Hair steaming is a process of using moist heat to hydrate dry, dull hair. It also encourages blood flow to circulate which promotes hair growth. The steam lifts the hair cuticle allowing treatments to penetrate deep into the hair shaft. Steaming allows moisture to set in which promotes longer and healthier hair growth. When the hair is dry it will become brittle and eventually break. Hair steaming helps increase the natural oils produced in your scalp. Hot oil treatments, as well as deep conditioning treatments, are more effective at locking in moisture because the hair cuticles are lifted, allowing the ingredients to absorb faster.
Unlike straightening hair without heat, hair steaming improves elasticity which strengthens the strands. Your curls should snap back when pulled! This helps you monitor your hair health. When you steam your hair, you create a humid environment that is ideal for moisturizing. Similar to after a summers’ rain, the hair gives in to that humidity and becomes amazingly soft without changing the texture of the hair. Fortunately, hair steaming is not time consuming or something that has to be done daily. By adding this into your hair routine, you’ll start to see the benefits.
BENEFITS OF HAIR STEAMING
- Promotes hair growth and elasticity
- Stops hair breakage
- Adds moisture and shine
- Stops dryness and brittleness
- Cleans the scalp by removing dirt and dead skin
- Promotes circulation
- Leaves hair soft
- Improves hair treatments
The best part about hair steaming is that you don’t have to walk around with a wet head all day. Steaming allows re-moisturization without having to re-wet your hair. This is great for women who live in climates where it is very hot one day and cold the next. The most important aspect of hair steaming is that it opens the cuticle of the hair. So, if you are using a deep conditioning treatment while steaming, it allow more that conditioner to soak into the strands. The hair is also getting more nutrients.
For natural hair, it needs moisture in order to grow. As opposed to using professional hair dryers, hair steaming opens up clogged pores and helps enhance the natural curl pattern without sacrificing volume. It encourages clumping and boosts curls throughout the length of the hair. You will see more definition in your hairstyle creations. Along with getting rid of toxins within, steaming helps increase the collagen production and blood flow to the scalp. This results in a naturally, shiny scalp. For many “naturalistas” moisture is the key for obtaining certain styles. Steaming is a great way for water vapor to penetrate the hair for long-lasting moisture to achieve any style you want. This also makes it easier to infuse products into the hair.
When the hair is relaxed, it can quickly become dry and in need of moisture. Well-hydrated and conditioned hair is a must. The chemicals draw out the moisture and can cause major breakage. Steaming can really pamper the hair as it helps to retain moisture and increase smoothness.
HAIR STEAMERS AND HOW TO STEAM
There are two types of hair steamers – handheld and hooded. Many women prefer the latter because all of the hair can receive the steam treatment at one time. It’s also a benefit for wash-and-wear styles that are stiff. The handheld steamers allow you to refresh smaller sections of hair at a time. Any hair texture can benefit from hair steaming and can be used every two weeks for no more than 30 minutes at a time. Over-steaming can actually over-moisturize the hair. This will make it limp and weak.
To get the most out of hair steaming at home, prepare your hair with a conditioner or penetrating oil. Wrap a towel around your neck and shoulders to keep water from dripping onto your face or steam from burning your skin. You can pin your hair up which will help the moisture penetrate into the ends. Be sure there is at least six inches between your hair and the steamer. This prevents putting direct heat onto your scalp.
If you do not have a steamer, you can still get the same results but it will take a little more time. Create your own steam room by running the shower and allowing the bathroom to fill up with steam. Same results at no cost!