What is Hair Steaming? All You Need to Know About This Process

Hair steaming refers to the application of steam to the hair for one purpose or another. At no fault of our own, our hair goes through the ringer because of the natural elements. We also manipulate our hair for styling. These things lead to thirsty strands that end up damaged and at risk of breaking off completely.

Hair steaming has been used for several generations to combat hair dryness and damage. This technique is used as a way of amplifying the hair’s absorption of nutrients. The process of hair steaming is mainly centered around getting to the innermost layers of each strand of hair to nourish it from within.

People steam hair for styling purposes as well. Take the steaming hair straightener, for example. This specialized straightener is used to help the hair stay straighter longer and to reduce frizz and flyaways.

At home steam treatment routine

Benefits of Hair Steaming

Helps Your Hair’s Absorption of Moisture

Steam acts as a vehicle to deliver goodness to the hair. The moist heat from the steam is used to open the hair’s cuticle, getting it ready to receive whatever treatment is applied in conjunction with the steam. Once you’re done steaming, the hair cuticle returns to its normal state, locking in those nutrients that it gained through the steam treatment.

Aids in Hair Hydration

The moist heat from steam hydrates your hair. Water is a great natural hydrator, but when water is applied to the hair in the form of steam, deeper hydration is achieved.

Supports Scalp Health

The application of steam to your hair and scalp leads to increased blood flow and collagen production in your scalp. A healthy scalp with adequate blood flow will grow healthy hair.

Opens the Pores in Our Scalps

One problem that many don’t know they suffer from is clogged scalp pores. Because of this issue, many of us deal with slow hair growth, which might eventually lead to a total lack of hair growth. Steam opens up the pores on our scalp, allowing regrowth to begin again. Also, regular steaming helps toxins and impurities to be released from the scalp, allowing for a cleaner scalp overall.

Holding Straight Styles For Longer

It has been found that when steam is used in conjunction with heat from a flat iron or similar styling tool, the results are sleeker and longer-lasting than results achieved without steam. Note that steam flat irons should be used with caution because they can damage your hair strands just as much as a traditional flat iron can.

How To Use Hair Steam?

There are several ways to use steam on your hair.

Watch this How-to video of Ebony's Curly TV on how to steam natural hair with a professional hair steamer.

How to: steaming my natural hair with the red pro hair steamer

Use a Hair Steamer Cap

One of the broadest used ways to steam your hair for conditioning purposes is to use a hair steamer cap. This is a cap that is specially made to provide you with a hair steaming treatment at home. The heat emitted from the hair steamer combines with the moisture in your hair to create steam.

Here are our two picks of Hair Steamer Cap

Instructions for using a steamer cap

  1. Wash your hair.
  2. Apply your deep conditioner while your hair is still wet.
  3. Put on your shower cap (should be included with your steamer cap).
  4. Turn on the steamer cap and place it on your head.
  5. Allow the cap to steam your hair for 15 to 30 minutes.
  6. Rinse the deep conditioner out of your hair.
  7. Enjoy your soft, moisturizer strands.

*These are general instructions. For the best results, reference the manufacturer's instructions for your specific hair steamer.

Use a Handheld Steamer

Handheld steamers are another option for steaming your hair at home. A handheld steamer is a steamer that you hold in your hand and direct as you please. It’s best for reshaping or restyling your hair, but can also be used to deep condition. The Q-Redew hair steamer is perfect for steaming both dry and wet hair.

To use a handheld steamer, you’ll need to pour water into the reservoir of the steamer and plug the steamer in. Then direct the steam throughout your hair.

Q-Redew hair steamer

Steaming Your Natural Hair

Use a Steaming Hair Straightener

Watch this How-to video of Takira Thompson on how to steam natural hair with a Steaming Hair Straightener.

I tried a steam straightener on my natural hair! Does it work? Magicfly steam flat iron review

As we touched on earlier, steam hair straighteners are great for getting your hair straighter and keeping it sleek longer, even in humid temperatures. To use a steaming hair straightener, just fill the straightener’s water reservoir with water and then straighten your hair as you usually would.

