Let’s be honest natural hair can be complex. There are many instances where your hair may be trying to tell you something, but you’ve already exhausted your go-to treatments. Before you give up and resort to a hat day, you may want to try steam therapy.
What does steaming your hair do?
Steaming your hair opens up the hair cuticle by way of heat. This allows for moisture from the steam to penetrate your hair. Steaming also works to open up the pores on the scalp which can in turn help with blood circulation. Proper blood flow is key to hair health, as well as helping to ensure new growth is possible. This process also aids in elasticity to safely stretch the hair.
This simple treatment is easy to implement in your routine and is actually quite soothing compared to other time-consuming techniques. In an effort to detoxify your scalp and give your hair some additional moisture, this treatment may just be everything your hair needs to reset.
What are the benefits of steaming?
As a level up from a typical deep condition process, steaming your hair has many benefits that you may have never realized you needed to keep your hair in tip-top shape. While both deep conditioning and steaming are fantastic for maintenance, steaming has an important element that helps your strands go into overdrive. Steaming your hair provides the best of both worlds by using heat and moisture to activate the hair follicles and open the cuticles to allow deeper penetration for product application. From Type 3a to 4c and everything in between, implementing a steaming treatment makes a huge difference, and the results will have you hooked.
How to steam curly hair
Step 1. Cleanse & dry
After a thorough wash, make sure to remove the dirt and product build-up, dry the hair slightly with an old cotton t-shirt. The t-shirt will work gently on the hair to dry without breakage.
Step 2. Apply a moisturizing treatment
While the hair is still somewhat wet, apply a generous amount of deep conditioner and massage it into the scalp. Depending on the type of steamer you’re using, you can section your hair for an equal steam time or put a shower cap on and place your hair under the hooded steamer and wait for the magic to unfold.
Step 3. Steam your hair
The amount of total steam time can depend on the hair type and length, but typically, it only takes about 30-40 mins to give your cuticles time to lift and begin to absorb the product. The ideal steam treatment should be at least 20 - 30 minutes (make sure the steam reaches the ends of your hair). If, however, your hair is short and thin hair, then it will benefit from a shorter steaming session.
But like many great things in life, it’s important not to overdo steam therapy as it can over-moisturize your hair, creating a hygral fatigue where the cuticle is damaged. Also, your scalp should not feel irritated or uncomfortable while steaming. If you suffer from severe scalp concerns, you should not steam unless supervised by a scalp care professional or dermatologist.
Find a system that works for you and your hair, and like any good treatment, schedule it accordingly.
What kind of steamer should you use?
Steam therapy comes in many different forms, and depending on how you like to do treatments, there may be a specific type of steamer you want to use. At many professional hair salons, you typically find a standing steamer, which you sit under for a period of time.
But if you’re someone who would rather take the DIY approach, several convenient devices are perfect for at-home use. Both the tabletop and handheld steamers are great to use when you want an easy setup in the comfort of your own space.
Is steaming a regular part of your curly regimen? Let us know in the comments!