What is a Silk Wrap?

What is a silk wrap

What Is a Silk Wrap

When someone refers to a silk wrap, they could be referring to two different things. They may be referring to the process of silk wrapping your hair or they may be referring to the product known as silk wrap which is used for covering your hair.

The Process of Silk Wrapping

A silk wrap can refer to the process of “silking” your hair – or straightening and smoothing your natural hair while dry to achieve a smooth and straightened look without the use of chemicals or excessive heat.

It is usually achieved by adding some moisture and shine spray and sitting under a hooded dryer until the desired flat iron-like effect is achieved. Silk wraps can be done at a salon or at home, and are traditionally used for African American hair textures to reduce heat damage to their natural hair.

Silk Hair Wraps

A silk wrap can also refer to a silk scarf or large piece of silk fabric one ties around their head, usually at night, to protect their hair. It is commonly used alongside the silk wrapping process to ensure the hair stays straight overnight.

Wearing a silk wrap around your hair at night provides many benefits such as keeping hair soft, shiny, and tangle-free while you sleep. It can also keep your hairstyle intact at night or during the day.

While this style is also traditionally used by African Americans, many people have adopted the benefits of using a silk hair wrap to protect their strands.

Steps for Silk Wrapping to Straighten Your Hair

Silk wrapping is essentially another way to straighten your hair without causing excessive heat damage. It is used primarily for African American hair textures.

Silk Wrapping Process 

Whether it is done at home or the salon, these are the basic steps to silk wrap your hair for a safer straightened look.

1. Cleanse Hair

First, thoroughly wash your hair with shampoo and conditioner to provide a clean head for the silk wrapping process. Try to detangle your hair with the conditioner still in, then rinse it out.

2. Apply Heat Protectant

Thoroughly distribute a heat protectant product through your hair while damp, making sure all your strands are covered. You can also apply a deep conditioner or smoothing product as long as it is heat-safe.

3. Roller Set Hair

Using rollers, roll all of your hair into equal-sized sections of the same length. The size of your rollers may depend on the length of your hair and the thickness of the sections.

How to Roll Your Hair using Roller Set

4. Sit Under Dryer

Depending on if you are at the salon or at home, sit under the hood dryer, or use a hairdryer until your hair is completely dry. If at home, hold the hairdryer over your head until dry. Then, remove your hair from the rollers.

5. Wrap

This part is where the magic happens. Tightly wrap your hair using saran wrap, making sure there are no gaps or ripped pieces. Then, sit back under the dryer for another 15-20 minutes.

If using a hand-held dryer, apply a plastic cap or plastic shopping bag on top of the saran wrap as well to mimic the job of the hooded dryer. Once done, you can remove the wrap and enjoy your new look!

Difference Between a Silk Wrap and Silk Press

Silk wraps and silk presses are both ways to style your natural hair straight. However, the process between the two is different. As we now know, silk wraps involve wrapping your hair in saran wrap to achieve the desired straightened look.

Silk presses on the other hand imply blow drying and then using a flat iron, along with heat protectant products, to achieve that straight look. Like silk wraps, silk presses also straighten your hair without the use of harmful chemicals that are often found in relaxers. In summary, if you are looking to reduce heat damage to your hair, a silk wrap is the safer option.

Do Silk Wraps Work?

Silk wraps do work to straighten your hair as long as you follow the recommended steps. It might be beneficial to go to a salon to get your silk wrap to ensure it is done correctly and with the proper equipment.

You also need to maintain your silk wrap by keeping your hair away from water and sweat, and taking precautions while sleeping to make sure it lasts as long as possible.

How Long Does Silk Wrap Hair Last?

A silk wrap will usually last about 2 weeks if maintained properly. Since silk wrap is a form of temporarily straightening your hair, it will last until you wash your hair or get it wet. If you are an athlete or like to break a sweat at the gym, keep in mind sweat can result in curling if you are not careful.

Below are a few ways to maintain your straight hair after a silk wrap.

1. Keep Your Hair Away From Water

Water is the enemy of straightened hair. Wear a shower cap while showering to avoid wetting your hairdo. Check the weather before leaving the house and plan accordingly for rain by bringing an umbrella, raincoat, or jacket with a waterproof hood.

2. Wrap Your Hair In Silk Overnight

Use a silk scarf overnight to protect your hair. Silk fabric protects your hair from the tossing and turning of the night and keeps it shiny and smooth. Wrap your hair and tie the scarf around it securely to protect your style.

3. Protect Against Sweat

If you are going to the gym or anticipating sweating, take precautions, as sweat can also ruin your silk wrap. Wrap your hair in a silk scarf or a wrap cap and do not remove it until your head has completely dried from the workout.

4. Avoid Heavy Products 

Excessive products can weigh down your hair and ruin the smooth, silky feel you just achieved. Use products sparingly with a silk wrap so your hair stays light. If you want to add extra shine, a light shine spray can be used, since spray does not weigh down your hair in the same way oils and creams do.

5. Do Not Use Extra Heat

Applying more heat to your already straightened hair will take away its bounce. If you want to experiment with your style with a silk press, use non-heat methods such as rollers, braids, or pin curls.

Can You Do a Silk Wrap on Relaxed Hair

Typically, silk wraps are done on natural hair as a way to achieve a straightened look without chemicals. Since relaxed hair is usually in a straightened state, it is not as likely for a client to ask for a silk wrap. However, it is perfectly safe to do a silk wrap on relaxed hair.

Can You Make Silk Wrap Hair Overnight

You can perform a silk wrap overnight. If done, it should result in a more flat and sleek look. Make sure you still dry your hair completely before going to bed, but you can wear the saran wrap overnight and remove it in the morning.

