I like talking about my heat damage story so that ladies with natural hair (and specifically Type 4 hair) can learn from my mistakes. Now, my horrible experience doesn’t mean that I stopped using heat styling appliances on my hair. Finding a way to straighten natural hair without causing any heat damage has to be the biggest relief ever. A few months after having to chop off my hair again due to heat damage, a new hairstylist introduced me to what she swore was the best steam flat iron for 4c hair.
The thing is, every time after I wash my mane, there is major hair shrinkage. When I don’t feel like wearing a protective style, I like to straighten my hair like twice a year. This also helps with length checks. I was so used to using a hair dryer by myself since the heat damage incident. I remember how skeptical I was when the stylist first mentioned steam straighteners. After giving it a try, I recommended it to all 4c naturals looking to straighten their hair occasionally.
Best steam flat iron for 4c hair
I have reviewed five steam straighteners that I’d highly recommend for ladies (or gents) with type 4c hair.
They all work by locking in moisture, all in a bid to avoid heat damage, and leaving your hair looking soft, smooth and silky.
MKBOO Hair Straightener with Steam
The MKBOO hair straightener works by sealing water ions on each strand of hair after it penetrates.
This ensures most of the water is retained by the hair and leaves it moisturized in the process. It also reduces the chances of drying out the hair and causing damage.
The hair straightener has seven steam holes on it that use the hydration technology to make sure most of the water is not removed from the hair even after straightening it.
This leaves the hair looking shiny and soft without a burnt look that’s not attractive.
The steam flat iron also has 3D combs that are essential for combing out your natural hair.
This is the first step before you straighten it. Combing is an effective way of reducing breakage or damage to the hair.
The titanium plating flattens each strand of hair, leaving it smooth and soft with a silky look. It also seals the hair cuticles, therefore, reducing the chances of getting knots or split ends.
This flat iron has a Metal Ceramic Heater (MCH) that is manufactured to give out even distribution of the heat.
Moreover, you can easily adjust the temperature to suit your hair type. This means I can adjust it to suit my thick and naturally curly hair.
The flat iron can also automatically shut off if you don’t use it in 60 minutes. This is a great safety feature.
Additionally, the water tank is removable, meaning you can easily refill it and clean it.
- Adjustable temperature
- Even heat distribution
- Reduces knots and split ends
- Seals in moisture on the hair
- Makes use of hydration technology
- Leaves hair smooth, soft, and silky
- Automatically shuts off if not used for 60 minutes
- Ideal for natural hair
FURIDEN Steam Flat Iron Hair Straightener
This flat iron has a dual purpose. You can use it to straighten your hair and also curl it. This means you don’t have to buy a curling iron for your hair.
This steam flat iron doesn’t leave your hair dry after straightening. It makes use of hydration technology where it seals in moisture on every strand of your hair.
This works to counter the drying effect experienced by most of the regular flat irons.
The steam straightener doesn’t cause damage to the hair because it protects it from the heat by using steam.
The moisture is retained on the hair and the natural oils are not lost. This leaves your hair soft, smooth, silky and moisturized.
You are able to adjust the heat because it has multiple options for this. You can easily figure out what temperature works best for your type of hair.
There are temperature settings for fine, thick, medium, or coarse hair. It only takes it 15 seconds to heat up.
Hair that has been styled using this steam flat iron can last for more than one day, only needing a little touch-up.
The steam produced by it is not visible as it’s only meant to moisturize the hair and not make it wet.
This straightener reduces frizz while adding more shine to your hair. It has a detachable tank that you refill with water.
It can automatically shut off if not used for some time, which is an essential safety feature.
- Easy to use
- Makes use of hydration technology
- Leaves hair moisturized
- Has multiple heat adjustment options
- Suitable for all hair types
- Automatic turn-off feature
- Reduces frizz
- Heats up fast
- If you have dense hair, you might need to refill the water chamber multiple times
Magicfly Steam Flat Iron Hair Straightener
This flat iron has tourmaline and ceramic plates that heat up fast in a span of one minute.
You can adjust the temperature to suit your type of hair as it has five different settings.
The fact that it heats up fast means you can work on your hair for a short period without exposing it to any kind of damage.
It makes use of steam hydration technology that locks in the moisture on your hair and reduces the chances of drying. The hair remains moisturized, smooth, soft, and silky.
It has a removable water tank that you refill to keep emitting the much-needed steam every time you work on your hair.
The flat blades glide down your hair removing all traces of clumps and frizz from it.
The water contains negative ions that are released on your hair, closing up the cuticles and reducing the chances of frizz.
The machine comes with dual voltage, meaning you can plug it anywhere in the world.
It has the ability to shut off automatically if it remains unused after 60 minutes. This is a very important safety feature.
The plates are lockable, making the iron easy to store as they remain closed in the storage box.
- It has five different temperature settings
- Easy to store
- It has lockable plates
- Has dual voltage (can be plugged in anywhere in the world)
- Shuts off automatically if unused for 60 minutes
- Makes use of steam hydration technology
- Eliminates frizz
- Doesn’t always work well on thin and fine hair
Solofish Steam Hair Straightener
The Solofish steam straightener utilizes steam technology to feed the hair with moisture while straightening it.
