do it in moderation. A few times a year for length check, a trim, or just to try something out shouldn't be bad provided you or your stylist practices proper thermal straightening techniques.

    @lolou I use the K52 for coarse hair

    @Aisling Your welcome!

  14. I am new to your blog and so far I love the information you have to give. Will there be a video of you pressing your hair in the near future?

    Thanks! :-)

  15. Thanks!! What type of Kizure pressing comb do you use?? Or do you have more than one size? The website has No details whatsoever!! Help!! LOL

  16. (sigh) i went on the Kizure website and there are sooo many models, K52 is no longer listed. How do we choose the right pressing comb? i have coarse 4b hair.

  17. Sorry this is a little late, but I was searching your site for hair straightening tips. And what helped me cut down on using too much heat is braiding my hair after conditioning.

    I deep condition over night, rinse it in the morning, apply heat protectant , and braid my hair in 15 sections. Once its dried I unbraid it, and flat iron.

    This process has made all the difference and I do not have to blow my hair. My roots get smooth and the rest of my hair is dried in very loose waves.

  18. is dried in very loose waves and is easy to straighten with a flat iron.

  19. Do you use a Kizure oven as well?


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