productSteamer

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?

Christina Patrice

Born, raised, and living in Los Angeles, Christina is BGLH's resident transitioning expert and product junkie. In addition to loving all things hair, she is a fitness novice and advocate of wearing sandals year-round. For more information on transitioning, natural hair, and her own hair journey, visit maneobjective.com. Or, if you like pictures follow Christina on Instagram @maneobjective.

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61 Comments on "4 Benefits of Steaming Natural Hair"

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[…] Steam is one of the best kept secrets for a healthy head of natural hair, and a good steam treatment is often the highlight of a natural’s trip to the salon. It helps infuse conditioners into the hair, increasing strength, moisture retention, and curl pattern definition. They can be a bit pricey — the popular Huetiful steamer will run you about $150 — but with the money saved on salon visits, it could be worth it! […]

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[…] Steam is one of the best kept secrets for a healthy head of natural hair, and a good steam treatment is often the highlight of a natural’s trip to the salon. It helps infuse conditioners into the hair, increasing strength, moisture retention, and curl pattern definition. They can be a bit pricey — the popular Huetiful steamer will run you about $150 — but with the money saved on salon visits, it could be worth it! […]

Amanda Propaganda
It’s a little heavy, but you can also buy a Conair hand held fabric steamer at Wamart or Target for half the cost of a Q-redew hair steamer and just use a rat tail comb to separate the hair so that the steam can penetrate without having to touch the hair and causing it to frizz. It can be set to low heat, holds way more water than the q-redew, creates tons of steam and is far less fragile. My Q-Redew broke day one due to electrical failure and I am currently waiting for them to send me a replacement.… Read more »
Amanda

Hi, nice advices! I use the Karmin Salon Series and have very curly, frizzy hair and it really helps to keep it frizz at bay. I use it with the diffuser and my curls come out looking great.

Shera

I can’t find a salon or stylist that uses a steam dryer in the Atlanta area. Any suggestions?

yoloberry

Try Kinky Peaches Salon. They offer steam treatments

Zee

Too Groovy Salon also offers them. They’re in Midtown.

PhillyzJamPoetHair

I like Too Groovy Salon. They sure do know natural hair!

Ebony Canty

In Gwinnett go to Debbie Dominican salon and barber off Lawrenceville hwy, getting steamed right now lol

Anona Miss

Artesia Salon in the West End

PhillyzJamPoetHair

You don’t find many who steam and if they do, they will charge an arm an a leg. You can find a good sit under steamer on Ebay. I got mine for $59.99 and turned around and bought JReady one. I think I bought one for BlakThai for christmas, but that was a black one for $89.99. In 2 steams it pays for itself!

towninc

Too groovy does.

Renée Fournillier

Nubiance Hair Salon off Cheshire Bridge Rd

aquaplussteamshower.edublogs.org

we not long ago put in our steam shower unit, finest thing we have decided to buy for some
time, the little ones and family love it, simply cannot
see myself going back to conventional showers again

Also visit my web site steam shower cubicles (aquaplussteamshower.edublogs.org)

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I comment each time I especially enjoy a post on a website or I have something to add to the discussion. It is caused by thee sincerness displayed in the post I read. And after this post 4 Benefits of Steaming Natural Hair | Black Girl with Long Hair. I was movved enough to post a thought 🙂 I actually do have a couple of questions for you if you usually do not mind. Could it be just me or do some of these responses appear like coming from brain dead folks? 😛 And, if you are posting on other… Read more »
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[…] that your hair is properly hydrated is through steaming it, which will do wonders for your hair. Steaming enhances your natural curl pattern and promotes hair strength and […]

Sammie

Are their products you can use while steaming your hair

marie

Where may I purchase the Steamer and Twist winder in the UK particularly in London – Can you send me the name and details of both products please.

Deb Evans

The steamer I purchased was “My Little Steamer Go Mini.” Not sure where you can buy it in the UK. Did you try amazon.com? They ship to the UK. I don’t have any info about the twist winder. Good luck!

imani
i have to update my previous comment bc Ive “upgraded” my steam regimen! I watched YT’s DenimPixie Qredew review& she made a comment abt how it compared to using her garment steamer. I knew i wasnt going to be spending $70 on anybodys steamer but the garment steamer sounded economical & imo functioned much the same as the QRedew. I started pricing garment steamers til i found one with good reviews AND on sale. I ended up getting a Conair Garment Steamer from Target for under $30!Ive been using it for 2 weeks now and i gotta say WOW! GAME… Read more »
Ava

Thank you for your comments. I was going to get a QRedew now I can get something more affordable! Thanks again. 🙂

Ava

Can you please tell me what model you bought?

