Don’t Be Ashamed To Admit To A Silkener


As you all know we follow hundreds of blogs Afrobella being one of our favorites. A while back she did an interview with Titi Branch, one half of the Miss Jessie empire. We really enjoyed it because for the first time, for me personally I saw where Titi admitted to using a silkner on her hair to get her curls to look the way they do.

If you do not know what a silkener is, it is simply a chemical process that stretches your curls making them more manageable. If you go to the Miss Jessie salon and get a silkener, it involves using sodium hydroxide commonly known as lye to stretch your hair.

This is a mild texturizer, and it can be a life saver for a lot of women who find it difficult to care for there own kinky texture or want a different look from what their texture would give them. Here is a snippet of what Titi had to say:

“The silkener is a chemical process. We use sodium hydroxide, which is commonly known as lye, and we put it in typically natural hair in order to stretch it out. There has been a lot of controversy about silkeners and chemical processing in the natural hair community. But I think the reason it remains such a popular service is because it really helps people to get what they want, that curly hair sass,” Titi explained.

Titi was very forthcoming making the point that if you have a kinky texture and you want to have your hair look like Tracee Ross you will have to do something a bit different. When you go to a salon, a great stylist will try her best to give you what you want, they will look at your little magazine clipping and tell you what you will need to achieve that look, chemicals or not.

When Titi was asked why she has a silkener she said:

Because I don’t have time to do my hair, to spend the time that it would take to do it natural. It’s just a personal decision.  I want to just be able to wash it, condition it, rinse it out, put product in it, and let it dry and get curly. That’s how I like to do my hair,” she said.

Silkeners are growing in popularity and we thought is there such a thing as a ‘closet silkener’. Would you be ashamed to admit that you used one on your hair for whatever reason? If you do find yourself in the closet we are here to let you know you don’t have to be.

Originally posted 2014-05-26 15:00:45.

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About Petra

Hi I'm Petra Lomax , a staff writer and editor for . I am Jamaican born and raised and moved to the United States in my early 20's. I have a BA in Political Science and International relations as well as an MBA and a Masters In Project Management. I love travel, culture and anything that has to do with creative media and business.

About Petra

Hi I'm Petra Lomax , a staff writer and editor for . I am Jamaican born and raised and moved to the United States in my early 20's. I have a BA in Political Science and International relations as well as an MBA and a Masters In Project Management. I love travel, culture and anything that has to do with creative media and business.


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Acreativemind CreativeZita VigierAndrea TreasureJoAnn MortonExquisite Douglas Recent comment authors
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Erica Kelly

So funny. Me and the lady with the light hair have the same hair!

Tamika Lametra Webster-Clarke

It’s basically a texturizer?

Yes it’s Miss Jessie’s version of a texturizer, which Titi, the one with the hair color in the pic, uses herself to loosen her texture.

Candi Ballard-Zolicoffer

What is a silkerner

Shayla Y'israel

No because my hair will no longer be natural

Maya Woodall

Never heard of tht

Marilyn Rmsb

It’s the same thing as if you were using that texterizer it’s all still perm like.

Kai McIver

It sounds like “silkner” is a fancy word for texturizer lol. Do what you are comfortable with on your hair. Chemicals stunt my hair growth, so I opt out. But I don’t have a problem with someone else doing it…more power to you.

Essence Wilcox


Cee Turner

they both have beautiful hair.

Artrice Barker

Maybe if it would look like theirs.

Donna Chesser

If you do you won’t be natural!


Telling people not to be ashamed that they use a “silkener” but refuse to call it what it is… a mild relaxer. LOL

No one should feel ashamed of what they prefer to do to their own hair. Calling the process silkening or texturising is just a way for people to pretend they are not relaxing their hair. It’s just hair! Be proud to rock it anyway you want to.

Thick Nette

I am seriously considering this if I’m ever going to wear my hair out. It dosent cooperate with braid outs, twist outs or wash and goes. It just frizzes up like a poodle. I want that look without all the time consuming prep work! I don’t have that kind of time. Weaves and braids are my constants!

Lucia Yassin

Never! Then my hair would no longer be natural and chemical free. Just because it doesn’t completely straighten the hair like a relaxer, doesn’t mean it’s not the same thing. It’s still altering your natural texture.


