|Silk press by Janay Mickles|
By Kanisha Parks
There is something so satisfying about witnessing shiny, flawless, bouncy, and flowy silk press results! As the resident at-home hair stylist to my three sisters and mother, it is a technique I’ve tried and failed a countless amount of times. We’ve purchased multiple flat irons—Chi, FHI, and the cheapie ones you get at the beauty supply store (seriously, don’t ever buy those). The same goes for the 15 blow dryers we have in the closet, all purchased in the name of securing silky sleek hair but only resulting in a disappointing, frizzy mess within minutes. And those are just the tools, let’s not even get started on the products . . .
From 4c natural hair to relaxed hair, Janay can do it all and never shies away from a challenge. In fact, she capitalizes on any and every opportunity to show just how skilled she truly is at straightening hair. Janay says she started doing hair at a young age but says she actually learned how to straighten natural hair by just practicing on herself!
“Around high school is when I started straightening my own hair and at that time everyone was using loads of oil to achieve the look. I was more into the lightweight look and I knew there had to be a way to achieve it on my hair without going to a salon. So I would practice using different products on my hair and seeing the results. I soon found out that the secret was little to no product!”
Needless to say, she’s learned a lot since then and reveals that now, the hardest part about doing hair is,
“When people’s expectations are too high. For example, they’ll want their hair to come out super silky like my videos but they aren’t doing what they’re supposed to be doing at home. That could be neglecting their hair or just not deep conditioning it enough or keeping up with trims. But the best part is seeing the smile on their face at the end.”
Unlike some at-home stylists, Janay uses her environment to her advantage and feels it only helps her business. “I am always professional and cater to my client’s needs. I keep my place super clean and I think the clients and I enjoy the intimacy of it just being us.”
When it comes to securing the perfect results every single time, Janay always uses her Babyliss Pro flat iron but for her it’s not just all about the tools.
“The most important thing would have to be starting off on super clean hair, she says. You can do everything else correct but if you have an ounce of old product in your hair, it will ruin the style. Also, over the years, I’ve learned it’s all in your blow dry: that’s what will make the press last. Last but not least, use little to no product. The only thing I use in most of my presses is heat protectant.”
So what’s next for Janay Mickles?
“I would love to be in a salon suite in the near future and come out with a product line as well as a flat iron.”