Deb Evans

I bought the “My Little Steamer Go Mini.” I am very happy with it, and even used it one day to steam the wrinkles from a sweater!

Deb Evans

I bought a handheld clothes steamer for 19.95 at Bed Bath and Beyond. It uses regular tap water, is portable, and does a great job of steaming my hair.

Akshay
Rating I have used microwave rice ceoorks for sometime now and they are absolutely fabulous!This little rice cooker comes with a measure and a spoon all very sweet I would be lost and certainly need a map without my rice ceoorks.Rice is cooked by the volume principle ie 1 measure of rice 2 and a half measures of water however the more rice you cook the less water you need. Also a little tip if you do buy this rice cooker which is a complete whiz if cooking loads of rice put a small dish underneath the cooker just in… Read more »
imani
Never knew there was a handheld steamer out there. I just knew of the hooded ones which I refuse 2 invest in.I started using steam to style my hair when the overnight twists fail or my tresses just look dry.I put my fav styler in my hair then turn on the shower &leave.I wait for a few then go it & sit down for 5m or so then check my hair and wow! My hair responds to this 5m treatment! My hair get bigger without frizz ,those dry defiant half curls get spirally again & I love it! For now,my… Read more »
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[…] Via Black Girl With Long Hair […]

Felicia

I’m transitioning to natural. 2 1/2 month post perm. I didn’t do a big chop, just clip my ends. But before I purchase this steamer, what are the benefits for people who are in the early stage of going natural? My hair length is almost to the end of my neck, but very thin.

Amariah

I found your blog really helpful as I am in the process of buying a steamer and really wanted to know the benefits of steaming before I forked out a huge amount on a steamer. Thanks for the simple and very well explained steps and tips.
May I ask how often you steam your hair?

Thank you
A

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[…] There are a million reasons why the pre-poo is important  to natural and transitioning hair. But in the process of reversion, it is an integral step. When hair is straightened, we tend to avoid water or water-based anything to prevent hair from reverting to its natural state. That’s all well and good, until we start talking moisture. There’s only so much serums (many of which are silicone-based anyway), oils, and butter whips can do. Our hair needs and craves true moisture from water. So to stave off breakage and prepare the hair to return to normal, a water-based pre-poo… Read more »
trackback
[…] There are a million reasons why the pre-poo is important  to natural and transitioning hair. But in the process of reversion, it is an integral step. When hair is straightened, we tend to avoid water or water-based anything to prevent hair from reverting to its natural state. That’s all well and good, until we start talking moisture. There’s only so much serums (many of which are silicone-based anyway), oils, and butter whips can do. Our hair needs and craves true moisture from water. So to stave off breakage and prepare the hair to return to normal, a water-based pre-poo… Read more »
trackback
[…] There are a million reasons why the pre-poo is important  to natural and transitioning hair. But in the process of reversion, it is an integral step. When hair is straightened, we tend to avoid water or water-based anything to prevent hair from reverting to its natural state. That’s all well and good, until we start talking moisture. There’s only so much serums (many of which are silicone-based anyway), oils, and butter whips can do. Our hair needs and craves true moisture from water. So to stave off breakage and prepare the hair to return to normal, a water-based pre-poo… Read more »
Zelphia

I purchased my Q-Redew and it is the best thing ever!!

Tammy

Do you put conditioner on, then steam, then rinse out and then style?

Joy

I’ve actually used a steamer before but didn’t care much for it. I think an old fashion shower cap on top of water spritzed on my strands works well for me. I believe steaming would be most beneficial to women that have high porosity and low porosity hair. I have normal porosity hair and really didn’t notice a distinct difference after using my steamer.

Rine

Hey lovely ladies!

Does the baggy-method make a good alternative to actual steaming?

Linda

I’m almost too ashamed to ask this question but I’m going to ask it anyway lol…but would you gain the same benefits of an at home steamer at the gym sitting in the steam room?

Charmie

@ Linda: The steamroom is how I get my steam on, lol

Claudette UK

Same benefits Linda. I’ve steamed my hair in there time and again. You will also notice you aren’t the only one giving your hair a treatment in the steam room.

GlideGirl

For some reason I can’t rationalize, I changed it up and sat in the sauna instead of the steam room at the gym today. My curls look less defined. Maybe I did something wrong and it’s not a matter of sauna vs. steam room, but I’m returning to what i know works for me — the steam room.