It also delivers negative ions that reduce all traces of static, leaving your hair protected from heat damage.
The moisture penetrates every strand of hair and is locked in by the straightener. This results in smooth and moisturized hair that has retained all its natural oils.
The steam straightener has six adjustable heat settings and two steam settings that you can use to change the temperature depending on your hair type and texture.
This further reduces the chances of heat damage. It’s applicable to any type of hair.
The steam flat iron can automatically change the temperature and also shut off in case it remains unused for 60 minutes.
This is necessary to avoid any accidents or incidents. It comes with a pair of safety gloves that help protect your hands as well.
Just like the other steam straighteners reviewed above, it comes with a removable water tank that you can add clean water to.
It’s recommended to use only water on it and not any other type of liquid even though it uses steam technology.
The straightener also comes with a swivel cord that rotates at a 360-degree angle meaning you can use it easily on all your hair.
It also comes with a user manual to guide you on how to use it effectively.
- It has six adjustable heat settings and two steam settings
- Moisturizes your hair
- It helps prevent heat damage
- Suitable for all hair types
- Comes with protective gloves
- Automatically shuts off after remaining unused for 60 minutes
- Has a removable water tank
- You have to keep refilling the water reservoir for best results
Conair Infiniti Pro Ionic Steam Flat Iron
The Conair Infiniti steam flat iron works by infusing moisture on every strand of your hair.
It is best used on clean hair after shampooing for a better look.
The steam flat iron is very effective that your style can hold for about 60 hours after styling.
This means you don’t have to change up styles often and all your hair requires is a little touch up the following day.
The steamed hair holds well even in humid conditions.
This straightener has a ceramic coating that helps your hair remain frizz-free and doesn’t cause heat damage to it.
It has three retractable combs that you can use first to gently detangle your hair before applying steam on it.
Additionally, it has five temperature settings that are in LED form for better heat adjustment depending on the type of hair you have.
It heats up fast, needing only 30 seconds. It contains an ion generator making use of ionic technology to reduce frizz and static on your hair.
This leaves the hair shiny and soft which is what we all aim for.
The steam iron comes with a 9-foot swivel cord that can rotate at a 360-degree angle making the straightening process easy and with no cord tangling.
- Takes only 30 seconds to heat up
- Has five temperature LED settings
- Makes use of ionic technology
- Moisture infusion on the hair
- Reduces frizz
- Easy to clean
- It is a bit heavy
Do steam straighteners work on black hair?
This was the first question I asked the stylist when she suggested that I should try out steam straighteners.
I have thick, coarse and dense hair which can be a challenge to maintain at times. I didn’t want to introduce a heat styling appliance to my regimen that wouldn’t work, or even worse, damage my hair.
Christina (the stylist) promised me that a steam flat iron that won’t damage my hair, but would, in fact, help to hydrate it and keep it detangled. (You can understand my paranoia and skepticism; I wasn’t about to go through another heat damage ordeal)
To cut the long story short, I went ahead and had her use the steam straightener on my hair, and the rest is history. I was truly in love with the results and delighted that Christina wasn’t deterred despite my skepticism.
Steam irons do work for natural black hair and there are certain benefits we can get from choosing to use them.
Benefits of using steam straighteners
If you have tried other flat irons before but weren’t happy with the results, you should try steam straighteners.
The following are some of the benefits of using steam flat irons.
Steam flat irons use water to achieve that silky and soft look we all crave for yet still remaining natural hair.
The straightener works by sealing a large percentage of the moisture on the strands of hair, thus, working much better compared to regular flat irons.
Your hair remains moisturized and not bone dry. All the natural oils are retained, meaning this equipment works to keep hair moisturized as it’s straightened.
With moisture infusion technology, you get straightened hair that lasts a little longer.
You don’t have to do the whole process again the following morning. All that the hair requires is a little touch-up during the second-day styling.
Tames Coarse Hair
This is by far the best reason for investing in a steam flat iron, for me that is. When you have thick and coarse 4c hair, taming it after wash day is a whole other process.
When I don’t feel like stretching my hair using non-heat methods such as twisting, braiding or African threading, I stretch it using a good blow dryer for natural hair or a steam flat iron.
Otherwise, I would have to deal with tangled or knotted hair.
A good steam iron will help you straighten your hair with minimal heat damage leaving it moisturized, straight, and tamed in the process.
With natural hair, it can be a challenge to maintain a specific style. You have to keep redoing it every now and then, which is quite laborious.
I came to discover that the few times when I use a steam straightener on my hair and style it, the style holds longer than before.
Not only is my hair in a better condition with more moisture in, it but also my style of choice lasts a whole day.
I don’t have to keep worrying about it shrinking back or having to redo the style in the course of the day.
The steam works wonders to keep my hair straight all day and hold my hairstyles for longer.
One of the biggest issues you learn very early on with natural hair is just how annoying frizz can be.
