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Steam therapy uses moist heat to open your hair follicles and pores for better moisture absorption. It's like a facial... for your hair.

From time to time our natural hair and scalp need some TLC--some follicle opening detox therapy, if you will. Steam therapy is a simple at-home service that is actually becoming a popular service offered in hair salons nationwide. In the complex nature of hair care, many naturalistas may find doing DIY steam treatments can be complicated or time consuming, so they head to a trusted licensed professional to perform the job. Bonus: It's also like a mini massage or facial, so the service is seen as necessary and relaxing to the client on the receiving end.

What is Steam Therapy?

It is the process of using moist heat to open the hair follicles and pores of the scalp to allow better absorption of moisture. Because our hair is constantly exposed to the elements and its potential for dryness and brittleness increase which leads to breakage. Steam Therapy allows for deep penetration of moisture that will help on the journey for healthy hair and growth. Natural hair is like a sunflower; if the flower does not receive water (moisture) deep in its roots, it will not continue to grow.

Why our hair needs steam

1. Opening of the pores: Clogged pores in the scalp slow down--and eventually stop--the regrowth process. Steaming the hair and scalp on a regular basis will allow the toxins from the scalp to be released so that it can be cleansed and purified.

2. Balancing the Scalp: Along with purifying the scalp of the toxins within, steam therapy helps increase the collagen production and blood flow of the scalp. The collagen level and increased blood flow, resulting in a healthy naturally shiny scalp--not the kind of shine caused by synthetic styling products.

3. Improves Elasticity: The elasticity of curly strands is its ability to stretch without snapping and causing further breakage and damage to the strands. Steam treatments allow the hair to absorb so much moisture that the curls will be able to bend and stretch.

4. Enhances Curl Definition: Moisture infused by steam therapy into the hair strands allows the hair to clump throughout the length of the stands which enhances the curl pattern. The bonus effect of steam therapy is that it allows for less heat to be used when flat ironing hair.

5. Porosity: For naturalistas with low porosity hair steam therapy is a good way to help water vapor penetrate the strands of the hair for long lasting moisture. With the cuticle layer being opened from the steam treatment, it is easier to infuse products into the hair to maintain supple flexible strands.

Steam therapy uses moist heat to open the hair follicles and pores of the scalp to allow better absorption of moisture.

Steam therapy at home

Many professional salon tools have become available online, include salon grade hair steamers for home usage. This helps reduce the long term costs of going to salons for steam treatments. Here are some of the popular ones on the market now.

  • Salon Sundry Professional Salon Hair Steamer ($109.99)- The Sundry hair steamer is back with a 650 watt heating power supply for efficient heating of the water. A 320ounce water compartment comes built into the steamer. The stainless steel coil in the steamer helps create a relaxing therapeutic water vapor. 

  • Deluxe Hair Steamer by Skin Act ($109.00)- The Deluxe hair steamer is special several reasons beginning with its 650 watt power supply and adjustable steaming with a high low switch. This steamer comes with ventilation to control the steam level. This unique steamer comes with a built-in timer that be set for up to 60 minutes. 

  • Q- Redew Hand-Held Hair Steamer ($69.95)The Q-Redew hair steamer is one of the most popular steamers throughout the natural community because the design of other traditional hair steamers; it is completely handheld. This hair steamer has multiple functions that go beyond simply moisturizing; the Q-Redew can help with detangling, reshaping the hair, and stretch the hair. 

The takeaway...

The results of steam therapy treatments are both long lasting and beneficial for the overall strength and development of the hair. Purchasing a salon quality hair steamer for at home use to aid deep penetration of products will reduce the costs of going to a salon for the same process.

Ajia N. Eberhart

Ajia is an avid writer and natural hair enthusiast. She's passionate about uplifting and inspiring others through open forums on her Tumblr page. Currently Ajia is working on developing social and academia blog as well as a YouTube channel.

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