Which is better for your hair? Ceramic style flat irons or traditional pressing combs? Good question... I get asked this question a lot and I will share from my own experience on why I stopped using pressing combs in my salon over 10 yrs ago and cast iron curlers 13 yrs ago. As a professional hair care provider of 28 years I have always loved healthy hair and aimed to provide my clients the best in hair care. Having worked with top companies like Loreal and Mizani and know my own, SIlkOut System I truly understand what it takes to create and maintain healthy hair... great products, techniques, and tools.
About 15 year ago, I began to practice different techniques to minimize heat on my clients hair, I noticed that no matter how much care I was giving their hair some where still experiencing dryness which led to split ends more frequently. So through the process of elimination I began eliminating heat sources. I switched from traditional hard press and curling to just blow drying and doing a root press only... I still was not liking the results and I knew something was contributing to the dryness of my clients hair.
I identified that the type of curlers I was using, the traditional stove and iron mechanism found in most black hair care salons were the culprit. I did some research and began to learn about ceramic irons and in short how they offered a healthier heat which helped the hair to retain moisture. In short the technology behind these irons is ionic. The positive ions in the iron plates would attract themselves to the negative sites in the hair and begin to heal, smooth, and positively charge them. In addition to having a controlled temperature in which the hair was not being cooked.
Picture this, it's like cooking eggs in this case. the cast iron radiates a strong amount of heat, but not the best for eggs. You will get a dryer and crispier egg because of the type of metal, it will need oil to keep from sticking but still ends up being fried. Now the teflon coated pan needs no oil and cooks the egg without sticking or burning the egg. Same as the hair... many stylist use oils, spritz and more then apply hot cast metal irons to the hair for the sizzle effect which leads to drier hair and more split irons which can result in shorter hair over time. I get new clients frequently whose stylist can't explain why their hair is getting shorter with out cuts but they are in the salon for care frequently.
In 2007 I began to introduce my clients to ceramic irons for finishing their hair, they were resistant but I assured them it would be better for their hair. The results were that in 90 days of the ionic technology the hair was healthier and in 6 months to a year all my clients hair was 3" to 6" longer than it had ever been, the results of healthier heat from the ceramic irons. They were all sold and if you try to use a marcel or pressing comb on their hair they will duck. My regular clients now have fuller hair and only need trims about every 90 days resulting in length retention which equals longer hair. No magic potions just hair care.
Next was the pressing comb, now although it had been revolutionary for how black women cared for their hair it still had a unmeasurable amount of heat and not all textures need that type of heat. In fact as I began to master my blow drying techniques I found that I didn't need to press not only my hair but my clients either. Now this took a little longer to convince them that their root area would last 2 weeks without a pressing comb until in 2010 I removed those from my salon as well and perfected my press-n-curl without those tools. The SILKOUT was born, affectionately knows as a silk press or thermal texturizing.
The biggest question we get is, how do you get to the root or edges? How... with proper preparation it's easy. We opt to blow dry hair flat and smooth especially at the root with a 7 row brush, it offers enough grip and tension on textured hair to stretch the hair and dry it straight without over stretching the strands like round brushing can. It leaves the root area easier to SILKOUT and with enough texture to create volume and bouncy curls with the ceramic irons. Smaller sections may be needed for thicker hair and around the hairline but our clients are completely loving the finished product. To add, with the revolution of natural or textured hair more women are embracing their texture and some want the versatility of straight or curly and a healthier heat prevents loss of curl pattern due to the ability to measure the heat and use the right amount depending on the texture.
Now their are several types of irons on the market. In the video above you see us using our SilkOut Pro Heat iron by SilkOut System Hair Care that has a dual finish. Its made with a titanium plate coated with a ceramic finish. Why two metals, well the titanium iron omits a large amount of heat, a naturally found metal, and great for thicker coarser hair but still controlled up to 450 degrees yet is finished with ceramic buffer the heat and to protect the hair and give a smoother finish that won't pull or snag the hair. We suggest heat in moderation from 375 -450 degrees, your stylist would know best.
We forgot to add the amount of carbon that is released into the air when using these older heat tools... you know that black hair salon smell, burnt hair smell... well its toxic and won't go to much into that in this post.
I can't speak for all stylist but this post is based on my 28 yrs experience in the salon and managing healthy hair and the results that clients who care about their hair are in love with. I hope this post opens your mind to the possibility that technology evolves every industry and although we respect our leaders in the industry and what they have brought forth we had to evolve to offer our clients the best in hair care.