4 Benefits of Steaming Natural Hair


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

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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60 thoughts on “4 Benefits of Steaming Natural Hair

  1. Pingback: 4 Ways to Rehabilitate Natural Hair After Using Heat | Kinks and Curls

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Pingback: 4 Benefits of Steaming Natural Hair | NATURA MAGAZINE

  5. 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 bathroom is my steamer!

  6. 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.

    • 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 case the water over flows saves you clearing up a puddle but this only happens if you are cooking absolutely loads of rice!

  7. 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 CHANGER!! Im officially addicted to my steamer now & cant imagine going more than 2 days without giving my hair a treat. I notice that its softer & tangles a lot less.
    Im wearing my hair out alot in this dry cold northern region and my hair’s been snapping like a twig left n right& im finding crazy knots on my ends every day!*sad face. This steamer is a life saver *mane-saver!
    I also use it during wash day to up my DC penetration & i use it in my prewash detangle session too and it WORKS. As im detangling, if i come across a matt or knot, i just put the steam on that area and it helps work the tangles out gently. Detangling always meant a tennis ball size of shed hair by the time I was done…not any more!!!!
    My hair really feels like BUTTER, no lie! I had “hand in hair” syndrome for the first few days bc i couldnt believe how my hair felt & acted.And my colored hair that was just frizzy & sad is starting to “pop” back to life! I can tell its absorbing the product unlike before where it just sat on top looking frizzy & thirsty.
    I say however you can get that steam in your hair, DO IT! Its worth it!

  8. 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.

    • 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!

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  11. 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.

  12. 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. And if you read the reviews for that product on their website, every third or fourth review, someone is complaining that their Q-redew vapor wand broke fairly quickly into owning it. It seems that product isn’t quite there yet from a quality perspective. Plus, the fabric steamer does doubletime as an actual fabric steamer, so you really can’t go wrong.

  13. Pingback: 12 Great Gift Ideas For The Natural Haired Person In Your LifeFun at Work | Fun at Work

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