Steaming Hair Straightener are gaining popularity. This type of steamer has a water reservoir and uses steam and bristles to straighten the hair. Steaming Hair Straightener has the advantage of giving your hair a silky and shiny look compared to the Hair Steamer Cap.

The steaming hair straightener vs. the traditional flat iron

A steaming hair straightener and a conventional flat iron do not work the same way. Tradition flat irons only use a metal or ceramic heat plates to flatten the hair strands and work using direct contact with your hair. On the other hand, the steaming hair straightener adds Vapor Infusion Technology, which releases hot steam that moisturizes and straightens the hair simultaneously. Steaming hair straighteners work best on dry hair and can prevent heat damage, leaving the hair soft, healthy, and breakage resistant. We also notice that the straightening of a steaming hair straightener last longer compared to other steaming techniques.

Some advanced 2-in-1 steam straighteners can condition your hair while straightening it. The steam vapor can release some hair oils that provide nutrients and nourish the hair. This heat treatment penetrates and moisturizes the cuticles to make the hair shiny and silky. Hair steaming with argan oil infuses the hair shaft with a nutrient-rich treatment and restoring dry and damaged hair for a long-lasting shiny hair look.

Here are our two picks of steaming hair straightener:

  1. Budget option: Steam Flat Iron Hair Straightener, Flat Iron with Vapor
  2. Salon professional option: Hair Straightener with Steam, Salon Professional Steam Flat Iron

Instructions for using a steaming hair straightener

  1. Start with your hair is clean, detangled, and dry.
  2. Wear protective gloves for safety (Usually provided with the steamer).
  3. Add water to the reservoir and some drop of argan oil (optional)
  4. Choose the steam level and turn on the hair straightener
  5. Hold the tool at the proper angle when applying pressure to the hair

Can a steaming hair straightener damage your hair?

There is some precaution that you should take when steam your hair. Your hair must be clean, detangled, and dry. The straightener can burn your scalp if it is too close to the roots. Every hair straightener works differently, so make sure to read the instructions before you start using them. Do not keep the steaming hair straightener for a long time on your hair, because it will burn and damage your hair.

Do not steam your hair too often. Oversteaming can harm your hair. The excess of moisture will weaken, the hair especially if you have high porosity hair.

Is Hair Steaming Right For Me?

The answer to this question will depend on how you wish to use steam.

Hair Steaming for Moisture

In general, if you plan to use a hair steamer or hair steam cap to achieve healthier hair, deeper hydration, and a conditioned scalp, go for it!

That is unless your hair is over moisturized. In which case, you wouldn’t want to add more moisture to gummy, limp hair. You would need to give your hair a break from moisturizing treatments altogether and contact a cosmetologist.

You’d also want to avoid hair steaming treatments if you are experiencing a scalp health issue. A dermatologist can help you with your scalp.

Steaming for Straightening

When using steam in conjunction with heat styling tools like flat irons and curlers, there is a real risk of damaging your hair beyond recognition. It is recommended to use these tools with caution, whether they incorporate steam or not.

Before using any heat tools, assess whether your hair is healthy enough for the application of direct heat. If it’s thirsty for moisture, breaking off, or is otherwise unhealthy, it would be best to refrain from using heat tools on it.

If you have reasonably healthy hair, you can use a steam straightener. Just make sure that you take necessary precautions like:

  1. Only apply heat to clean, conditioned, heat-protected hair.
  2. Limit the number of passes you make with the flat iron. The less, the better.
  3. Don’t flat iron your hair every day. Apply heat only when you feel you have to.

Tools You Need for Hair Steaming

For steam conditioning, you’ll need:

  1. Wet hair
  2. A deep conditioner
  3. A comb to distribute the deep conditioner
  4. A handheld steamer or steamer cap

For steam straightening, you’ll need:

  1. Water
  2. A heat protectant
  3. A steam straightener
  4. A comb