Yas
This is not a fad. A steam treatment is no joke when it comes to keeping your hair moisturized and the benefits can’t be beat. Steamers have actually been around for years in salon settings, so it’s nothing really new at all. My bestie owns the Heutiful table-top steamer and she swears by it–I kid you not when I say the hair is down her back. She’s in the market for a floor model because her hair has grown so much she can barely fit it up under the hood. When she does she’s going to sell me hers; and… Read more »
Anquinette
I looooooove my steamer. I’ve used the plastic caps and all that and it never did the job that I needed it to do. But then again my hair is thick and will be dry as all get out. I took about a year of researching watching yt vids and reading reviews before I took the plunge. I wasn’t sure if it was worth spending the money, but in the back of my mind I knew it would be good for my hair. It was that price tag that kept getting me lol. I had to tell myself it is… Read more »
stephanieb
I agree Anquinette, you have to do what works for you, if you can’t afford a steamer, then just do the shower cap under the dryer or in the shower, same thing, and especially in the shower, that’s free steam for you right there, lol. But I agree the benefits of steaming your hair, regardless of how you do it, cannot be beat, but it probably depends on your hair. Like someone said earlier, if you have very coarse, dry, low porosity hair, then the steamer may be of some benefit, but if you don’t have issues with moisture or… Read more »
Reese

I just spritz my hair with an evoo/water mixture, put 2 plastic baggies on my head and my satin cap over it.

ladyluo

I have low porosity hair so I think a steamer would benefit me more than someone with regular or high porosity hair so a steamer is definitely on my wish list

TWA4now

It is on my wish list and I hope to use it in the near future, but which one? Any suggestions???

msboogee

Beware of hair bloggers ( not this person). Pushing steamers especially the heutiful and sounding like a commercial. I had a steamer and my Showercap gave me the same results

Tisha

I don’t have a steamer and I wouldn’t go out of my way to get one, simply because I don’t think it makes that big of a difference. I plastic cap/bag and a good deep conditioner applied weekly is more than enough for me.
Again, to each their own.

Ms KSS

Exactly! We will be broke (or in my case ‘more broke’)if we try to keep up with the lastest hair fad

Tabatha

I see what you are talking about. I remember in High School Conair had their little steam flat iron, so I tried it and it fried my hair! But this is a different way. When I realized what approach you used its the same as what my hair stylist does when we do a deep conditioner, so you are so right it is helpful and it keeps your hair soft, but I have never done it at home myself, but I’m sure I could. Thanks for the post.

Elena

Well i took the plunge and purchased the Q-Redew this morning. Hope i don’t regret it. Ha! Time to cash in my cans and bottles for pocket change for the next two weeks!!

Desiree

I was just eyeing steamers on Amazon last night but couldn’t push myself to spend the $90. I use steamers at the salon, though, and my hair loves it. Perhaps its worth the splurge.

TWA4now

I would like to steam my hair…I heard some many good things about it.

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krokan

Can I use my hand held garment steamer? It puts out steam just like the one I see in the video.

Jasper

Lol. I would think that has a higher temperature then one for your hair.

Reba

I do use my garment steamer to refresh my hair, but you have to be very careful not to let it drip hot water on your neck or let the steam get too close to your scalp. I also put on glasses when I do it so I don’t get a steam burn to the eye.

Jessica

I am cheap/slightly poor… So I always just take my scarf off before I get in the shower, close the door, and let it do what it do

Charlotte

I don’t have a steamer, but you know what’s a bummer, if I don’t do some sort of intense conditioning treatment before each wash I end up with dry hair. I use my heat cap, and I also put plastic caps over my head. Catnip tea has really worked well for me so much that other treatments seek like a waste.

Sabrina Antoinnette

I have to agree with you @Charlotte. The best way for me to moisturize is via weekly deep conditioning. I have on two occasions spent the time steaming or doing a GHE to add moisture to my strands between conditioning and when all is said/done it seems to be drying for me; even when doing the LOC method after. I almost feel that my normal routine of adding daily moisture bit by bit is better for me.

mangomadness

How do you use catnip tea as a hair treatment?

K

Search Ktani and threads on LHC, most use Catit Catnip Garden which has a mix of leaves and buds and use it as a rinse or a soak instead of conditioner and ACV. Ktani’s recipe seems most popular, sorry I don’t remember it.

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