The Benefits of Steam Treatments
Deep conditioning is considered one of the best ways to help repair and moisturize natural hair. However, don’t let your efforts stop there. Steam treatments can easily increase the benefits of not only your hair regiment but your skin health as well.
Why it Works?
During regular deep conditioning without heat hair cuticles remain closed. The purpose of deep conditioning is not so much to coat the hair with moisture but to penetrate it deep down. So all you need is heat, right? Wrong. Dry, hot air and moist, hot air are completely different things. Heat opens up the cuticles but moist, steamy air contains water which is the best moisture source for hair. While the concept is not much different than regular deep conditioning, steam is the simple yet magic ingredient for extreme moisture.
How to do it?
There are 2 basic yet effective ways to do steam treatments including at-home steam machines and shower steaming. At-home steam machines are commercial products with a reservoir base and metal heating part. Once you put water in it the machine quickly creates a controlled and concentrated steam.
When choosing between commercial steamers make sure to consider the advantages of the tabletop or standing models. If you have a small space to store and use the steamer, the tabletop version maybe better suited for you. No matter which one you choose make sure to use distilled water which can be purchased at your local supermarket. The bad news for last. Steamers range from $50-$150.
No worries if this price is out of your budget. Steamy showers, with a few adjustments, will do just fine. Some people choose to follow a simple at home steam process by pre-steaming their bathrooms and then taking their regular shower with the deep conditioning treatment on the hair. The other shower process is a bit more complex but still affordable.
- Take a small, wet but not dripping towel and heat quickly in the microwave.
- Wrap the conditioner covered hair with the towel.
- Cover the towel loosely with a plastic bag so that steam may circulate.
- Sit under an existing hooded dryer or in a steamy shower.
When to do it?
Depending on your washing and conditioning routine, deep conditioners should be done between once per week to every two weeks. Some people can get away with once per month based on their daily care. Steam treatments can be included in every deep conditioning session.
Following a steam treatment, the hair should be rinsed with cool water. The cool water will help to re-seal the cuticles and retain the moisture of the steam deep conditioner. The great thing about steam treatments is that you can quickly see the results as compared to your normal deep conditioning routine.