Can steam treatments damage your hair?

The reason given for not blowdrying too-wet hair is that the heat causes the water to expand inside the hair, until it causes the shaft to fissure from within.

I know steam treatments are beneficial for getting actives deeper into the hair shaft, especially when your hair is not particularly absorbent, but couldn't they have a similar effect to the dryers?
I dont think so. I dont believe the temperature gets as high as it does w/ blowdrying. I had never heard the part about the shaft forming a fissure from within--can you post where you got this from? Sounds interesting.
4a/b, a little 3c at the crown; current faves: Anita Grant, Qhemet, Oyin...natural since 2000...(currently 15 inches)
knharde, I have scoured the internet looking for the place I first read this, but I can't find it. I probably need to use different terms in my search. I did find several references to it on the long hair care community forums, and I found this on a site also:

High heat and the length of time high heat is used on the hair will also reduce the structure of the hair. The hair will lose its elasticity. Damage to the cuticle of the hair will make it more breakable. Steam will form inside the hair shaft which in turn will burst hair by breaking it. This is why we need to limit the amount of heat as well as the length of time you dry the hair.

He also has some interesting things to say about airdrying which I am not sure I can give much credence to, but on the blowdrying front what he is saying is pretty much the same as my original source.
ive gotten many steam treatments and they havent been damaging at all...i think the fact that water is involved makes it that much better for your opposed to straight dry heat. its like a humidifier vs. a space heater.

im no expert, but ive had a few this year and my hair is ok. whenever i go to my egyptian stylist, he gives me one.
loose 4a, silky meets cottony
routine: co-wash, add leave in or plain water, shake & go
staples: elucence poo & conditioners, V05 & suave naturals, jessicurl too shea, AO.
I dont think so. I dont believe the temperature gets as high as it does w/ blowdrying.
Originally Posted by knharde
Are you sure? I've heard that steam can be hotter than fire. I remember my friend burned her leg cause she was using my little ramen noodle cooker and the steam coming out of the chute burned her skin.
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Big Chopped: April 1, 2005
My Hair: Tight, thick springy curls with up to 90% shrinkage.
Moist heat is different from dry heat for sure. And yes Afrocurls, a steam burn is worse than a dry burn b/c of the water content and the hot steam condensing to water on the skin.

I don't think the steam generated from treatments is much hotter than shower steam tho...
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I know moisture is supposed to be a good thing and I love the way my hair feels, but because I have highly porous 4b/c I've noticed with all these steam treatments that my hair doesn't get as straight anymore when I blow it out. It's like a big poof ball. Not that it's a major problem, but my twists don't seem to last as long or any other style for that matter. So no steam probably didn't damage my hair, but it definitely altered the texture some. The curl pattern is tighter and overall I have more shrinkage and the styles don't last as long. The density has been expanded and I already had thick hair. I actually had to use a pressing comb last night to get things to calm down.
When I steam, I use a balm afterwards to smooth things out again as i agree, it tightens curls. It does wonders for moisture though.

I think there may be a small percentage of hair types out there that have to be careful even with steam heat. I noticed before when I was using a steamer that my hair was not behaving as others said theirs does with steam mainly "tighter curls." Steam relaxes my curls, they don't go away but my hair almost feels like a light blow dry when I'm done steaming (I use a handheld steamer - QRedew). This scared me when it happened and I stayed away from steam for awhile then I revisited it recently (two weeks ago) because a naturalista I admire started doing it and talking about how wonderful it had been for her hair. I was reminded quickly that my hair does not react to steam the way others say theirs does and once again I've backed off. My hair has retained it's elasticity but I just have a gut feeling that over time, if I kept steaming, I would suffer some sort of low-key heat damage and have a set back and I'm am trying to avoid those like the plague. I am on a journey for healthy length and plan to take everything I have learned over the years and reach for the attainment of length goals in 2017. One thing I'm doing is paying careful attention to how my hair reacts to everything and steam heat seems to act as some sort of "curl/coil/kink" relaxer for my hair and I so don't want that. In the end, I think it could cause damage.

So based on my personal experience with MY hair strands, steaming heat is not my hair's friend. And I would suspect that I am not the only one out there who has had this experience...
Me Fascina El Pelo

Low Porosity; Medium Strands; Dense
According to natural hair YouTuber, "Afrikanhairgod" constant steam treatments (I think every week) damaged his hair by making it limp and thin. He big chopped his hair and started over.

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4a/3c, Low Porosity, Fine Texture

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