Last year, the world rediscovered sock curls as a way to achieve effortless tresses without a single hot tool. But now, a new at-home beauty hack has entered the scene to cater for the exact opposite effect: straight hair maintenance.
TikTok has revealed that a humble pair of tights or stockings can extend the longevity of straightened locks — be it a wig install, silk press or blowout — while also minimising flyaways, frizz and dullness.
The hack takes inspiration from the doobie wrap — a protective style where straightened hair is wrapped around the scalp and pinned down — which has roots in Caribbean and Black salons.
This method of styling offers an alternative to wearing a headscarf, silk wrap or bonnet to bed, not only by pressing your hair down flat, but also separating it so you don't ruffle it up while tossing and turning in your sleep.
Now, people on TikTok (and me) are using a pair of tights for a similar effect.
I recently had my 3C curls straightened for a wedding and my hairdresser insisted I look up this nifty DIY, so my silk press not only lasts the full fortnight it's meant to, but also maintains that just-walked-out-of-the-hairdresser look for longer.
With no extra products in my shopping cart or a need to whip out a straightener again for daily touch-ups, this was a winner in my books. And all you need is a pair of stockings and some scissors.
I went for a cheap pair of tights from my local supermarket as I knew I would be hacking into them soon enough. It ended up being a 15-denier pair, which wasn't so thin that it immediately ripped into a million ladders, but also not so tight that the legs were too stiff to work with.
The size of the waist is also important here as that is the part that sits on your noggin. I found that a generic medium size was borderline too tight, so if your head is on the larger side or if you're prone to tension alopecia, then going one size up will prevent any headaches or pulling. (I found that the tights naturally ride up your edges while you sleep as well.)
I loosely separated my hair with a middle part and split the two halves over my shoulders. Then, after cutting off the seam of the stockings where the toes would usually go, I fed my hand through the first side of the hole and gently pulled through one side of my straightened hair.
I repeated on the other side with the second half of my hair, then pulled the dangling waistband up and over, so it sat nicely along my hairline. Finally, I took the two legs of the stockings, crisscrossed them over my head and secured them with a knot on top of my head.
As someone who didn't follow the instructions properly the first time I tried it, I did accidentally approach the straight stockings hack the other way around — putting the waist of the stockings over my head first and feeding the hair through the legs after. It's fiddly but doable, however, approaching it correctly will save you a lot of energy and grief.
For added protection, I popped a bonnet on top (a hair turban or towel wrap will do the same job, but silk or satin is always preferable for naturally curly hair), which minimised my 'do rubbing against the pillow.
In the days since getting my silk press, it looks as close to day-one hair as I could hope for without touching it up with a hair straightener. The light waves I got done on top have dropped, but thankfully, the straightness of my hair has endured.
All I do in the mornings is lightly run a rat tail comb through it, keep a vial of my favourite flyaway gel handy for when the wind turns me into Alfalfa from The Little Rascals, and go out of my way to avoid wetting my edges when washing my face so no sneaky curls work their way back in prematurely.
So long as the weather behaves and there are no bursts of rain or high humidity, I'm excited to rock this silk press for weeks, thanks to this easy TikTok trick.