You take good care of your hair but you still can’t seem to get rid of frizz.
Frizz makes hair unmanageable and can turn your style to something undesirable by the end of the day.
This is why I wasn’t sure about trying out another hot tool when Christina suggested I try a steam iron.
But I was pleasantly surprised when the steam straightener reduced frizz on my coarse and thick hair during summer.
Apart from anti-humidity hair products that can help you deal with frizzy hair, using a steam straightener might just be your new-found weapon.
The vapor infusion technology used by this equipment makes my hair more resistant to humidity for its not as dry as it would get before.
Improved Shine and Softness
Apart from my hair being more manageable, which is by far the biggest benefit I have derived from the steam iron, I have shiny hair as well.
We all dislike having dull and lifeless hair.
With steam infusion technology, the retention of moisture and natural oils means the hair remains shiny throughout the day.
Finding a way to make my coarse and dense hair look glossy and soft was a welcome relief.
Get ready faster
It used to take me twice as long before to stretch my hair using other methods.
With my trusted steam straightener, I not only have an easier time working on my hair, but the time duration is also reduced.
This means I can be on time for any plans that I have with my hair nicely styled.
Types of steam flat irons
There are two types of steam flat irons that you’ll come across.
Ceramic Steam Flat Irons
Ceramic flat irons are better suited for less coarse hair.
This is the type of hair that is thin and fine.
This type of flat iron heats up very fast and remains hot throughout the straightening process.
The plates on this type of steam straighteners allow for even heat distribution.
Titanium Steam Flat Irons
This is the best steam flat iron for my thick, coarse and dense hair.
They have bigger plates and heat up faster than ceramic ones. They retain very high temperature and the titanium plates have an ionic charge that helps smoothen my hair faster.
Both these types of steam straighteners are ideal for natural hair; it all boils down to the type of hair you have.
The titanium one is best for thick, coarse hair that needs more heat to straighten it.
On the other hand, the ceramic steam flat irons are best for thin and fine hair that requires less heat to straighten it.
How does a steam flat iron work?
For the best results, it’s always important to use the steam straightener on clean hair.
1. Wash and condition your hair as you normally do using your preferred products.
2. Towel-dry the hair to remove most of the water but not leave the hair bone dry in the process
3. Apply or spray a heat protectant on your clean hair before you can use a steam flat iron to straighten your hair
4. After applying this product, wait for your hair to dry or speed up the process by using a blow dryer. This is because it’s best to use the flat iron on dry hair.
5. Take your steam flat iron and fill the water tank with clean water as you get ready to use it on your dry hair.
6. Divide your hair into sections that you can hold separate with hair clips for easier management.
7. Take your steam flat iron and set it on the right temperature for your type of hair.
Remember all of the steam straighteners reviewed here have different temperature settings that suit all types of hair.
You have to know which works best for you. The best straightener is the one that heats up fast so that you don’t have to wait long to use it.
8. Hold your hair when ready to use it and start straightening it from the root to the tip. Repeat this process until all your hair is straightened.
9. Style the hair as per your desire and apply or spray a shine product at the end to help the style look even better.
10. Turn off the flat iron after you’re done and safely store it away.
Factors to consider when buying a steam flat iron
There are certain features you have to look out for before purchasing a steam flat iron for straightening your hair.
Size of the Plate
With natural hair, you have to consider the size of the plate on a steam straightener.
This is because there are different sizes that are better suited for certain types of hair.
For my thick coarse hair, I found out that 2-inch heating plates work best to help me manage my mane.
You have to know the type of hair you have before buying a steam flat iron.
As discussed above, there are two types of materials used to make steam flat irons: ceramic and titanium.
The two materials differ in the type of hair they are used for. The ceramic steam flat iron works best with fine and thin hair that requires less amount of heat to straighten.
For those with thick and coarse hair like mine, the titanium straightener is the best. It achieves higher temperatures that work best to manage this type of hair.
The best steam straighteners have safety features that protect you from any accidents that may occur.
You need one that shuts off after a period of not being used. The most common amount of time to lapse is 60 minutes without use.
Another safety feature is lockable plates that make it easy to store the steam flat iron.
The best steam straightener is the one with a swivel cord that rotates at a 360-degree angle.
This makes it easy to work on all your hair without having to keep adjusting the cord.
This type of cord is also less likely to tangle up (and wasting time) as you straighten your hair.
If you have hair that is thick and coarse, I’m sure the benefits of ionic technology are not lost on you.
Choose a steam flat iron that employs this technology to better steam and preserve your hairstyle for a longer hold.
Steam flat irons are growing increasingly popular among natural hair enthusiasts like me because they work with our type of hair.
We want all the benefits of straightened hair but without all the downsides like dry, damaged hair.
They are the best for natural hair because they add moisture to the hair and help it retain its natural oils.
These steam straighteners leave your hair soft and shiny with reduced frizz, regardless of the amount of humidity.
If you’ve been looking for the best steam flat iron for 4c hair, this review will be a good starting point.