For many naturals hair steaming is a step that is necessary but often skipped and might be just what the “hair doctor” ordered when it comes to healthy moisturized hair.
What is hair steaming?
It basically means adding moisture to the hair in the form of moist heat (steam) to the hair strands. This can be done in a number of different way such as using a handheld hair steamer, a standing steamer or even enjoying the steam after a long warm shower.
Why should you consider steaming?
1. Helps reduce breakage: the steam helps to add moisture and thus can make dry, brittle and thirsty hair supple, hydrated and healthy.
2. Lifts the cuticle to allow product/ingredient absorption: the warmth from the steam helps to raise the cuticle of our hair, which means that products/ingredients are more easily absorbed into the core. This can be particularly helpful for low porosity naturals that find it hard to get moisture deep into the core of the hair or products to be fully absorbed by the hair.
3. Enables hair stretching, less shrinkage and tangles: because the hair is hydrated, it usually means that there is less shrinkage which in turn means less tangles and knots. This makes it easier to detangle and can also lead to less breakage!
4. Refreshes curls without having to start over: you get to add moisture without having to soak your hair with water. This can be especially beneficial for those that suffer from dry brittle hair during winter and do not want to add water in the morning/night and perhaps risk getting a cold!
5. Helps clean the scalp and promote hair growth: the warmth from the steam can actually help fight through some product build-up/dirt on the scalp, making it easier to keep your scalp clean. A clean scalp is a healthy scalp and a healthy scalp means healthy growth. The warmth also helps stimulate blood flow in the scalp which again helps with hair growth.
When and or how often should you steam?
It really depends on how dry your hair feels, how often you need to wash your hair and how difficult/easy it is for products such as deep conditioners, leave-in conditioners etc. to penetrate your hair strands. In all likelihood, you will not require daily hair steaming however you might feel that 1 – 2 times a week gives you happy hydrated hair that looks and feels lush, plump and truly hydrated.
Do you steam your hair? How often?