Make sure you still follow the same protocols to protect your look by keeping it away from water and wrapping it with a silk fabric overnight.

Are Silk Wraps Healthy For Your Hair

Silk wraps are neither healthy nor unhealthy for your hair. They are a healthier alternative to straightening your hair but do not provide any additional protection. To take preventative measures against heat-damaged hair, only get a silk wrap about every 8-12 weeks at most.

Wrapping Your Hair with a Silk Scarf or Wrap

Wrapping your hair in a silk hair wrap or scarf at night is common to protect your style, whether it be straightened, natural, or curled. Scarves are now used among many ethnic groups to keep hair healthy and smooth overnight and to prevent breakage caused by tossing and turning against cotton sheets and pillows. Silk pillowcases are also popular now for similar reasons.

History of Hair Wraps

Headwraps have a long history and originally developed in Africa among different cultural groups, taking on many names such as geles or dukus. The scarves were used for many different cultural meanings such as religion, marital status, social class, and more.

Due to the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, the style made its way to North America. During slavery, many women still wore their head scarves to protect their scalps from the sun and insects.

In the 1970s headwraps came back into fashion as symbolization for the Black Power movement. Today, they are still used in fashion and for their durability as a protective style accessory.

Benefits of Wrapping Hair at Night With Silk Wrap

There are various advantages of wrapping your hair with a silk hair wrap overnight. Below are a few reasons you may want to consider wrapping your hair, no matter what texture your hair is.

Protects Your Style

Wrapping your hair in a silk scarf or wrap overnight protects the overall style of your hair. For example, if your hair is straight, a silk wrap will help it from creasing overnight. If your hair is curled or naturally curly, it will preserve your curls for longer so they look fresh every day.

Prevents Tangles and Frizz

Your hair tangles a lot when tossing and turning at night on cotton sheets and pillowcases. Cotton actually is not a very kind fabric for your locks. Wrapping your hair in silk, or even investing in a silk pillowcase, will result in fewer tangles and frizz in the morning.

Prevents Breakage

Again, your hair can get damaged just from sleeping. Silk protects against breakage and split ends since there is less friction than with cotton fabric. If you struggle with split ends, consider getting a silk hair wrap.

Wash Your Hair Less

The oils in your hair move around a lot, and sometimes to places we don’t want them. When wearing a silk wrap overnight, the oils have the ability to move from root to tip in a contained space, distributing evenly throughout your hair rather than just around your scalp, making your hair look and feel oily.

This is a good method to train your hair to last longer in between washes.

How to Wrap Hair with Silk Hair Wrap Overnight 

Wrapping your hair may seem confusing at first. Here are a few steps to teach you how to properly wrap and secure your hair overnight.

Brush and Secure

If you are trying to protect your straightened hair, first you want to part your hair and brush it smooth. Wrap it around your head, keeping it as flat as possible, and secure with bobby pins.

If you’re preserving your natural curls,  you can put them in a high, loose ponytail on the top of your head. If working with natural curls, you can spritz your hair lightly with leave-in spray or water.

You can also twist or braid your hair before wrapping it if you are not concerned with protecting a certain style.

Wrap the Hair

A popular way to wrap your hair is the turban method. To do this, grab your silk scarf and fold it into a triangle. Place the longer side of the triangle around the back of your neck under all of your hair, ensuring the softer side is facing against your hair.

Take the ends and secure them on the top of your head. Then, take the remaining point and pull it up, making sure all your hair ends up inside the wrap. Tie this together with the pieces already tied on top of your head.

Another method is to place your silk scarf over your head as a square. Tie the loose ends in the back under all your hair. There should be a long piece, somewhat like a ponytail remaining. Twist it tightly into a bun and then tuck the end of the bun securely under the rest of the scarf.

If this does not work for you, an easier method is to invest in a silk bonnet. If it is too big for your head, secure the loose fabric with a hair tie.

Best Silk Wraps For Hair

The best silk wraps are the ones made with 100% silk. These may run a bit higher in price but are the best for your hair. If you want a cheaper option, satin hair wraps serve a similar purpose and are also good for protecting your hair and preventing damage overnight. Don’t know where to start to get the best silk wrap?

Here are a few recommendations that are highly rated.

1. ZIMASILK’s 100% Mulberry Silk Sleep Cap

It has 4.5 stars with over 16,000 reviews. It also comes in multiple colors.

ZIMASILK 22 Momme 100% Mulberry Silk Sleep Cap for Women Hair Care,Natural Silk Night Bonnet with Elastic Stay On Head (1Pc, Pink)
Check Price on Amazon


2. QYX’s 100% Silk Scarf

It has 4.6 stars and comes in a variety of beautiful patterns and can be styled in many ways.

100% Silk Scarf - Women's Fashion Large Sunscreen Shawls Wraps - Lightweight Floral Pattern Satin for Headscarf&Neck ((Flower-Red))
Check Price on Amazon

3. LilySilk’s Silk Sleep Cap for women

It comes in 6 colors and is made from 6A Grade mulberry silk.

LilySilk Silk Head Cap for Women Traceless Half Black Elastic 100 Real Mulberry Silk 19 Momme Flat Cap Sleeping for Hair Taupe
Check Price on Amazon


Now you know that a silk wrap can refer to 2 different things: the process of silk wrapping your hair to straighten it, and a protective silk fabric usually used at night to prevent hair damage. With these tips on both types of silk wraps, you can go on and enjoy wrapping your hair with the best results.

Recent Posts