Does your hair appear lifeless and damaged despite using a dozen of products? You might want to try hair steaming to nourish it from the inside out.
Hair steaming offers a plethora of benefits for your hair, besides combating dryness and damage. No matter what your hair type is, steaming can rejuvenate it and boost its health.
Scroll down to know the benefits of hair steaming and how to do it the right way to achieve maximum results.
Is Steaming Good For Your Hair?
The sun, pollution and chemicals in your hair products strip your hair of its natural moisture, leaving it dehydrated. Steaming adds new life to your hair by enhancing moisture absorption into your hair and scalp.
The length of your hair (hair shaft) is protected by the cuticle, which is composed of layers of overlapping cells like fish scales. When you apply steam to your hair, these cuticles are slightly lifted which allows hydration to enter your hair shaft. Hydration is an essential element to keep your locks healthy and glowing. Imagine your hair is like a flower, if it loses hydration it will become dull, frizzy or even brittle.
Additionally, steaming also facilitates better absorption of the hair care products both into your scalp as well as hair shaft. This way, your hair care products like oils and conditioners can work more effectively if you use them along with steaming.
How To Steam Your Hair?
The best time to steam your hair is right after you have cleaned it. Make sure there is no shampoo residue left on your hair. If your hair is extremely dry, you can also try steaming your hair right after a relaxing oil massage.
When it comes to steaming your hair, you can use the following:
1. A Hood Steamer
These are the machines that are most commonly used at beauty salons for hair steaming. Typically, an enriching conditioner is applied onto your hair, starting at the roots and working all the way down the length of your hair. If you have long hair, collect it in a bun on top of your hair so that the entire length of your hair fits inside the steaming hood.
For best results you should use the steamer at a low heat setting for around an hour. This will allow the steam to penetrate your hair well. Finish up by rinsing your hair well to clean out all the conditioner.
2. DIY Hot Towel Steaming At Home
If you do not like the idea of visiting a beauty salon every now and then, don’t worry. You can steam your hair from the comforts of your home too. All you need is a small towel and a pair of shower caps.
Collect all your hair and put on the first shower cap. Dip the towel in warm water or heat up a damp towel by microwaving it for 2 minutes. Wring out the excess water to prevent the hot water from burning your skin. Now place the towel on top of the first shower cap and carefully cover it up with the second shower cap.
Let the steam formed in between the shower caps work its magic on your hair while you sit and relax over a cup of tea or a favorite magazine! Keep it on for a minimum of 30 minutes. You can even use it a bit longer if you are looking for extra moisturization.
Finally, rinse your hair with cold water to get shining, beautiful hair.
What Do You Use To Steam Your Hair?
There are a variety of equipment you can choose from when it comes to hair steaming. Before deciding on the equipment, perform a simple test to check the porosity of your hair. Porosity is the ability of your hair to absorb moisture. Drop a few strands of your hair in a bowl of water. If the hair floats, your hair has low porosity, while hair with high porosity will sink quickly. Normal porosity hair stays in the middle of the water.
Now that you know the porosity of your hair you can choose from the following equipment to steam your hair:
- Hooded Steamer
- Handheld Steamer
- Steamer Caps
Benefits Of Steaming Your Hair
The benefits of steaming your hair right are many. Here are a few of them:
1. Improves Cleansing Of The Scalp And Hair
Steaming can loosen the build up of dirt, grime, dead cells, etc. on your scalp and hair. These can then be flushed out easily when you clean your hair with a shampoo. This way you can use a milder shampoo post steaming, thus saving your hair from the harsh chemicals present in strong shampoos.
2. Increases Hair Elasticity
Deep penetration of moisture into the hair shaft enhances its elasticity which means your hair can stretch and relax easily. Increased elasticity makes it easier to style your hair with minimum tangles and breakage.
3. Reduces Hair Breakage
Dehydration can make your hair brittle and prone to breakage. Steaming facilitates deep moisturisation of your hair shafts, thus keeping them hydrated and reducing hair breakage. It also strengthens your hair strands.
4. Enhances Hair Growth
Steaming enhances the overall health of your hair and scalp. It also enhances blood circulation in the scalp and the flow of natural oils. So if you are looking to grow out your hair to its natural length, steaming your hair can be an ideal choice.
5. Great For Curly Hair
Whether you have natural curls or like to get them into your hair, steaming is the best way to keep your curls happy. The high moisture retention and enhanced elasticity is just what you need to let your curls shine!
Dos And Don'ts Of Hair Steaming
1. Combine With A Conditioning Agent
Apply a deep conditioner or a natural hair oil (like coconut oil) before steaming especially if you have straight, relaxed hair.
2. Set A Routine
Depending on your hair condition, you should set up a routine for steaming your hair. You should steam your hair at least once a week to get visible results.
3. Cool Your Hair
It is very important to cool your hair by rinsing it with cold water post steaming to close the open hair cuticles. Cooling of hair will ensure the moisture does not escape your hair and the benefits of steaming stays locked in.
4. Keep A Wash Cloth Handy
If you use a hot towel or steam cap, there might be some dripping of the hot water droplets or conditioning products from your head. Wipe it off with the washcloth to prevent irritation or burning of your skin.
1. Do Not Cover
Do not cover your hair with a shower cap or towel if you are using the hooded steamer or hand held steamer. Direct exposure of the steam on your hair works best to give you all the ultimate benefits of steaming.
2. Avoid Styling Equipments
Post steaming your hair, avoid using a blow dryer with heat settings or other styling equipment which uses heat, to prevent heat damage to your hair. Allow your hair to air dry. Apply a hair serum if you must use a styling tool.
3. Do Not Over Do
You should not steam your hair too frequently or for too long. This can result in limp hair and may even lead to hair fall.
How Long Should You Steam Your Hair?
Your hair condition is the biggest factor to determine the duration of steaming your hair needs. You should allow enough time for the cuticles to open up and the conditioning products to penetrate the hair. In general for straight, relaxed hair, a session of around 15 to 20 minutes under the steamer should be good enough. You might want a session of 30 minutes in case you have frizzy hair that looks thirsty.
You can take SkinKraft’s HairIDTM questionnaire to know your hair better and decide on your hair care regimen.
An optimum session of steaming should leave your hair feeling hydrated and bouncy. If your hair looks dehydrated, you may need to adjust the duration of your steaming session.
Can Steaming Damage Your Hair?
If you are steaming your hair the right way, you do not need to worry about damage. But too much of a good thing is not so good! Do not steam your hair for too long. The excessive heat can damage your hair cuticles and also the protein that the hair is made of.
If your hair loses elasticity and is breaking off easily, chances are that you have overdone it. The condition of your hair and the steaming equipment you are using also plays a significant role. Consult an expert or visit a beauty salon in case you are unsure about hair steaming.
Steaming your hair has multiple benefits. However, you should know how to do it right, in order to get the best results. You can visit a beauty salon or steam your hair at your own home. But it is important that you check every time if you are able to achieve the desired effects. If not, then you should change the steaming routine or get in touch with a hair care professional.
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