Maybe if I had short hair, but my hair is long so NO I would not risk using a “silkener”!!!

Theresa Marie Bryant

Not if it changes my texture permanently

Lasilia Imnottheonenottoday Thornton

nope i wouldnt. i like learning my own texture.

Vee Hx
Vee Hx

If you use a chemical process in your hair, you cannot claim to be natural, because you are not natural. I didn’t even know such a thing existed!

jane harlow
jane harlow

I was considering straigtening my hair with coppola keratin straigtening treatment. would you recommend. Can you give me details about the treatment


it’s funny how people try to give a product another name. It’s not a Silkener, it’s a Perm. Call it for what it is and stopping telling those who actually believe it only makes the hair silky. You need to do the same thing with a perm as a “silkener”. Get real. You are no longer Natural, but you are back to using permanent products-IT’S A PERM.

Maybell Lena Killion


Kaily Jeter

Nope, I love my 4a-4c texture the way it is.

Michelle Nesbeth

Absolutely NOT!!!!

Tomeka Justice


Rhonda Rhonda Rhonda

What is a silkner?

Cb Sampson

lye like in a relaxer just not as much same difference new name

Tina Waters

A relaxer or perm as some say.

Chanèl Renee

What is a silkener ?

Tina Waters

A relaxer.

Chanèl Renee

Oh . okay , thanks. Then I definitely don’t want one !,

Denise Niecy Thompson


Velouise Bell


Cb Sampson

Not putting lye on my scalp just because you call it a silkener its still lye a relaxer in other words

Jamila Kelly

guys actually read the article before asking what a silkener is

Dabney Ross Jones

Thank you! Ugh!

Angel Park

I usually never do. I don’t like to click links because some give viruses .

Jamila Kelly

it’s a link to her page though idk how you’d get a virus ^^;

Megan M. Mercy

Nope nah nah uh nawwwwwwww no

Alicia Williams


Dabney Ross Jones

No, but my mom who has extremely coily hair might benefit from it.

Tina Waters

A silkener is simply a relaxer. If you chose to get your hair relaxed so be it. However there’s no point in you being involved in a “natural hair movement”. If you’re going to be encouraging black women to accept their natural texture you can’t have a relaxer yourself.
It may help you manage your hair better but that’s just what relaxers do.

Krista Kinchen

Isn’t this just a relaxer????

Krista Kinchen

So in other words, people are faking being natural, that’s disappointing,kinda like “passing”

Lynn Maupins

I love my nappy! Lol

Deanna Merritt Ross

Nah. I’m good.

Sivon Lockhart

Who cares? It’s your hair, do whatever you want with it.

Courtney Gray

We care thats why we are talking about it. And “do what u want with your hair” how about looking at both sides before u make a decision. Thats what we r doing

Stephie Smith

I’ll keep my kinks thank you very much…. this is still adding synthetic chemicals into my natural hair and thats a no no!!

Jennifer Walker

Silkeners are made from lye…just like some relaxers…hmmmm..i think not

Mel Roberts

Look this is very simple!. You either go all natural and put up with the combing and pain. OR put a little chemical on the hair which is better known as RELAXER. You can call it any fancy name but as soon as you place anything PERMANENT that changes the hair texture it’s called RELAXER. It is what it is!!

Mel Roberts

I love all hair.

Cynthia Williams Butler

Hell no

Lauren Ralph


Courtney Davis

Nope. Defeats the p purpose

Andrea Treasure

What’s the sense using a silkner…u wouldn’t be a natural any more. My hair is as kinky as it gets. For the past couple of months of daily moisturizing, it’s as soft as can be.
Using a silkner…might as well put a relaxer in your hair and call it a day!

Andrea Treasure

I don’t even use edge gels. Kinda weird having kinky hair with straight edges. I’ve learned to embrace my beady beads!

JoAnn Morton

I personally would take an Intense Moisturizing technique. Leaveing chemicals that permanetly rearrange the curl pattern ALONE.

Exquisite Douglas

I did it a couple times then cut it all off and grew back natural.. it’s currently texturized.