I used to steam my hair occasionally when my hair was relaxed. I’ve however been doing it more regularly since I went natural almost six years ago. Ever wondered how to steam natural hair with a steamer?
Ok, first things first. I’d describe steaming as the process of using hot moist air (steam) on your hair.
Hair steaming opens up the follicles and lifts the cuticles on the hair shaft.
This allows conditioner and natural oil treatments to penetrate the hair strands for better moisture absorption.
During hair steaming, conditioners or treatment oils are worked into the hair while using steam simultaneously to open the cuticles and allow the nutrients to penetrate more deeply.
Benefits of steaming your hair
I have curly, low porosity 4c hair which tends to get dry quite easily. Using a regular conditioner only when doing my wash day routine just doesn’t seem to be enough.
I have to go a step further and deep condition my hair for some extra moisture infusion.
Deep conditioning with heat is even better because it has added benefits such as improving elasticity and deep moisture penetration.
I use a tabletop steamer when deep conditioning my hair.
There are many benefits you can reap by steaming your hair.
Steaming your hair helps moisture to penetrate your hair deeply.
Using a steamer enhances your hair’s ability to retain moisture.
This is because it opens the hair follicles, enabling intense moisturization.
In case you have dehydrated hair, steaming it would be the best step towards improving its moisture retention.
Promote hair growth
Steaming can also promote hair growth.
We know that the scalp is the canvas for healthy hair growth.
Steaming your hair moisturizes your scalp and increases the flow of natural oils to your scalp hence providing an atmosphere for your hair to flourish.
If you are having trouble getting your hair to grow, you might want to try adding steaming to your hair regimen.
Helps repair damaged hair
Moist air from the steam helps in repairing damaged hair and aids in blood flow circulation to the scalp.
Steaming allows more nutrients to get into your hair follicles hence improves the damaged hair.
It also promotes blood flow to the scalp, which translates to more hair growth, and helps in repairing damaged hair in the process.
Clears the scalp
Steaming your hair helps to loosen the dead skin cells on the scalp.
This means that it can help relieve the scalp from things like dandruff and other issues that may cause skin irritation.
Using a steamer on your hair helps in moisturizing and soothing your scalp.
This increases the moisture retention in your scalp hence preventing dryness.
Additionally, steaming helps to deeply clean your scalp and get rid of product build-up and other residues.
Helps with hair manageability
Are you having trouble managing your hair? Well, steaming your hair helps in making your hair easier to manage.
This is mainly because it aids in detangling. Your hair becomes softer after moisture infusion, making it easier to detangle and manage.
You also get to use fewer products trying to moisturize your hair, which eventually saves you money.
Steaming helps in achieving healthy and robust hair.
Using a steamer on your hair provides enough moisture, which aids in keeping your hair strands more elastic and bouncy.
It will also assist in keeping track of how elastic your hair becomes over time.
An added advantage is that as your hair becomes more flexible, you can retain hairstyles for a longer time.
Types of hair steamers
If you want to steam your hair, there are various types of steamers you can use.
They include standing steamers, tabletop steamers, handheld steamers, or the steaming heat caps.
Standing steamers are usually ones that you’ll find in professional hair salons.
They are a great option if you have enough space in your house. I know a lady who has one of these and she can’t stop talking about how the swivel casters enable easy movements.
You can easily adjust the height and the hood has a decent diameter of about 12″.
Tabletop steamers are convenient for use at home and they are relatively portable.
They easy to use and most have an automatic shut off timer.
A lot of the tabletop steamers are quite versatile – most are 2-in-1: they work as hair steamers and facial steamers as well.
Handheld steamers are easy to use and are quite portable. They also get just the right amount of steam to use on your hair.
They are highly recommended for people who have curly hair because they deeply moisturize their locks.
This type of steamers is also great for detangling hair.
Electric cap steamers, get the job done although they do not have as much steam as the other types.
This steamer is light in weight, making it quite portable.
All you need to do is to apply your hair treatment or conditioner on your hair and then don a plastic cap before you put on the steamer cap.
How to steam natural hair with a steamer
Using a hair steamer may sound like a challenging task, especially with steam involved.
However, using a hair steamer is a simple process and not as complicated as you might have thought.
Since there are various types of hair steamers, the hair steaming process is only slightly different depending on the kind of steamer you are using.
The first step before steaming your hair is to wash your hair to remove the dirt and product build-up.
Let’s just say, the hair steaming process works best on cleansed hair.
The second step is to dry your hair using a T-shirt or use a microfiber towel.
Be careful not to rub the hair too much as wet hair is relatively fragile. We’re trying to promote hair growth, not hair breakage.
The next step is to apply a generous amount of deep conditioner or the hair treatment of your choice.
Be careful when using the steamer
If you are using a handheld steamer, you can go ahead and fill it with distilled water.
Switch on the handheld steamer and wait for it to be ready for use.
It is important to note that the steamer might be very hot.
Always be careful when using hair steamers, especially when aiming the steamer directly towards your hair.
You can section your hair to make it easier to get the steam into all the strands.
In the case where you are using a tabletop or a professional hair steamer, your work is a little more straightforward.
The only thing you would have to do is to sit under the steamer just like you sit under a hooded dryer.
If you do not have a steamer, a great option would be to put on a shower cap and create the greenhouse effect.
However, steaming your hair using a steamer is a much faster method.
Now, remember that too much of something is poisonous. Be careful not to over steam your hair and suffer from hydral fatigue where the hair cuticle gets damaged as a result of excess moisture.
Steaming hair with coconut oil
When steaming your hair, you can choose to use oil, such as coconut oil.
Coconut oil is known for its many benefits to natural hair.
For instance, it addresses scalp related problems such as dandruff, a dry scalp, an itchy scalp, or even flaky scalps.
To achieve maximum results, the process of steaming your hair with coconut oil may be slightly different.
The first step is to ensure your hair is clean and completely dry.
Your hair should also be tangle-free to ensure that the coconut oil penetrates your hair as you apply it.
The next step is to apply a moderate amount of coconut oil into your hair.
When using the coconut oil, do it from the roots to the tips to ensure the oil is evenly spread out.
Massage the coconut oil smoothly into your hair and spread it evenly.
After massaging your hair with coconut oil, depending on the length of your hair, you can clip your hair up into sections.
This makes it easier to manage the hair while steaming, especially if you are using a handheld steamer.
If you are using the tabletop hair steamer, you can just sit under the steamer for about 30 minutes.
How often should you steam natural hair?
Steaming, as you know, is essential, especially when you have low porosity hair that is dehydrated hair.
Hence, it is important to understand when to steam your hair and how often you should do it.
Ideally, you can steam your hair whenever you think it requires a boost of moisture.
It is essential to note that it should be done (on average) every two weeks to make sure that you achieve the maximum results, and avoid hydral fatigue by doing it excessively.
Hair steamers are relatively safe, just make sure that you don’t overfill the steamer’s compartment with water.
Steaming your hair is very beneficial to people with low porosity hair as it lifts the hair cuticles hence increasing the ability of moisture to enter the hair cuticle.
If you are having problems with detangling your hair and keeping it strong and healthy, consider using a hair steamer as it will help improve the health of your hair.