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Every day, your hair is subjected to a number of harsh conditions that cause hair dryness. Environmental factors such as cold air, pollution, and heat styling products (hair straighteners and blow-dryers) or hair sprays all contribute to this problem.
Hair steaming is an effective and easy way to reverse this effect. It is a technique used to restore moisture to the hair strands and help open up the cuticles to increase the absorption of water and other products.
In this process, steam is applied to the hair and scalp for a fixed amount of time. The moist heat hydrates the hair shaft, opens up the cuticles, and allows for better absorption of oils, serums, or other hair care products.
What Is Hair Steaming?
As mentioned above, hair steaming refers to the procedure of applying steam to your scalp and hair. The application of heat and moisture helps moisturize the hair deeply and allows for better absorption of hair products.
Hair steaming devices can be found in a variety of sizes and types. You can opt for a small hand-held steamer or a more professional device used by hair salons.
Benefits of Hair Steaming
Here are some of the potential benefits of steaming your hair every now and then:
- Steaming opens the hair cuticles and leads to better absorption of hair care products such as conditioners and serums.
- It moisturizes and softens the hair strands, effectively reducing breakage.
- It provides hydration to the scalp and improves scalp health.
- It is especially beneficial for people with curly hair as it deep conditions your curls.
- It helps restore moisture and prevents hair dryness. (1)
- Steaming is known to increase blood flow to the scalp and promote hair growth. (2)
Tips for Hair Steaming
Here are a few things you should keep in mind before steaming your hair:
- Allow your hair to cool down after a steam. Cooling helps close the open cuticles, sealing in the moisture.
- Do not overdo it. It is enough to steam your hair once a month. (3)
- The ideal hair steaming time is 15–20 minutes. This allows for deep penetration of conditioners or serums and moisturizes the hair properly.
Steps to Follow While Hair Steaming at Home
Here are a few easy steps to follow while conditioning your hair:
- Wash your hair with a shampoo like you normally would.
- Apply your preferred repair mask onto your scalp and hair and massage it on your scalp.
- Tie your hair up in a loose knot or bun.
- Steam your hair using a hair steamer or wrap a warm, moist towel on your hair and expose it to steam.
- After 15–20 minutes, rinse your hair using cool water and apply a conditioner.
Things to Do While Steaming
If you are steaming your hair for the first time, the following can help maximize the benefits of your steam:
1. Before your steam bath
If you have frizzy hair, steam your hair lightly. Use a deep conditioner or repair mask on your hair before steaming.
2. While steaming
Mix a little bit of natural hair oil, such as almond oil, coconut oil, or olive oil, with your conditioner while steaming your hair. They have a wide range of benefits ranging from hair nourishment and deep conditioning to hair strengthening.
3. After your steam bath
It is important to let your hair cool down properly after a steaming session. You can rinse your hair with cool water and apply a pH-balanced conditioner to avoid frizz after a steam bath.
Things Not to Do While Steaming
Avoid these common mistakes people tend to make when steaming their hair:
1. Do not cover your head
Do not cover your head with a plastic or shower cap while steaming, as it does not allow proper penetration of the moisture or product into your hair shaft.
You can use a warm towel for wrapping the hair if you are not comfortable exposing it to direct steam.
2. Do not leave your hair down
Always tie a loose bun or loop your ponytail up before steaming your hair. This way, your hair is properly conditioned from roots to tips and the ends are not neglected.
3. The temperature should not be too hot and do not steam for too long
Avoid over steaming your hair as this can make them weak and lead to hair loss. It is best to steam your hair once a week for best results. Do not steam for more than half an hour at a time.
Research studies have shown that hair steaming can have a positive effect on hair texture and strength. The temperature of your surroundings plays a vital role in the texture and behavior of your hair strands. (4)(1)
What Hair Types Usually Requires the Steaming Most?
People who suffer from dry or frizzy hair will notice the most prominent benefits of hair steaming as steam softens and hydrates the hair naturally.
Moreover, if your hair is suffering from chemical damage (due to hair relaxing treatments, hair color, or bleach), hair steaming can deep condition your hair and improve its texture.
Who Should Avoid Hair Steaming?
Avoid steaming your hair if you suffer from any scalp conditions such as folliculitis, psoriasis, and seborrheic dermatitis. Steaming can irritate the scabs or sores on your scalp and lead to hair loss.
Most-Asked Questions About Hair Steaming
How long should you steam your hair for?
The ideal time for steaming your hair is 15–20 minutes. If you do not have dry or frizzy hair, 10 minutes may be enough to do the job.
Does hair steaming damage hair?
No. Steaming your hair properly should not cause any hair damage.
Can you do it at home?
Yes, follow the tips given above to steam your hair easily at home.
Your hair is an important feature of your appearance and it is necessary to care for them accordingly. However, a significant amount of people suffer from dry, brittle, or lifeless hair.
Hair steaming opens the hair cuticles, deep conditioning and moisturizing your hair from the inside out. It is an effective and intensive treatment for hair dryness and frizz.