Here’s Everything You Should Know About Steaming Your Hair
If you have curly hair, you undoubtedly already know that a good deep conditioner and plastic cap combo is the best approach to keep your hair hydrated. I’ve been practicing the old school method since I was ten years old. (Thank you so much, Mom!) But I’m here to inform you that there’s another (and possibly better) way to maximize the moisture in your hair during your deep conditioning session. Please accept the invitation to the party of steaming treatments. I spoke with Bridgette Hill, a trichologist and colorist, to learn more about the benefits of hair steaming and what makes it so good for your strands and scalp.
What does it mean to steam your hair?
Applying steam to your hair and scalp is exactly what this therapy entails. Steaming opens the hair cuticle, allowing treatments, oils, and masks to enter deeper into the hair fiber for optimal hydration and moisturization, Hill explains. When steam provides moist heat, the cuticle swells softly and gently, absorbing water and therapy equally. The cuticle is lifted by dry heat from a dryer, letting the therapeutic components to permeate the strand but not deeply.
Not just good for your hair
But steaming isn’t just good for your hair: it’s also good for your scalp. I like to equate it to a pedicure, Hill explains. Consider exfoliating the heels of your feet. When you soak your foot in water, the dead skin is removed more effectively. Steaming the scalp has a similar effect, as moisture-based heat softens the skin cells on the scalp and at the root’s base in a non-invasive manner. Steaming the scalp is an important first step in eliminating dead skin cells and increasing blood flow and circulation. The steam allows the active compounds to penetrate the dermis at a deeper level, similar to the hair fiber.
What are the various ways that steam can be used to care for your hair and scalp?
Steam, according to Hill, is great for renewing coily and curly hair textures, helping to preserve curl definition while reducing product use. A good handheld steamer like the Q-Redew is a good choice,” Hill explains. Comb through the finger-like prongs to rehydrate and lengthen your curl.” The usage of the product on a regular basis can assist to reduce shrinkage over time.
What’s the best temperature and length of time to steam?
An ideal steam treatment should last at least 30 minutes but up to an hour and a half, Hill says. In terms of temperature, the scalp should not be inflamed or itchy.” It should feel more like a spa treatment.
When steaming one’s hair, what should we avoid?
The most common error individuals make when steaming their hair is utilizing a low-quality product, Hill explains. To get the most out of steam, search for treatments high in fatty acids, such as shea butter oil, avocado, or castor oil.
What should you do with your hair after steaming?
Hill recommends moisturizing your ends on a regular basis (she likes Rene Furterer 5 Sens Enhancing Dry Oil), limiting the use of heat tools, and not over-shampooing your hair.
Who should avoid it?
Anyone with serious scalp issues, such as psoriasis, eczema, folliculitis, or dermatitis, should not steam unless under the supervision of a scalp care professional or dermatologist, Hill expresses his concern. It’s crucial not to overstimulate or remove the in on scabs or sores that may have skin cells mending behind the sore’s or scab’s protective covering. Steam can upset the microbiome and contribute to bacterial or fungal infections if used at the wrong periods during the hair development and shedding cycle.