Admittedly, I was never one for steaming my hair.… until I tried it. Now, you can’t get me to stop. Steaming my hair has been one of the most game-changing practices that I’ve incorporated into my regimen. I steam my hair as a pre-poo/detangling treatment, for mid-week moisture, to refresh styles, for conditioning, and more. Steaming has done wonders for me, in terms of my transition to natural hair. I find that my hair breaks less, sheds less, my styles last longer, I spend less money on products, and my hair retains more moisture. Plus, my curls are more lively than they’ve ever been. Everything a transitioner could ask for, right?
What is steaming hair?
Steaming involves using moist heat on the hair, as opposed to dry. Steaming the hair creates a humid environment, optimal for absorption of moisture, among other benefits.
Why is steaming so good for your hair? Here are four good reasons to steam your hair:
1. To add moisture without hygral fatigue. Especially with this being Summertime and “out” styling is at an all time high, it is easier for elements (sun, wind, etc.) to dry out hair. To prevent unnecessary wear and tear on my tresses, I try to avoid having to restyle my hair every day. I couldn’t imagine starting a fresh wash n’ go, twist and curl, or satin strip braidout every day for the sake of restoring moisture. This is where steaming comes in — steam allows you to add moisture to your hair without having to start from scratch, soak your hair, or ruin your style. Because hygral fatigue wears and tears on the hair due to expanding and contracting (when soaked in water and drying), steaming is an excellent alternative without the damage. Steaming is also more effective at moisturizing than your run of the mill spray bottle, which you’ll see in point #2.
2. To gently lift the cuticle for better penetration of ingredients. With the cuticle gently lifted, getting in water to moisturize (you’ll still want to lightly seal) is a great benefit of steaming. Additionally, when looking to condition your hair and really get those restructurizing and replenishing ingredients in, steaming is your best bet.
3. To promote hair strength and elasticity. Whenever you add water to your hair, you are adding moisture. Whenever your hair has the proper moisture balance, you ward off dryness, brittleness, and breakage. This is especially important for transitioners, and dealing with the line of demarcation between the natural and damaged hair.
4. Steaming also enhances your natural curl pattern and promotes clumping without sacrificing volume. One of the keys to great definition (regardless of texture) is moisture. Because steaming allows you to get the moisture without dunking your head in a tub of water, you’re able to walk out the door with lively and defined kinks, coils, corkscrews, and curls…and your hair isn’t dripping wet.
There are many more benefits to steaming hair, but I believe the four I just mentioned are some of the most important. When I steam my hair, I use the Q‑Redew Hairstyling Vapor Wand — which I absolutely adore. For more about how the Q‑Redew helps transitioners and naturals, check out my review and tutorial:
Sure, the Q‑Redew is amazing. But what about if you’re not interested in spending $70? Here are some free at-home alternatives:
1. Spritz your hair lightly with water, and cover with a plastic cap or bag. Sit under your hooded dryer or bonnet dryer for 15–20 minutes. You can also use a handheld blowdryer aimed at your plastic-covered hair.
2. Grab an old towel or t‑shirt and soak it with water. Wring it out so it isn’t dripping wet, then microwave it for about 2 minutes (make sure it’s a plain t‑shirt, please). Wrap it around your hair, and cover with a plastic bag to keep the heat/steam in. To prolong the heat, you can sit under a hooded dryer for 15–20 minutes. For a longer steam treatment, just re-wet the towel, re-heat, and repeat.
3. Leave your shower cap off during your next shower. Allow the steam from your shower to moisturize your hair, for as long as you are inside.
4. Enter to win The Mane Objective’s Q‑Redew Giveaway. This week, I’m giving away a Q‑Redew to one lucky winner! All you have to do is: Like the Q‑Redew Facebook Page, subscribe to my YouTube Channel, and follow @qredew and @maneobjective on Instagram. Then, on Instagram upload your pictures every day of the week: Monday Bunday, Twist-Out Tuesday, Wash n Go Wednesday, Trimmed Tresses Thursday, Fancy Updo Friday, Staple Style Saturday, and Start Over Sunday. Even though the contest already started, it’s not too late to enter!!! Remember, a Q‑Redew is up for grabs here — for free.99! On Monday, June 24th I’ll be having a random drawing and announcing the winner LIVE on YouTube. Check out the video for all the details:
Happy steaming, and if you choose to enter the giveaway, good luck!
Ladies, do you steam your hair? Why or why not? If you do, what benefits have you seen to your hair?