The reason heat is used when deep conditioning* is to open the cuticles of the hair to allow the product to penetrate deeper, nourishing your strands that much better. And water is the ultimate moisturizer.
So when heat + water are combined you get steam, right! This is the basic reason why steamers are so awesome for the hair.
It is like deep conditioning* on steroids, plumping your strands with so much moisture and nourishing conditioning products that the effects are normally felt after just one steam session. There are a few different ways you can steam so let’s go through them now:
These fabulous machines look very much like hooded dryers except the base has a water reservoir with a metal heating element within it.
They are sold in both tabletop and standing versions, the prices range from $70-150. If that seems too steep for you or if storage is a problem you can always seek a salon that offers this service and purchase it as an add-on to your regular styling session. A tip is that if you do decide to invest in a steamer for home use, use distilled water to increase its longevity.
This is one of the reasons I actually decided that owning a steamer* was worth it, I tried steaming in my shower. I’m lucky enough (or unlucky depending on how you look at it) to have a small shower that steams very quickly and easily. I turned the shower to very hot, allowed it to run for a few minutes to get the bathroom nice and steamy.
Then I adjusted the temperature, stepped in the shower with conditioner on my hair and did my normal washroom duties. Afterwards, I noticed a major difference in the moisture levels and softness of my hair.
Use Your Gym:
Many exercise facilities have saunas and steam rooms. Cowash* your hair after working out, leave a bit in your hair and unwind in the steam room. Be sure to pour plenty of water over the rocks to make it “wet steam” instead of dry, which will have the opposite effect on your hair.
A few tips about steaming:
► Clip your hair to the top of your head when using a steaming machine to ensure that your ends and the length of your hair reap all the benefits of the steam session.
► Moisturizing conditioners work amazingly, but you can also use protein deep conditioners to aid in deeper penetration.
► Rotate while sitting under your steamer* to makes sure that the sides and nape are adequately serviced.
► A shower cap* is not necessary when steaming, the wet steam actually works directly on your hair.